Sally’s 30+ years’ experience spans a career in the New Zealand Defence Force, as the director of her own leadership training business, and as the owner of Makahika Outdoor Pursuit Centre.
Along with an insatiable appetite for understanding the neuroscience of leadership and excellence, and armed with the knowledge of how our environments affect our ability to absorb information and effect change, Sally brings Experiential Architecture to the business and corporate worlds so that organisations can change the way in which they grow leaders.
Sally’s affinity for leadership development started during her time with the New Zealand Defence Force, where she led and contributed to the formation and development of high-performance teams. It became clear to her that lessons were best learned when team members could see and feel the effects of their behaviours on others. With those eyes, Sally looked at the corporate training world - of classrooms and whiteboards - and found a huge deficit in the delivery of meaningful and consequential training that genuinely changed people’s behaviours and mindsets.
This is in part what inspired Sally, with the support of her former RNZAF Pilot and Senior Military Officer husband John, to purchase Makahika Outdoor Pursuit Centre in the foothills of the Tararua Ranges and to make it their home and livelihood. Learn more about award-winning Makahika OPC.
With wind whispering through tall trees, sun dappling the fronds of native ferns, and the ever-present sound of a chortling stream to fill her surroundings, experiential learning for executives and leadership teams became a focus for Sally. Offered through various immersive methods, Sally began to design several iterations of leadership programmes that would disrupt the status quo, which she now delivers on-site at Makahika, at purpose-built Arete, or on location with various clients - as long as there’s not an office block or training room in sight.
“The privilege to do what you love, and gain financial independence through that passion, is an extraordinary gift. I am excited, inspired and deeply fascinated by the neuroscience and physiological response to stress and high performance. To be able to design and deliver bespoke leadership programmes, using the outdoors and Makahika as the conduit for the learning and experiences that affect participants’ personal and professional lives deeply, is a gift that I will never take for granted.”
"If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable." — Seneca
Steven Kotler from the Flow Research Collective describes this as uncertainty. He says, "Uncertainty creeps in everywhere, all the time. We’re uncertain about what task to do next or how to spend the rest of the day. We’re uncertain about what the next six months should look like in our business or professional life. Ultimately, all too many of us are pretty damn uncertain about the direction we want our lives to take. The issue is that this uncertainty paralyzes us and blocks us from 'Flow'. Being clear on where you want to go, and exactly how you’re going to get there, is incredibly important for flow. Without clear goals, we can’t direct our attention."
Allan Leighton has led some of the biggest retail organisations in the UK as chairman of the COOP, Asda, Selfridges and Royal Mail.
Have a squiz at this video where he talks about the execution of strategy.
It’s so true! Allan talks about those within your organisations who make ‘treacle’; rather than communicating and empowering, strategy gets fed down through either someone he refers to as ‘permafrost’ i.e., nothing ever goes past or through them, or, probably my favourite, ‘business prevention squads’. These are the middle managers who ensure that they control every piece of
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