Being a leader is tough.


We are reminded of how tough it can be when we see demonstrations like what’s happening at Ihumātao.

And we even get this message in movies like ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Herbs’. (By the way, I highly recommend seeing Herbs. I thoroughly enjoyed it! The talent, the historical events, the political messaging through waiata, leaders like Joe Hawke and Eva Rickard, the members of Herbs and their stories, and the fabulous Annie Crummer!).

With the celebration of the Koroneihana starting this week, it has given me cause to think about leaders and leadership.

Most people aren’t born with the innate gift of being able to get things done and inspire people on a daily basis.

But you don’t need to be born that way to succeed.

Like any skill, you can learn leadership.

It involves a lot of practice and focus, but you can train yourself to be an excellent leader.

Recently I’ve had a couple of wāhine reach out to me about coaching them in their current roles with a view to the future.

And while it’s great that they are seeking help, the motivation has come from a change in their organization, which has left them uncertain and fearful for their future.

They should have seen it coming; perhaps they did, but still, they left it to the last minute before taking any action.

Leadership starts with self-leadership.

It starts with self-awareness and often requires upgrading your own skills; getting clear about your purpose, your focus, your values, and your contribution.

Only when you have a great relationship with yourself, when you understand, know, and accept yourself, can you then begin to relate to others as a leader.

Leadership is never easy.

There are plenty of schools that teach it, but you can’t simply get a diploma in leadership, and then voila! You’re a leader!

Without real-world experience, you’ll never understand how to lead (and coach) others to willingly follow you.

Don’t confuse being a manager with a leader.

They’re not the same at all.

Management is a title or position you’re given, but leadership must be earned.

You need to genuinely care about your team and want to help them succeed.

Giving feedback needs to become second nature to you, even if it seems like you might hurt someone’s feelings.

You need to deliver constructive criticism with tact and grace so that it comes across as a learning experience.

A leader stands up for their people and never belittles them in front of customers or other employees. You earn respect by showing respect.

Most of all, you have to stay humble.

You’re not invincible, and your ideas aren’t either.

Welcome criticism from your employees, too.

Ask them to tell you when they think a process isn’t working and to speak up if they have a better idea.

You should be excited to hear about their ideas, not fearful that they’ll be better than yours.

If you want to develop your leadership skills from the comfort of your home then check out my Wāhine Toa programme.

I developed this programme based on my own experiences climbing the corporate ladder and from my research on Māori women CEOs.

They were so busy getting mahi done that they didn’t have time to network or develop their personal and leadership skills.

And because they had their heads down, they didn’t see change coming or realise that some of their employees were disgruntled.

Wāhine Toa will help you address these issues.

It’s a practical learning programme that can be applied immediately.

Not only can you do it from the comfort of your own home but you set the pace at which you learn.

We need more leaders; more wāhine toa who put whānau and community at the centre.

Will you join me? Click HERE.


P.S. Wāhine Toa not for you? Check out Kia Tū Teitei Monthly mentoring HERE