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A show of resilience in Busselton

Picture of Shane Herbst

Shane Herbst

2020 Mannkal Alumnus

In a world of disruption, automation and change, versatility and resilience are key. The workforce our next generation faces is a vastly different landscape to its predecessors. Stability is out, dynamism in. Some of yesterday’s aptitudes have less relevance today, while the ability to remain versatile and resilient is more crucial than ever. Individuals who best possess these qualities will become tomorrow’s leaders.

Over the weekend of September 4-6, 2020, our Leadership Development Program (LDP) scholars – of which I am one – partook in a weekend away to Busselton, Western Australia. Accompanied by Mannkal staff, we were put through our paces in a range of leadership and self-development activities overseen by specialist psychologists.

The events of the weekend had a focus on resilience and versatility, as has the program’s remainder. Mannkal scholars have quickly established an appreciation for direct feedback and constructive criticism, and the activities incorporated teamwork, group feedback and individual performance reviews. This development and awareness will be essential to Mannkal scholars becoming effective future leaders.

The ability to fail fast, learn fast and recover fast will be fundamental to our leadership potential. Equally, the ability to manage mental pressures and understand and regulate our emotions will be central to our personal successes, happiness, and leadership longevity. A free society depends upon individuals taking responsibility for themselves. One can only do this after they first take responsibility for their mental health.

This area has attracted greater focus over recent years, and the increase in mental health issues arising from lock downs has illustrated the speed in which lifestyle changes can detrimentally affect people. The weekend, and the program generally, allowed scholars to better tend to their long-term mental health. Accordingly, Saturday evening saw scholars and staff alike unwind (to varying degrees…). The importance of fun was not forgotten.

The weekend was rounded out with a ziplining course across Sunday morning. Despite the focus of the program on resilience, the unrelenting torrential rain, overly friendly mosquitoes, and collective sleep deprivation left myself and others questioning not just the worth of persisting with Sunday’s activities, but a few of our own life choices. Regardless, we ground it out, and what unfolded was a morning unanimously enjoyed.

The adventures of Busselton were enjoyed by, and proved a benefit to, all involved. The LDP scholars left as better, if not more tired, individuals, and more equipped as future free market leaders.

The defence of liberty and opposition to excessive government has always required strong individuals taking a principled stance. For that matter, any ideological position requires its beholder to remain steadfast. The LDP is building strong individuals capable of taking such stances. The program is building hope; hope in a better and freer future. And to quote the fictional Andy Dufresne, ‘hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.’

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