In Partnership With

May 1, 2017 at 7:53 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Last Friday we woke up to the most beautiful blue skies. We set up for our Camp Adventure Day experience at the most beautiful sea side park location. And we welcomed the most beautiful Year 3 and 4 students into an action packed program that explored the role of resilience in our journeys of potential. What a great day it was! The photo above is of some of the participants from the red group challenging themselves and having so much fun on the rock climbing wall.

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” – James Cash Penney

As the day progressed I started thinking about how being in partnership with multiple individuals and groups made the day even more special. The rock climbing wall is from a company who we are able to partner with if one of our client schools wants to add this to the experience. Council are always so accomodating with the use of public spaces that support the requirements and outcomes of a particular program day. And of course working in partnership with the client school and participants fosters the incredible relationships we enjoy with them.

“We cannot accomplish all that we need to do without working together.” – Bill Richardson

We are just so privileged to be able to explore the possibilities, discover potential and act authentically together with those who we are in partnership with. The feedback the accompanying teachers on the day left us with (below) highlights this interconnectedness best. Whether it’s school, home, local community or us as external providers, we all want the same thing. To see that the students have the opportunity to be engaged, challenged and inspired so that they can continue to grow, learn and make a difference.

“This always proves to be an excellent character building program. It is very well received and appreciated by parents. The local community find the program interesting and we get many positive comments on the day. Great job Cameron – we always love working with you and your team.” – Stage 2 Teacher

L.E.A.D. with me

April 10, 2017 at 9:24 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

What would you say is a key to success when navigating a challenge as a group? There’d be many that would come to mind I assuming, especially when you consider all the different situations, complexities, who’s involved and circumstances that could be thrown in to spice up the types of problem solving required. Context definitely matters. But…

“Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery.” – Warren Bennis

A few weeks ago, when posed with a similar question, a Year 6 student responded in this way: “A key to success is giving space for others to lead”. It was at the beginning of the day and we’d just completed our first small groups challenge (approximately 8 students in each group). This girl shared this connection as she unpacked the journey her team had just been on: excitement, preparation, planning, experimentation, distraction, failure, experimentation again, near success, failure, disappointment, regrouping, refocussing, experimentation again, achieving success, celebrating, regrouping, refocussing, attempting the next level of the challenge, and so it goes on.

“The great leaders are like the best conductors – they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players.” – Blaine Lee

So I wonder, what individual and collective thoughts, words and actions help us create space for others to L.E.A.D. with me?

“You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

A Celebration Of…

April 3, 2017 at 8:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

shutterstock_105224918

As we near the end of first term I know there are a lot of students and teachers who are looking forward to a refreshing holiday break. What a term it’s been! It’s been a wet one (thinking of all those students and teachers who’ve been stuck inside a lot). It’s been a busy one (so many fantastic school communities to support). It’s been an interesting one (plenty of incredible individual and collective examples of exploring the possibilities, discovering potential and acting authentically). There’s always so much to celebrate!

“Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it everyday.” – Anonymous

As I reflect back on the past ten weeks I am reminded of feedback I received last year from an accompanying teacher. The comment read, ‘thank you for celebrating their quirkiness’. It made us smile at the time but also remember that as we engage, challenge and inspire the groups we have the pleasure of supporting, we are also celebrating the uniqueness, wisdom and contributions of each individual. Thanks to all those courageous students who inspire us each and every day.

“Celebrate what you’ve accomplished, but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed.” – Mia Hamm

I hope all students, staff and school communities are enjoying the opportunity to celebrate … , as they navigate the final few days of this term. Stay safe over the break and we look forward to all that second term will bring.

 

A Question To Reflect On

March 27, 2017 at 6:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The other week I was asked a particular question that’s had me thinking. It’s one of the joys of working with kids, there’s definitely plenty of curiosity bouncing around. I had worked with the whole Year 6 cohort two weeks before. Then on this particular day I was back supporting the Year 6 elected leaders who were preparing to implement a new Ambassador Program within their school community.

“Never lose a holy curiosity.” – Albert Einstein

During one conversation I was asked, why are you so passionate about other people’s learning? The list of things that I’ve been asked over the years is diverse, but this questions directness, and the context of what we were discussing at the time, made me stop. I immediately thanked him for the question. I was then flooded with memories of the gratitude I feel for the way my family, teachers and others have shown up for me within my learning and leadership journey. Then really importantly I was reminded of why.

“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.” – John C. Maxwell

Why our vision, fostering ‘informed, connected and empowered individuals believing deeply in their own and others potential’. Why our mission, ‘provide experiences and ongoing communication that promote exploring the possibilities, discovering potential and acting authentically’. Why influence, not control, as the way we lead and make a difference. And above all else, why I am so privileged to do what I do.

“Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration.” – Robin S. Sharma

The context of what we were discussing was how this boy wanted to make other Year 6 students feel when he shares activities with them as the program is rolled out. He made a connection to how he had felt two weeks before, and then on this day as well. As founder and lead facilitator of Explore Discover Act, I am proud to offer programs and experiences that reflect our deep belief in the potential of each individual. I can’t wait to hear about the ripples created by these courageous leaders thoughts, words and actions as the year goes on.

“Human potential is the only limitless resource we have in this world.” – Carly Fiorina

The Spark

February 20, 2017 at 6:16 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

shutterstock_135091277

Not only was this past week full of amazing participants, but it was also full of amazing conversations. We are so very grateful for the depth of connection we’ve been privileged to foster within our client schools as we are welcomed so warmly into each unique learning environment. I love the conversations that I have with the Principals, Assistant Principals and teachers who I interact with during a program day. These conversations open up the pathways to most effectively journey together towards the vision of ‘informed, connected and empowered individuals believing deeply in their own and others potential’.

“To embark on the journey towards your goals and dreams requires bravery. To remain on that path requires courage. The bridge that merges the two is commitment.” – Dr. Steve Maraboli

One of the conversations this week that left me feeling so inspired was with an Assistant Principal within one of our client schools. Throughout the day we had the opportunity to discuss many things. One is how I will be assisting the school to empower a group of Year 6 leaders to build their own learning experiences that they will then deliver for the rest of the cohort within a new Ambassadors Program. Another involved the potential of facilitating a Professional Learning experience this year for their staff at the school, as well as another day for all the staff involved in the network of schools their connected to who come together once a year. But the most inspiring part came when she explained an innovative program they developed last year and the ripples they are now experiencing from it.

“If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done.” – Thomas Jeffersom

After noticing on their school camp that other schools who do bikes head off around the bushtrack at the Centre, compared to their own group staying in a controlled setting, this Assistant Principal enquired why. They use this camp every year and had just thought that this was the way the activity was always run. In the subsequent conversation the camp staff explained that due to the amount of students within the cohort who required scooters, because of their lack of experience on bikes, this bushtrack extension of the activity wasn’t possible within their program. Rather than just accept that this was the way it always has to be, or get angry and look to blame someone or something, this Assistant Principal used this spark to turn a challenge into an opportunity.

“Action expresses priorities.” – Mohandas Gandhi

A teacher from the school put his hand up at the beginning of last year and went to Victoria to become qualified in bike education. The school dedicated some financial resources to purchase two bikes to pilot a program at their school. Then because of its success they bought a fleet of bikes and rolled out the program in a much larger way. Because of the enthusiasm and interest it caused within the school community it was then expanded to include parents learning to ride after school hours. A ripple created from this resulted in students receiving bikes for birthdays/Christmas/etc. and families choosing to use leisure time riding within the local community. And incredibly, just 12 months on from that conversation with camp staff, a whole cohort of kids experienced the bushtrack extension whilst at camp at the end of 2016! Wow, what an incredible example of exploring the possibilities, discovering potential and acting authentically.

“People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.” – Norman Vincent Peale

We all encounter ‘the spark’ on a regular basis within our journeys of potential. What we choose to do next though is completely up to us.

What Happens Next…

February 13, 2017 at 5:32 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

shutterstock_155291057

I often express our belief that leadership is a shared endeavour, not a solo sport, to the participants we support. As the lens is widened to the difference we can make, instead of just focussing in on the position might take, a diversity of opportunities to engage, challenge and inspire are opened up (both for us individually and collectively). Our learning and leadership environments play a big part in our growth and development as well. This is why environments like the one I walked into on Thursday excite me so much. It has a lot to do with the quote below.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb

At the beginning of each year a large group of schools in a particular area of Sydney send their school leaders away for 3 days. Amazingly dedicated teachers organise a diverse and meaningful program at the camp that empowers and strives to set up for success the Year 6 students for the year ahead. They’re interested in action, what happens next, but most importantly they’re interested in also creating support networks around these leaders so that they can confidently stretch, grow and contribute within their home school environments. I love having the opportunity to facilitate two half day sessions amongst the incredible schedule they’ve created.

“The role of leaders is not to get other people to follow them but to empower others to lead.” – Bill George

The sessions were such a pleasure. Watching, listening to and sharing amongst these student leaders had my inspiration meter peaking. But what happened next tipped me over the edge. It was the final circle of the day. 80 students invited to finish the session as it should be, in their hands. How they did this, what it looked, sounded and felt like, and what was shared was up to them. I stepped out and was privileged, along with the teachers present in the room, to be apart of something special.

