Commonwealth Study Conference (CSC) and Emerging Leaders’ Dialogue (ELD) Alumni Pop-Up Event
Melbourne – October 11, 2018
“Leadership and character”
In Australia in recent times, the relationship between “character” and “leadership” has been spectacularly highlighted. We live in an age when the expectations and scrutiny of leaders has never been higher, and yet the foundational character of our leaders has all too often been found wanting. This has created a leadership gap, between perception, expectation and reality. There have been some very public and noteworthy examples of this in 2018:
- The recent demise of Australia’s deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce
- The public humiliation and sacking of Michael Smith, the Captain of Australia’s Test Cricket Team and two other players.
- Two Royal Commissions – one into the institutional abuse of Children and the other into the behaviour of our Banks and Financial Institutions has led to sackings and even criminal charges against a number of high profile leaders and undermined trust in the institutions they represent.
And yet, in the midst of this there are a number of examples of Leaders with questionable character… who continue to ‘lead’ strongly, seemingly immune to the scrutiny of others and the critique of their character. President Trump is often cited as an example, but there are many others.
Against this backdrop there a number of important questions for Commonwealth leaders to consider, not just if they wish to survive, but if they wish to thrive in leadership.
- How important is ‘character’ to leadership?
- Does it matter at all?
- What is meant by ‘character’?
- Is ‘character’ a fixed state, or can it be developed in leaders? If so, how?
- Can the character of individual leaders, shape the character or organisations?
- How can leaders recover from moments where their ‘character’ has fallen short?
- What role do cultural norms and cultural intelligence play in shaping and understanding character?
Speakers for the event included:
- Rev’d Tim Costello – Chief Advocate of World Vision Australia
- Dr Janine Kirk – Chief Executive, The Prince’s Trust Australia
- Ms. Cath Brokenborough - Executive Lead, Indigenous Engagement and Reconciliation at Lendlease
- Mr. Daniel Jackson – Author & Head Coach, Leader Who Inspires