Why leadership at the board level in the Not-for-Profit sector is essential. Guest blog

Today’s blog is reproduced with kind permission of Pierre Woolridge.

Pierre, Effective governance, has distilled his many years of experience in roles with not-for-profit organisations, along with his work in strategic and business planning, into the recently published Getting to grips with Not-For-Profit governance : a snappy new book for new directors of incorporated societies wanting to get up to speed quickly and with confidence.

“With 24, 000 incorporated societies registered in Aotearoa, involving an estimated half a million volunteers in governance roles, Pierre’s aim is for his book to provide those newly elected to a board or a committee to get up to speed quickly and with confidence”.

In this piece Pierre discusses why leadership is critical in the NFP sector.

Leadership at the board level is essential

Leadership is a critical component of any organisation, but it is especially important in the not-for-profit sector (NFP) with its numbers of volunteers. As a board member, you are responsible for help to set the direction of the organisation and ensuring that it is fulfilling its mission. This requires strong leadership skills, including the ability to inspire and motivate others, make tough decisions, and communicate effectively.

The importance of leadership at the board level in the not-for-profit sector

The importance of effective leadership in the not-for-profit sector cannot be overstated. Here are some reasons why:

  • First, not-for-profit organisations often have multiple stakeholders, including donors, volunteers, and the community. Effective leadership is essential to ensuring that all constituents are fully on board with the organisation’s mission, vision, and results. This requires strong communication skills, the ability to inspire and motivate others, and a deep understanding of the organisation’s mission and values.
  • Secondly, not-for-profit organisations often face unique challenges that require innovative solutions. This is particularly so, as the bulk of the NFPs have board members who are volunteers. Effective leadership is essential to identifying these challenges and developing creative solutions that meet the needs of the organisation and its stakeholders. This requires a willingness to take risks, think outside the box, and be open to new ideas and perspectives.
  • Thirdly, not-for-profit organisations are often under-resourced and face significant financial constraints. Effective leadership is essential to managing these constraints and ensuring that the organisation is making the most of its resources. This requires strong financial management skills, the ability to prioritise and make tough decisions, and a commitment to ongoing learning and development.

In addition to these reasons, effective leadership in the not-for-profit sector is also essential for building trust and credibility with stakeholders, attracting and retaining top talent, and achieving the organisation’s mission and goals.

Balancing Stakeholder Demands with Mission and Values

One of the key challenges facing not-for-profit organisations is the need to balance the demands of stakeholders, including donors, volunteers, and the community, with the organisation’s mission and values. Effective leadership at the board level is essential to achieving this balance and ensuring that the organisation remains true to its purpose.

To be an effective leader in the not-for-profit sector, it is important to have a clear understanding of the organisation’s mission and values, as well as the needs and expectations of stakeholders. You should also be willing to listen to feedback and be open to new ideas and perspectives.

Qualities of Effective Leadership in the Not-for-Profit Sector

  • Understanding the organisation’s mission and values
  • Listening to feedback and being open to new ideas
  • Commitment to ongoing learning and development
  • Ability to inspire and motivate others
  • Making tough decisions
  • Communicating effectively

As a new or aspiring board member, it is important to recognise the importance of leadership in the not-for-profit sector and to take steps to develop your own leadership skills. By doing so, you can help ensure that your organisation is well-positioned to achieve its mission and make a positive impact in the community.


Watch Pierre’s interview with Brent Edwards from NBR, in which they delve into the book’s contents, exploring topics such as:
– Why join the board/committee of an incorporate society?
– Do your values to align with the organisation’s?
– What’s the board looking for in a new director?
– Problems with personal agendas
– Profits are a dirty word – surplus are just fine
– Added responsibilities with the Incorporated Societies Act 2022
– Are boards ready for the big impact?


Getting to grips with not-for-profit governence : a snappy book for new directors of incorporated societies wanting to get up to speed quickly and with confidence / Woodridge, Pierre
“This book provides essential guidance for new and aspiring committee and board directors. Getting to Grips with Non-for-Profit Governance is the first printed NZ-specific book on governance on sale to the public for years. The book has been published against the backdrop of the new Incorporated Societies Act 2022. Getting to Grips with Not-for-Profit Governance provides the basics you need to know as a new or aspiring director.” (Catalogue)

Supporting community governance in Aotearoa
Te tautoko i ngā mana whakahaere hapori ki Aotearoa.
We’re here to support great governance of community organisations across Aotearoa.

Māori Governance Video Toolkit
Designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of Māori trustees.

Institute of Directors NZ
“The Institute of Directors is the professional body for directors and is at the heart of New Zealand’s governance community.
We support and enable directors to add value to their organisations and wider communities and prepare them to positively transform the future.”

Charities Services
“Charities Services, Ngā Ratonga Kaupapa Atawhai, is part of the Department of Internal Affairs, Te Tari Taiwhenua, and administers the Charities Act 2005. We strive to be a modern, responsive, risk-based regulator focused on promoting public trust and confidence in the charitable sector and encouraging the effective use of charitable resources.”

About Pierre

Author Pierre Woolridge has based his new book on his decades of experience on the boards of not-for-profits.

His first board position was on a school board. Here he made use of his strategic planning, business planning, financial management, and economics background. He also attended a governance workshop or two run by the New Zealand School Trustees Association. Some years later he attended a UK based, six-month e-course for company board directors.

Prior to being on the school board, Pierre was a director and trustee in charge of investments of the BP and Europa Staff Credit Union.

He’s had the privilege of being elected onto several boards and invited to join or form a couple of brand-new finance (and risk and audit) committees, plus a strategy task force.

Getting to Grips with Non-for-Profit Governance is the first NZ-specific book on governance published for the public in many years.

The Incorporate Societies Act 202, requires all incorporated societies to re-register. They have from 5 October 2023 until April 2026 to do so. Getting to Grips with Not-for-Profit Governance provides the basics need for new directors and committee members.

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.



What might be possible if? Guest blog by Dan Lake

Today’s blog piece is an excerpt from A Good Leadership Book; a new book from Auckland-based leadership coach, Dan Lake from Lead-Coach-Release

It has been reproduced with Dan’s permission and copies of the book are available from Wellington City Libraries.

For thousands of years of human history, men and women stood out under the night sky, staring at the moon and the stars, wondering what it would be like to be ‘out there.’

In space. On the moon. Beyond the earth.

On November 21, 1783, two Frenchmen made history by coming the first men to lift off beyond the earth in an air balloon.

Not falling off a cliff, nor jumping up high. No springs or canons.

Defying the law of gravity – they rose upward toward the heavens.

In the roughly 240 years since then, we’ve made incredible strides in our ability to move beyond the confines of our own orbiting world.

Sustained heavier-than-air flight with the Wright brothers.

Breaking the speed of sound.

Sending the first object to orbit the earth fully – outside of our atmosphere.

The first man in space.

And perhaps most famously, “One small step for man, One giant leap for mankind.”

None of these events happened in isolation. They were, each and every one of them, combinations of people and breakthroughs and ideas and experiments.

At every juncture – all throughout history from the caveman staring into space to the International Space Station still orbiting Earth today – people have asked a crucial question: “What might be possible if?”

It is an innocuous question. Full of innocence and a smidge of humility.

It has all the hallmarks of a 4-year boy with a bicycle, two planks, and a quiet Saturday afternoon. There is guaranteed to be competition around how many toy cars can be jumped in one go!

For every little girl, it’s a question about hair and make-up and colored nails. The unlimited potential of the unknown and beautiful.

“What might be possible if?” is a question, that when asked with enough intentionality, with enough consistency, with enough dogmatic tenacity, and a hunger to find an answer, is a question that can change history.

Just ask Neil Armstrong. He walked on the moon.

Often well-meaning Managers, in the pursuit of doing things right, keep teams on a narrow path away from exploration and innovation. After all, mistake might be made. Time might be lost. Inconsistencies may occur.

But scale and growth and future-ready-transformation do not happen by doing the same things.

Google’s famous “20 Percent Time” is a great example of an organization making space to ask “What might be possible if?” Google profited hundreds of millions of dollars from “possible” innovations.
Both Adsense (the backbone of Google’s advertising revenue model) and Gmail grew out of developers asking “what might be possible if?”

As leaders, we must be asking “What might be possible if?”

What might be possible if we adjust some expectations for our team?

What might be possible if some resources were freed up for innovation?

What might be possible if more trust and responsibility were given out?

What might be possible if we said “Stop”? Or “Start”?

