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New leaders crucial to NZ’s future

New leaders crucial to NZ’s future

Fostering a new generation of leaders who can take their organisations and New Zealand towards a sustainable future is the aim of a two-day conference to be held in Rotorua in July.

Conference organiser Anne McLaughlin said that New Zealand businesses and organisations need to do far more to foster leadership skills throughout their workforces.

“High performing organisations are led by people with superb leadership skills. Low or under- performing organisations are usually led by people whose leadership skills are not adequate or need improving.

“Leadership is a skill that can be developed. There are many aspects to it – from sound decision-making ability, to building trust and respect, to providing inspiration, to creating an environment in which all members of a team want to contribute.

“New Zealand has developed some superb examples of leadership. Our favourite leaders are explorers and adventurers, like Sir Edmund Hillary or Sir Peter Blake, and sporting figures like Tana Umaga, leaders who have transcended sport and business, like David Kirk and Sir Wilson Whineray. We have also seen the emergence of extremely capable women leaders like Helen Clark and Jenny Shipley.

“While we have had some outstanding organisational leaders, undoubtedly New Zealand will benefit from developing greater leadership capability throughout the private and public sector. How public and private sector organisations can develop leadership is a key focus of this conference.

“We are also looking closely at sustainability issues. This is a major issue confronting organisations throughout New Zealand. It is a major international issue. It goes to the heart of the branding of many of New Zealand companies, and is integral to New Zealand’s overall brand.

“The conference will explore the relationship between leadership and sustainability from the view that New Zealand needs to be at the forefront of this issue.

“Many businesses and organisations are beginning to understand that sustainability presents not costs but opportunities. Becoming more sustainable can improve a company’s bottom line as well as improve their impact on the environment and society. An United States expert in sustainability will explain the approaches being adopted in the US by companies and organisations.”

Jared Blumenfeld, Director of the Environment Department in San Francisco, California, will lead the conference’s discussion on sustainability. San Francisco was recently ranked the second ‘greenest’ city in the United States.

The conference has a range of top chief executives and leaders leading discussions including: Bob Field, chairman of Toyota NZ; Ann Sherry, chief executive of Carnival Australia and formerly head of Westpac in New Zealand; Silver Fern coach Ruth Aitken; and Lester Levy, head of the New Zealand Leadership Institute.

The conference will be held at the Rotorua Novotel on 2-3 July.


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