“The task of leadership is not to put passion into people, but to inspire and elicit it, for the passion is already there.” – Ty Howard

Moderation, if required, was a shared responsibility. Inclusiveness and contribution were celebrated. When one girl stumbled sharing a quote she thought was important, the next to share compassionately related her reflection to without mistakes we can’t ever get to success. It was dynamic. It was authentic. And most importantly it reminded us all of what’s possible when we hold space for, foster and then embody the vision of ‘informed, connected and empowered individuals believing deeply in their own and others potential’. What happens next is absolutely in their hands. I can’t wait to hear about the ripples that are created as each student explores the possibilities, discovers potential and acts authentically each and every day.

A not The

February 6, 2017 at 7:08 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

shutterstock_155464412

Sometimes you’re gifted with a participants phrasing during a reflection that will resonate so deeply. Phrasing that will never leave you after that moment because of its transferable wisdom. It’s the biggest privilege as a facilitator when someone languages something with such succinct beauty. Last Thursday provided for one of these occasions. I am extremely grateful that this participant had the courage to share what she was processing throughout the experience.

“Leadership is based on inspiration, not domination; on cooperation, not intimidation.” – William Arthur Wood

This girl responded within the reflection that she’d be taking away a desire to become a leader not the leader. It may seem like a subtle difference but to us it is such an important one. Imagine a global village where we as individuals and groups owned our ability to make a difference in our own and others lives each and every day. Imagine a global village where we as individuals and groups embodied leadership as inclusive, collaborative and inspiring. Imagine a global village where we as individuals and groups sought to influence and build, rather than control and fix. We imagine this every day; and have the privilege of working with incredible students who imagine this as well.

I’d Rather

January 30, 2017 at 5:35 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

shutterstock_154839410

A really interesting conversation I had last week got me thinking about a few important things. Curiosity definitely has me listening closely at the moment to the thoughts, words and actions that get us moving forwards, as I strive to embody this year’s mantra of bridging ideas into action. The sentence within this conversation that really grabbed me started with two simple words. As I wrote last week I love when we as individuals and groups are able to get under the surface, and what this young man was describing was definitely an invitation into what was bubbling underneath for him. I’d rather…

“If you never try, you’ll never know what you are capable of.” – John Barrow

The young man (about 20 years old) was talking about how he has really been trying to intentionally get into his stretch zone over the past few years. Navigating social anxiety has been his ongoing struggle, with him highlighting during our conversation recent examples of when it has reared its head. Hearing him talk so openly about how he’s initiated opportunities to purposefully challenge himself over the past few years (things like joining a drama group) were truly inspiring. But what was most inspiring was how a few days earlier he had put himself out there within a facilitation role and why this sentence starting with I’d rather had such importance.

“Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.” – Stephen Kaggwa

He hadn’t gained the specific internal qualification he had been attempting that few days ago within his university holiday work environment. This work environment was also one of the initiated opportunities to purposefully challenge himself as many aspects of being around so many people involved a lot of stretching for him (and sometimes teetering on panic zone). Confidently he explained how he’d rather have tried and failed on that particular day, than never tried at all. The self awareness and learnings he was describing became the conversation we then had. Was it really a ‘fail’?

“Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” – Arianna Huffington

He now knows what he has to work on in order to try for this internal qualification again. He now has a contact (permanent staff member) who can support him as he develops the necessary knowledge and skills to try again. He now has a new level of confidence developed through having the courage to engage fully and honestly within this process. He now has another opportunity to again remember why his ‘I’d rather’ is so important. These are just a few of the things he described. He doesn’t want to be defined or ruled by one part of who he is, one event that has happened or one version of what’s possible. What he wants reminded me of why our name is so important to us, and the clients we engage with, Explore (the possibilities), Discover (potential) and Act (authentically).

“I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

So this is our hope: that all the students who have today (or over the coming days) walked back into classrooms for another school year, and the teachers who bring with them such a diversity of skills, knowledge and experiences, as well as the families and/or carers who will to the best of their ability provide support, love and encouragement, that all of them and us all will remember as we navigate all that this year will bring;

  • That our daily thoughts, words and actions matter.
  • That our journey will involve both successes and challenges, remembering that, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts” – Winston Churchill.
  • We are all capable of making a difference in our own and others lives.
  • We are all in this together!

