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Introduction to Leadership

The following five points are relevant:

1. Why Invest In Developing Leaders In Your Organisation?

1. An article in the Australian Financial Review BOSS Section headed “Quality Leadership Crucial For Success” described an ongoing National government study into Leadership, Culture and Management Practices of High-Performing Workplaces in Australia conducted by Christina Boedker of the Australian School of Business.

The study reveals the following:

  • The most important element in improving productivity is leadership. 
  • Well led organisations are 12% more productive and up to three times more profitable.
  • Higher performance is created through quality and inclusiveness of leadership as well as innovation.
  • Leaders have the greatest impact on productivity and profitability at all levels.
  • Frontline managers have the greatest impact.
  • Participation and involvement in key decision-making processes makes employees feel of value.
  • Of 78 Australian companies the difference between high and low performers averaged $8.8 million per organisation, or $40,051 per full-time employee.


2. Don Argus, retiring BHP Billiton Chairman and a former MD and CEO of the National Australia Bank, said in an article in the Australian March 25, 2010 Business Section:

“The successful leaders of today must understand that their power rests with the people for whom she or he is responsible.  To tap that power the leader must abandon the old baggage of dominance, control and self-centredness.”

Our leadership development philosophy and training has long reflected this understanding.  We believe that while leaders need to be decisive and firm, they must also develop the people skills that enable them to create the environment, irrespective of management level, in which their team members work willingly together to support the mission and achieve common goals.  The best outcomes and long term successes come from leaders working with and through others.  Old ideas of achievement simply through command and control by a dominant hierarchy have lost their effectiveness and relevance.

3. However, in our experience, many managers are reluctant to become involved in leadership development.  Scott T Love, an Executive Search Consultant from Arizona, has observed from extensive research and practical experience that many managers are reluctant to undergo leadership analysis and development.  He says: "In my opinion, the reason why managers focus on management and system improvement is that it takes no emotional investment, no personal risk, and no fear of rejection, which according to Maslow are pretty high up there. Management improvement is from the head, but people are motivated by the heart."

4. Don’t be a reluctant manager!  Review your own leadership, strengthen senior managers and dispel any perception your people might have about your or their leadership by participating in, or facilitating, our Leadership Development Modules.

5. We understand from experience that small and many medium-sized businesses have difficulty releasing people to attend courses that are longer than one or two days.  We have therefore designed an approach that will enable SMEs to develop their own leaders in their own environment and in their own time. 

The following Sessions have been prepared by The Leadership Academy  and we recommend that they be facilitated in the following order:

Teams and Teamwork  50 minutes
Leadership: Making the Difference 40 minutes
Developing Leadership People Skills 50 minutes 
Developing Relationships and Trust 40 minutes
Motivation 30 minutes
Counselling and Coaching 30 minutes 
Delegation 35 minutes
Problem Solving and Decision Making 30 minutes 

Ideally the Sessions should be presented in the above order.  Teams and Teamwork should be addressed first as it gives potential leaders (and confirms with practising leaders) a good understanding of team dynamics and identifies what is needed to develop and maintain high performance teams.  And after all, teams are really the reason why leaders exist!

The training is applicable to many staff and team members, but especially to current leaders and staff identified with potential for promotion to leadership positions.

Presented and discussed in the context of current people issues relevant to your organisation’s culture and work environment, the Sessions can help you ‘grow your own’ leaders.  The Sessions are structured so that they can be presented during, for example, a lunch hour or a one-hour scheduled staff-training period.  Facilitation can be by suitably experienced internal staff at relatively low investment, or by a Leadership Academy facilitator at an additional fee.

Clients are provided with a comprehensive Power Point Presentation, a detailed Facilitator’s Guidance Paper and a Participant’s Follow-up Paper (hand outs) for each Session. The information can be used to train their own staff, train clients’ staff, or on-sell it to clients for their specific use.  Participants should be given the Follow-up Paper (hand outs) only at the conclusion of the training Session.  If the Power Point Presentation is given to participants at the start of the Session, trainers should ask participants not to study the slides before being asked for their own ideas on the subject being presented or discussed.

Note the above times are approximate and will depend on the number of participants, their level of knowledge and experience, and the extent of their involvement in discussions.

Also available is a Pre-Facilitation Leadership Survey which can provide personal feedback on key leadership performance issues.  It can be used to guide individual development as well as provide a benchmark against which development can be assessed.

