NEW CEO APPOINTED TO AUSTRALIAN SCHOOL OF APPLIED MANAGEMENT

The Australian School of Applied Management (ASAM), which sits alongside the National Excellence in School Leadership Institute (NESLI), has announced the appointment of Karen Taylor as Chief Executive Officer.Ms Taylor is a highly skilled CEO with extensive experience in strategic planning, change management and business growth and development in the education sector. As former CEO of Government Skills Australia, Executive Director of GOTAFE, Executive Advisor to Bendigo Kangan Institute and Deputy CEO of the Australian Institute of Management, she brings to the role a deep understanding of the education and training landscape in Australia. Ms Taylor is a graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course and has successfully led large teams in complex business environments, been accountable for strategic planning, financial strategy and sustainability, and consulted to CEOs and Boards across AustraliaImportantly, as a successful woman leader, Ms Taylor is acutely aware of the obstacles and challenges facing women leaders and is passionate about advancing gender equity.The appointment also sees Ms Taylor take up the CEO role for Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) and Women & Leadership New Zealand (WLNZ), which sit alongside ASAM.“I am delighted and honoured to have been given the opportunity to lead and work with the outstanding team at ASAM. ASAM is an exciting business that represents unique and diverse opportunities for learning and professional development in Australia.“ASAM as an organisation believes that visionary leadership, which is inclusive and embraces the power of diversity, is key to solving the complex challenges we face as a global community. I look forward to joining the organisation and continuing to drive leadership development for all Australians.”The Australian School of Applied Management (ASAM) is one of the country’s most highly regarded providers of leadership education. Working with approximately 8,000 learners each year, they provide innovative development solutions for individual leaders and leadership teams across all sectors and industries.About ASAMThe Australian School of Applied Management (ASAM) is one of the country’s most highly regarded providers of leadership education. Working with approximately 8,000 learners each year, we provide innovative development solutions for individual leaders and leadership teams across all sectors and industries.Focused on improving the way people work together, our world class learning solutions support organisations of all sizes to accelerate their leadership capability and achieve their unique goals. We also provide specialised leadership development and networking opportunities through Women & Leadership Australia (WLA), Women & Leadership New Zealand (WLNZ) and the National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative (NESLI).Part of Navitas, a leading global education provider, our vision is to be Australia’s best leadership education provider by supporting organisations and individuals in the continuous pursuit and application of leadership excellence. WE NEED MORE LEADERS LIKE YOUYou’re here because you know that great leadership enables better teaching and learning. We’re here to help you be a great leader within your school community. For more leadership news, plus event updates and expert tips, subscribe to our mailing list. SUBSCRIBE NOW

Books

How to replenish your surge capacity

The coronavirus pandemic – and the response that has been required by the education system, is truly one of the most pressing challenges schools have ever faced. Many school leaders are experiencing serious ‘carers’ load’ and ‘vicarious trauma’ as a result of their staff and students’ challenges.This series of ‘recharge’ blogs explores themes and models that school leaders, teachers and staff can come to in times of stress, or to replenish their leadership capacity. In this blog, we look at the phenomenon of ‘surge capacity’ and how the application of constant ‘surge’ conditions has impacted school leaders during the COVID pandemic, and caused an increase in vicarious trauma and carers load for leaders.What is surge capacity?Have you ever scaled up your efforts – whether increasing your work hours, donating more to charity, or squeezing more tasks into your day - in times of crisis? If you have, then you have used your surge capacity. Surge capacity is a collection of adaptive leadership qualities that leaders draw on in times of crisis, change or trauma to survive – whether figuratively, or literally. While these qualities can be used over a short period of time, they lead to burnout if we operate at that heightened level for too long.The most tangible example is the extra resources that people pour into natural disasters – firefighters work around the clock to put out fires, SES volunteers go days without a break to rescue people from flood waters, and governments, private organisations and individuals donate large amounts of funds and goods to support the survival of the people affected. All these things have one common theme – they are unsustainable over time.As a leader, you activate your surge capacity to protect your school community in times of crisis or rapid, unpredictable change. The usual timeline of these situations would see you have an immediate surge response, and then soon after turn to rest, reset and rebuild, using more normal energy and resource levels.Why has my surge capacity disappeared?The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significantly drawn out timeline of a ‘disaster’ meaning that leaders’ surge capacity has been on heightened alert for the better part of two years. Without the usual timeline that allows for rest soon after the disaster, you are left feeling burnt out, depleted and wholly uninspired or motivated to lead your school community. This contributes to poor wellbeing for you, your teachers and the broader school community.How to support yourself:Luckily, there are some things you can do to support yourself in times of crisis, to better cope with your heightened leadership responsibilities. These include:Going easy on yourself. Giving yourself some extra time and space to get things done, leaving things that aren’t urgent and having more rest time aren’t selfish, they’re important for your health and wellbeing.Acknowledging that things are different. There is a lot of commentary at the moment about things going ‘back to normal’, but the reality is that things really are different now. While it’s okay to miss things that are different now, there are a lot of positives to think about, too.Recognising that you may be experiencing grief-like symptoms. As mentioned above, you will miss some ‘pre-covid’ things, and that is okay. Taking the time to grieve for those things is an important step to letting go and moving forward.  Focussing on maintaining and strengthening important relationships. COVID was a big ‘reset’ for a lot of personal and professional relationships. Take the time to identify the relationships that might need to be reset or renewed, and focus energy into these.Finding new activities and hobbies that offer some relaxation and reprieve. Now that things are opening up, there are new opportunities to try new things, or to continue hobbies that we picked up during lockdowns. It is important to take time away from the ‘crisis’ and do something that is enjoyable and good for you.   Dealing with elongated periods of distress and change is challenging for everyone. Understanding what surge capacity is, and taking steps to replenish your surge capacity, will help you lead productively and positively for your school community.    WE NEED MORE LEADERS LIKE YOUYou’re here because you know that great leadership enables better teaching and learning. We’re here to help you be a great leader within your school community. For more leadership news, plus event updates and expert tips, subscribe to our mailing list. SUBSCRIBE NOW

