– he tangata, he tangata, he tangata
2009 Alumnus, Edward Cook is currently Head of Sales at a swiftly growing youth and community charity in the UK, The Challenge. Their mission is to connect and inspire people to strengthen their communities and bring together local people across all generations, ethnic groups and incomes to build a stronger society.
Having completed the programme in 2009 while working for Te Runanga a Iwi O Ngapuhi, I was seeking a formal qualification in youth development, having originally trained and worked as a journalist.
Through teaching, I left for the UK in 2011 where I taught for a while before becoming engaged with a residential youth programme that was designed to engage a wide range of 16 and 17 year olds with each other and their communities.
In 2011, the organisation worked with around 3,000 young people and had 30 core staff. This next year we’re planning to engage over 30,000 16 and 17 year olds with over 400 core staff and more than 1,500 temporary staff.
While I was fortunate enough to join a growing organisation, the skills and awareness that were instilled in me through Leadership NZ have helped me be instrumental in driving the growth and appreciating the need for change in communities.
As the world gets more multi-cultural, we’re also getting a lot more segregated as we stay with our type and what we know. It is important to push ourselves to learn about our neighbours and meaningfully contribute to our communities.
Leadership NZ gave me the confidence of knowing what being a New Zealander is, and how to adapt my leadership style when appropriate. While I may be a few miles up the road in England at the moment, the knowledge of my identity combined with the value that can be gained in mixing with those from different backgrounds, ages and levels of affluence all come from ‘home’. The value of Leadership NZ comes in not just the exposure to top NZ leaders from a wide range of sectors, but also the calibre of the colleagues you live the programme with. I felt like I had 31 mentors and supporters through the programme, who I send a mihi to now. I enjoy leading a team of 150+ mostly” twenty somethings” from around the UK with whom I share some of the principles from the Leadership NZ programme.
It is important that with contracts, deadlines, sales/recruitment targets all piling on that we remember why we’re doing what we’re doing and lead our teams remembering the most important thing of all…
he tangata, he tangata, he tangata.