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We hold events for our alumni, friends, and the general public for people to connect with the important conversations in leadership.

Subject matter experts and prominent New Zealand leaders share their knowledge and engage with the audience, sparking new ideas and innovation as minds from different backgrounds converge and focus their energy on a salient issue or theme.

Class of 2012 Retreat

Leadership for the future

In early April, 17 members of the 2012 Leadership NZ (LNZ) Alumni gathered at Waiheke Island’s beautiful Piritahi Marae for a weekend retreat.  

When asking the attendees what their highlights were, it was unanimous that one of the most wonderful things was to reconnect with each other again – not just socially, but to dive back in to the mind-expanding, challenging, deep thinking framework that we know and love from LNZ.

Louise Marra ran two sessions, asking at the beginning of each “how challenging do you want this to be?” References to the strength of a curry arose from that question and afterwards some of us were surprised to find we had ordered a vindaloo…

Summarising such a rich weekend of thought and action is difficult, we spent time talking to our ‘essences’ (aka an empty chair); being  challenged to ask the frustratingly unanswerable question ‘Who Are You?’ having a good whinge and challenging ourselves to reframe what we are whingeing about, and setting some working questions for the year ahead.

Guest speaker Simon Harvey used the analogy of a spaceship to represent the challenges in our world – environmentally, economically and politically.  Pretending to be Vulcan and Sumarian visitors to Planet Earth, Simon and Louise tasked us to explain to their alien life forms just why the heck we got ourselves into this predicament, and how we plan to get out of it.  The curve ball here was we had to argue from a position we don’t normally take in life – so for some this was from an indigenous/heart-lead perspective, others explored nihilism or cold hard logic.  Yep, the references to vindaloo returned with a passion when reflecting on this exercise!

Ultimately we were to write a ‘methodology’ for ourselves – using tools from wider the LNZ journey including reflection, reading, gateways, following our bliss, being aware of our influences and influencers.

It wouldn’t be a 2012 reunion without fun and games, with a healthy dose of teasing and laughter.  Drinks at Louise’s house followed by dinner in the township meant for a lively Saturday night.

17 out of 34 people attended the weekend, including Fiona Allen – two weeks before giving birth to beautiful Isaak!  We skyped in Jon from Indonesia and Claire from Wellington and we took a moment to concoct a combo of facts and gossip about those who weren’t there ☺.

We have committed to a retreat each year as a way to reconnect and refresh ourselves.  Next year it looks like we are heading to Richard Kibbelwhite’s land in Poranghau and hope to have 100% attendance!

Angela Green
Leadership NZ Alumnus