Recently I attended the RACGP Leadership Masterclass in Sydney. When I enrolled, I thought, ‘Yes... sounds interesting... good speakers... I need to learn something about leadership...’ As the time drew closer I started to get a bit anxious about the whole thing. I realised that the title, ‘Masterclass’, probably implied that the attendees were expected to already know something about leadership and its theories, if not have considerable expertise and experience in leadership. I also wondered how the workshop sessions were going to go and I started to feel a bit sorry for the facilitators. Imagine trying to facilitate a group of 10 aspiring leaders... a bit like trying to herd cats. A few days later I received a call from the organisers, saying they were a bit short of facilitators and could I help out if necessary. Great... better do a crash course in cat herding! Then there was the first ‘predisposing activity’. Step 1: think of leaders you admire. Easy enough. Leaders of social justice and social change on a world stage, people who have shown great courage of their convictions and great orators popped into my head... Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Mandela, JFK. Step 2: describe the ways in which you are like these leaders. Whoa! Never going to measure up here. I wondered if there was going to be sessions on ‘leadership for introverts’, or ‘leadership of small things’, or ‘leaders without grand vision or fabulous oratory skills’, or perhaps ‘leadership for people who are deeply suspicious of the corrupting influence of power’.
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