I had a fantastic time today at the Royal Roads University Leadership Conference. I was honoured to be a presenter with Andrea Reibmayr. Andrea and I cowrote a paper looking at the relationship between the LEADS Framework for healthcare and emotional intelligence.
Our presentation went very well. There were people there from Universities, private healthcare, Vancouver Island Health Authority, the provincial government, the Justice Institute and more. Our group was very engaged and it’s energizing to answer questions from people who are deeply committed to making things better.
One session I particularly enjoyed was by Dr. Jennifer Walinga. She’s a former member of Canada’s Commonwealth, World and Olympic gold medal rowing teams. She’s in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and a professor of leadership at Royal Roads University. She presented on “Vision that Leads: Building a culture of inclusion based on feminine models of leadership.” She had many interesting insights about power and the feminine, and how to facilitate change through communication. One key message was related to how we transition from a hierarchical culture to a more inclusive structure that honours diversity.
There was a very moving closing keynote presentation by Carey Newman, who is from Kwagiulth First Nation. One of his best recognized works of art is called Witness Blanket. It’s a large art installation, that incorporates pieces and fragments from residential schools, churches, government buildings and traditional structures from across Canada. His work was inspired by woven blankets. It’s a powerful monument to the atrocities of the residential schools.
His presentation was excellent and he spoke to the leadership role he had to embody to make the art he wanted to create. He wanted to be an artist. But he discovered very quickly that with so many people required to bring his vision to reality, that he needed to be a leader.
This conference was a very exciting coming together of people discussing modern leadership theory and best practices. I look forward to attending again in two years!
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