What might be possible if we took a step forward, toward our dream, one small step?

Stop saying No. Stop making excuses. Stop saying there are no resources (time, money, people, information, etc).

Start exploring what might be possible if you step out!

Start giving your team time to step out. To innovate. To transform processes and timing and work-flow.

Photo courtesy of author

About Dan
Dan Lake is a recognized authority in leadership and organizational development. Dan Lake has explored good leadership on five continents as a bungy jump instructor, team leader, business owner, and leadership consultant. Dan has extensive experience with emerging leaders and senior management teams covering operations, training, coaching, and development. He holds a Master’s in Leadership focused on engaging emerging leaders.

Photo courtesy of Dan Lake

A good leadership book : on clarity, culture & communication / Lake, Dan
“Where does good leadership begin? Today, more than ever, success hinges on clarity, culture, and communication. Filled with bite-sized tools, ideas, and frameworks, this book is a generous guide to personal and professional growth. Emerging leaders, seasoned executives, non-profit partners changing the world, and those seeking to make an impact will find inspiration and micro-adjustments to make a meaningful difference…” — Back cover.” (Catalogue)

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Political leadership of former Prime Ministers

As Aotearoa settles in with a new government and Prime Minister, this week’s blog reflects on Prime Ministerial leadership of the past.

Photo credit : WNZ_Parliament_2022_Credit WellingtonNZ8 

Leading both a political party and a country requires certain skillsets and strengths, the same as with any business.   Our past Prime Ministers have each brought their own unique take to the role and have each had to rise to face particular challenges.

While it is too soon for any analysis regarding Christopher Luxon, and Chris Hipkins tenure has not yet produced any publications,  the term of New Zealand’s 40th Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, produced numerous books giving consideration to her leadership style.

John Key’s leadership during his three year term as Prime Minister is written about by John Roughan while former Cabinet Minister, Chris Finlayson provides further insight into the workings of the Key led government of the times.

Further back the leadership of New Zealand’s first elected female Prime Minister, Helen Clark, is discussed along with her term leading the United Nations Development Programme.

We’ve included Denis Welch’s recent examination of Norman Kirk’s brief term in office and round out the blog with some collective works by political commentators interviewing or examining the leadership of a number of former Prime Ministers.

Jacinda Ardern : The Story of an Extraordinary Leader / Duff, Michelle
“In-depth analysis of Jacinda Ardern’s extraordinary leadership as Prime Minister of New Zealand.” (Catalogue)
NB: This is a revised edition of the title listed below



Jacinda Ardern : the story behind an extraordinary leader / Duff, Michelle
“Michelle Duff delves into Ardern’s beginnings in small-town New Zealand, discovering a nose-ringed teen fighting for equality and her own identity in a devout Mormon family. Duff tracks Ardern’s political career from being dismissed as a ‘show pony’ to her compassion during one of New Zealand’s biggest tragedies, the Christchurch mosque terror attack of 2019. In its aftermath, Ardern has become a global icon for her strength and decisiveness while uniting a country in shock and mourning. Ardern attracted international headlines for being the second world leader to give birth while in office. But why was having a baby so meaningful, and what does it say about the continued struggle for gender equality? Has Ardern really been a transcendent leader, and what enduring mark might she leave on the political landscape? This is an engrossing and powerful exploration of one of the most intriguing political stories of our time-telling us as much about one young woman’s ascendancy as it does about the country that elected her”– Publisher description.” (Catalogue)  Also available as EBook Libby

Jacinda Ardern : a new kind of leader / Chapman, Madeleine
“New Zealand’s prime minister has been hailed as a leader for a new generation, tired of inaction in the face of issues such as climate change and far-right terrorism. Her grace and compassion following the Christchurch mosque shooting captured the world’s attention. Oprah Winfrey invited us to ‘channel our inner Jacindas’ as praise for Ardern flooded headlines and social media. The ruler of this remote country even made the cover of Time. In this revealing biography, journalist Madeleine Chapman discovers the woman behind the headlines. Always politically engaged and passionate, Ardern is uncompromising and astute. She has encountered her fair share of sexism, but rather than let that harden her, she advocates ‘rising above’ disparagers. In her first press conference, she announced an election campaign of ‘relentless positivity’. The tactic was a resounding success: donations poured in and Labour rebounded in the polls. But has Ardern lived up to her promise? What political concessions has she had to make? And beyond the hype, what does her new style of leadership look like in practice?” (Catalogue)  Also available in Large print format and EBook Libby

Jacinda Ardern : leading with empathy / Vani, Supriya
“Jacinda Ardern was swept into office in 2017, with a wave of popular adulation dubbed ‘Jacindamania’. Her victory seemed heroic: in less than three months, she rose from deputy leader of the opposition, to the highest office in her nation. Few in politics would have believed it possible; fewer still would have guessed at her resolve and compassionate leadership, which, in the wake of the horrific Christchurch mosque shootings of March 2019 and the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic, brought her international acclaim and a second term. Jacinda Ardern: Leading with Empathy carefully explores the influences – personal, social, political and emotional – that have shaped Ardern. Acclaimed peace activist and journalist Supriya Vani builds her narrative through personal interviews with Ardern, as well as the prime minister’s public statements and speeches and the words of those who know her. We visit the places, meet the people and understand the events that propelled the daughter of a small-town Mormon policeman into a committed social democrat, a passionate Labour Party politician, and a model modern leader.”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)  Also available as EBook Libby

The most powerful woman in the world : how Jacinda Ardern exemplifies progressive leadership / Chapman, Madeleine
“The fascinating story of an international icon – one of the world’s most inspiring, progressive leaders. Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern is a leader for a new generation, one tired of inertia in the face of pressing issues such as climate change, immigration and the rise of far-right terrorism. Ardern was catapulted onto the international stage with her grace and compassion following the Christchurch mosque shooting. Oprah Winfrey invited us to ‘channel our inner Jacindas’ as praise for Ardern flooded headlines and social media. The world’s youngest female head of government, and only the second elected world leader to give birth while in office, Ardern describes herself as a progressive and a social democrat. In this revealing biography, journalist Madeleine Chapman discovers the woman behind the headlines. Politically engaged from an early age, Ardern has encountered her fair share of sexism, but rather than let that harden her she advocates ‘rising above’ critics. In her first press conference, she announced an election campaign of ‘relentless positivity’. The tactic was a resounding success: donations poured in and Labour rebounded in the polls. But can Ardern live up to her promise? What does her new style of leadership look like in practice? And what can we learn from the world’s reaction to this inspiring leader?” (Catalogue)

John Key : portrait of a Prime Minister / Roughan, John
“Arguably New Zealand’s most popular Prime Minister in modern times, John Key shocked many with his decision to step down from office less than a year out from an election. Rather than seeking an historic fourth term, Key instead opted to quit while his approval rating was as high as ever in the polls. In this updated edition of the bestselling 2014 book, journalist John Roughan speaks with Key about his eight years leading the country and the motivation to turn his back on Parliament while he was still enjoying unprecedented public support. This lively portrait offers insights into Key’s early life, personality and motivations. Roughan examines how the twin ambitions of a boy in a state house, ‘to make a million dollars and be Prime Minister’, were realised beyond his dreams, and how Key’s instincts as a currency trader informed his approach to politics – and ultimately his decision to step down”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

Yes, Minister : Christopher Finlayson, Attorney-General, 2008-2017 / Finlayson, Christopher
“An insightful, revealing and entertaining glimpse into what really made the John Key government one of the most successful conservative governments in New Zealand.” (Catalogue)  Also available as EBook Libby and in Large Print format



Helen : portrait of a Prime Minister / Edwards, Brian
“New Zealand’s first woman Prime Minister remains an enigma to many, despite her almost daily exposure on television. In this biography, the author has produced a comprehensive and absorbing account of the life, times and character of the real Helen Clark.” (Catalogue)



Women, equality, power : selected speeches from a life of leadership / Clark, Helen
“A celebration of an outstanding leader who continues to strive and work for change, and it’s a rallying call for other women leaders, whether they are in positions of political, economic or social power. Helen Clark has been a political leader for more than 40 years, since first running in local elections in the 1970s. She entered parliament as a 31-year-old in 1981, led the Labour Party to victory in 1999 and was Prime Minister of New Zealand for nine years. She then took on a critical international role as Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme in New York. One of her key focuses throughout this time has been the empowerment of women and she has paved the way for other women to step up and lead. With a foreword by the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, this is a timely and important book.” (Catalogue)  Also available as EBook Libby

