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Igniting Leadership Program - Reflection

22 September 2014 By Michael Dunstan

Igniting Leadership

It was with slight trepidation that I once again today entered the halls of the Old Treasury Building, the same building that was designed by a nineteen year old, so I have been told, which no doubt has ever since brought generations of potential leaders to think how they could have failed to have designed a large building themselves before they turned twenty.

But it was not building envy that was the source of my fear. I was actually joining the Igniting Leadership cohort for the first time as I was not able to complete the previous one due to illness.

Would I be ostracised by the next lot of cutthroats, or labelled as a copout that with not a single building to his name?
Would they make fun of me because I’m a vegan?

To my relief, my concerns were completely allayed with the morning icebreaker, a kind of speed dating, during which I spoke to a number of fascinating people from all walks of life, talking about everything from how we felt to what we wanted to learn from the day to weekend activities to how we all felt. I wondered if speed dating usually works as well in the real world.

Maybe. 

But before I could even contemplate this question of existential importance, I soon found myself immersed in the rest of the day’s activities centred around the topic of change. If we weren’t in the hands of such deft operators, we could have ended up learning about the concept through textbooks and videos of management-speak.

But, of course, that is not the way to ignite leadership.

So instead we listened to inspiring presenters, we moved around the room in a triangle based on whether we were blue, green or red. We built towers with Lego. We saw how running a street gang and running a political party are much the same sort of thing. And who can forget the gorilla?

And with the great vegan catering thrown in to boot, that’s how you learn to deal with and thrive under change. I'm sure my first building will be up now in no time.

-Michael Dunstan

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