If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader ~ John Quincy Adams ~
I still don’t remember exactly how I came to connect with Naropa’s Authentic Leadership Center, but I do recall it came at a time in my life when I had started to lift the great curtain of self-doubt and anxiety that I had been feeling because my career was terminally stuck in neutral. You know, it was like one of those dreams where you are running in quicksand and sinking deeper with each stride despite your best efforts!
Don’t get me wrong, corporate leadership training was not new to me, but I’d always felt it to be mechanical, overly formulaic and not without snake-oil merchants. The lack of personality had often troubled me and I felt my experience of leadership practices was deeply flawed in its ability to reach people in a genuine way.
So, moving forward a couple of months and I’m sitting with my new cohort of Authentic Leadership ‘students’, wondering if my ‘leap of faith’ would be what I’d hoped for. You can imagine my reaction when one of the early topics was about the ‘blind spot of leadership’!
That was only the beginning as I recall being challenged throughout the course in ways I couldn’t have anticipated. Once the course had finished, the challenge became to take my new-found experience and understanding back into the workplace.
Creating the space for reflection and contemplation of the tasks at hand became a key part of team discussions and meetings, rather than diving straight into the action list. Following up with one-on-one conversations with team members and focusing on their ‘presence’ and contribution were also vital to gaining trust, commitment and full engagement.
None of these things were easily achieved and it’s fair to say my authentic leadership skills were and continue to be tested. But the look in my team’s eyes and the comments they share confirm that we are making genuine progress towards achieving a more fulfilling and satisfying work environment.
Patrick Brookman returned to his homeland of Aotearoa, New Zealand (land of the long white cloud) in July 2018, having spent more than 20 years overseas for professional reasons, which most recently included 5 ½ years living in the USA.
During his time in the USA, driven by a desire to become a better leader both in business and in his personal life, Patrick participated in various Authentic Leadership courses at Naropa University. With a lifelong interest in team dynamics and development he has put his various learnings to good use, primarily in business settings in Asia-Pacific and the Americas, facilitating market development activities.
Patrick holds a BSc in plant physiology and a Diploma in Business Marketing, and it is this combination of technical and commercial skills which has led him to develop a keen eye for transferring learnings and skills across different settings, countries and cultures. He is currently exploring and learning about the richness of the New Zealand Maori culture and its ‘wayfinding’ practices as a reflection of ancient leadership methods.
When he’s not being a husband and Dad, you can find Patrick riding his Indian motorcycle, which he claims is one of the most fulfilling contemplative practices available.Patrick Brookman
Authentic Leadership Program
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