One of our favourite programs to facilitate is Leadership Victoria’s Igniting Leadership program. Its a five day program for emerging leaders in the government, corporate and not-for-profit sectors. The program is a dynamic mix of seminars, scenario-based learning, guest speakers, reflection sessions and other learning-based activities. An informal graduation is held at the conclusion of the program where participants share their leadership commitment with the rest of the group. As the program facilitator, its inspiring to observe the participants’ development and to see them identify and embrace their own, unique “leadership voice”. The program also includes a guest blog, where some of the participants write about their experience of the program. We thought we’d share Dale Ahern’s reflections from Day 1 of the May 2013 program.
Guest blog: Dale Ahern Day One Igniting Leadership April 2013
15 April 2013 By Dale Ahern, Communication Advisor, Dept of Premier and Cabinet
Last year, my office had a spare ticket for a Leadership Victoria cocktail event, so I put up my hand.
For someone with no prior knowledge of LV, being in a room full of alumni was a powerful experience. Everyone seemed to possess a strange confidence, visible in the way they voiced ideas, the way they delighted in meeting new people. And there was a strange sense of family about the whole gathering.
I decided that, if the chance came, I’d find out more.
Fast forward to today and there I was, one of seventeen eager participants gathered in the stately halls of Old Treasury for day one of Igniting Leadership.
Over the day, Cynthia, our bright and brave facilitator, steered us from being a room full of strangers to being a group who energised and trusted each other. We shared personal reflections, displayed our acting talents, and joined in a Ladder of Inference sing-along.
We heard from two fantastic speakers, both LV alumni, who shared with us not only their time, energy and wisdom, but their own personal experiences and thoughts.
Personal highlights were hearing tales about overcoming your own fear and taking the plunge, reflecting on strengths and leadership qualities, and wondering if, maybe, I’ve had crucible moments in my life that I’ve just never recognised as such.
For me, the overarching experience of day one was about getting comfortable with being outside my comfort zone. And, now, I think I understand what I saw last year at that LV event. The confidence I saw in those alumni was the confidence of people for whom confronting their fears and enlarging their own boundaries had become a way of living. And, that night, they were a family who shared a common knowledge of the terrain beyond their comfort zones, and who had supported each other in walking it.
A few weeks from now, on the other side of the discoveries and challenges that I’m sure are yet to come, I’ll feel privileged if I can call myself part of that family, too.
Bring on day two.