Develop your potential

Making the most of your opportunities

If you are serious about leadership you should create opportunities (where you can) and make the most of every opportunity that comes your way.

  • Add leadership and governance into your performance development plan as a way of informing management of your goals and seeking their support
  • Apply for training courses, both those targeted to women and those that include both men and woemn.
  • Seek out challenging projects that will stretch your abilities, allow you to learn, and draw your abilities to the attention of senior managers and board members.

If you have limited capacity for work, due to family responsibilities for example, don't assume that you should be sidelined from career development opportunities. Let people know you want to be included and considered, and think about negotiating flexible working arrangements so you don't miss out.

Networking and mentoring

Networking and mentoring can help you at any point in your career, and the sooner you become adept at this the better.  

  • By belonging to peer networks you will benefit from the support and advice of others.
  • You'll find that as a board member networking and mentoring will be invaluable.
  • Your networks may be an asset that gives you an edge when being considered for a position.


Your networks are the connections and relationships you have formed with people in your communities or profession. Networking is about reciprocity; networking is about both giving and receiving information and assistance. Networking provides access to useful contacts, perspectives and opportunities.

Benefits of networking include:

  • increasing the number of opportunities that you hear about
  • keeping abreast of the issues affecting the sectors that you operate or are interested in
  • access to those who make decisions or have an influence over board appointments in the sectors that interest you.

How to develop your networks:

  • Attend training course, conferences and other events in your field.
  • Join databases like the Ministry’s Nominations Service database and the Treasury's database.
  • Join organisations like the Institute of Directors in New Zealand and local Chambers of Commerce.