Note also that the sessions can also provide the knowledge needed to conduct longer generic programs for a variety of participants.  Such programs would need to be supported by indoor and outdoor experiential activities which are available from The Leadership Academy.

2.  The Facilitator

The papers and slides have been produced by Peter McDougall, Managing Director of The Leadership Academy and some Associates and staff.

Peter is a proven, experienced leader who is recognised by clients and associates as highly accomplished in his field.  He has had extensive experience in a wide variety of positions requiring management and leadership skills.  During his Army career he served in the ranks from Private and Corporal to Colonel in many and different leadership, administrative and training appointments, both while in training and on overseas operations. Key appointments were as a 2nd Lieutenant Platoon Commander with the Pacific Islands Regiment in Papua New Guinea, Lieutenant and Captain with the Special Air Service Regiment and as a Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Officer of the 1st Commando Regiment, both Special Forces units.  He was also Chief Instructor at the Officer Cadet School, Portsea and as a Colonel commanded The Infantry Centre, one of the largest training establishments in the Australian Army.  In the 1989 Australia Day Honours Awards he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for ‘his dedication to the Army and great contribution to the Infantry Corps.’

On leaving the Army he became a consultant to James Cook University and was primarily responsible for the establishment of the University Staff Development Unit.  This involved: preparing policy documents in conjunction with senior academic and administrative staff; educational grant and training resources acquisitions, and conduct of leadership, teambuilding, problem-solving, decision-making and communication skills training for academic and support staff through theoretical and action-centred, experiential learning.

3.  The Leadership Academy

In 1996 Peter established The Leadership Academy which is based in Townsville, North Queensland, Australia and provides leadership development, teambuilding and associated services to corporations and not-for-profit organisations in Queensland, New South Wales and South East Asia.

Some of The Academy’s clients include, or have included: Centrelink, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, Queensland Government Departments, Lifeline, Energex, Games Workshop Sydney, McDonald's Family Restaurants, Ingram Micro Computers, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, Townsville Enterprise Limited, WMC Fertilizers Phosphate Hill, Queensland Nickel Industries, Downer EDI Electrical, Coalpac, Thiess, Osmotion IT and Cleveland Youth Detention Centre. In South East Asia: PT Telkom, PT Kaltim Prima Coal, PT Freeport, PT Kelian Equatorial Mining and PT INCO, all in Indonesia, and Asia Business Forum Bangkok, Thailand, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. We have also been pre-qualified providers of leadership and teambuilding training for the Australian Federal Police.

A wide range of individuals from various organisations and businesses in Queensland and New South Wales have also attended our generic residential programs.

For testimonials go to www.leaderacademy.com.au

4.  Session Summaries

1. Teams And Teamwork

The purpose of the Session is to confirm participants’ understanding of what makes good teams and the dynamics that drive their formation and development.

The essentials of good teamwork are identified and the stages of team development from formation through periods of growth and improvement to high level performance are analysed.

Desired relationship and communication behaviours are highlighted and participants’ ideas are compared with actual examples from highly performing organizations.

The role of team leaders and their need to adjust their leadership style according to team members’ competence and commitment and changing situations are clarified.

Participants are made aware of common teamwork ‘traps’ that team members and leaders may fall into and identify examples from their own experiences.

Participants are reminded that:

  •   Environment (culture) is based on accepted and shared behavioural norms
  •   Selflessness – team first
  •   “What can I do today, to help my teammates and my team?”
  •   Watch for the changing rhythms (dynamics) of the team
  •   Beware of the Teamwork Traps!
  •   Each individual counts but teams are often built in the leader’s image

Throughout the Session participants are encouraged to involve themselves in the activities and discussions and relate the lessons learnt to their workplaces and other than work activities.

We recommend that this Session is the first one facilitated as it as it gives potential leaders (and confirms with practising leaders) a good understanding of team dynamics and identifies what is needed to develop and maintain high performance teams.  And after all, teams are the reason why leaders exist!

2. Leadership: Making The Difference

Managers and supervisors who are good leaders know how to retain staff by creating the environment in which people and teams willingly work together to efficiently and effectively achieve common goals.  They also understand that like good health, good leadership is preventative in that it greatly lessens the ‘illness’ of workplace conflict occurring in the first place. 

The purpose of this Session is to provide guidance on key leadership functions, attitudes, behaviours and skills that will assist managers and supervisors at all levels improve workplace relationships, performance and productivity.

The differences yet relationships between management and leadership are identified and the importance of leadership being developed within the framework of management practice is highlighted.

