We are lucky here at Victoria that we have two great extracurricular leadership programmes where you can be exposed to a range of knowledge and information about leadership and which encourage you to get your own experiences. Don’t forget the research tells us that 70% of developing leadership is about experience and practice, 20% about the person and 10% gained from training. I know I am biased about the benefit of learning more about developing leadership otherwise I would be out of a job, but seriously, leadership potential in graduates is seen as very important by many recruiters. So, while at University, it is a good time to expand your knowledge and your own opinions about leadership in preparation for working.
We just had a great Vic Plus presentation from Richard Tremain of NZ Post Group this week. Richard is experienced in organisational development, succession planning and developing General Managers and Chief Executive Officers. He highlighted some key points such as ‘How do you know when someone is a good leader?’ and ‘why do leaders fail?’ He concluded with some thoughts on developing leadership skills. Richard combined his advice with the findings of some ‘sure bets’ about leadership development (McCall, 2010)
- Leadership is largely learned, and it is learned from experience
- Some experiences matter more than others
- Experiences are powerful because of the challenges they represent
- Different types of experience provide different types of lessons
- Jobs and assignments can be made more developmental
- Whoever decides who gets what job controls development opportunities
- Learning occurs over time and is dynamic
Richard also points out that good managers are very important in an organisation and we hope that as graduates of the University you will become good managers and leaders.
“If you are a manager, you are a leader of people. You have no choice in the matter. Your only choice is whether to become a good leader or a bad leader.” (from MacDonald et al, 2006)