Getting to know the team to grow the team

Over the past 12 months, St Andrew’s has embarked on a program to develop the capabilities of our leadership teams. The process has been one of discovery, as well as an opportunity to reflect upon key traits and behaviours that assist in leadership and building strong working teams. This can be done through team building, mentoring and workshops centred around a growth idea mindset. 

A crucial process, but also a difficult one, is ensuring that the tiers of leadership link in to the multiple moving parts of St Andrew’s so that there is an inclusive approach. Ashkanasy (2003) states that by infusing the entire organisation from top to bottom, emotions may prove to be vital to the effective leadership and organisational functioning. For example, the emotion of happiness has been linked to various measures of good organisational functioning, including work performance, creativity, turnover intentions, job satisfaction and employee productivity (Oswald, Proto & Sgroi, 2015). Within this, a concerted effort should be made by organisations to focus on aspects of health, wellbeing and work/life balance/satisfaction to ensure employees and leaders are given every opportunity to keep these aspects of their life and work in check.

In 2017, the College launched a leadership program designed specifically for our leadership teams:

Within each program it was important to map the priorities of capabilities to ensure that the programs being delivered were ones there was an identified need and a cultural alignment.

In addition to this, College leaders initiated mentor / mentee relationships between themselves. 

The purpose of these mentor / mentee relationships was to further explore and share the leadership development practices taking place in our teams and also to gauge a deeper understanding of the inner working and nuances of the teams themselves.

The focus for our senior leadership team was two half-day workshops around how to achieve results from key conversations. The College utilised a fantastic resource “Dealing with the Tough Stuff” (Hill, Hill, Richardson 2016). 

The focus for our middle leadership team was to focus on aspects of their life that cause stress and how they can manage this to achieve their best personal and work capacity. 

For me, this is an exciting time to be involved with the College and driving change in this area. It is also an innovative approach to how we look at team development and one that I think will develop as we continue to invest in practices where we value the idea of relationships and how these interact with each other – a practice that in turn will model to our students and staff key aspects to building their own leadership and capabilities.

Mr Andrew Eunson