Boma New Zealand is an organisation that supports leaders and changemakers in their journey, aiding them in being more “intentional, intelligent and courageous about the future” (Boma NZ, n.d). 

Two of Pacific Homecare’s Directors, Director of Homecare Support Services, Seta Efaraimo, and Director of Whānau Ora Services, Rauna Murray-Stowers, joined fellow leaders at Boma NZ’s workshop last month. Here, their learning experiences provided insight into what it takes to be a leader in a world of uncertainty and continuous changes. 

See below, what they had to say about their experience with Boma NZ: 

What does it mean to be a good leader?

Seta: A good Leader should be someone who empowers and motivates a team towards achieving its goals and objectives. Someone who has patience and empathy and at the same time is clear on collective goals and expectations.

Rauna: A good leader is someone who has influence and uses that influence to empower others. Our CEO has a quote he always shares which is “the difference between management and leadership. management is knowing the right thing to do; Leadership is doing the right thing”. So, we can influence a group however, what you do with that influence determines if you’re a good leader.

What is an important responsibility that a Director/Leader should take on? 

Seta: One of the key responsibilities of a leader is the ability to delegate tasks. Trusting and empowering team members to take on roles and responsibilities.

Rauna: Something I learnt from the Boma program is leadership starts by leading yourself first. So, the responsibility or question you pose yourself is, how am I meant to direct/lead a team or group of people if I can’t lead myself to complete tasks and serve first? So, as a leader, I think it is important that we take on the responsibility of doing our jobs well first, which allows us to expect/manage similar standards from the people we lead.

What made you want to attend this programme? (Boma NZ programme).

Seta: It was an opportunity to network with like-minded people and specifically to hear some of the transformational stories from various industries.

Rauna: Personal development in my current role but also development personally as an individual that is responsible to lead a team that serves vulnerable people in our community.

As Boma supports leaders in being more intentional, intelligent and courageous about the future, what is something that you now have more confidence or intellect towards (in your role) since attending the programme?

Seta: One of the key takeaways for me was ensuring people and team members share the same purpose (persona and organisational). The importance of having a more meaningful conversation, especially around recruitment.

Rauna: I like to think that from attending this programme I have grown a greater awareness of foreseeing change. I’ve realised that from attending this programme I was good at managing change but not being intentional looking at particular trends within the community to foresee change before it happens. This programme has developed skills within this area of my leadership and more importantly given me more confidence to look at change or innovation in a different light.

How has this programme impacted the way you lead your teams (if it has)? 

Seta: It has reminded me that everyone has their own story. Understanding someone’s story will help align what and how we could motivate people. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses; it is important to find these out early.

Rauna: Connected to the answer from question 4, being more aware of my working habits and how I can improve those habits as my team sees those habits and will act accordingly based on how I work and lead.

The programme also helped to develop more of an appreciation of the digital/technical space and being more intentional in developing these supports for our Whānau Ora programme so that Navigators can do their roles better and our families can achieve greater outcomes as well.

Is it important for leaders to experience learning like this? Why?

Seta: Yes, it is important to take time out to share and think a little deeper about how we care, impact and effect changes on people.

Rauna: It’s always important that leaders are always aspiring to learn more. our world and workspace are forever changing. if we want to stay relevant as leaders and achieve greater outcomes for the people we serve. We need to continue to learn and develop so we can be more agile in adapting and executing change

How has this programme influenced how you communicate with/lead your team?

Seta: The programme has encouraged me to be more purposeful in tasks by setting meeting agendas. More empathy and the importance of listening.

Has this programme influenced how you view company culture? How?

Seta: The culture is important, and we must spend more time interviewing and ensuring our new employees are aware of this culture. We as leaders need to ensure that personal values align with our organizational values, this will then lead to cultural alignment.

What advice do you have for those who are currently on their own journey of leading teams or those who aim to in the future?

Seta: Be prepared to listen, everyone has a story to tell. Hearing the stories, and taking the time to listen, will not only enhance the engagement, but it will go a long way to strengthening that TRUST.

Rauna: To have leadership is to have influence, and without influence, there is no leadership. However, what we do with our influence determines if we are good leaders or not. Always be ambitious and ensure you are aspiring toward something, it provides direction. if we are not aspiring toward something we are standing still, not moving.

Photos are courtesy of Boma NZ. 

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