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“Leadership” is an often used word, with many connotations. I define leadership as guiding yourself and/or others through your deep wisdom and insight.

Gayle Hardie (of Global Leadership Foundation), is one of many people who have informed my view of leadership. She  is an exceptional woman who has enhanced many people’s leadership qualities in her career. Gayle sees examples of leadership everywhere and during our time at Tetepare Island shared with me that ‘leadership development work’ doesn’t need to happen in a lab (e.g. as training in an office); that a community such as Tetepare is a ‘leadership learning lab’ in itself. 

Tetepare – an almost-deserted tropical island in the western Solomon Islands – is a leadership development lab.

At Tetepare, we were part of a community where people are leading themselves and others. Leadership could be seen everywhere: in the community leaders who work to conserve their island and the marine and plant life for future generations, and balance tourism and other funding with conservation and economic progress/life in the community. Leadership is seen in Paul, the head of Baniata community, who has set up a guest house with solar panels and is making efforts to get his community to an economically sustainable state. the guides/rangers/managers who supported us in seeing the island, handling the boats / walks and their way of working as well as visiting a neighbouring community. It was seen in the cook, Margaret, who co-ordinated a team to provide us beautiful organic meals. It was seen in many conversations we had about how they carry themselves for their families, community and the local environment. 

What I’m still yet to fully absorb is how privileged I am to have experienced this community. To then be in Brisbane with family and see how much we have – shoes, clothes, furniture. We can talk of different styles of furniture we would like. On the two islands we visited at Tetepare the people there didn’t have this choice. 

As I travel with less and live with less around me, I am even more curious about the richness in life. 

Happy days to you,

Sam

www.samanthabell.com.au 

The photo is of Tony, our very helpful guide and the marine ranger at Tetepare.

This was automatically posted as I am currently in India!