"When you are a leader, you have people in front of you, beside you and behind you. You are in a position of influence to deliver your vision. If you can’t communicate to people in a way that is meaningful to them, your leadership won’t create transformation."
2017 Graduate Rob Hunt Leadership Program
You don’t have to go far to find someone criticising local government.
The acknowledgement that many people have lost trust in our leaders and how this can be turned around—often comes up in the group discussions between participants of the Rob Hunt Transformational Leadership Program.
Chris Rowlands works in Strategic planning with the City of Greater Bendigo. His passion is leading community engagement. He works closely with the community and understands the importance of trust for effective leadership.
Chris believes all levels of government need to be 100% accountable and accessible by the people they serve through councillors or federal members.
“The Commonwealth is the dominant tax collector with $352 billion, or 81% of the total tax collected in Australia. About $69 billion, or 16%, was collected by the states, and about $15 billion, or 3%, in municipal rates by local governments,” says Chris
He continues, “…it is interesting to consider that the level of scrutiny local government receives is much higher than its proportion of tax collected, whereas state and federal collect far more tax but perhaps aren’t as accessible as local government to scrutinise.
“Returning to Bendigo at the end of 2016, I was looking for opportunities to connect with other good local people and to develop my leadership capability,” explains Chris.
Initiated by Be.Bendigo, the Rob Hunt Transformational Leadership Program offers senior business professionals the chance to learn from industry experts and develop their leadership skills.
The 4Mat learning model is just one of the tools that the leaders on the program are equipped with to transform their leadership style. 4MAT is a highly validated and world-renowned learning and communication tool and a practical framework for understanding the way people and organisations learn, communicate and evolve.
“If you aren’t considering your communication, you are only reaching 10% of your community and missing opportunities to build trust as a leader,” Chris explains.
Chris says that the program is building his skills. Using tools such as 4Mat, he is forced to step back and take off the blinkers created by his day-to-day work.
“My work has shifted from being how I deliver content, to understanding how people engage with the content. Genuinely engaging with people and creating trust is always going to be much more powerful,” says Chris.
“When you are a leader, you have people in front of you, beside you and behind you. You are in a position of influence to deliver your vision. If you can’t communicate to people in a way that is meaningful to them, your leadership won’t create transformation.”
“In your role as a leader, there is so much you can draw from in all areas of your life—and the program reveals this to you.”
By stepping away from the nine-to-five grind, Chris has experienced a deeper understanding of himself. “I highly recommend this program to everyone,” says Chris. “Making time to reflect on my values is something I haven’t done before. Now that I am aware of my values and how they drive me, I can be a better leader.”
“I’m hoping that understanding myself on a deeper level and the why of what I do each day, means I can be a more effective leader in my private and working life.
“The values I align myself with help others and give me empathy to make a real difference. You can’t make a difference as a leader if you don’t understand yourself to start with.”
This article courtesy of Tamara Marwood. For more articles by Ms Marwood click here.