Perspectives on leadership

Reflections, Inspirational

Leadership isn't always about leading a team from the front. Read about the different experiences these watchmates have had of leadership at Anakiwa and the impact it's made on their day-to-day.

Perspectives on leadership

Leadership doesn't necessarily mean you are the centre of attention

The unexpected team leader
For me, there was no better time to go on an Outward Bound course. I was a year and a half out of uni and things weren't all they were cracked up to be.

One of the things I'm most thankful for is the team and leadership skills that Outward Bound created within me. I have never been a big fan of speaking up and taking control. I always thought someone else would do a better job than me.

At OB, people fall into roles quickly in order to build an efficient working environment. Somehow I landed in one of the leadership roles within our watch. At first I didn't like the thought of being the centre of attention. And then I quickly learnt that that has nothing to do with being a leader.

My role instead was more about teaching skills, helping tired watchmates and trying to create fluidity within the team when it began to faulter.

Everyone had their place within Shackleton 615. Everyone was needed to complete each task.

I'll use these skills in leading people for the rest of my life.
Matt, age 24

Outward Bound Masters

Effective leaders help to keep a team together in turbulent times

Leading as a team
I was initially worried about being with a bunch of strangers for 21 days. But you get to know your watchmates very well and  learn a lot from each other.

Being in a team environment meant you had to work together which is key for building relationships, an important
life skill to learn. I learnt that while there may be different opinions within a team, that’s life and you have to work together to achieve a common goal.

An example of this was on our sailing scheme when it was late and my Watch and I were rowing and rowing to get to
the bay we were meant to sleep at. Everyone was tired and hungry but our instructors kept pushing us to get to reach our planned destination. We pushed through and kept going as a team.

That was a real defining point on the course that we kept looking back on, knowing that we can keep going and achieve anything when we work together on a common goal.

From the experience, I learnt that I do have the skills and ability to step up and take a leadership role when things need doing. I now look back on some of the different situations and adventures that we were put in and I think "Wow, I achieved so much."
Rachael, aged 18

Reflect

Effective self-leadership will help you to achieve your goals

Self-leadership
Outward Bound has made me see how hard I can push myself physically and mentally. Before going on the course I was lacking motivation. I have been out of school for 3 years, in this time I studied business management for a year, then dropped out. After being let go from my last job I knew it was time for a change.

I have never done much running and leading up to OB I was struggling to meet the fitness requirement. On the first morning at Anakiwa I ran my 3km in 18:46 mins, which I was surprised with. After this I managed to get a new personal best every morning, finishing up with a time of 13:06.

I also never thought I would be able to complete a half marathon.  But our whole group went in with the mindset that we would not give up or stop running. I finished with a time of 2h:24, which I was very proud of. Since OB I have ran 10km every night around the estuary in Tauranga in preparation for my next half marathon.

Coming into Outward Bound I already had a rough idea of what I wanted to achieve. I wanted to break the routine that I was stuck in. I knew to do this I would have to leave Tauranga. To do so I have been looking into a lot of different career options and have decided to become a skydiving instructor. I have been accepted into the course, that starts in two months. I feel like this will be a positive environment for me to keep bettering myself and focusing on what I want to get out of life.

Thanks to Outward Bound I now believe in my ability to do what I want.
Aidan, age 24