Voice of Leadership with Stephanie Burns, PhD | November Intake 2022

02nd November 2022 3:00pm - 4:30pm
WiBF Member: AUD $990.00 Website Subscriber: AUD $1265.00
5 interactive virtual sessions Zoom Meeting


WiBF is delighted to welcome back Dr Stephanie Burns with a new interactive, virtual program: Voice of Leadership. This series of 5 zoom presentations will address the underlying theories, ideas and strategies for navigating a long and ever-evolving career.

2 November: Becoming a life-long learner
9 November: Overriding the habit of procrastination
16 November: Managing fear, anxiety and lack of confidence
23 November: Getting to know and understand yourself
30 November: There’s more than enough time

There is no question that in today’s world that continuous learning is essential for the full and long careers we are expected to have. It sounds good, a great idea, but how do you go about doing that?
There are 2 kinds of learning pursuits that affect your career: long-term learning pursuits, such as formal academic studies; and becoming more efficient in short term learning, such as improving immediate needs to practice on the job.
Adults, have many advantages in the context of learning. Current research coming out of the neurosciences have identified numerous capabilities associated with improved learning in the adult brain. Combine those findings with an increased effectiveness of your skills, and you have a potent combination to feel confident when taking on the challenge of learning something new that advances your career.
Stephanie has spent much of her career on assisting adults in re-tooling their learning strategies to take advantages of the adult brain and nervous system they carry around with them. There is absolutely no reason to continue believing in the negative culture myths about adults and learning.

Just as procrastination is a learned behaviour, and not a personality trait, so too is persistence behaviour. People who persist have learned how, in very specific terms, to overcome the natural instinctive behaviours to stop or avoid when what they have to do is unpleasant or uncomfortable.
This lecture unravels what lies behind the procrastination that plagues us at various times with various goal pursuits in both our personal and professional life. And, that means in the moment … do I get up and do that, or do I put it off till tomorrow … work on that report, make that call, go for a run, take the dog for a walk, read that chapter, cook or order take-away.
It is NOT about passion, nor desire, nor willpower, nor discipline. It rests on learning control your own mind, strategically choosing what to think about or what not to think about and when.

How often is that fear, or anxiety, rears its head, affecting the choices we make and causing us to avoid the very paths we want to walk down?
In the study of human emotions, fear it well understood. We may write songs about love, but we write books, and a lot of them, about fear.
When the experience of fear is standing between you and what you want to do, it will matter to understand the nature of fear and to have realistic strategies that allow you continue to take action in the direction of those goals. Fear should never be the reason you do not get what you want, do what you want to do, or go where you want to go.

There are a myriad of profiling instruments, such as, Myers-Briggs, DISC or MBTI, that organisations and individual professionals use to help them better understand their strengths and weaknesses and those of people around them. It is thought, rightly or wrongly, that these insights help us to manage our own careers and get more from our teams than without them. But better than any profile, is lived-experience. Over time we come to know ourselves. Career choices and directions should take advantage of this ever-growing understanding.
As part of this presentation Stephanie will introduce one model which goes a long way to understanding our relationship with others, our understanding of people, their motivations and behaviours. It is a rich model that unpacks the joys and frustrations of how we work, what we choose, and how we work with others.
It leads to great humour, and ultimately effectiveness, when we team up with others, be that on the job or a team comprised of our spouse and children. You’ll never look at yourself or others in the same way again.

Advancing our knowledge, racking up experience and producing new work takes frequent and consistent action over time, and most often, a lot of it. Nothing of much significance can be accomplished quickly.
Our perception of time very much affects how we navigate through life and the choices we make. We either bump along in a reactionary day-to-day fashion or have a view that sees a place for all that we want to do and accomplish. These perceptions are not fixed, and the human brain can move in and out seeing time from different perspectives as needed. That we can control this is an important aspect of achievement and contentment.
To achieve our personal and professional aspirations, first and foremost is our ability to think long into our career and take actions that lead to that future state. We need to be thinking in terms of 10, 20 and even 30-year plans. Time is going to pass whether we do anything or not.

Pre Work

None required


Overall this course is designed to improve perception, influence and the nature of change.


Dr. Stephanie Burns is well known in the Australian corporate, education and government communities. Trained originally as an engineer by the U.S. Army her career evolved through influential studies into human behaviour. Her own research has led to practical solutions to problems in the areas of leadership, communication, learning and teaching effectiveness. She has lived in Australia since 1987, and completed her PhD with the University of South Australia.