CEO's Update 19/5/21

By NZISM Secretary


Kia ora koutou members and supporters. This week on the 21st and 22nd of May we celebrate Global Leadership Day. To mark this occasion, I would like us all to take the opportunity to check in with ourselves and with our colleagues. This past year has been an extraordinary time where many of us have had to cope with an inordinate amount of stress both in our personal and professional lives.

Whilst we are able to step up and operate at a high level of performance for periods of time to support massive change in our organisations, what I am seeing and hearing from many different people is that this period of peak performance to navigate the pandemic has turned into the new normal. With restructuring and downsizing, people are now managing multiple job roles or had their responsibilities change overnight to accommodate the impact of a new way of working.

While short-term bursts of peak performance are manageable, operating at this level consistently and over long periods of time is not sustainable. I believe staff burnout and the fallout from this will become the biggest issue organisations have to face this year, and our profession has a risk of increased incidents of burnout. I have spoken about this previously and I will continue to do so, in order to keep this issue front of mind for our members. Checking in with each other, making adjustments to our work schedules to bring us back to levels that are realistic and sustainable and role modelling good work-life balance are all things we can do to support better work practice.

Remember that leadership is an action, not a position. By prioritising your physical, emotional, and mental health you are setting an example for others to follow. I’d like to see our profession showing great leadership in their organisations by raising this issue and implementing good work practices to prevent burnout and keep this issue a priority.

Ngā mihi,

Selena Armstrong