Cultivating a High Performing Mind & Excellence in Leadership

Crawford School of Public Policy

Crawford School of Public Policy


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Who should attend

Leaders (SES Band 1&2) and managers (EL1&2) striving to cultivate personal wellbeing, a high performing mind, enhance team & organisational performance and motivate others to achieve the same.

Selected participants should hold a mid or senior-level policy, practice, research or reform role, in either government, civil society or the private sector. Ideally they should have completed at least an Undergraduate or Masters level tertiary qualification, have at least five years’ work experience at mid to senior levels, and have a good understanding of the discipline they are representing.

About the course

Develop a high performing mind and excellence in self-directed public-sector leadership and management.

This workshop has been specially developed for executives and leaders striving to achieve leadership excellence in their role. Harnessing the latest research advances from contextual behavioural science, this workshop will teach you how to cultivate a high performing mind in managing change in the service of consistent high performance. Combining the tools of psychological flexibility and human behavioural insights will help leaders more consistently allocate the scarce resource of attention to what is most important and achieve results through people – the key assets for productivity enhancement and successful change transformation.

Course overview

Participants will learn to deal with habitual and negative responses and behaviours in both themselves and others, to name and identify such behaviours and develop the metacognition and perspective-taking to recognise and manage this intrinsically and extrinsically. By taking perspective on your part in a larger system, you will learn how you are modifying the system, and develop a more flexible and morally determined repertoire of chosen responses to challenging and difficult situations. Such personal responsiveness has been shown to significantly enhance work engagement, communication, stress management, learning and information processing, emotional intelligence, executive functioning, cognitive style, and physical and mental wellbeing.

In addition, by recognising the importance of morally determined and values-directed action, you will inculcate such behaviour in individuals within your teams. Such prosocial approaches will help you to develop teams of people with a united and cohesive sense of purpose guided by what is intrinsically, morally and culturally important.

Topics to be covered:

  • Develop and refine the attributes of psychological flexibility as a leader and manager
  • Identify intrinsic core values for success that facilitate personal agility and responsiveness
  • Develop a broader repertoire of chosen responses to life’s situations
  • Develop an empathetic approach by increasing your awareness of peers, bosses and subordinates and in so doing, better appreciate their needs and strengths
  • Facilitate constructive and productive engagements with others that deliver results and create a positive impact at the workplace
  • Improve your sensitivity and develop a tool-kit of diverse approaches for dealing with people effectively and efficiently

Learning outcomes:

  • Improved awareness and productivity
  • Enhanced personal wellbeing
  • More consistently choose and act in line with your values
  • Better able to catalyse learning and changed behaviours personally, in peers and subordinates
  • Communicate with impact and positively influence others
  • Cultivate a culture of prosociality and values-consonant civic engagement


Participating individuals and organisations will be more adequately equipped to response to the challenges of this century. For example, in the areas of food, water and energy security while taking into consideration gender equity and social inclusion. The issues being faced by the public and associated sectors are complex and seeming intractable. An effective response, I believe, will necessarily be multi-disciplinary for those who rise to the challenge. Hence the design of the program – an accessible, well informed, deliberative process that catalyses innovative responses from individuals within nested and interrelated team and community arrangements to the challenges they face within their sphere of influence.

Anticipated behavioural and business impacts include:

Participants will learn to:

  • Analyse what is really motivating and directing behaviour and the results you are getting
  • Clarify your personal values by identifying what is important now and in the long-run
  • Increase your awareness of experience and how attention is allocated
  • Reinforce the value you are striving for in important life domains
  • Act effectively by designing, testing and prototyping new ideas and behaviours


Robert Styles

Dr Styles is an academic at the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University. As a Contextual Behavioural Scientist, his applied work has been a study of how language and cognition functions to influence psychological and social wellbeing, particularly the enhancement of team ...

Cultivating a High Performing Mind & Excellence in Leadership at Crawford School of Public Policy

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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