The difficulties ‘black’ and ‘white’ Australia have in coming together—to talk, to work, to lead change—are core to our challenge to reconcile, as a country.
But if we want to shift the status quo—if we want to lead change on entrenched Indigenous disadvantage in health, education, housing and social equality; to address the disproportionate rates of incarceration and the devaluing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; to achieve treaty, or constitutional recognition; to eliminate racism—then we don’t need another program, or initiative or money thrown at the ‘problem’.
We need to stop focusing on how we can try to fix things, and start looking at how we actually work together.
Lost Conversations is a new book which is the result of two years work by nine authors—five Aboriginal and four non-Indigenous (including two staff at Social Leadership Australia). MORE >
Australia's leadership - particularly in politics but also in business and community - is paralysed by a culture of dissatisfaction and complaint.
Why? How did we get here? And what can we do about it?
In The Australian Leadership Paradox, Geoff Aigner and Liz Skelton argue the problem stems from a misunderstanding about what leadership really is, can or should be.
The book provides new insights into Australia’s distinct leadership culture. It exposes the inherent tensions in Australians' historical relationship with authority; interrogates our culture of mateship and egalitarianism, and challenges the narrative of a nation of Aussies battling adversity when we are actually living in 'the lucky country.'
These tensions are behind the four paradoxes of Australian leadership: MORE >
True leadership requires a higher motivation as well as a highly developed skill set, says Geoff Aigner in this article in Fundraising & Philanthropy Australia magazine.
"True leadership embodies a high dream and purpose. It means working out the kind of life we want to live and the world we want to live in. It also means that leadership is not a lot of things. It is not management, entrepreneurialism or dictatorship. It is the responsible use of power to make progress. And this progress means helping systems of people understand and solve their own problems."
You want to change things in your organisation or in the world, but despite your best efforts you run into obstacles and resistance.
The temptation is to see the challenges as lying outside ourselves. We grasp at a model or a tool, or we find other people slow to get the point or worse—obstructive.
But the real challenge we face is often ourselves.
Drawing on deep experience of developing leaders from a wide range of public sector, private sector, community and non-government organisations, Geoff Aigner identifies the inner tensions and work involved in making change. He challenges common assumptions we make about ourselves and our motivations, and offers strategies to explore approaches to leadership and develop effective and truly compassionate ways of pursuing change.
Leadership Beyond Good Intentions is in all good bookshops now or purchase here.
Being able to make progress requires us to distinguish between real leadership and counterfeit leadership, says Liz Skelton in this piece about exercising leadership in complex and changing environments for the NSW Homelessness Conference.