I spent yesterday out at James Meehan High School at Macquarie Fields and then the Claymore Neighbourhood & Youth Centre talking to some amazingly passionate women and men, courtesy of United Way Sydney. Their measure of success is that the kids from these very disadvantaged suburbs have positive role models and opportunities to gain literacy in the broadest senses of the word – especially life literacy – how to live as part of functioning society. Unfortunately, many are growing up in dysfunctional families as the fourth generation unemployed. Like all of us, what they want is to be accepted and offered opportunities to find meaningful work and happiness, not be written off because of their birth suburb.
A lovely snippet from Russell Ackoff’s Reflections 2002 article:
“Development is an increase in the desire and ability to satisfy one’s own needs and legitimate desires, and those of others“.
This definition supports my quest to move beyond the concept of leadership and behaviour change. Changing behaviour is problematic because there is usually a positive intention behind the behaviour that leaders will fight to maintain. This definition allows leaders to engage in a robust discussion about behaviours that will allow them to increase their ability to satisfy their own needs and the needs of others.