What it really means to be a leader

“One needs to work with what you’ve got and advocate strongly for what you need, but if all your energy is taken up in advocating for what you need, you might not get the best done with what you have.”

This was the response of Dr Lester Levy to a question on whether he was worried by the fact he’s taking over as Chairman of the troubled Waitemata District Health Board.  According to the NZ Herald, Dr Levy takes over tomorrow from Kay McKelvie, who, when she resigned in February, said the Ministry of Health had returned to its practice of not giving Waitemata its fair share of taxpayers’ money. She predicted a $35 million deficit viagra super active uk would arise from under-funding for population growth and for buying complex health-care for Waitemata patients from the Auckland health board.

OK, most people would find this job too tough, but not Dr Levy. He’s putting his money where his mouth is, by taking up

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a pretty challenging job. I’m sure it will take all that he can muster in
terms of leadership ability. For the last few years, Dr Levy has been adjunct professor of leadership at Auckland University’s business school.

I’ve had the privelege of attending a number of his leadership sessions, and I must say this guy is pretty good. Very inspiring speaker, and great story teller, and in so doing transforms leadership theory into practical insights.

He will now have to muster everything he knows and has been teaching about leadership, putting it in practice. All eyes will be on him, and somehow I suspect it’s the seemingly insurmountable challenges that have driven him to say yes to this job that no one wants.  He probably gets paid a lot more doing relatively safer jobs, speaking at the odd event, providing consulting services and holding directorships at organisations that undergo less public scrutiny. But true leaders don’t stop at that. They can’t help themselves but strive for more. It’s when complacency sets in that you stop becoming great. As Jim Collins puts it, “good is the enemy of great”.

Hence regardless of whether Dr Levy succeeds at turning the health board around, he has demonstrated what it really means to be a leader.

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About The Author

Kenneth is Director of Euroasia. He is passionate about languages and cultures.