Ocean rower, world record holder and business woman

Meet the experts, Professional

OB Professional facilitator Kathy Tracey gives us her thoughts on what it takes to be an epic leader.

Meet Kathy Tracey

Kathy circle

Kathy is a practising Systemic Team Coach who has worked extensively with senior leaders and leadership teams from a vast range of organisations across the globe.

Kathy owned and operated an award winning UK Leadership Development company for 17 years before returning home to Wellington to be closer to family, and to work with us here at Outward Bound. Kathy will help deliver our Outward Bound Professional courses, alongside our expert instructors.

She has battled her own self doubts and disabling beliefs to achieve some of her own business and personal goals, and is therefore well placed to work alongside participants as they build in confidence and competence.

Kathy loves the outdoors and the sea and also holds a Guinness World Record for being part of the first women fours crew to row unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean.

 

What is Leadership?

Leadership is a paradox: simple and complex at the same time.

We know for ourselves those people who we would call leaders. We know people who inspire us, or who attract followers, and are therefore considered to be leaders. Simple enough. However as soon as we scratch the surface of this we begin to see the complex layers that underpin the concept of leadership. And then when we start to ask questions about how to develop it, how to discover it within ourselves, we end up back at the first question - what actually is leadership?

For me leadership has some key characteristics:

1) A purpose, a vision or direction of travel, a clear sense of what is to be achieved.

2) An understanding of the resources needed, this may be personal attributes, physical, environmental, human and/or financial resources.

3) The drive and discipline to make things happen through ourselves and others.

A leader therefore requires 3 core elements for success: Acumen; Bravery and Discipline. I call this the ABD to Victory. Acumen covers self knowledge and emotional intelligence as well as subject and technical knowledge. Bravery is the willingness to go outside your comfort zone, to stand with not knowing and being able to make mistakes and bounce back showing resilience and tenacity. Discipline is putting your shoulder to the flywheel, getting things moving by working hard and smart.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

John Quincy Adams

How do you build confidence and resilience?

By exposing yourself to your self imposed limits and challenging them.

Outward Bound gives people a chance to push past those previously held beliefs about what is possible for them and to experience the power of “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”. It is challenging, rewarding, inspirational and also exhausting. But most of all it’s exhilarating and it gives people an opportunity to grow in a way few other experiences do.