Achieving social change requires a different type of leadership

10 October 2016 - 3:20pm

Jo Toohey, CEO of The Benevolent Society, on the Sydney Leadership program

Driven by the instinct that achieving social change requires a different type of leadership, in 1999 the CEO and Board Chair of The Benevolent Society started the Sydney Leadership Program to build a generation of Australian leaders with the capacities and skills to make a difference.

In a time of rapid transformation, that instinct holds true.  Australia is one of the most prosperous nations in the world and yet we are beset by a range of challenges – from rising inequality to successive crises in child protection to increasing ambivalence with the performance of the major political parties.  We have a renewed need for a generation of leaders that can confront long running challenges in a new climate.

As CEO of Australia’s first charity, The Benevolent Society, a for purpose organisation that believes in a just society where all Australians can live their best life, I see how difficult life can be for some people but how leadership can and does make things happen for the better. You can be a leader who makes a difference.

The Sydney Leadership Program, part of The Benevolent Society’s Social Leadership Australia, brings together talented, motivated people from government, not-for-profits and the private sector to learn the skills to lead with purpose for social impact. You want to make the world a better place. You’re ready for significant change in your work and your life. Take the next step with Sydney Leadership.

We’re different because as part of The Benevolent Society, we focus on leadership with social impact and increased sustainability for the community.

Leadership is not just about managing other people – it’s about vision, about understanding diversity and complex changing environments both in the workplace and out – like initiatives regarding homelessness – and ensuring Indigenous and non Indigenous communities work together.  Things can often be chaotic and difficult to understand, people can be resistant to change. How can one be a good leader in such an environment?

The Sydney Leadership Program addresses all of these issues because they are important to working productively and bringing about change. Classes are based on the Harvard Adaptive Leadership model but it’s not just academic – one can experience real challenges inside and outside the classroom.

You get an insider’s view in real-life situations – with an opportunity to solve problems experientially.

The next class starts in April 2017. Come to our breakfast information session on 26 October or 1 November at 7:30am at the Wesley Conference Centre of Pitt Street, Sydney for more information or visit the Sydney Leadership website.