Professor David Robinson is Academic Head (Queensland) and MBA Director (Australia) at Holmes Institute. At our breakfast meeting on Friday October 8, 2021 he spoke to us about Synergistic Leadership - effective leadership of volunteer teams in not-for-profit organisations.
Professor David Robinson was honoured with the Australian Universities’ Educator of the Year Award in 2018 and he currently leads Australia’s largest private college's MBA program. A graduate of several universities in different countries, his research in the field of leadership, entrepreneurship and business ethics is internationally renowned.

Professor Robinson was a Charter Member and President of the Rotary Club of Cape Town Waterfront (1991-1993) and the Rotary Club of Port Elizabeth Sunrise (1993-1999), both of which were the first in their cities to hold their meeting as Friday breakfasts and also the first to have women as members). Dave completed his 10 year Rotary journey in 2002 at the Rotary Club of Grahamstown, with a 100% attendance record.

Dave's leadership experience ranges from ‘big pharma’ manufacturing through to project management and international consulting, but (more importantly) in surf-lifesaving clubs, competitive surfing, service clubs, foundations and committees, and other situations that demand effective team leadership that is not driven by a profit motive, thus requiring the leader to be well-versed in the Principles of Synergy, which was our topic of discussion on Friday.

The principles of Synergistic Leadership are best applied in a service club such as Rotary, where people are volunteering to give their energies to the benefit of the Rotary team and the people whom they service.

David explained that the 'Synergistic Mindset' relies on seven synergizing principles, which are listed below. You can read more about them in the e-book below or download the PDF article that David has provided.

1. Accurately discern our own and others’ optimal utility and facilitate (remove any obstacles to) its flow. What is the utility of work to get the best out of the team.

2. Ensure that like energies are jointly engaged in synergistic pursuit of organisational goals. People with similar energies are naturally attracted toward joint collaboration.

3. Visualization is the key to attainment. We must visualize the end goal in order to attain it.

4. Recognition of others helps them to feel validated when getting them to do something.

5. To accelerate evolution by improving individual and group capacities for adaptability. We have all had to adapt. We all want to adapt. We need to be ready to adapt. This takes time; it cannot be forced.

6. To respect the principle of reciprocity and thereby create positive futures. The Golden Rule says: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

7. To recognise and capitalise on serendipitous events at every opportunity. Serendipitous events occur when influence, inspiration, investment, integrity and intuition are aligned with benevolent intent.
Click on 'PDF' to download 'Leading with a Synergistic Mindset' by Professor David Robinson