At the UN : addresses from Helen Clark’s first term leading the United Nations Development Programme / Clark, Helen
“A selection of speeches – given to a variety of international audiences which cover a broad range of topics – areas which all fall within the major role and responsibility of the Administrator of the UN Development Programme – Helen Clark, who is now beginning a second four year term in New York. The addresses cover, among other topics and with a global perspective: global leadership for development, disaster risk reduction, governance, energy matters, why peace matters, famine, global finances, cyberspace, human development and international justice, local government roles, democratic transitions, climate change and developing nations, empowerment and resilience”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

The 9th floor : conversations with five New Zealand prime ministers / Espiner, Guyon
“Based on the acclaimed RNZ podcast series, and including new material, The 9th Floor by journalists Guyon Espiner and Tim Watkin presents in-depth interviews with five former Prime Ministers of New Zealand. Geoffrey Palmer, Mike Moore, Jim Bolger, Jenny Shipley and Helen Clark reflect on their time occupying the prime ministerial offices on the 9th floor of the Beehive. Their recollections amount to a fascinating record of the decisions that shaped modern New Zealand.” (Catalogue)  Also available as EBook BWB

New Zealand’s prime ministers : from Dick Seddon to John Key / Bassett, Michael
“Collective biographies have been written for Britain’s and Australia’s Prime Ministers, and for America’s Presidents. Until now New Zealand has had no comparable overview. Based on extensive, careful archival research, interviews with recent Prime Ministers, many of their colleagues, and with their opponents, this major work is the product of decades of appreciative and insightful observation. It is essential reading for anyone interested in New Zealand politics.” (Catalogue)

We need to talk about Norman : New Zealand’s lost leader / Welch, Denis
“Norman Kirk was Prime Minister for only 90 weeks but in the early 1970s he inspired us by leading a visionary government with a clear moral purpose. When he died, we lost the man and many believe we lost our way. This book examines the promise of Kirk’s leadership and the social contract that is central to a liberal democratic society.”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Becoming a more effective leader at work


A headline in an email newsletter caught my eye recently :

These Books Can Help You Become a More Effective Leader at Work
Congrats on the promotion. Now it’s time to face everything you don’t know (yet).

The article then lists what it calls The best books on leadership recommending a list of eight titles to help readers get to grips with being a manager and leader.

Some months back we produced a blog piece called Stepping up : a guide for the new manager that provided a compilation of some of the many library resources we have to support your transition into a new, senior, role.

We can’t list everything the library holds relevant to a blog topic so this blog supplements the first.   All the recommended items on the list are to be found in the Wellington City Libraries collections. 

Whether you are new to a leadership role or struggling with making progress in a role you have been in for a while here’s the listing as outlined in the article and links to each item in the collection. 

Read on …

The making of a manager : what to do when everyone looks to you / Zhuo, Julie
“Leading a team for the first time is a daunting endeavour. When Julie Zhuo became a new manager at the age of twenty-five, she stared at a long list of logistics and faced a thousand questions and uncertainties. Now, having managed teams spanning tens to hundreds of people, Julie knows the most important lesson of all: great managers are made, not born. This guide is packed with everyday examples and insights that will help readers get the respect and results needed in managerial roles.” (Catalogue) 

Surrounded by idiots : the four types of human behavior and how to effectively communicate with each in business (and in life) / Erikson, Thomas
“Erikson explains that there are four key behavior types that define how we interact with and perceive the people around us. Reds are dominant and commanding, Yellows are social and optimistic, Greens are laid back and friendly, and Blues are analytical and precise. Understanding someone’s pattern of behavior is the key to successful communication. Erikson provides practical advice for interacting with people based on their color profiles. — adapted from jacket” (Catalogue)  Also available as EAudiobook Libby and as EBook Libby

How to lead when you’re not in charge : leveraging influence when you lack authority / Scroggins, Clay
In How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge, author and pastor Clay Scroggins explains what is needed to be a great leader—even when you answer to someone else. Drawing from biblical principles and his experience as a megachurch pastor, Clay will help you nurture your vision and cultivate influence, even when you lack authority in your organization. Every leader, young or old, resonates with the dead-end feeling of not being in charge. Too often the lack of authority paralyzes leaders, leaving them believing they must wait to be in charge until they can lead. One of the greatest myths of leadership is that you must be in charge in order to lead. Great leaders don’t buy it. Great leaders lead with or without the authority to lead. Because every road of leadership forks at the intersection of authority and influence, learning to cultivate influence without authority is foundational to navigating culture today.” (Catalogue) Note only available through EAudiobook Libby.

Dare to lead : brave work, tough conversations, whole hearts / Brown, Brené
“Leadership is not about titles, status, and wielding power. A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas, and has the courage to develop that potential. When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers. We stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it. We know that power becomes infinite when we share it with others. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations. We lean into vulnerability when it’s necessary to do good work. But daring leadership in a culture defined by scarcity, fear, and uncertainty requires skill-building around traits that are deeply and uniquely human. The irony is that we’re choosing not to invest in developing the hearts and minds of leaders at the exact same time as we’re scrambling to figure out what we have to offer that machines and artificial intelligence can’t do better and faster. What can we do better? Empathy, connection, and courage, to start. Brené Brown has spent the past two decades studying the emotions and experiences that give meaning to our lives, and the past seven years working with transformative leaders and teams spanning the globe. She found that leaders in organizations ranging from small entrepreneurial startups and family-owned businesses to nonprofits, civic organizations, and Fortune 50 companies all ask the same question: How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders, and how do you embed the value of courage in your culture?” (Catalogue)  Also available as EBook Libby and EAudiobook Libby

Do the work! : overcome resistance and get out of your own way / Pressfield, Steven
Could you be getting in your way of producing great work? Have you started a project but never finished? Would you like to do work that matters, but don’t know where to start? The answer is Do the Work, a manifesto by bestselling author Steven Pressfield, that will show you that it’s not about better ideas, it’s about actually doing the work. Do the Work is a weapon against Resistance–a tool that will help you take action and successfully ship projects out the door. Picking up where The War of Art and Turning Pro left off, Do the Work takes the reader from the start to the finish of any long-form project–novel, screenplay, album, software piece, you name it. Do the Work identifies the predictable Resistance Points along the way and walks you through each of them.  No, you are not crazy. No, you are not alone. No, you are not the first person to “hit the wall” in Act Two. Do the Work charts the territory. It’s the stage-by-stage road map for taking your project from Page One to THE END.” (Catalogue)

Think again : the power of knowing what you don’t know / Grant, Adam M.
Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, the most crucial skill may be the ability to rethink and unlearn. Recent global and political changes have forced many of us to re-evaluate our opinions and decisions. Yet we often still favour the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt, and prefer opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. Intelligence is no cure, and can even be a curse. The brighter we are, the blinder we can become to our own limitations. Adam Grant offers bold ideas and rigorous evidence to show how we can embrace the joy of being wrong, encourage others to rethink topics as wide-ranging as abortion and climate change, and build schools, workplaces, and communities of lifelong learners. You’ll learn how an international debate champion wins arguments, a Black musician persuades white supremacists to abandon hate, and how a vaccine whisperer convinces anti-vaxxers to immunize their children. Think Again is an invitation to let go of stale opinions and prize mental flexibility, humility, and curiosity over foolish consistency. If knowledge is power, knowing what you don’t know is wisdom.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Available as EAudiobook Borrowbox and also EBook Libby

Great at work : how top performers do less, work better, and achieve more / Hansen, Morten T
“Why do some people perform better at work than others? This deceptively simple question continues to confound professionals in all sectors of the workforce. Now, after a unique, five-year study of more than 5,000 managers and employees, Morten Hansen reveals the answers in his “Seven Work Smarter Practices” that can be applied by anyone looking to maximize their time and performance. Each of Hansen’s seven practices is highlighted by inspiring stories from individuals in his comprehensive study… Each chapter contains questions and key insights to allow you to assess your own performance and figure out your work strengths, as well as your weaknesses. Once you understand your individual style, there are mini-quizzes, questionnaires, and clear tips to assist you focus on a strategy to become a more productive worker. Extensive, accessible, and friendly, Great at Work will help you achieve more by working less, backed by unprecedented statistical analysis” — From Amazon.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

What got you here won’t get you there : how successful people become even more successful / Goldsmith, Marshall
“What’s holding you back? Your hard work is paying off, you are doing well–but there is something standing between you and the next level of achievement. Perhaps one small flaw–a behavior you barely even recognize–is the only thing that’s keeping you from where you want to be. Here, executive coach Goldsmith discusses not only the key beliefs of successful leaders, but also the behaviors that hold them back. He addresses the fundamental problems that often come with success, and offers ways to attack them. He outlines twenty habits commonly found in the corporate environment and provides a systematic approach to helping you achieve a positive change in behavior.–From publisher description.” (Catalogue)

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.


