Be. Leadership 2020 Final Session

A blog from one of our 2020 Participants, Karley Parker

A young woman with short hair, wearing a black top with white hearts smiles broadly, and looks off to the side.

Be. Leadership- What a phenomenal journey you have been! I feel privileged to have been part of the cohort of the 10th and final year. 


Reflecting on the year, I am so stoked we made it through, despite the change that affected us - as a cohort, in our community and in the wider world. We embraced the essence of change and adapted the best way we could, finding our way forward with determination and kindness. Be.- you have shaped my perspective on what positive change means; for that I am forever grateful :) 


With our Graduation date of 23rd January balanced between two separate COVID outbreaks in Auckland city, once again, we prevailed! It was certainly an evening to be treasured. Thank you to the magical Be. Team and Alumni for celebrating our journey with us! 


Reflecting on the 2 days of our final session in January, what stands out for me is our final guest speaker Peter Salmon. Peter spoke to us about future thinking and presented us with a memorable analogy of an airplane in flight -there are four elements to be considered. 1. the future, moving forward through time, taking into account what is coming at you and what you may need to step out of the way. 2. the past - Important for a number of reasons, from plane perspective - did they put enough petrol in? Are the wings on? Might not impact the present but will impact future. 3. the present - what is impacting us right now? 4. the baggage - Tend to take past into the future - don’t throw everything away - we take it with us. I love this analogy!


Now more so than ever, we have the opportunity to imagine the future we want, rather than going back to what didn't work in the past.


In saying that, for many of us in a state of uncertainty and feeling a lot of fear- it can be hard to dream and look forward.


In thinking about possibility and what this means for me, I remind myself of the simple things that keep me going, and that it is ok to focus on the short term. It is okay to not dream big all the time, but when necessary, to keep it real, light and enjoyable. 


My leadership journey is ever-growing. I often reflect on my own internal processes and intentions when I take on a leadership role. It is important for me to constantly come back to my 'why' - then all the rest follows. Reflecting on what leadership means to me, I think being a humble leader means being an authentic, genuine leader. Humility is a quality that lets others see your humanity, and which therefore invites trust and curiosity. I believe that this notion encompasses possibility leadership as it leaves room for reflection, curiosity and questioning - as we all know that this is more compelling than having all the answers. 


These words from Joy Cowley speak to my journey:


There are times in life

when we are called to be bridges,

not a great monument spanning a distance

and carrying loads of heavy traffic

but a simple bridge

to help one person from here to there

over some difficulty

such as pain, fear, grief, loneliness,

a bridge which opens the way

for ongoing journey.

When I become a bridge for another,

I bring upon myself a blessing, for I escape

from the small prison of self

and exist for a wider world,

breaking out to be a larger being

who can enter another’s pain

and rejoice in another’s triumph.

I know of only one greater blessing

in this life, and that is

to allow someone else

to be a bridge for me.


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