Owning and using power well is a global problem - not just limited to public servants. Learnings from those in positions of greatest power can be helpful no matter which sector or role we work in.
Public servants worry about power. Legitimately so. Trapped between often whimsical governments and a hyper vigilant, needy and judgmental public it is a legitimate concern to be cautious about appearing to be too powerful. Or understanding that one has power at all. It is easy to feel like everyone’s whipping post. MORE >
Carefully choosing and taking up a role is not just the business of stage or film actors. To be successful in any ‘system’ we need to act with understanding about the role we are taking up—and I’m not talking about the position we occupy, or our job description. MORE >
I have stopped believing in coincidences. Last week I travelled from Canberra, where I was working with senior executives in government, to Melbourne, to speak to activists and campaigners at the Progress 2013 conference. The short flight was a journey from the centre of power to the margins. But I was surprised at how much the two groups had in common. Both were interested in change, both had power (although different types of power), both saw themselves as there to make a difference … and both had real troubles hearing the ‘other’.
Then Senator Nova Peris gave her maiden speech.
"I do not consider myself an expert when it comes to finding solutions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' predicament. For too long we've all heard too many people say they have the answers ... and claim the moral high ground. If the answers were easily provided as the questions posed, we simply would not have a problem. In fact the answers are difficult and complex; but they do not lie in absolute positions of simplified slogans."
Senator Nova Peris OAM, Parliament House, Canberra, 13 November 2013 MORE >