Sporting leadership: Lessons for business. Part 2

Continuing the blog piece of leadership lessons business can learn from sports.

In Part 1 we compiled some of the resources relating to rugby and the All Blacks, not only a phenomenally successful sports team, but also a successful business.

In this second part we have gathered together some other leadership resources from across a range of other sports with relevance to business.  These are stories of  success, endurance, leadership and team culture.


Overcome Mistakes Like an Elite Athlete by Marina Harris and published in Psychology Today. Posted five-step framework to help you bounce back from everyday mistakes.

Will to win : New Zealand netball greats on team culture and leadership / McCarthy, Lana
“A fascinating deep-dive into the development of the Silver Ferns’ traditions, the evolution of team culture and the nuts-and-bolts of leadership at an elite sporting level. The 12 legendary players and coaches interviewed – including Lois Muir, Leigh Gibbs, Sandra Edge, Bernice Mene, Ruth Aitken and Casey Williams – candidly discuss the highs and lows of their careers, and of the Silver Ferns, the effect of the intense rivalry with Australia, coping with gut-wrenching losses, and the resilience of players and coaches. For the first time the perspective of these key actors is the subject of serious analysis, and the book is a real insight into the psychology of a women’s highperformance team. As such, it provides a practical guide for developing team culture and leadership for netball coaches at all levels. It also includes comments from Farah Palmer and Noeline Taurua on women in sport and leadership, and a brief history of New Zealand netball, including the gains and losses as netball moved into a semi-professional era, and the struggles for sponsorship and for media recognition, despite it being New Zealand’s most popular team sport.” (Catalogue)  Also available as Ebook Libby

Sevens sisters : how a people-first culture turned silver into gold / Swannell, Rikki
“The Black Ferns Sevens have been the dominant force in the Women’s World Sevens Series since its inception in 2012, with five series titles, as well as claiming gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Their recent runaway success has been forged on the back of hard work and a family-like culture.” (Catalogue)


Blake leader : leadership lessons from a great New Zealander / Orams, Mark
“New Zealand lost one of its favourite sons when Sir Peter Blake was shot and killed in the Amazon in late 2001. Blake had become a icon after leading New Zealand to victory in the 1995 and 2000 America’s Cups, following earlier successes in the Whitbread Round the World Race and Jules Verne Challenge. His accomplishments demonstrate his skill at assembling, managing and leading winning teams. Blake: Leader is written by sailor and marine scientist Dr Mark Orams, who sailed around the world with Blake and worked with him at Team New Zealand and Blakexpeditions. In this book he looks at Blake’s successful style of leadership from a personal viewpoint. It mixes reminiscences and anecdotes from Orams and other sporting and business figures who worked closely with Blake with practical observations of how he chose and led teams. Break-out boxes and chapter summaries highlight key points and techniques that can be used by leaders and team members in a wide range of sports and business situations. Chapters include building a great team, being a great leader, encouraging a great work ethic and having a winning attitude. It also examines the unique New Zealand style of leadership demonstrated by other great Kiwi leaders and how Blake’s legacy can be taken into the future.” (Catalogue)

Chasing the cup : my America’s Cup journey / Spithill, Jimmy
“If Ben Ainslie manages to win the right to compete for the America’s Cup in 2017, Jimmy Spithill is the man he’ll be up against. Jimmy is the world’s most successful racing skipper, and at 37 has already reached legendary status. In 2013 he led Oracle Team USA to victory against New Zealand against massive odds, recovering from 1-8 to win 9-8 (the Wall Street Journal called it `one of the greatest comebacks in sports history’), and is the skipper for Oracle’s upcoming 2017 America’s Cup defence as well. This is his autobiography, and it opens with a young Jimmy in hospital about to have surgery on his leg, being told by the doctors he’ll never be much good at sport. This sparks a life-long determination to prove them wrong. He won his first race aged 10, and using a credit card to pay for travel he went on winning races all over the country, and then the world. He debuted in the America’s Cup as a skipper at age 20, and after a tough legal battle to free himself from his contract with the Young Australia team, he sailed in the next two Cups before becoming the youngest ever winner of the America’s Cup in 2010, as helmsman and skipper of BMW Oracle Team 90, only to win it again three years later in 2013. This book is far from the usual media-trained official account you often get, especially in the closed-off world of the America’s Cup. Jimmy’s open, honest style gives us a rare insight into what goes on in the head of an extremely focused man at the top of his game. It’s a rags-to-riches story of fierce determination, court cases, seasickness, crashed boats and cars, alcohol and winning against all the odds. And it all contributed to turning a quiet, bullied, water-loving blue-collar redhead born in Sydney into one of sailing’s biggest rock stars. A compelling read, with many lessons in leadership, teamwork and achieving your dreams, no matter how impossible they seem.” (Catalogue)

One life / Rapinoe, Megan
“Megan Rapinoe was four years old when she kicked her first soccer ball. Her parents encouraged her love for the game, but taught her that winning was much less important than how she lived her life. Here she reflects on the choices she has made, her victories and her failures, and embarks on a thoughtful and candid discussion of her personal journey into social justice. After the 2011 World Cup, discouraged by how few athletes were willing to discuss their sexuality, Rapinoe decided to come out publicly as gay and use her platform to advocate for marriage equality. In 2016 she took a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality. Rapinoe discusses the obligation we all have to speak up, and the impact each of us can have on our communities. — adapted from jacket” (Catalogue)

Forward : a memoir / Wambach, Abby
“Abby Wambach has always pushed the limits of what is possible. Named by Time magazine as one of the most influential people of 2015, the soccer player captured the nation’s heart when she led her team to its recent World Cup Championship. Abby is a vocal advocate for women’s rights and equal opportunity, pushing to translate the success of her team to the real world. Now Abby recounts her own decisions, wins, losses, and the pivotal moments that helped her become the world class athlete and leader she is today. Abby’s book goes beyond the soccer field to reveal a person grappling universal questions about how we can live our best lives, and become our truest selves. Written with honesty and heart, Forward is a blueprint for individual growth and rousing call to action.” (Catalogue)

Leading / Ferguson, Alex
“After an astonishing career-first in Scotland, and then over 27 years with Manchester United Football Club, Sir Alex Ferguson delivers Leading, in which the greatest soccer coach of all time will analyze the pivotal leadership decisions of his 38 years as a manager and, with his friend and collaborator Sir Michael Moritz, draw out lessons anyone can use in business and life to generate long-term transformational success. From hiring practices to firing decisions, from dealing with transition to teamwork, from mastering the boardroom to responding to failure and adversity, Leading is as inspiring as it is practical, and a go-to reference for any leader in business, sports, and life.”–provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

On leadership lessons from sports
“The world’s elite athletes and coaches achieve high performance through inspiring leadership, strategic choices, and mental toughness. Harvard Business Review has talked to many of them throughout the years to learn how their success can translate to business leadership. If you read nothing else on management lessons from the world of sports, read these 10 articles by athletes, coaches, and experts in the field. We’ve combed through Harvard Business Review’s archive and selected the articles that will best help you drive your performance–whether as a individual contributor or a leader. This book will inspire you to: – Improve your weaknesses, not just your strengths – Hold everyone to high standards–especially your stars – Find meaning in success–and in challenge – Take care of your body for sustained mental performance – Identify the right rivalries to bring out the best in you – Build your team from the bottom up – Understand where the analogy of sports and business doesn’t work– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

The winning mindset : what sport can teach us about great leadership / Hughes, Damian
“In The Winning Mindset, Professor Damian Hughes, the acclaimed author of Liquid Thinking and How to Think Like Sir Alex Ferguson, draws on both his lifetime experience and academic background within sport, organization and change psychology to reveal the best ways to create a winning mindset in both personal and professional life.” (Catalogue)


