Hello there! How’s the new year treating you so far? Hope you’ve got off to a good start, and had a chance to have a break and some time for reflection about what your dreams are for 2016! I’m really excited about the year ahead, and this is for a number of reasons, and today I want to share one of them with you! I love improving myself and my business, and this year I’ll have an opportunity for some big personal and professional development with the Leadership Forum (Leadership Ballarat & Western Region) by Committee for Ballarat. Here’s how they explain the program:
Leaders Forum is LBWR’s leadership program for emerging community leaders. Participants explore the possibilities for the future of our regional communities. They:
- Connect with a diverse range of people and established leaders to explore ideas.
- Listen to others, learn from them and reflect on their own understandings.
- Experience practical situations to help understand major issues affecting our regional communities.
- Think laterally, examine issues systematically and find creative solutions.
- Question what leadership means and develop their leadership style.
- Broaden their understanding of how they can lead in their community to achieve positive change.
I’m honoured to have been awarded the small business scholarship to participate this year – I’m very grateful to the Peter Davies family for this opportunity! The Committee for Ballarat is an independent collection of diverse members of our community to dream big for our city: “We use vision, strategy, engagement and influence to help create a better future for Ballarat and beyond.” I think it is a fabulous initiative to help improve our region’s future, by strengthening our communities, helping to groom future leaders, encouraging new ideas and innovation to create an awesome place to live!
“True leaders do not work to do better than anyone else, they work to do better than themselves. And that’s what makes them better leaders.” – Simon Sinek
So WHY is this leadership thing important to me (& consequently for all of us)?
Well a few years ago at the Big Hearted Business un-conference, I was exposed to some fabulous female leaders (including the woman behind BHB, the multi-passionate Clare Bowditch) and I also learnt about Simon Sinek and his powerful concept of how leaders inspire action ( ‘Start With Why’). If you’re not familiar with him, his inspiring TED talk is the perfect place to start. This got me thinking about why I do what I do – and for me, it’s because:
I’m passionate about helping create a more environmentally-sustainable built environment, with energy-efficient housing that’s affordable and improves the quality of life and the health of people and planet. I want well-designed buildings to be the norm, not the exception.
Currently, I feel that as a sole practitioner, I can only help so many people, so I’m interested in learning about ways to help lead in this area, and hopefully one day inspire others. I was fortunate enough to meet the incredibly creative and inspiring ‘eco-warrior’ Joost Bakker a few years back, and hear him speak about his passion for ‘no-waste’ living, and what he has done with his various ventures to achieve this. He’s a florist, farmer, restauranteur, installation-artist, sustainable-home designer, innovator, father and more! There was a great interview in The Australian last year that tried to encapsulate all that is Joost (which is pronounced “Yoast”). The day I met him, there was a throng of women who seemed to be entranced by his charisma – yes he is a handsome man and has a captivating presence – but I seemed to have a different reaction to them:
They seemed to be drooling: “I want him”, whereas I was more thinking: “I want to be him”.
The way he told his story about his sustainability initiatives, meant that we were all nodding in agreement – it made so much sense, why would we do things any other way?! He’s an innovative thinker, who leads by example, and simply tells it like it is. (Leaders really do know the way, go the way, and show the way). You’ll see what I mean here in this short Joost Bakker video.
This guy has big dreams for a more sustainable future, and I can totally relate to that… the smallest ripple can have a big effect.
Do you have a big (or small) dream for 2016? Who inspires you? Do you have someone you think is an exemplary leader? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
Talina Edwards Architecture is a Ballarat-based studio, with a passion for sustainable design, green buildings and healthy homes. Click here to ensure you won’t miss out on our elemental design news!