Identifying Our Leaders

by Timmy Duggan, AILC Trainer

During our non-accredited two -day Introduction to Indigenous Leadership workshop and accredited Certificate IV in Indigenous Leadership courses, I ask students to think about the people they consider leaders.

We then share with each other the names of the people we have nominated. The discussion gets really interesting when I invite everyone to try and identify the attributes and qualities that make their nominated person, or people, ‘a leader’.

Some of the people, and their attributes, that have come up often in our workshops include the legends below. As you can see, they each have different qualities.

Leader Quality or Attribute
Cathy Freeman Humble
Ash Barty Self-Awareness
Tom Calma Adaptability and Tenacity

The third part of this activity is a group discussion about why students have identified particular individuals as ‘leaders’. Not all our inspiration comes from well-known individuals. We discuss the people in our lives who have guided, inspired and led us in some way.

I really enjoy using this activity to create a broader understanding of ‘leadership’. We use this reflection as a base for the duration of the workshop or course. It is an invisible type of awareness and inspiration that helps us flesh out further discussion around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and role models.

So, in short the activity runs like this:
1. Participants identify their leaders
2. They think about the different qualities those leaders possess
3. Finally, they reflect on how these leaders have influenced them and how these qualities have been transferred to, or influenced      their lives.

To me this is an important activity as it helps us explore different leadership styles and recognise that there are lots of different ways in which to ‘lead’.  Please, go ahead and try this Leadership Workout with your team, family or friends.