Appendix 1

Dairy Leadership Capabilities

The Dairy Leadership Strategy recognises that ‘everyone is a leader’, and that we all have a collective responsibility for what we do and how we do it. Harnessing this leadership capability within us all will encourage participation, collaboration, innovation and confidence across the industry.

These leadership expectations are applicable to all dairy people and all situations, from the farm gate to the policy table and will support us in working together effectively and becoming the best that we can be.

The Dairy Leadership Capabilities are made up of two parts: Vertical capabilities and Horizontal capabilities

Vertical capabilities

Vertical capabilities are our leadership mindsets and behaviours. These capabilities are universal. They apply to everyone. They describe ‘how we show up’ – how we think and behave every day, at every level of activity – at work, at home, in our community. Vertical leadership skills can be applied to all jobs, roles and tasks. They are the foundation and cornerstone of developing collective and collaborative leadership that will enable us to build a unified and confident industry.

How we think and behave – our ‘mindsets and behaviours’ – have a big impact on others around us and on the culture and performance of our teams, businesses, communities and industry.

The Capability Matrix describes vertical leadership capabilities under three headings: Leading Self, Leading with Others, and Leading in our Businesses, Community and Industry.

These three areas of vertical leadership development provide a useful guide for our personal leadership journeys. Vertical skills development is not linear and development of skills in each area will often overlap and be revisited in a continual learning and development process throughout or lifetime.

A farm hand, a factory worker and a manager can all develop and apply vertical leadership skills within their sphere of influence. As they do so they will become more effective in their job, better to work with and will enjoy themselves more. Each person can progress to higher levels of vertical skill with training and experience.

Horizontal capabilities

Horizontal capabilities are our technical leadership skills and knowledge. These horizontal leadership capabilities describe ‘what we know’. They are the knowledge and skills that are applied to our jobs and in the context of leadership, they apply to specific (usually formal) leadership positions or roles. Horizontal leadership skills are not universal and most are not needed by everyone.

Horizontal skills in the areas of governance, advocacy and management, are usually associated with taking on formal leadership roles or positions in which the development of specific horizontal skills and knowledge is combined with the development of vertical leadership skills to gain the best effect.

Horizontal skills like presentation skills, influencing, engaging people, coaching, storytelling, can be quite technical and may be useful to people in a wide range of roles such as committee work, volunteering and sport. To be most effective, they should have a very strong element of vertical capability within them. Being competent in a horizontal skill may also help you to apply a vertical skill. For example, a farm hand who can communicate skillfully may be more successful in persuading his work mates to follow his idea than one with lesser communication skills.

A more detailed set of horizontal skills has been developed for people aspiring to formal industry leadership roles. Aspiring industry leaders are expected to develop these skills progressively alongside vertical skills on their journey from emerging to developing to senior leaders in formal roles and positions.

Leadership capabilities summary

The leadership mindsets, values and behaviours (vertical capabilities) are the foundation and cornerstone of developing a collective, collaborative and confident industry. Each individual who takes on and applies their vertical leadership skills has the potential to contribute positively to a stronger dairy industry.

Vertical skills support and enable the effective deployment of the various technical skills, knowledge and experiences required of formal leaders (horizontal capabilities). The technical skills, knowledge and experiences required differ and are often determined by our individual roles, responsibilities, sphere of influence and the operating environments in which we work.

“Leadership is of the spirit compounded of personality and vision; its practice is an art. Management is of the mind, more a matter of accurate calculation, of statistics, of methods, time tables, and routine; its practice is a science. Managers are necessary; leaders are essential.”

             (William Slim, 1957)


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