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Arataki: A Let's get real approach to leadership

The Let's get real approach to leadership

This page provides an overview of a leadership approach that is applicable to all leaders in Aotearoa New Zealand. Below is a tool that can help enhance skills and attributes for leading self, teams, and services.

This leadership approach is based on the writing of Ella Henry and Rachel Wolfgramm, which explores the concept of relational leadership from a Māori viewpoint. It helps shape leaders’ identity and practice, based on values and cultural worldview.

The name, Arataki

Arataki is a Māori kupu that translates as "to lead" or "to guide." This name was suggested by a participant of a Let’s get real hui during the development of the tool.

It is a fitting name for this resource as it acts as a guide towards valuable tools and knowledge to enhance the capability of leaders in our health sector.

Universal approaches to leadership

Māori leadership approaches, as outlined by Ella Henry and Rachel Wolfgramm, have universal applicability.  They are also considered to be best practice leadership, suitable for any country, culture or leadership context.  

The model provides an opportunity to integrate Indigenous wisdom and practices and empower people to foster personal and professional growth. The Let’s get real values and Real Skills can be used within the model to foster a healthy work environment.

Professor Ella Henry discusses the concepts of relational and collective leadership.

See Henry, E, and Wolfgramm, R. “Relational Leadership – An Indigenous Māori Perspective.” Leadership 14, no. 2 (April 1, 2018): 203–19.

Leading self, teams and services

The elements of leadership described above – ways of being, ways of knowing and ways of doing – can be applied to three leadership roles.

Leading self

Leading self begins with a deep understanding of yourself, including your cultural background, personal beliefs, and sense of identity. These factors profoundly shape how you approach leading both yourself and others.

Leading teams

As a leader, how you present yourself and your actions are crucial in fostering a welcoming environment where your team can thrive and make meaningful contributions to people, whānau, and the healthcare system.

Leading services

Leading a service or a system is a distinct challenge that requires additional skills and knowledge compared to leading teams. Effective leadership at any level requires you to be grounded in your ways of being and ways of knowing.

The Arataki tool

Before using this tool, consider whether the challenge you are facing is about managing self, managing your team or managing your service. Then hover over the the corresponding segment of the tool below, leading self, leading teams or leading services, to see a short explanation of that those elements involved. Click on one of the segments to be taken to a page bringing together resources to assist you in strengthening these skills and attributes.

Select one of the leadership concepts to find a resource.


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