It’s the time of year when many of us look back, consider the goals we set, and review our successes. That is exactly what I have been doing. Over the year I have worked with wonderful leaders in New Zealand, Australia, Ghana, United Arab Emirates and Thailand. I have worked with a diverse range of industries and people, with the common thread of wanting to think beyond the status quo. It has been a real privilege to help others develop their aspirational futures and work to create future focused organisations.
My special pleasure is that I get to work with team members who contribute ideas and challenge my thinking. One of these is team member Daniel Coats, who has also taken time to reflect on his year. Daniel will be in his final year at high school in 2014 and has also been selected to be the student representative on his school’s Board of Trustees.
I’d like to share with you a couple of points he makes, and encourage you to check out his website. Daniel’s highlights of the year are not solely related to his academic successes, which are substantial.
Most of my proudest achievements this year have come either partly or completely of my own volition; helping to start a student magazine, winning a writing competition, sharing an article that I wrote among educators across the country, and offering my services as a web designer to a number of small businesses. I also happen to think that, where my reputation and skills are concerned, these achievements are far more distinguishable than an NCEA certificate alone.
His greatest achievements have been related to being self regulated, when he has taken the initiative to try something new, to be involved in a new challenge or to build his business opportunities. This self regulation is part of an increasing trend to being the agent of your own destiny. It is a trend that leaders must increasingly encourage and support in employees of all ages. People increasingly want to personalise their learning and have a workplace that is responsive to their needs. We are moving from the age of BYOD (bring your own device) into the age of what internet anthropologist and futurist Stow Boyd describes as BYOM (Bring Your Own Mind). We increasingly want to be in control of our own destinies and be able to use our own technologies.
Daniel also reminds us that we have responsibilities as ethical leaders to be aware of our context and to support others:
Rather than feeling guilty about it, in 2014 I want to make a greater effort to both better understand the issues around social inequality and poverty in New Zealand, and begin to actually do something meaningful about it.
I believe that Daniel will do something meaningful to make a difference to others and look forward to following his journey. Daniel is a great writer and speaker so do check out his blog – thoughts about life, education and whatever else is on his mind.
My work in 2013 has focused on the importance of both self regulated and ethical leadership. It has also highlighted the need for leaders to be adaptive and networked. If you read Daniel’s full post you will see he exhibits all four elements. This future focus on SANE leadership will continue to be my focus in 2014. I am looking forward to working with leaders in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia – and further afield as time permits. 2014 is also the year that I will be publishing a new book focusing on Collaboration. Please contact me for further information and bookings.