The fundamental importance of the interrelated needs of achieving the mission, goals, objectives and tasks of the organisation while developing and maintaining teams as well as developing their individual members is identified as the key to good leadership.

Eight key functions that leaders must ensure are carried out with and through their people are discussed and related to participants’ workplace challenges.  While the functions are largely management related, participants are introduced to the people skills leaders need to create and the environment in which team members work willingly together to achieve common goals.

Leader characteristics, attitudes, behaviours and skills are discussed, as are the behaviours team members look for in their leaders.

Strong emphasis is given throughout to leaders setting the example and accepting accountability for the actions they and their team members take.

In conclusion, participants are reminded that:

  •   People are an organisation’s most valuable and flexible asset.
  •   Good leadership is, always has been and always will be essential to making the difference.
  •   In difficult economic times good leaders are vital to survival and early and rapid recovery. 
  •   To invest in the future – develop (grow) your own!

Throughout the Session participants are encouraged to involve themselves in the activities and discussions and relate the lessons learnt to their workplaces and other than work activities.

3. Developing Leadership People Skills

The high cost of replacing staff is well known, as is the evidence that a majority of people leave their jobs not because of the type of work they are required to do, but because of poor relationships with their managers.  The managers might ensure the processes, procedures and systems are done right but have little idea about right approach to take in leading people.

The purpose of the Session is to provide guidance on the people skills that are essential for managers and supervisors at all  levels to create the environment in which team members work willingly together to achieve common goals, and remain employed.

Reference is made to the Session Leadership: Making the Difference but further guidance is provided on how to deal consistently with people in a fair, firm and friendly manner, while avoiding becoming familiar with other team members.

Skill and genuineness in dealing with people is the key to effective leadership, and while it is vital to gain their respect, it is not necessary to try to be popular.

The following key points are made to participants:

  • Involve team members in determining shared behaviours to be agreed and followed by all, and endorse, support and practise those with which you agree.
  • Attitude influences behaviour so ensure your attitude and behaviours reflect those you wish others to adopt – be genuine and set the example.
  • Everybody is different so adjust your leadership style with individuals as they develop in competence and commitment.
  • Practise good leadership continually to foster the development of strong relationships and mutual trust (addressed further in the separate Session Developing Relationships and Trust).
    Throughout the Session participants are encouraged to involve themselves in the activities and discussions and relate the lessons learnt to their workplaces and other than work activities.

4. Developing Relationships And Trust

This Session provides additional guidance to that contained in Session 900.015 Developing Leadership People Skills, as to combine the two would result in a Session that probably would be too long for the average staff training period.

The purpose of the Session is to further develop participants’ people leadership skills by providing guidance on how to best foster the development of good relationships and trust within their teams.

Trust between individuals or within groups of people is not possible unless the individuals get to know each other.  Without being intrusive, leaders must do their best to get to know their people and encourage their team members to do the same.

Matters examined are as follows:

  • Mutual knowledge and understanding as the basis for strengthening relationships.
  • Trust – a function of character and competence.
  • Trust core essentials:  boundaries, behaviours and emotions.
  • Key dimensions of trust:  credibility, disclosure, authenticity, capability, loyalty, and inclusivity.
  • Communication – fundamental to good relationships and the ‘glue’ that holds teams together.

In conclusion, participants are reminded that:

  • Trust is built up over time and is based on the attitudes and behaviours demonstrated or observed in others.
  • Good communication is fundamental and essential.
  • Good relationships are strengthened and cemented by trust.
  • Teamwork is built on trust, and trust is the residue of promises fulfilled.
  • As the leader, trust starts with me!

Throughout the Session, participants are encouraged to involve themselves in the activities and discussions and relate the lessons learnt to their workplaces and other than work activities.

5. Motivation

The purpose of the Session is to broaden participants’ understanding of what motivates people and what leaders can do to create the environment in which individuals and teams commit to optimum performance.

Motivation is one of the Key Leadership Functions discussed in the Session Leadership: Making the Difference and leaders are expected to do their best to ensure all their team members are as highly motivated as possible.

Matters covered include the following:

  • What motivates you and your team members?
  • Assumptions about people and what motivates them.
  • Assumptions and realities about Generations X and Y and their attitudes.
  • Key leadership functions as motivators.
  • Intrinsic motivators – effective, cheap and discretionary.
  • Extrinsic motivators: effective but problematic, expensive and nondiscretionary.
  • The demotivators.
  • The key motivators.

