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  • Straight from the source – November 2021

    Recently I completed an ‘authentic leadership’ workshop with the Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) that took participants through an exercise of identifying the significant events that shaped us as leaders. In preparation for the workshop, we were asked to map the peaks and valleys that make up our life stories, which inform who we are today. This was referred to as our life graph. My life graph included many firsts – first born, first to graduate and first in many roles. My graph also highlighted critical events that shaped my resilience, courage and entrepreneurship.

    At the end of the workshop, leveraging our life graph and materials covered, we were asked to articulate our leadership purpose in a short sharp statement. It’s taken me several months of tinkering, but I think I’ve nailed my leadership purpose as ‘challenging the box and busting open that lid’. My leadership purpose reflects me, my actions, and my aspirations. This is the beauty of purpose; it’s unique and therefore contingent on us to articulate it and review it from time to time.

    Similarly, a clear purpose is important for all organisations. Recent research indicates that purpose-driven organisations make more money, have more engaged employees and loyal customers, and are better at innovation and transformation. Not-for-profits reflect their purpose in governing documents, but like all organisations, sometimes purpose or activities change. For this reason, it is important for not-for-profits to review operations and validate the organisation is operating for its purpose and not for the profit or gain of its individual members.

    The pandemic has caused many organisations, as well as not-for-profits to re-think their business model, therefore this is an opportune time to undertake a review. There’s a lot happening so it’s timely to reinforce some of the key changes and expectations:

    • As mentioned in last month’s blog, all non-government DGRs are required to register as a charity from 14 December 2021, except for ancillary funds or DGRs specifically listed in tax law. Transitional arrangements are available to DGRs to meet the new requirements. RegisterExternal Link for our joint webinar with the ACNC on 9 December 2021 to learn about the change, transitional arrangements, and what steps you need to take.
    • If you’re self-assessing as income tax exempt, make sure you meet all the requirements. From 1 July 2023, self-assessing not-for-profits with an active ABN will be required to lodge an annual self-review return to access an income tax exemption. You should already have been self-assessing your eligibility annually, so if you’ve slipped, use our checklist now in preparation.

    Finally, after six long lockdowns, restrictions have been lifted in Melbourne. So, what was hot on my list? Top of the list was family gathering. The highlight was that I spent time with my baby niece who I’d only seen briefly at her christening. While we’ve missed so much of her 14 months, she was not backward in coming forward and hugged us without condition – a testament to the power of virtual platforms, at least in the short term.

    Just when we thought things were starting to get back to normal, we got hit by a storm that left many homes damaged and without power in Melbourne. A shout out to our emergency services who support us in communities across Australia. Remember emergency services can use the ABN details to provide help in times of emergency so make sure your details are reviewed regularly and are up to date.

    A shout out also to Movember which began in in Australia in 2003 to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancers. Over time it has included raising awareness for men’s suicides. Whilst Movember has grown as an organisation and in support, its purpose remains sharp as Helping men live happier, healthier longer lives.

    I will leave you to ponder the following questions this month:

    Is your organisation’s purpose clear and supported by appropriate governance and strategies?

    How does your leadership purpose align with your organisation? Try crafting your statement- would love to see it in linked in comments.

    Remember to stay safe, get vaccinated and reach out for assistance.


    Last modified: 09 Dec 2021QC 67263