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Leadership Styles for Good

An introduction to leadership skills required to lead sustainably, including reflecting on insights that can emerge from indigenous leadership values.
(gentle music) <v ->We hope you got a good basic understanding</v> of sustainability, its challenges and the reason we are talking about acting now, what we’d like to share with you this week is how we can all step it up to lead these changes required, what skills are required for future leaders and touch on some of the new business models and innovations that are already out there. As part of this, we will also reflect on what we can learn from the past and indigenous approaches. We acknowledged though that in this short course we can hardly do justice to the vast amount of global indigenous knowledge and experience available. So this really is just an introduction. So let’s start with leadership.
Who do you think is a successful leader in the for good space Torian? <v ->I have a couple of favorites in mind,</v> I love Michelle Obama, I think she really is inspiring for a lot of people particularly people of color Noam Chomsky is as a psychology nerd, he’s done some amazing research and really is a quite a great intellectual activist.
<v ->Those are great examples, New Zealand prime minister</v> Jacinda Ardern is often used as an example too for a good leader with skills that are important for any future leader really, three of these skills that she embodies and the ones that you mentioned as well are empathy, transparency, and agility, which she demonstrated during the crisis mosque shootings in 2019, and also last year during COVID-19 knockdowns, there are many more skills, of course that are important too, for future leaders. The leaders we need to drive those big changes, we need to overcome the complex challenges we are facing but mastering these three will go a long way in uncertain times. What skills do you think leaders of the future need Torian?
<v ->The three that you mentioned are definitely important</v> but I think cultural intelligence, having a growth mindset and being collaborative almost as important. Cultural intelligence stands out for me is it will be key for leaders to be able to create workplaces and communities that thrive because of the diversity we see across the generations, genders and across the many different cultural backgrounds people have that you’ll be interacting with. Diversity in thinking will give us much better solutions to the problems we are facing, so it is super important.
<v ->Do you think these leadership skills can be learned?</v> <v ->Yes, I like to think so, it all starts with awareness</v> and openness to continuously learning, invest in yourself to create a habit of that, of learning, being curious, being aware of your own biases in ways you lead. That’s a good starting point to becoming a good future leader. <v ->Great, one answer to what works well in our current</v> uncertain times that you hear a lot of these days, it’s authentic leadership. What do you think about when you hear authentic leadership?
<v ->Well, to me it means being yourself, being honest</v> and transparent, Bill George’s book, Authentic Leadership, populize the term in 2003, but it’s one of those types of leadership that has definitely been around for a long time. This is where we can learn from indigenous leadership styles where they’ve been practicing for centuries that you need a holistic leadership style. Lots of self-awareness, identity, honesty, humility, and a focus on a purpose beyond yourself to be a good leader, it’s a big topic. <v ->Yeah, it certainly is, I mean, we’ll spend a bit longer</v> on it too by sharing a few good articles and encouraging discussions about questions like what does authentic leadership mean to you, later in the course.
Building on the last few comments you made Torian and looking at the required 21st century skills, there may be a list of skills and principles that are familiar to many people already is not just authentic leadership, but things like humility, servant leadership, and collaboration are core to many non-Western cultures, cultures that have existed for hundreds of years like that from the indigenous people I tell over New Zealand, Joni and jelly Gordon. One of our colleagues here at the Mind lab explains it well when she was interviewed for the Spinoff, one of our newspapers here in October, 2020. She says it is underpinned by a certain set of values.
It’s a sense of Tikanga Maori, but then on top of that you have a sense of service and servant leadership models. It’s about monarchy Tonga, Fernanda Tonga and a sense of humility. These are altruistic values where we are working towards the greater good it’s collectivity that we know as really important aspects of kalpa Maori and which underpins Maori or indigenous idea of leadership. This is why we need to look at the past to learn about our future leadership skills too. (gentle music)

This video provides an introduction to leadership styles for good. What are the key leadership skills required to lead sustainably?

Ideas of authentic leadership and the insights that indigenous approaches to leadership can provide are explored in more detail through material presented in the following articles.

Before we move forward though, take some time to think about a leader that you look to or is known for their leadership approach. What are the characteristics of their approach that resonate most with you why? What have they achieved using this approach? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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