Books

How to overcome complex decision fatigue

The coronavirus pandemic – and the response that has been required by the education system – is truly one of the most pressing challenges schools have faced in our time. Many school leaders are experiencing serious ‘carers’ load’ and ‘vicarious trauma’ as a result of their staff and students’ challenges.

Books

How to be a trauma informed leader

The coronavirus pandemic – and the response that has been required by the education system, is truly one of the most pressing challenges schools have ever faced. Many school leaders are experiencing serious ‘carers’ load’ and ‘vicarious trauma’ as a result of their staff and students’ challenges.

Books

Leading through disruption and into the future

The coronavirus pandemic – and the response that has been required by the education system, is truly one of the most pressing challenges schools have ever faced. Many school leaders are experiencing serious ‘carers’ load’ and ‘vicarious trauma’ as a result of their staff and students’ challenges.

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What’s on your recovery rocket?

Books

Look, I am not a big believer in balance.

I am a believer in balance being an admirable goal, one that should you find it, will probably mean you live a much happier, healthier life. I have just spent so long searching for it that I am sure I am running out of places to look. And this is coming from someone whose biggest responsibility outside of herself is a kelpie. (Perhaps I could have found balance in a greyhound?)

I lamented this problem to a much wiser colleague of mine, who is in possession of two golden retrievers, a husband, adult children, and, if memory serves me correctly, a cat. Rather than clipping me over the ears and telling me to get on with it, she took the time to introduce me to the Recovery Rocket. I looked at it with the requisite apprehension, but delightfully, there was nothing on there that seemed unattainable.

Essentially, the recovery rocket provides a model for maintaining a baseline of mental wellness over a year, and then gives you activities to do during the week to top up your engine fuel. It was originally designed by an organisational psychologist called Andrew May, who created the model for the Australian Cricket Team.

For your baseline, the model recommends:

  • 300 nights of good sleep (7 + hours of unbroken sleep) every year
  • One big stretch break or ‘off season’ (a good week or two on holidays)
  • Three mini breaks (long weekends in different locales)
  • 10-15 minutes of ‘slow time’ every day (going for a walk, preparing veggies for dinner, meditation, etc)
  • 30 weeks where you accumulate 100 recovery points.

 

What are recovery points?

Recovery points are points that you get for doing activities that you enjoy. Each has a certain number of points attributed to it, and the aim is to do enough activities each week to accumulate 100 points.

In the model, points are attributed to massages (50 points), going for a walk (20 points), talking with a friend on the phone (15 points) and so on. However, you can make your own up instead.

For instance, I have my weekly dance class racking up a solid 30 points for me every week, along with walking my dog on the beach (20 points), walking along the beach with my friend (10 points), sitting down to do some crochet or other craft activity (10 points), watching a few episodes of my favourite show (10 points), getting takeaway (15 points), dinner with a friend (20 points) and playing a video game (5 points).

What I like about the recovery rocket model is that it is set up for success, rather than failure. To tell someone that they need 365 nights of a solid seven hours sleep every year in order to live a well-balanced life is, frankly, rude. One hour of meditation every day is somewhat excessive for your average executive and you won’t always rack up 100 points every week. And with this model, all of those things are okay. There’s no need to beat yourself up because you only managed 80 points one week. One night of tossing and turning doesn’t automatically mean you have failed for the remainder of the year.

So, I have a challenge for you all. This week, sit down and make a list of 10 activities you enjoy, that are easy to fit into your week. Give them points based on how refreshed or rejuvenated you feel at the end of them. And next week, see if you can make it to 100 points.

What will you put on your recovery points list? Share your ideas in the comments below.