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Geelong leaders set sail on audaciously tall challenge

13 February 2013

Geelong business people and other 'leaders of Geelong' will step out of their comfort zones next week when they head off from Hobart on a tall 'audacious leadership' challenge across the Bass Strait run by Deakin University.

They will arrive into the Port of Geelong aboard the tallship the Windeward Bound on Tuesday, February 19.

Twelve members of Deakin’s MBA program will then take the ship from Geelong back to Hobart on February 21.

Unit coordinator and Senior Lecturer with Deakin’s Graduate School of Business, Dr John McWilliams, said the groups would literally find themselves all at sea with no mobile devices, close quarters living, being physically active and sleep disruption.

“They will have to find their sea legs by working together to sail the tallship across Bass Strait and by doing so will gain some valuable insights into their leadership approach,” he said.

“During the voyage, they will work with both myself and the head of the Deakin Graduate School of Business, Professor Ross Chapman, on different learning activities related to personal, team and organisational leadership approaches.

“Self-reflection and open discussion on issues of leadership arising through sailing the ship in rotating teams through different weather and sea conditions, will be a key part of the learning experience.”

Dr McWilliams said these would be the fifth and sixth voyages run by the Graduate School on the Windeward Bound.

“We have found students on previous voyages tend to take the opportunity to reflect on the challenges their businesses are facing,” he said.

“It’s a common trap, managers and leaders necessarily spend so much time working on the minutiae of the business that they don’t get a chance to step back and ask whether that activity is producing the business results intended.

“They also tend to find they gain great insights into their own personal style, as you do when you are sleeping, eating and working very closely with other people in what can be quite testing circumstances.”

Rebecca Casson, Executive Director, Committee for Geelong, said the committee had embraced the opportunity to further strengthen our partnership with Deakin.

“The learning and development they experience will benefit both their own organisations and our community,” she said.

”This diverse group of dynamic people will challenge their senses, test their courage and develop a deep awareness of their personal leadership styles.

“Most of all they will form lasting friendships with their fellow sailors as they share a never-to-be-forgotten achievement.

“An audacious leader is someone who is intrepid and daring.

“In these times, when we can become quite risk averse, it is refreshing to see there are people prepared to remind us that leadership can be bold and brave.

“Geelong is certainly the richer for their experience.”

Further information

Master of Leadership

News facts
  • Geelong leaders head out on tall leadership challenge
  • Self-reflection and open discussion on issues of leadership arising through sailing the ship in rotating teams through different weather and sea conditions, will be a key part of the learning experience

Media contact

Sandra Kingston
Deakin Media Relations
03 9246 8221/ 0422 005 485
sandra.kingston@deakin.edu.au

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19th February 2013