The captain class : the hidden force that creates the world’s greatest teams / Walker, Sam
“Walker starts with one of the most hotly debated questions in sports: What are the greatest teams ever–particularly those that sustained success over a long period of time. He devised a formula to compare the achievements of teams from leagues all over the world, and after painstakingly profiling thousands of them, produced a comprehensive, unbiased list of the 16 best. Period. At that point, Walker became obsessed with another, more complicated question: What did these teams have in common? A genius coach? A transcendent superstar? A ground breaking system? Or was it all a matter of chemistry? A surprising pattern emerged: There was a very specific kind of leader at the center of these teams, a force that drove them to greatness, and they all shared eight specific characteristics. Who they are, who they are not, and the traits they shared will fascinate anyone who follows sports or is interested in building a team — and winning. Told through riveting stories of some of the most compelling and pressure-soaked moments in sports history, Walker not only brings these uncommon leaders to life, he presents a counterintuitive view of leadership–one that can apply to a wide spectrum of competitive disciplines, particularly business”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Staying the distance : the lessons from sport that business leaders have been missing / Baker, Catherine
“Leadership can be hard. It can certainly be relentless. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the well-being, health and sustained performance of many senior leaders, and yet strong leadership remains central to the performance of every single organization. Business leaders are very familiar with drawing lessons from elite sport, particularly around teams, leadership and high performance. But we have all been missing a trick. Day in, day out, sport has been showing us not only how to improve, perform and achieve, but how to do so on a sustained basis, consistently delivering results when it matters. This book shines a light on these unseen lessons, and provides a clear and practical roadmap for how to deploy them in the reader’s own leadership practices. With Catherine Baker’s unique view into world-class sport and top-level business, and with insights from top performers in both worlds, this book provides a fresh and dynamic take on how – consistently and over the long term – to bring out the best in yourself, and in those you lead.”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Sporting leadership: lessons for business. Part 1


I’m not in retirement. I’m in the process of repurposing – Daniel Carter

There are many routes a former professional sportsperson can take once their career on the field has ended.  Although they may retire from active training and playing, many stay on the sidelines and transition into a role of mentoring, coaching or sports promotion.  Others reinvent themselves into a second career option quite different from their sport. 

One thing common to all top level sports people is their understanding of leadership.  They have been led and encouraged throughout their careers by coaches and mentors, and have themselves provided leadership, acting as role models for their teams and younger players rising through the ranks.

One of those players, former All Black and rugby great, Dan Carter, has gathered insights and experiences gained throughout his career and presents them in his new book  The Art of Winning: Ten Lessons in Leadership, Purpose and Potential.

The book is not, according to his recent interview with RNZ, about rugby, but more about the leadership lessons learned as a result of his playing career and his repurposing post playing.

One of those roles was as a Leader in Practice at the University of Oxford, UK.  In this role Dan interviewed business leaders including Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn.  You can watch the Youtube video of the interview here: Dan Carter’s Legends of Leadership Series: In conversation with Reid Hoffman CBE

You can read more about Dan’s transition from rugby to business leader in his new book:

Art of winning: 10 lessons in leadership, purpose and potential / Carter, Dan
“Ten timeless truths on leadership, purpose and potential – from the unique culture of the All Blacks, and the mind of a living legend. You might think success at the highest level insulates you from pressure and doubt. But nothing could be further from the truth. In this book, I take you inside a journey that has forced me to look inwardly in a way I’ve never had to before. It’s been challenging, frustrating, rewarding and left me full of gratitude. Whether you’re a business looking to work on your culture, a leader on a steep learning curve, a person navigating change in their life or just someone of any age trying to get that little bit better every day, I hope that my experience can spur you on to greater heights, and master the art of winning.

For the first time, sporting legend Dan Carter distils his two decades at the frontiers of high-performance into his ‘perfect ten’ lessons. You won’t find conventional wisdom here, but hard-learned truths, including- – Why great leaders are made, not born, and why they must constantly evolve – How to forge a winning team culture – Why embracing your past can be every bit as important as looking towards your future – Why empowering others leads to the best decisions – Why confidence and self-belief are nothing without humility and a beginner’s mindset.
Honest, surprising and inspiring, The Art of Winning converts a legendary career into timeless lessons for readers in any walk of life. Step inside the unique culture of the All Blacks – and inside the mind of a legend.” (Catalogue) Also available as EAudiobook Libby


The All Blacks are without doubt one of the world’s most successful sporting teams.  Success though, isn’t the result of just one or two people but of a mindset that is embedded into the team performance of players, coaches and support staff alike. 

Below is a compilation of resources available through Wellington City Libraries collection that look at the success of our national men’s rugby team and what lessons are there for other business.

Legacy : 15 lessons in leadership : what the All Blacks can teach us about the business of life / Kerr, James M
” When the going gets tough, the tough start changing. Difficult times call for different solutions. In his global bestseller, Legacy, James Kerr goes deep into the heart of the world’s most successful team, the New Zealand All Blacks, to help understand what it takes to bounce back from adversity and still reach the top. It is a book about leading a team or an organisation – but, more importantly, about leading a life. The kind of life that you want to lead. In today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment, personal leadership has never been more relevant and Legacy goes to the heart of how great leaders – and we are all leaders – ‘reboot’ and reframe their future. It is a truly life-defining read that addresses the big questions – values, vision, mindset and purpose – that, when answered, build the foundation for resilience, excellence and sustained success. This book will change your life. Champions do extra. They sweep the sheds, follow the spearhead, and keep a blue head. They are good ancestors and plant trees they’ll never see. ” (Catalogue)

The captain’s run / Paul, Gregor
“How the captains of the last 50 years have gone about leading the world’s most successful rugby team. The job of All Blacks captain comes with a scrutiny that puts it alongside the prime minister in terms of profile and public expectation. It takes a strong, confident and assured personality to captain a team where failure is never tolerated. The Captain’s Run is a behind the scenes journey into the world of All Blacks captaincy. It reveals how the great captains dealt with the pressure of the toughest job in world rugby, how they coped with failure, and what they would have done differently, if given their time again.”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)  Also available as EBook Libby and on CD

The jersey : the secrets behind the world’s most successful team / Bills, Peter
“This paperback edition contains a new chapter bringing the All Black story up to date. The phenomenal international number one bestseller with exclusive interviews with Richie McCaw, Steve Hansen, Beauden Barrett and Dan Carter, The Jersey is the first definitive story behind the greatest sports team on the planet. … With a better winning record than any other sports team in history, they stand head and shoulders above their nearest rugby rivals. How did a country of just 4.8 million people conquer the world? Peter Bills, who has reported on international rugby for more than forty years, was given exclusive access to all the key figures in New Zealand rugby as he set out to understand the secrets behind the All Blacks success…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Black Gold : The story of how the All Blacks became rugby’s most valuable asset / Paul, Gregor
“Power, Money and the Team that Reshaped Rugby How did one of the smallest nations in the world produce the jewel in world rugby’s crown? In the professional age, the All Blacks have evolved to become rugby’s most marketable asset and a blueprint for building high-performing teams. But as the All Blacks became commercialised, the tug-of-war between performance and making money has intensified. From the battle between Nike and Adidas for ownership of the black jersey to the newly minted deal with Silicon Valley private equity group Silver Lake, Black Gold reveals how the lure of monetising the brand has impacted the performance of the players and coaches. What sacrifices are being made to increase profit? And is the golden goose at risk of being overcooked? Black Gold is a gripping, revealing book about the inner workings of the All Blacks, the balance of power and what lies ahead for the world’s best-known rugby team.” (Catalogue)

Graham Henry : final word / Howitt, Bob
Final Word is an honest and reflective look at the life and career of a truly remarkable and often controversial leader. With the Rugby World Cup win in 2011, Graham Henry broke the 24-year curse and restored the NZ All Blacks to the top of the rugby pedestal. But while Graham began and ended his career on a high, along the way he experienced moments of despair, bordering on depression. At the lowest point in his career, he almost gave it all away. This book traces his lack-lustre academic career, surprising considering he rose to become a successful headmaster; his achievements as a cricketer, the origins of his rugby coaching; and his strong partnership with his wife, Raewyn. Graham reveals the drastic measures he took to change the culture within the All Blacks and set them on the path to becoming world champions. In his eight years as coach, the All Blacks maintained an incredible 85 per cent success rate across 106 matches and, of course, claimed the Webb Ellis Trophy at the 2011 Rugby World Cup”–Wheelers Books.com.au.” (Catalogue)

