One year on: Who would have known?

A number of years ago, in a reflective conversation with George Otero, he made the comment, “who would have known?” His words still linger in me as I look back over the last 365 days. Yesterday (23 March) marked the end of our 1st year back in New Zealand (NZ).

We continue to marvel at the timing of our flight home, 2 days before NZ’s first big lock down. Leaving Adelaide on what might have been the last flight to leave – 19 passengers and crew!

12 months on, sitting in the warm sun, having watered the vegetable garden, I look back on the pleasure of being able to be at all the grandkid’s birthdays, all the special events and celebrations. Who would have known just how wonderful and precious life can be. In all seriousness, so much has happened in the last 12 months.

And breaking news: As I am writing this blog, my daughter Amy is giving birth to her 3rd child. Yet another occasion to celebrate. A new baby on the first day of our 2nd year back in NZ. My ‘Grandpa’ duties will be extended.

I have been pondering the following statement in relation to our first anniversary of living and being back in NZ,

‘perseverance is not a long race, it is many short races, one after the other’.

So true!

Take care, David

Relishing Relational Leadership

Attached is a beautiful article advocating for Relational Leadership by a colleague and friend, Derek Wenmoth. Check out his blog site as well.

Enjoy. Take care.


PS. If these thoughts are new to you, check out Giles, D.L. ‘Relational leadership in education: a phenomenon of interest an inquiry,’ London: Routledge

Bringing 20/20 vision into 2021 …

Optometrists check our vision.

They make assessments from the ‘outside in’, on what our vision is like for us from the ‘inside out’. Our goal for this assessment should be to have a prescription for improved vision, at best, a 20/20 ‘alignment’.

Optometrists check our eye-sight, not our in-sight.

Metaphorically, vision is also integral to our sight, our in-sight, and even our fore-sight. As an aside, I’m reminded of the expression that ‘some people look but they don’t see’.

To go where no optometrist can go.

For us, 20/20 was a year of ‘re-turning’ and being ‘welcomed home’ after 9 years of living in South Australia.

In the last 7 months, Pauline and I have been
seeking vision, gaining perspective and purpose,and receiving in-sight, in readiness for how we might ‘be’ in 2021.

Our hope is that refreshing thoughts and in-sights ‘find you’ each day.

David & Pauline

Online teaching of Relational Leadership

I have just finished a 2 day intensive leadership course today for the University of Adelaide, South Australia.

. During the afternoon session, one student asked the question: how do you find teaching on Relationships and Relational Leadership in an online manner? Do I enjoy it?

I thanked the student and began pondering his questions.

It certainly is a different experience to be teaching life-centric relational material online rather than face to face.

It’s more difficult to look into someone’s eyes and read their unspoken messages. It’s more challenging to sense the relational movements between those involved.

. But I’ll persist with teaching this way if this remains as our dominant medium of delivery. I’m glad the student was pondering these questions.


We have started “Life-Centric Educational Consultancy”

Hi everyone, just to let you know that we have started a new venture.

Our target is working with those in leadership, on the path to leadership, or curious about leadership within the educational sector and beyond.

We would be grateful if you could assist us in getting word of this consultancy (LCEC) out to others.

My book entitled “Relational Leadership in Education: A phenomenon of inquiry and practice” is available through Routledge or

P.S. For those of you in Australia, please note my new mobile number above. My previous Telstra number is no longer in use.



Relocating back to NZ

Greetings from NZ. After more than 9+ years living in the beautiful South Australia, we (and the other 29 passengers on the flight) have returned to our home land. And what a different welcome!

I write from inside my required period of self- isolation. This is day 8 out of 14, and then we have a further 14 days of national lockdown.

Been thinking, it’s not all bad although not being able to see or hug the kids or grandkids is tough. Isolation is good for the rest required from selling up and changing country. It’s humbling not being allowed to go to the supermarket only to have my daughter and hubby leave groceries by our door. Precious.

Been thinking about the times we are in as educational leaders. These are times when we must not loose sight of our purpose. The reason for our being educators.

Our purpose doesn’t change when everything else seems to. A purpose that involves relational beings, relational pedagogy, within a relational context.

And that purpose is of course, the growth and formation of our learners in the context of a relational community. Lest we forget.


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