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Guest Blog: Anna Malia shares her inspiration from Igniting Leadership

11 October 2012 By Anna Malia


The ILP is similar to year 7 school camp. You are a bit nervous to start with, you don't know anyone, you're not sure who you are going to sit next to on the bus and by the end of the camp you know everybody by name and have created some amazing relationships. And in terms of what you walk away with it's like that feeling when you break from your ordinary routine and perhaps go for a long lazy Sunday drive, it can sometimes feel like you have been away for a week, instead of just one day. Time has a funny way of standing still and offering you some perspective!!!! Just a chance to look at things from another point of view. Well day 3 was just like that. 

Ulli Baxter challenged my way of thinking. I've always considered my self to be a creative person, thinking on the spot, always having another idea. But the idea that you need to discuss the negatives in a change situation together with the positives was foreign. I always thought that a 'glass half full' approach was my metaphor for life. Learning today that what could be a potential problem may actually hold the key and a direction for improvement.

Peter Fitzgerald also touched on a nerve in his presentation about Executive Coaching. Just when you think you know yourself, he highlighted the importance of why we may behave the way we do, or why we have certain fears- but showing us we can overcome them in time. Peter gave us an insight in to self reflection and positive affirmation. It was comforting to know that that is an okay thing to do- not just some crazy voice in your head. If I had to rate my self on the self reflection scale before today I would have said it was pretty high, with my radar always on and acting responsive to the needs of others. But I have always felt there was something missing. Questioning why a situation may not have turned out the way it was intended, or wondering why there was so much resistance to such an excellent idea. I realised today I'm a fixer, more often than not providing all the answers- when Peter stated that leaders shouldn't be replying to emails at 11:00 pm at night I wanted to hide under my chair!!!! Yup- that's me- always offering a suggestion. I walk away from today giving myself permission to ask my team to come back with a solution to a question, asking more about what they would like to do and giving them the tools and resources to do it.

I like to consider my experiences in leadership more of my pathway and the ILP training have affirmed for now I am on the right track. I have been blessed to have had leaders in my life that have given me time and allowed me to grow and I now know its time to give some of that back. I leave with a quote from Andrew Horsefield:

”Be acutely aware that by the very choices you are making, you are creating your future right now. Your actions today become your outcomes tomorrow".

In the spirit of “who I am" not "what I do"........I am Anne Mallia; glass half full- but now happy to reflect that it's ok to be half empty; creative; resourceful; caring, sensitive; and inquisitive.

Anna is the Program Manager of a team of highly skilled professionals making a difference to the lives of children and families with additional needs- servicing the community for over 35 years.