Leadership development is self-development
In 2019 I took part in Horticulture New Zealand Leadership programme and am extremely proud to be one of the 250 alumni.
I am neither a Kiwi, a grower nor an industry person, but since April 2019, I have been striving to be part of New Zealand horticulture. I am a 36-year-old German woman and a lecturer at Lincoln University, but I have been in horticulture for almost 20 years.
I started my career with an apprenticeship, worked in fruit, flower production and landscaping, and studied commercial horticulture, horticultural science and horticultural economics in different European universities.
We as industry people and educators alike, are challenged by complex problems. Providing top quality, high quality healthy food and taking care of land and resources, biosecurity, providing products that are sustainable and affordable, and compliance with social expectations and technological developments, are just some of our current and future challenges.
These issues were discussed and critically evaluated within the Leadership programme during formal and informal sessions with alumni, board members and politicians. This was threaded together by a core team of some of New Zealand’s top primary industry leadership facilitators and teachers including Sue Pickering, Tony Zwart, Patrick Aldwell and Ian Tarbotton.
Robust discussions with current horticultural and related industry leaders served as positive role models and gave us inspiration. We learned to acknowledge the importance of sector collaborations, even among competitors.
Well-being stood out as a key to good leadership, but all too often it is neglected for achievement. Health and family are put aside for the badge of honour – but it is time for a change.
“It was educational and inspirational”, was the feedback from one of my colleagues, showing that the Leadership programme was valuable on many levels. We gained a better understanding of what leadership is really about, as related to the world of horticulture.
The programme included skills, types of leadership, values and leadership in crisis. We actively practiced leadership and business skills, such as communication, teamwork, critical and strategical thinking and problem solving.
The course also provided us with strategies and tools to overcome our personal challenges and we created strategic plans with visions, goals and actions for the future. My personal learning from the course is that leadership combines the “unpredictability of the future with the gift of individuals”.
As there are many gifted individuals in the sector who are willing and able to develop themselves and others, that means New Zealand horticulture, you will not only be alright, you will also be awesome.
Applications for the 2020 Horticulture New Zealand Leadership Programme close on 31 May 2020. Thirty places are open to anyone in the horticultural industry between the ages of 22 to 55.
Twenty scholarships cover all course fees and accommodation costs. Ten positions are also available for a fee of $3,900 +GST. Travel costs are additional in both cases. The programme begins in August and ends in early November.
For the application form go to http://www.hortnz.co.nz/ our-work/people/hortnz-leadership-programme or contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 021 938 825.