Reframing

January 9, 2017 at 4:18 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

shutterstock_155902973

How often do you get caught believing that there’s only one way, solution, possibility, truth, etc.? Maybe it’s only for a split second and then we catch ourselves. Maybe it’s for as long as a particular interaction is happening and then we catch ourselves. Maybe it’s for an extended period of time and then something finally clicks and we catch ourselves. That old adage of ‘nothing changes until you do’ definitely rings true for me as I reflect on our ability to reframe within our journeys of potential.

“Our key to transforming anything lies in our ability to reframe it.” – Marianne Williamson

A certain conversation the other day got me thinking about reframing within a leadership context. My friend was describing a recent adventure that had taken him out of his comfort zone in the Christmas period. As he described the navigation of new terrain he got to the part that had my curiosity peaking. It had to do with who (his friend or he) would take on the most challenging lead climb within the trip they were on and the way the two of them always decided choices like this.

“Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.” – Wayne W. Dyer

I love scissors, paper, rock, and so was very excited to hear that this playful method of deliberating was their way of deciding important decisions like this one. Even though my friend is a highly experienced and accomplished climber there’s always going to be times when his courage, skill and determination are tested. This trip was proving to be one of those times. When I heard he won (not sure if it was best of 1 or 3) I blurted out, so did you make your mate go first? I assumed now having the choice he may take the breather and climb second on this most challenging pitch. His response and the subsequent conversation had me so inspired. “The winner always takes it on”.

“If a problem can’t be solved within the frame it was conceived, the solution lies in reframing the problem.” – Brian McGreevy

It’s a mindset thing. Leadership isn’t about using some perceived or real power to deflect, shirk or redistribute responsibility. Instead leadership is brought to life in being prepared, willing and ready to use your empowered thoughts, words and actions to make a difference for self and others (even while we’re stretching within the struggle). Importantly, this type of self awareness can also assist us to be honest with ourselves and others in the process. It doesn’t mean that we won’t feel fear, doubt or uncertainty as we courageously lead. It just means that we’re willing to work through these feelings when they arise, without letting them define us, knowing why our thoughts, words and actions are important and that there’s support around us if we need it.

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius

If we are to bridge ideas into action then reframing seems to be an important tool. But like anything, reframing by itself won’t actually bring about change, growth, learning or transformation. The windows it opens needs to be followed by courageous action. It’s why the quote that underpins our L.E.A.D. with Courage™ philosophy remains, ‘Leadership Is an Action Not Position’ (Donald H. McGannon) as we explore the possibilities, discover potential and act authentically, TOGETHER.

Bridging: Ideas into Action

January 1, 2017 at 10:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ACT

I wonder what 2017 will bring? There are certain things that are already booked into the calendar or are being planned, but obviously there is also so much open possibility as well. Within this open possibility there can be a focus on resolutions relating to outcomes. We’ve all done it, I’m going to ___________ (fill in the blank – lose 10kg, get a new job, etc.). And then in a few weeks time as we navigate choices, complexity and challenges the resolution seems to slip away. What we’re planning again this year is a mantra to guide our thoughts, words and actions focussed on process.

“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.” – Buddha

Our plan: being passionately curious about how we as individuals and groups bridge ideas into action. Why: we believe so strongly in potential and in the difference that we are all able to make in our own and others lives. We also know (as described in the image above) that it is action that changes things. The bridge between knowing and doing though can be a challenging one. So, to be most effective in creating purposeful and powerful ripples ourselves and also serving the communities whom we support so they can do the same, making learning a priority is a must.

“Action expresses priorities.” – Mahatma Gandhi

How: to start with by asking questions (and plenty of them). We’ve already started on Twitter (@ExploreDiscAct) our Question of the Day to keep us focussed on this vital element of embodying this year’s mantra. We’ve also started organising conversations with inspiring individuals and groups who are being the change they wish to see in the world. Curiosity will lead the way. We can’t wait to see what we learn through engaging with and listening to all those we have the chance to interact with this year. Then finally we’re going to continue to share. Through our program experiences, ongoing communication with clients and of course through our various social media platforms like this Blog.

“Our real problem, then, is not our strength today; it is rather the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

We love being involved in the development of leadership potential within our spheres of influence. Our vision remains, ‘informed, connected and empowered individuals believing deeply in their own and others potential’. Our programs are delivered predominantly in Primary Schools so we can assist in fostering purposeful skills, attitudes and behaviours in 21st Century learners. Having the courage to make a difference is a practice. One that we’re committed to fostering within participants from an early age. But most importantly, one that we’re committed to fostering within ourselves first. It’s in the process, not the outcome, that we have the opportunity of being the change.

“Nothing changes if nothing changes.” – Multiple attributions

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.