Steve Hansen : the legacy / Paul, Gregor
“Between the years 2012 and 2019, Sir Steve Hansen oversaw an era of such remarkable success that it would be almost impossible to repeat. His 15-year career in the All Blacks coaching team is the heaviest footprint in rugby history. Of the 210 tests he was involved with, his team lost just 25 times. Of the 107 tests he served as head coach, Sir Steve accumulated a record 4 World Rugby Coach of the Year awards and orchestrated 93 victories – a winning percentage of 87 per cent, the highest of any All Blacks coach”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)
Also available as EBook Libby

Rugby : the afterlife : former All Blacks tell their stories / Gray, Wynne
“Way back when there was a clear distinction between work and rugby, great names of the game spent their time working in an office or at a trade or out on the farm, all the while fitting in training and then playing at the weekends. That job/play distinction became hazier through the 80s and 90s until, in the wake of Jonah Lomu’s stunning exploits at the 1995 World Cup and pressure from media barons, the International Rugby Board declared rugby professional. Some players just missed that paydirt, others straddled the crossover years while the rest have never known any different and have always written ‘fulltime sportsman’ on their tax returns as rugby threaded its way through two decades of professionalism. For all of these players, though, there was a finishing line, a final test appearance. Some made that choice, others had it made for them. Some All Blacks had planned strongly for life after rugby, many were pursued hard by companies while others had difficulties settling into the next chapter of their lives. How did they go about that transition? Did they wait for guidance, have a lightbulb moment, take on some serious study or retraining or did they have the security of going back into a family business? How did a lifetime in rugby protect or prepare them for experiences after the game and how and why did they make the choices they did? Rugby – The Afterlife explores in great detail how a number of All Blacks coped with that transition and came out the other side.” (Catalogue)

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Stepping up : a guide for the new manager


Whether you stepped up and earned a promotion, or maybe just became an “accidental manager”,  at some point, soon after, reality sets in.  Suddenly you are no longer one of the team and have moved to leading the team where the view is a little different.  You’ve quickly found that being a people manager isn’t the same as being the one who is managed.

It’s hard if you are in a new role with an unknown team to manage but it’s also hard if you have moved into a role managing people you have worked alongside.  Suddenly your priorities shift and you feel a need to distance yourself.

Many people who move upwards aren’t given specific training to manage people.  If that’s the case you are going to have to learn to swim very quickly if you are to prove successful in your new role.

How can the transition into being a leader be made painless and a success for you and those you are now leading?

Below we have curated some  resources to assist your move from buddy to boss.

Linkedin learning

Wellington City Libraries offers Linkedin learning courses free to those with library registration.

In the search box put the terms “new leader” or “new manager” and you will find a range of courses covering different aspects of leadership.


How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes New Managers Make
Outlines some of the pitfalls to be aware of and how to correct mistakes you may be making.

In a New Role? Here’s How to Hit the Ground Running
In this HBR podcast professor Rob Cross talks about about pitfalls to avoid as a new manager.

The Ups and Downs of Being a First-Time Manager
Also in a HBR podcast three women describe the lessons they’ve learned and the realities they weren’t prepared for.

3 Skills Every New Leader Needs
An article from the HBR highlighting that  leaders are being called to develop skills like adaptability, emotional intelligence, and humility, traits that are particularly valuable to navigating uncertain times.

3 Skills New Managers Need to Succeed
To start, recognize that entire teams—and not just individuals—require clear feedback.

Seven Surprises for New Managers
Outlines some common management misconceptions and warns that even if you are “… prepared for the challenges ahead, new managers can come unstuck in unexpected ways”.

4 Mistakes New Leaders Make
Well-meaning leaders—especially new leaders—often stumble into the wrong actions or wrong mentality when leading their team

How new managers can help teams collaborate better
If your team is new and you are new to managing them, this article gives guidance on how to quickly become a cohesive unit.

The journey from colleague to boss
Becoming a boss can present unique problems with those who used to be colleagues, but Alaina Love offers six strategies to build team cohesion.

A New Manager’s Game Plan For The First 100 Days
Contends that for senior managers in particular there is a 100 day bedding in period in three phases : The first 30 days are an orientation period, in which the manager meets key people, develops essential information and evaluates core processes. The second 30 days focus on planning, key organizational changes and early showcase projects. In the final 40 days, the manager initiates rollout of the needed changes.


Believe : how new leaders step up and into their full potential / James, Brenda
“In Believe, author Brenda James guides you to take a deep but safe dive inward. Chapter by chapter, through a method of introspection, you are encouraged to take simple action steps and embrace tools to help illuminate all the reasons why you should believe in yourself as a leader. Embrace the process and let its wisdom equip you with one of the key fundamentals of leadership – self-belief. Come on an inspiring journey that will fill your heart with possibility. Immediately – and forever.” – back cover” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Succeed as a new manager : how to inspire your team and be a great boss
“It’s great to have a challenge at work. Managing others, though, can be daunting and can be tricky if you’re the boss of former colleagues or friends. Packed with advice, this book attempts to help you sail through issues such as getting to know your team, dealing with internal politics, motivating others, and celebrating success.” (Catalogue)


Becoming a manager : how new managers master the challenges of leadership / Hill, Linda A.
“… the author offers concrete advice on the crucial issues of dealing effectively with organizational politics and developing and leading diverse teams in times of change, as well as on how managers can prepare themselves to lead over the course of their careers. In a new epilogue, she explores what organizations can do to help managers in their journey to lead and learn.”–BOOK JACKET.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

What to do when you become the boss : how new managers become successful managers / Selden, Bob
“At last, a straightforward guide to help fill the people management learning gap for new managers ” (Catalogue)



From bud to boss : secrets to a successful transition to remarkable leadership / Eikenberry, Kevin
“Practical advice for making the shift to your first leadership position.  The number of people who will become first-time supervisors will likely grow in the next 10 years, as Baby Boomers retire. Perhaps the most challenging leadership experience anyone will face isn’t one at the top, but their first promotion to leadership. They must deal with the change and uncertainty that comes with a new job, requiring new skills, and they’ve been promoted from peer to leader. While the book addresses the needs of any manager, supervisor, or leader, it pulls from the best leadership and management thinking, and puts the focus on the difficulties that new leaders experience. Includes practical information for new managers who must supervise friends and former peers”– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

New managers : mastering the big 3 principles of effective management–leadership, communication, and team building / Falcone, Paul
“An accessible and practical playbook by leading HR expert Paul Falcone to cultivate your most vital resource: having the right people working hard for you.” (Catalogue)


The essentials of management : everything you need to succeed as a new manager / Leigh, Andrew
“Distilling years of hard-won success, experience, lessons and management wisdom, this book will help new and aspiring managers be the best they can be.   For new and aspiring managers this exciting book will enable you to quickly learn all the clever and powerful tips, tricks, advice andknow-how that seasoned and experienced managers already know.You will pick up effective ideas and learn powerful, practical skills that will help you become a better, more successful manager who really delivers results.” (Catalogue)

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Let’s talk about trust – by guest author Brenda James

The blog piece below has been republished with kind permission of  author Brenda James.  Brenda is a Leadership and Career Development Specialist with 20 years’ experience in recruitment, coaching and HR.

Chapter on Trust in Brenda James’ book Believe.

With all of us facing a tidal wave of change right now and the requirement to be more agile than ever, trust is high on the list of competencies needed in our leaders. It is the one thing that changes everything. Trust is like a rising tide; it lifts every boat. It makes every other thing we are trying to do better.

It doesn’t matter how capable or talented your people are, they may never reach their full potential if trust isn’t present. But with trust, teams can accomplish everything they set out to do… and more.


In its 2016 global CEO survey, PwC reported that 55% of CEOs think that a lack of trust is a threat to their organisation’s growth. But many have done little to increase trust, mainly because they aren’t sure where to start.

Stephen Covey, author of The Speed of Trust says, “trust is the new currency”. He is talking about trust in teams and being trusted as a leader. We are often reminding leaders that to be trusted, one must be trustworthy.

As Harold Macmillan said, “A man who trusts nobody is apt to be the kind of man nobody trusts.”


The absence of trust occurs when team members are reluctant to be vulnerable with one another, and are often unwilling to admit their mistakes, acknowledge their weaknesses or ask for help. Trust is critical because without it, teams are unlikely to engage in unfiltered, passionate debate about key issues.

In our work with leaders in the architectural industry, we see avoidance of healthy conflict within teams frequently, yet it’s been proven that innovation and creativity flourishes when there is a collision of differences in an environment of trust. We won’t innovate when we are not willing to take a risk. Where there is high trust, it encourages high risk taking and trust is the agent that makes synergy happen.

