Caving and Classrooms

 One of many engaging panel discussions - this one concerned talent management

One of many engaging panel discussions - this one concerned talent management

It's very satisfying working with organisations that recognise the value of investing in leader development.

For the last two weeks, Team Leader has assisted the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) with one of their senior leader development programmes. What makes this programme special though, is the degree of effort that goes into developing the strategic self-awareness of the participants.

The programme is for a select few, and the NZDF invites senior leaders from other Government departments to participate. In this case, we had a Director from the Ministry of Health.

The programme is of two week's duration. Week one is based at Motueka, and uses the medium of caving to highlight individual behaviour under pressure. The days are split between looking at personality first in a theoretic sense, and then backing this up through strenuous caving activities with the assistance of the a number of New Zealand's premier caving guides and instructors, who are ably assisted by outdoor education staff from the NZ Army Leadership Centre.

 Before the caving come rope skill acquisition on the tower at Whenua-iti Outdoor Education Centre

Before the caving come rope skill acquisition on the tower at Whenua-iti Outdoor Education Centre

Personality and leader behaviour is looked at through the lens of the Kaplan de Vries Leader Versatility Index (LVI), and the Hogan Leadership Forecast Report. These are two of the very best leader development tools available in the world, and they are extremely effective in helping leaders understand the implications of behaviour, as well as individual motivation factors.

This unique approach sees results. At the end of the first week, there is a quite extraordinary level of openness, trust and vulnerability being displayed in how the participants interact and work together.

Week two is based in Wellington, and focuses in on the critical impact areas that leaders at the General Manager level must master, if they are to add value to their organisations. 

This week looks at four key behaviour clusters, and sees senior leaders from a diverse range of organisations visit the programme for in-depth discussions about the role of senior leaders. It is a period of frank and personal reflection of the challenges of successful senior leadership.

Team Leader is privileged to work with a wide range of organisations such as the NZDF. And it is this diversity that allows Team Leader to provide so much value to clients. The different perspectives, cultures and experiences of leadership encountered in this work allows Team Leader to see the commonalities and complexities of leadership, and thus become a valued partner in the development of leaders at all levels, across all organisations.