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The Key to Successful Leadership Is The Human Factor


If we take a look at “success” in the history books, we can see that someone always wins – whether in politics, business, invention, design, warfare, technology, medicine, management or academia. Someone is always first. Someone is always best. There is always a winner.

Can learning about leadership create the opportunities for greater success?

Is it possible to devise a day programme for teaching and practical demonstration of how even the very successful can improve their leadership skills and better their own performance? The Advanced Leadership Organisaton thinks it is, and will be offering a programme in Australia (once, twice, three times) each year on this basis.

The programme aims to identify and develop leadership potential that already exists within companies and the public service. A leadership course means “learning about oneself” by developing skills such as self-organisation, knowing how to get the best out of others, developing efficiency and motivation in others, minimising stress and maximising opportunity, handling pressure, adapting management style appropriately, and being innovative, flexible, and adaptable.

Above all, leadership is about having a “Grand Strategy”. This matters more than ever in our present economic climate, and as we look at leadership today we can observe that too few leaders practice original Grand Strategy. Instead, they seem to indulge in imitative competitiveness, which virtually guarantees that the chance of failure is maximised, not minimised. It is the basis for saturated markets and overcapacity.

How can individual leaders and their organisations go against the whole culture, history and tradition of the organisation or country that trained them? Where do they get the authority, the skills, the permission to proceed?The answer is that the best leaders generate an appropriate mission statement, and the Advanced Leadership course aims to catalyse this process.

The programme is intended to stimulate participants to improve their individual abilities as leaders – and to continue to do so after they have returned to their organisation. It aims to enable companies to build and maintain market leadership, and public sector organisations to achieve pre-eminence in their fields. The programme comprises group discussions, group project work, and business and practical exercises on leadership strategy and competitive strategy.

Unlike the American approach of using case studies and lectures, the“tutorial approach” is that the programme leaders set the initial framework parameters and the participants themselves, by constant interaction in small teams, work through leadership and strategy exercises with their tutors. This process identifies a participant’s own leadership strengths and weaknesses and provides substantial guidance on how to maximise leadership options.

For the programme tutors, there is a fascinating insight into what makes top leaders “tick”. The programme is directed by Dr. David Marriott, whose work on building, understanding and leading effective teams, and on the personality styles of leaders has been recognised internationally. The faculty also includes, Mr. Graeme Mickelburg a distinguished Australian strategist and consultant who has an international client base, and Mr. Talan Miller, the CEO of Sabre Corporate Development who will provide a challenging series of indoor and outdoor exercise for participants.

There will be (3,4,5) tutors who will assist participants with group and project work. This programme has been developed because of a fear that organisational leaders in Queensland may be “marching to the sound of a different drummer”. Surely we have by now outgrown the status of a “Branch Office”. Perhaps there are too many leaders who are like one chief executive whose characteristic response to being asked if there were any problems or challenges in the organisation that might benefit from outside advice, replied: “There is nothing that I can’t solve myself” This is a classic example of the truism that “Nobody’s perfect, but a team can be”, and a good example of the need for a cost effective, practical, advanced leadership programme for top leaders in the State of Queensland.


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