No Respect for the Status Quo
The 2010/11 Future Auckland Leaders and Alumni finished their Talking Heads series with an inspirational conversation with New Zealander of the Year Sir Ray Avery on October 11th.
In 2010, Avery won the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Medal and now mentors young people, speaking regularly at schools and universities.
Hosted by Catherine Etheridge in the Ports of Auckland headquarters, Sir Ray’s session covered his struggle as an orphan in England and his quest to educate himself. He described the lessons he has learned in his careers as an inventor and social entrepreneur.
Some of Avery’s inventions include the Acuset IV Flow controller helping with the safe administration of potent IV drugs and the Life-raft Incubator which uses innovative technology to reduce mortality of premature babies associated with bacterial infections.
Sir Ray established Medicine Mondiale as an independent development agency and charity in 2003. It creates low-cost sustainable health and medical solutions that combat global poverty and health issues for the most vulnerable and neglected societies. After meeting Fred Hollows ,Ray Avery supervised the construction of IOL laboratories in Eritrea and Nepal for The Fred Hollows Foundation, and designed manufacturing processes for intraocular lenses (IOLs). The Fred Hollows Foundation laboratories now provide 13% of the world market for intraocular lenses and use technology invented and gifted by Avery.
Sir Ray Avery’s lessons for leadership:
1. The tools of leadership come from struggle. A little bit of “angst” tests you so you can survive anything
2. Leaders have no respect at all for the status quo
3. Observation is the key to innovation and the ability to think laterally
4. Have an exit strategy – don’t let your life unfold by accident
5. Our passage is determined by our individual weaknesses (for New Zealanders, impossible should just be a starting point)
6.Leaders take people with them on their journey and can galvanise groups of secular people.
7. Leadership is an evolutionary process: first you must know who you are and what you want to do.