Be. Leadership October 2020

A blog from one of our 2020 Participants, Matt Truman

A man with blue eyes, a tidy beard, and a shirt with small blue spots on it, smiles at the Camera.

What a year it has been!  We are getting to grips with what our new normal looks like under COVID, and this weekend the Be. Leadership 2020 team met in Wellington on a weekend that saw history for the New Zealand Government under MMP.

Our topic for the weekend- "Leadership– what is it again? And where to from here?" What a great time to be revisiting leadership and the path our own leadership journey is taking.


Our two speakers and the Alumni panel, had me drilling further into what leadership means to me, questioning the roles I play as a leader and revisiting some of those limiting beliefs that I thought were done, dusted and forever shelved in that completed folder.  Well… the theme of self-reflection continues to be present and continues to be a key ingredient to leadership.  Who knew?!


Our two speakers were at two different ends of the leadership experience continuum.  Harry Winton, who volunteers for and holds leadership positions in climate advocacy groups, working from behind the scenes to facilitate and empower young people in the climate space, is in the early stages of his leadership journey and creating some great change.  Harry spoke passionately about his experience and his learning.  He spoke about leadership being about ‘Setting the Tone’. This resonated with me as all the great Leaders that I have has a pleasure of working beside have this ability. It is the ‘tone’ that they create that invites me into that world of possibility.  I wonder what tone I create as a leader?


John Allen our next speaker, sits at the other end of the continuum.  John has been on the boards of many organizations including Te Papa and he is Chair of the New Zealand Police Assurance and Risk Committee not to mention our very own Be. Institute.  I was struck by how curiosity has driven John throughout his life as well as his thirst for knowledge by reading.  John identified himself as an introvert and mentioned that his parents would be shocked that he is a ‘leader’.  This caused me to wonder how often do we compare ourselves to the extroverted/charismatic leader and believe that our introverted selves could never be that?  Yes, more reflection…


Our weekend together was not complete without an Alumni Panel.  Hearing the journeys of those that had in previous years been in our shoes experiencing the journey of the Be. Leadership Programme, bridged the gap of ‘where to from here’.  When reflecting (that word again) on the speakers this year, it can be easy to get lost in their lofty heights.  Our alumni panel reminded me of the small actions that I can take to be a leader, be the change I want to see in the world and trust my instincts.  It is powerful to see and hear the journey of those that have travelled along a path similar to mine.


On behalf of my Self Reflecting self.  Matt Truman


+64 9 309 8966
The Be. Lab Office
Suite 204
Level 2
48 Greys Avenue
Auckland Central
Auckland 1010
(Visits by appointment only)

PO Box 874
Shortland Street
Auckland 1140
New Zealand