Major Events &
Deakin University Special Events Manager
Leadership with Influence
Inspiring guest speakers, an insight into our fellow participant
and team DISC styles, the marshmallow challenge and an introduction
to 'situation leadership', was 'Activate' week 4!
Our session began with an introduction to Mike McKinstry, Chief
Executive Officer of Karingal. Originally from Scotland, Mike has
led an interesting and versatile career that spans from Glasgow, to
the British Midlands, to Melbourne's South Eastern suburbs, to
Detroit, USA and now presently, Geelong.
Mike, when speaking of his diverse roles across the globe,
re-iterated to our group that when a chance comes along 'you take
it'. You may find yourselves with opportunities in which you
believe you have limited experience. However, upon assessing the
environment you are in, being involved, honest and open with your
fellow team members, your leadership style can adapt to suit the
situation. Always listen intently, but at the end of the day, base
your decisions only on the facts.
Next 'Activate' had the privilege of hearing from Stephanie
Asher of the Geelong Consulting Group.
Stephanie awakened us to the 'sleepy hollow' type cast of
Geelong, 'The Geelong Context', and the unique aspects our regional
city displays, past and present, and the concept of risks vs
"We can make positive change by communicating for
influence. Find your target and speak their language and
always be yourself! Authenticity cannot be faked, even on social
media," Stephanie told us. "You need to understand your 'brand' and
match your ambitions with your capability. Understand your values
and always be kind to yourself and others, know your objective and
play to that. People have different ideas of success." However, the
most captivating quote that Stephanie left us with today was, "You
may as well be honest, it takes less energy!"
And on that note, we revisited our DISC reports with Damien
O'Malley of the OMC Group (see Week 2 Activate Report). After a quick
review of our results from the previous weeks, we joined fellow
participants of similar DISC styles and looked at the opposite
style to our own. An entertaining twenty minutes followed with
participants presenting to the group, their opposing DISC style,
promoting "Activate Series 2". We had presentations that were
short, sharp and direct appealing to the 'Ds' style, the friendly
enthusiastic bubble blowing 'Is', the supportive patient harmonious
'Ss' and the factual reserved attentive 'Cs'.
Laughs were had by all whilst understanding we are not all the
same, and each of our styles are authentic to us and that we can
all work cohesively together, to achieve a positive outcome. As
displayed, following Damien's task, 'The Marshmallow
Split into groups consisting of each of the DISC styles, we were
given the task of constructing the tallest structure that was able
to hold a marshmallow at the tallest point, made from dry
spaghetti, string and sticky tape. This was to be done in 18
minutes with only the help of scissors and good teamwork. Our teams
got to work and tried hard, however, our winning team did display
true architectural and engineering ability to create a very clever
structure that not only could withstand holding a marshmallow, but
that could actually stand up, non-assisted!
So until next week's 'Activate', and in the words of our guest
speaker Stephanie today, "You learn and soldier on".
Barwon Sports Academy/Pathways
Leadership with Influence
Today's session started off with the Simon Shiek Ted Talk, which
looked at theGolden Circle. The concept involved the "Why", "How"
and "What" and emphasised that people will buy into things because
of the "Why" rather than the "How". Whatever setting it is, it's
the "Why" that we are passionate about, not the "How". "Why are we
doing things" is what interests people, and "what is our motivation
behind it", not the process or steps it can take. The concept is
common to technology giant Apple. Another Ted Talk to follow up on
is "Why great leaders make people feel safe".
Next up the group was fortunate to hear from Karingal CEO Mike
McKinstry on his leadership journey. Mike's fascinating background
has seen him move from the industrial/automotive industry and
travelling all over the world to his current role based in Geelong
as the CEO of Karingal.
Mike shared his leadership insights believed to be vital in any
situation including; involvement, openness and honesty,
communication, situational leadership and assessing the environment
around you, to name a few. In closing Mike spoke about Culture
Change and going from Good to Great. The key factors required were
employee engagement, customer satisfaction/engagement, cash flow
and stakeholder engagement.
Next up was guest speaker Stephanie Asher who spoke about
communicating effectively within "The Geelong Context". Stephanie
gave a thought-provoking speech from the perspective of somebody
who has moved to Geelong from Melbourne and how to communicate
effectively in this environment.
Stephanie provided a light-hearted guide to surviving in Geelong
and looking at the ways we can be great leaders and contribute to
this community. One great quote Stephanie used was "We all
must pull on the same rope" - Frank Costa. A great analogy that we
all need to be on the same team, working together.
Within her presentation Stephanie shared with the group her
political insights and her journey to run for Mayor. Key topics
included communicating for impact and the importance of using
perspective and knowing the context, looking for a point of
difference and finding your unique selling point.
A lot of Stephanie's presentation revolved around the importance
of always being yourself, we are all unique, authenticity cannot be
faked, understand your brand and match your ambitions with your
capacity in life.
Stephanie's closing statements were KEEP IT CLEAR AND SIMPLE!!!
(Simple is not stupid, Jargon is not clever). Be kind to yourself,
know your objective and play to that, different people have
different ideas and success.
To finish off the day we were then fortunate enough to have
Damien O'Malley return and delve more into our DiSC profiles. The
group recapped over key points from the previous session looking at
the ABC - Activator, Behaviour and Consequence and how
understanding each in a person can help us to work better with
different personality types and behavioural patterns.
A new concept for the group was looking at the
communications impact that states effective communication
is made up of words (7%), tone of voice (38%) and body language
To finish up the session the group broke into the four different
DiSC groups and delivered a pitch to run a second 'Activate
Leadership Program' based on the behaviours and characteristics of
that behaviour type.
The takeaway message from Damien's is that we can modify our
leadership and behavioural style to suit different situations,
whilst still being an 'authentic leader'.