So, how can you be the catalyst to bring an upward spiral of trust in your team?


If you want to build trust within your team, then lead by example and show your people that you trust others. This means trusting your team, your colleagues, and your boss. Never forget that your team members are always watching and taking cues from you – take the opportunity to show them what trust in others really looks like.


When people work together, honest mistakes and disappointments happen, and it’s easy to outwardly place blame. However, when everyone starts pointing fingers, an unpleasant atmosphere can quickly develop. This lowers morale, undermines trust, and is ultimately unproductive.

Instead, encourage everyone in your team to think about the mistake in a constructive way. What can you all do to fix what happened, and move forward together? And how can you make sure that this mistake doesn’t happen again? Focus on lessons learned, not who to blame.


One fast way to build trust is to encourage your team members to see their colleagues as people. Think about creating situations that help them to share personal stories and to bond. It is amazing how little some team members know about one another, and how just a small amount of information begins to break down barriers.

Here is an exercise we have teams do, found in Patrick Lencioni’s book, The AdvantageNote: Use your own best judgment when asking team members or colleagues personal questions – don’t invade their privacy.

Personal History Exercise

This low-risk exercise requires nothing more than going around the table during a meeting and having team members answer a short list of questions about themselves.


Where were you born?

How many siblings do you have?

What is one challenging event from your childhood?

Alternatively, you could ask about

Favourite hobbies

First job

Worst job

By describing these relatively innocent attributes or experiences, team members begin to relate to one another on a more personal basis and see one another as human beings with life stories and interesting backgrounds.

This encourages greater empathy and understanding and discourages unfair and inaccurate behavioural attributions.


Trust changes everything, not in small incremental ways, but in profound ways, so it is worth every piece of energy you invest into developing trust within your team.

As a leader, it’s important that you set an example. Show your team members how critical trust is to you by demonstrating your trust in them, as well as in your colleagues.

It is well worth your time investment to pause, check-in, and think about what you are doing to build trust within your own team. It is the one thing that changes everything.

Believe : how new leaders step up and into their full potential / James, Brenda
“Why should others believe in your leadership if you don’t believe in yourself? No matter where or when you start to experience a dent in your self-belief, once it is triggered and activated, your outlook changes. You see everything through blurred lenses. You constantly look for evidence that you are not quick enough, deserving enough or smart enough. And, of course, you always find it. But what happens if your uncertainty is so high that it’s impacting your performance? Or your team’s culture and output? Or worse, your relationship with yourself? Believing in yourself is the remedy. But how do you tangibly develop this? Ask yourself: Is now your time to move from a place of insignificance and struggle? Is now your time to thrive and fulfil your potential? Is now your time to make an impact? In Believe, author Brenda James guides you to take a deep but safe dive inward. Chapter by chapter, through a method of introspection, you are encouraged to take simple action steps and embrace tools to help illuminate all the reasons why you should believe in yourself as a leader. Embrace the process and let its wisdom equip you with one of the key fundamentals of leadership – self-belief. Come on an inspiring journey that will fill your heart with possibility. Immediately – and forever.” – back cover” (Catalogue)

Other resources on the subject of Trust and leadership within the Wellington City Libraries collection include :

The trusted leader : bringing out the best in your people and your company / Galford, Robert M.
“Based on highly specific research and experience that covers a wide spectrum of managers and organizations, The Trusted Leader identifies the three critical types of trust that leaders need to master: strategic trust, organizational trust, and personal trust. It introduces a practical and effective formula for building organizational confidence, and provides a unique analysis of the obstacles to trust and the sources of resistance to the building of trust inside organizations. Through a series of interactive exercises, executives will learn how to determine where trust is missing and how it can be supplemented in people, departments, and even whole companies. Perhaps most timely are the book’s series of diagnostic tools and skills that help executives rebuild trust that has been broken or betrayed.”–BOOK JACKET.” (Catalogue)

The agile culture : leading through trust and ownership / Pixton, Pollyanna
“Many books talk about the importance of culture to agile success. The Agile Culture shows the reader how to make the specific culture changes needed for agile success. The authors provide proven tools and models for moving from “date-driven, internally-focused” cultures to “value-driven, customer-focused” cultures where agile can thrive and flourish. They offer clear rationales for using each tool, demonstrate it at work, present relevant case studies and examples, define expected outcomes, and show how to measure success. Using these techniques, students will learn to achieve the results promised by agile: a culture of continuous innovation, transparency, and trust.” (Catalogue)

Breaking the trust barrier : how leaders close the gaps for high performance / Venable, JV
“For former US Airforce Thunderbirds’ commander and demonstration leader JV Venable, inspiring teamwork was literally a matter of life and death. On maneuvers the distance between jets was just 18 inches. Closing the gaps to sustain that kind of separation requires the highest levels of trust. On the ground or in the air, from line supervisor to CEO, we all face the same challenge. Our job is to entice those we lead to close the gaps that slow the whole team down – gaps in commitment, loyalty, and trust. Every bit of closure requires your people to let go of biases and mental safeguards that hold them back. The process the Thunderbirds use to break that barrier and craft the highest levels of trust on a team with an annual turnover of 50% is nothing short of phenomenal. That process is packaged in this book with tips and compelling stories that will help you build the team of a lifetime.” (Catalogue)

Simple truths of leadership : 52 ways to be a servant leader and build trust / Blanchard, Kenneth H
“Leadership legend Ken Blanchard teams up with Randy Conley to share the most essential lessons on servant leadership and building trust from the heart of his leadership model. Effective leadership comes down to implementing everyday, commonsense practices to help organizations thrive-and yet so many leaders are still missing these fundamental principles from their personal and professional lives. Renowned business experts Ken Blanchard and Randy Conley disclose the simple truths about leadership they have gathered over their long and distinguished careers to help bring common sense into common practice. Featuring two sections -servant leadership and building trust -this book is a collection of Blanchard’s greatest hits. It is chock-full of profound and memorable (and in some cases counterintuitive) leadership wisdom, such as: Create autonomy through boundaries; People who plan the battle rarely battle the plan; A relationship with no trust is like a cell phone with no internet;. All you can do is play games; The most important part of leadership is what happens when you’re not there. This book will help readers incorporate these integral practices into their leadership style, build trust through servant leadership, and make a difference in their own life and the lives of those they influence”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Books by Brené Brown


Professor Brené Brown is an American lecturer, author, writer and presenter with an international following. Her research interests focus on shame, vulnerability, and leadership and have resulted in six best-selling books, all of which are held in the Wellington City Libraries collection.

Brown also hosts the Dare to Lead podcast in which she has “Conversations with change-catalysts, culture-shifters, and more than a few troublemakers who are innovating, creating, and daring to lead”.

Her website features the Dare to Lead hub and defines a leader as “… anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes and has the courage to develop that potential”.

In 2010, her TEDx talk The power of vulnerability became one of the highest viewed TED talks.

In order, from latest publication to earliest, here are the works by Brene that can be found in our collection :

Atlas of the heart : mapping meaningful connection and the language of human experience / Brown, Brené
“In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances – a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection.” (Catalogue).
Available in hardcopy and EBook Overdrive formats 

Dare to lead : brave work, tough conversations, whole hearts / Brown, Brené
“Leadership is not about titles, status, and wielding power. A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas, and has the courage to develop that potential. When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers. We stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it. We know that power becomes infinite when we share it with others. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations. We lean into vulnerability when it’s necessary to do good work. But daring leadership in a culture defined by scarcity, fear, and uncertainty requires skill-building around traits that are deeply and uniquely human. The irony is that we’re choosing not to invest in developing the hearts and minds of leaders at the exact same time as we’re scrambling to figure out what we have to offer that machines and artificial intelligence can’t do better and faster. What can we do better? Empathy, connection, and courage, to start.
Brené Brown has spent the past two decades studying the emotions and experiences that give meaning to our lives … She found that leaders in organizations ranging from small entrepreneurial startups and family-owned businesses to nonprofits, civic organizations, and Fortune 50 companies all ask the same question: How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders, and how do you embed the value of courage in your culture?” (Adapted from Catalogue)
Available in hardcopy, EBook Overdrive  EAudiobook formats

