Our breakfast series seek to provide an opportunity for networking through a collaborative learning environment. Delivered in a concentrated format, these sessions are perfect for the busy professional seeking to build on their existing career skills and knowledge in a practical way.

If you are interested in the topic of leadership, are seeking to build leadership capacity in yourself and your organisation, then this is an ideal starting point. This session is for aspiring leaders, those in leadership positions, and for teams seeking to create more meaning in their work.

Dr Robert Styles

Over the last decade a multidisciplinary approach to capacity building and realising real-world change has been developed at ANU. At a systems level, this work comprises three structured and facilitated dialogues designed have leaders with their teams reflect on what is important personally and professionally and how they can more effectively move towards what is valued in the long-run. Those involved are introduced to a suite of simple, yet powerful, tools for cultivating a high-performing mind and taking choices for action toward things that fundamentally matter. Action learning is employed to reinforce and embed desired change operationally. The aim is for intentional and positive change within their life, close relationships, their work with others, and their future.

In each instance, it has been the extent to which those involved have cultivated a high-performing mind that has mattered the most. With a high-performing mind, you more consistently allocate the scarce resource of attention to what is most important and achieve results through people – the key assets for productivity enhancement and successful change transformation. This occasions the metacognition and mature perspective-taking required to recognise and act toward what is intrinsically and socially important by employing a more flexible and morally determined repertoire of chosen responses to challenging and difficult situations. Such personal responsiveness has been shown to significantly enhance work engagement, communication, stress management, learning and information processing, emotional intelligence, executive functioning, cognitive style, and physical and mental wellbeing.

At this breakfast meeting, we will consider this vital characteristic as it pertains to you.

To read more about the multidisciplinary approach please refer to the attached file which provides a brief overview of the processes involved.


This breakfast discussion will be led by the behavioural psychologist Dr Robert Styles, an ANU PhD whose training strategies draw from the latest, empirically-validated and evidence-based research advances in contextual behavioural science.

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  Leadership breakfast series: Cultivating a high-performing mind & excellence in self-directed leadership
24 Oct 2018

James Dixon is a writer and an accredited editor who has worked in Canberra since 2001. He has worked for most government departments, many government agencies, large economics consultancies and various policy think tanks, placing a strong emphasis on plain English.

James delivers two professional development courses for the ANU Centre for Continuing Education:

  • Editing and proofreading for the workplace
  • Report writing.

On Wednesday 1 August, as part of the Leadership Breakfast Series, he will introduce you to techniques used by professional editors to produce clear, concise and persuasive emails, reports, proposals, submissions and other documents.

Using some texts and a brief document (before and after editing), he will demonstrate those techniques in practice. He will introduce you painlessly to some important points of English usage and formal grammar that underlie the techniques.

James will also relate some experiences from his career that illustrate the opportunities and pitfalls faced by all writers, and what to do about them.

No Classes Available - There are currently no classes available for you to book into.

This short introduction into barriers to leadership success seeks to equip you with practical skills that can enhance your leadership practice. How do leaders motivate employees to actively participate in accomplishing organizational goals? Identify what is holding you back.

Barriers to leadership success

Barriers to leadership success often exist below the surface of what we see, experience and know of leadership. Often leadership ability is limited when issues of difference remain unexamined. Differences are often caused by deeply held cultural and social norms, and if unchallenged will reinforce a poor leadership culture. Organisations of all types operate within cultural and social norms. Identifying and appreciating these norms is a first step to successful leadership.

A leader’s identity often intersects with these contexts in ways that create unconscious bias. For leadership to thrive we need strategies that identify and address difference at the micro- and macro-level perspective. These strategies relate to culture and organisational change, yet the barriers to leadership success remain fixed. 

Why are these barriers so persistent? To understand this question we introduce the following topics:

  • perceived organisational barriers
  • organisational culture
  • the fear of change
  • self-limiting thinking
  • difference and diversity

Learning Outcomes 

  1. Identify what are barriers to successful leadership,
  2. Gain a deeper appreciation for the value of difference and diversity,
  3. Appreciate how cultural and social norms can influence leadership styles,
  4. Identify practical strategies to address leadership barriers.

Who should attend?

Ideal for the busy professional looking to expand their knowledge and practice of leadership.

No Classes Available - There are currently no classes available for you to book into.