Participants are reminded:

  • Don’t expect people to be motivated just because you tell them to be.
  • Don’t expect that people will be motivated just because you are – however it will help!
  • Maximise your employment of the intrinsic measures – they cost little and are very effective.
  • Be aware of and avoid those things that demotivate people.
  • Develop your people skills and implement the Key Motivational Factors.
  • Ensure that the key leadership functions are implemented with and through the other members of your team.

Throughout the Session participants are encouraged to involve themselves in the activities and discussions and relate the lessons learnt to their workplaces and other than work activities.

6. Counselling And Coaching

Good leaders get to know their team members and are responsible to ensure they are developed to their potential.  Doing so will increase the capability and effectiveness of the team and result in better accomplishment of assigned tasks. 

The purpose of the Session is to enable participants to provide basic counselling and coaching support to their team members.

The matters covered in the Session include:

  • Main causes of performance problems.
  • Counselling for organizational change or personal issues.
  • Coaching for lack of skills or knowledge about work responsibilities.
  • Planning your coaching.
  • High performance insights: People behave based on their attitudes and thoughts; individuality should be valued and explored; lack of motivation often reflects discouragement; consequences determine performance; and people treated responsibly take responsibility.

Participants are reminded of the following:

  • Counsel within your knowledge, experience and capability – if in doubt refer to more qualified people.
  • Coaching is leadership in action.
  • There is no better way to demonstrate your commitment to your team members than by teaching them new skills.
  • Act quickly in dealing with performance or behavioural problems.
  • Make sure you have considered all the facts – and the consequences.
  • Make use of the guidance contained in this Session and the Coaching Tips included in your Follow Up for Participants Paper.

Throughout the Session participants are encouraged to involve themselves in the activities and discussions and relate the lessons learnt to their workplaces and other than work activities.

7. Delegation

Leaders are responsible for employing their team members effectively to accomplish organisational goals.   The more they develop team members, and the more they delegate to them, the better they can meet required objectives. 

The purpose of the Session is to explain:

  • The benefits that can be obtained from delegating.
  • The delegating process – what, to whom and how, including planning.

The matters considered and discussed are as follows:

  • The benefits – nine points which are compared with those identified by the participants.
  • Rationalisation.  Four ‘reasons’ why managers don’t delegate.
  • Four examples of poor use of time by managers.
  • Prerequisites for delegation and the delegation process.
  • What to delegate and to whom.
  • Planning and control including levels of authority and following through.

Participants are reminded to think about:

  • What can be delegated and the benefits that can be gained from delegating.
  • What is needed to create an environment in which delegation can work and produce results?
  • Making choices and assigning the appropriate level of authority for the job and ensuring that other team members know who they have chosen and why.
  • The process by which they can monitor and show interest in what is being delegated without interfering.
  • The importance of feedback on what has been done well and what has not been done well.

Throughout the Session participants are encouraged to involve themselves in the activities and discussions and relate the lessons learnt to their workplaces and other than work activities.

8. Problem Solving And Decision Making

Leaders are continuously faced with the need to solve problems.  Many are technical in nature and special problem solving tools are available for these purposes.

Leaders will also face problems that are more general in nature but are at the same time fundamentally different.  While the use of special tools might not be appropriate or necessary for their solution, some form of problem solving methodology will enable leaders and their team members to make better decisions.

The purpose of the Session is to improve participants’ problem solving and decision making abilities which will enable them to develop better plans.

The matters covered are:

  • An example of how NOT to approach solving problems.
  • Brainstorming – seven guidelines for encouraging creative ideas.
  • The logic or appreciation method – a more structured method that is designed to systematically identify the key factors and involves using the left or logical side of the brain.
  • Combination of 1 and 2.  This method utilises the benefits of the previous two by combining left brain logic with right brain creativity.  By logic, identify the key factors/critical issues then brainstorm each one to identify how they might provide ideas and solutions that will help develop planning options.

Participants are reminded of the following points:

  • These are important skills required by leaders.
  • The more senior the greater the complexity.
  • It is a continuous challenge to maintain and develop these skills.
  • Study new methods and observe and learn from good decision makers.
  • Practice is essential and they should identify workplace issues that they and their teams can work on solving.

Throughout the Session participants are encouraged to involve themselves in the activities and discussions and relate the lessons learnt to their workplaces and other than work activities.

5.  Facilitator Assistance

Call Peter McDougall on 0747726519, or 0403483236, or email him at   if further explanation is needed, or you wish to engage his facilitation or training services.

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