Rising strong / Brown, Brené
“With her 2010 TED talk on the power of vulnerability (over 18 million views), her bestselling books on the transformative gifts of shame and vulnerability, and her inspiring call for wholehearted living, Brene Brown has changed the cultural conversation… For Brene, the conversation about vulnerability and shame naturally evolves into a discussion of bravery–its origins, its catalysts, its chemistry. How we are brave. What constitutes bravery. What activates the impulse to be brave. And how to recognize where our own “hero’s journey” begins–in the depths of failure, disappointment, heartbreak, and grief–and how, once we grapple with our story, we are able to rise from those depths and determine how we want our story will end”– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)
Available in hardcopy, E-Audiobook, E-book formats

Braving the wilderness : the quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone / Brown, Brené
“A timely and important new book that challenges everything we think we know about cultivating true belonging in our communities, organizations, and culture. Social scientist Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives–experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy. In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. … She writes, “True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that’s rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it’s easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism. But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. It’s a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts.” –From jacket.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Daring greatly : how the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead / Brown, Brené
“Based on twelve years of research, thought leader Dr. Brené Brown argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection.” (Catalogue)
Available in hardcopy, E-Audiobook, E-book formats


The gifts of imperfection : let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are / Brown, Brené
” Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we’d no longer feel inadequate. Sharing lessons from a decade of research, the author shows a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.” (Catalogue)
Available in hardcopy, E-Audiobook, E-book formats

The power of vulnerability / Brown, Brené
“A practical training program on embracing our imperfections to discover our true source of strength, connection, and purpose.” (Catalogue) (Audiobook)

The future of work: Why we’re setting ourselves up to fail by guest author Alicia McKay

“The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed.”
William Gibson

When ATMs came on the scene, economists, politicians and the media panicked. With people no longer required to give the correct change and stamp deposit slips, we were experiencing the early stages of the robot revolution. Automation was to rob bank tellers of their jobs!

The reality, however, was far more nuanced. In fact, there are more bank tellers now than ever. Rather than widespread job loss, the automation of routine tasks has allowed tellers to shift their focus to higher value tasks like customer and relationship management, financial services and sales.

The world has changed
Examples like this are playing out across all industries and organisations. As the nature of work changes, new technology is introduced and social norms evolve, we need a different set of skills from our people and leaders. The pandemic abruptly accelerated this process, as we sprang into action learning to work remotely, manage business interruption and adapt to virtual environment.

The challenge for ambitious professionals and learning and development managers is working out what to focus to equip our leaders for all this change. What skills should we be teaching and learning? How do we make sure we aren’t being left behind?

The answer lies in reframing the question.

Asking better questions
For decades, we’ve followed a classic trajectory for leadership development: we teach people to be operational experts, then we give them some management training and, if they’re lucky, some personal development stuff to work out their Myers-Briggs or what bird they are.

But it’s not working anymore. The half-life of a skill has dropped to less than five years – which means that while your typing skills may have served you for life 20 years ago, that new coding skillset will be out of date in little more time than it takes to do a degree.

A 2019 World Economic Forum report revealed that less than half of chief HR officers were confident that their workforce strategy prepared them for the future. Deloitte’s Readiness Report, from the same year, revealed that only one in four business leaders were highly confident their workforce has the skill sets needed for the future – and this was all before we’d heard the word ‘coronavirus’.

Our development pathways are lagging behind, resulting in leadership teams full of experts in their field, who know how to balance a budget but are battling with the stuff people really need from them. Things like… how to respond well to change when things are uncertain and volatile. How to make good decisions in a complex environment. How to create smarter systems for complicated organisations, and how to maximise performance when people are overwhelmed. How to connect meaningfully and get people on board with change, when the way forward is unclear and their jobs feel under threat.

Strategy is the future of work
All of these skills are strategic skills.

Rather than trying to predict the technical and operational capabilities we need the most, we should be thinking about how to tackle our strategic capabilities, so that we’re OK even when our operational demands change.

The strategic capacity of our leaders is the most important determinant of personal and organisational success. When we prioritise quality thinking, big-picture perspective and insightful questions, we create a culture that bends and flexes to uncertainty, we build powerful organisations and equip people with what they need to succeed regardless of what’s happening around us.

The five untaught skills of a strategic leader
Strategic leadership is all about context. Strategic leaders ask questions like: “what’s going on?” “what does that mean?” “what should we be thinking differently about?” and “what are we not seeing?”.

Strategic leaders have mastered five critical skills.
1. Flexibility
To lead through complexity, we need to be OK with change. Flexible leaders know that leadership isn’t about getting things done in spite of their environment, but because of it. They have the awareness, agency and resilience to withstand pandemics, natural disasters and technological disruption, because they stay flexible to the world around them.

2. Decisions
Making good decisions is a learned skill. Decisive leaders know it’s not what they think, but how they think that matters, focusing on providing direction that drives action. They know that no cost-benefit analysis will save them, without the skills to capture diverse input and build in tolerance for change.

3. Systems
Strategic leaders think in systems, because they know that suc¬cessful organisations dismantle siloes and work out how things fit together. Systems leaders don’t settle for what’s in front of them, focusing instead on the messy stuff – context, relationships and dependencies. They stop finger-pointing and problem-solving, to pull levers and dis¬solve issues before they take hold.

4. Performance
True performance isn’t operational excellence or time management – it’s focus. Strategic leaders understand that their most valuable resource is their attention, optimising their environments and teams to invest in the factors that make a real difference. They know that once they eliminate distraction and insist on value, quality and accountability, there’s nowhere left to hide.

5. Influence
Influential leaders know that political savvy isn’t slimy; it’s non-negotiable for impact at scale. They know that their integrity, reputation and relationships are what makes the difference. As our environment continues to shift, it will be the leaders who can bring others with them whose ideas will take hold.

Lessons that count

In the knowledge economy, we’ve got access to all the technical information and instruction in the world at the touch of a button. If you need finance knowledge, watch a video and get your head around it in 15 minutes. If you need marketing expertise, Google for a freelancer and book the job in online.

But if you need to understand how best to adapt to your environment, how to make quality decisions that capture the big picture, how to drive focus and how to take people along on the journey… well, it’s time for strategic leadership. Let’s shift the dial.

Alicia McKay, author of ‘You Don’t Need An MBA: Leadership Lessons that Cut Through the Crap is a Wellington strategic leadership expert and founder of the NaMBA programme – a game-changing alternative to traditional leadership education. Alicia works with leaders and teams to spark strategic shifts in the way they think, work and lead. For more information about how Alicia can help your team visit www.aliciamckay.co.nz

 Copies of Alicia’s books are available in different formats in Wellington City Libraries’ collection.  If you want to know more check out these :

You don’t need an MBA : leadership lessons that cut through the crap / McKay, Alicia
“The 21 lessons in You Don’t Need an MBA are practical rather than academic. They are meant for the fast-paced, new world of leadership and for leaders who are looking for practical solutions to everyday challenges. Alicia McKay’s writing is engaging and direct. Readers immediately have confidence that her approach works – no further post-grad studies required. Leadership expert, Alicia McKay believes that leaders are made, not born. But they are not made in the lecture halls and seminar rooms; you don’t need an MBA to be an effective leader. The ability of next-generation leaders to cope with constant change has never been more important or more poorly understood. The world keeps throwing curveballs, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It’s not that we don’t know we need to change. The gap isn’t knowing, it’s doing. The leaders of tomorrow need to change today. They need to get smart, be strategic about the next step and expand their range, to face a complex and uncertain future. They need paradox: clear values and open minds, high performance and meaningful space, dedication to detail and big picture perspective. They need to ask different questions, design different options and most of all, they need to do that with others on the same journey. You Don’t Need an MBA demystifies the skills leaders of the future need and epitomises the brave new world of leadership; united leadership that focuses on real outcomes, not quick-fixes. Alicia McKay draws on the latest global thinking on leadership and outlines a way forward, in plain English and with actionable steps.” (Catalogue)
Also available as an e-book

From strategy to action : a guide to getting shit done in the public sector / McKay, Alicia
“Lack of clarity on purpose, vision and priorities plague all levels of the public sector, with short-termism and reactive management crowding out opportunities to develop genuine strategic capability.Operating in this environment without pushback is no longer enough, for public managers tired of late, unfinished and failed initiatives. Nor is it enough for a jaded public, who rightfully expect value from their contribution to the social contract. From Strategy to Action provides a framework to shift the needle and make progress on the big picture. Using the tools and advice compiled in this book, public managers who are ready to seize agency and do things differently will be pleasantly surprised at the impact they can have on their teams, organisations and communities”–https://aliciamckay.co.nz.” (Catalogue)