2014/15 participants' feedback
Dr Tim Storer, Principal Scientist and Manager River Science,
Department of Water, Western Australia
”So far, I have used a range of the tools and techniques presented throughout International WaterCentre’s Water Leadership Program (WLP) to drive a number of new initiatives within my organisation. I have managed to present my slightly ambitious project to our corporate executives and to the external science review panel that was established by the state government to review new projects. I am ridiculously pleased to say that the project has been recognised in core business and I have secured considerable support and funding over coming years to implement a river health monitoring program.
I have brought my team with me, spending a large amount of time preparing our shared vision and having everyone involved in the development and communication of the program. We are currently undertaking engagement across the department and other state agencies. The WLP has helped me already in so many ways to support the process. All of this was only possible with the use of tailored influencing strategies and champion models provided by the WLP.
I have also incorporated a number of the development activities provided during the WLP into regular team meetings and annual team planning workshops. This has resulted in more open communication, and I am seeing truly constructive feedback and acknowledgement of effort among staff.
In my current role with the Western Australian Department of Water I manage the river science section comprising 12 experienced scientists from a range of disciplines. The considerable number of staff, diversity of skills and a high demand for services present numerous and complex management and leadership challenges.
The WLP helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses and to develop as a leader. My goal was to improve my own effectiveness and maximise the productivity and well-being of my team. Above all else, I learnt that clearly defining personal and team values, incorporating these values into a shared vision, and using this to set direction and behaviour is critical to optimising team productivity and harmony. Similarly, open communication, respect and acknowledgement of effort are essential in maintaining a highly productive and happy team."
"Since completing the Water Leadership Program I have been successful in
gaining a more senior role within my organisation. I consider my
participation in the program as a contributing factor in being
successful for this role. In my application and interview I concentrated
on leadership aspects, and thanks to the program I was much better able
to articulate these thoughts and concepts and it really helped with my
I participated in IWC’s Water Leadership Program (WLP) to increase my leadership capability with a view to help me take the next steps in my career.
The main learnings from the program for me are that leadership is a key part of my role and a skill that needs to be consciously and continually worked upon – it doesn’t just happen.
Self-awareness and self-leadership are important too. You need to be able to lead yourself before you can lead others. Making time to reflect on yourself and your leadership is essential to having the self-awareness to be able to grow as a leader. Being a leader does not mean having to know everything and be the expert. In fact, I have learnt that sometimes admitting your weaknesses and vulnerabilities can be very important. This is being an ‘authentic’ leader.
Be prepared to be open and honest with yourself and you will be rewarded!" Simon Hermans
We did quite a simple activity clarifying and understanding our personal values, but I have found this quite profound. I find myself now regularly reflecting on these values and how they are influencing my decision-making.
The developmental outcomes that I have achieved from the WLP include:
- Improved self-awareness – I have a much better understanding of myself and I have learnt to appreciate my strengths and not just focus on my weaknesses. As a result of improved self-awareness, I feel more confident and more open to sharing vulnerabilities.
- Improved transformational leadership skills – Throughout the WLP I have concentrated on making small changes in this regard, such as improving active listening. I believe that the accumulative effect of these small changes has already had a significant impact.
- Improved confidence – Although I considered myself as someone with some influence within the organisation, I was not comfortable describing myself as a leader prior to commencing the WLP. This has changed now following the training sessions in February 2015."
In the first four rounds of the program, participants have come from a extensive range of organisations in Australia and overseas including water utilities and agencies, local and state government, consultancies and large corporate firms in the water sector.
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory