Leading Teams is proud to announce the results of a study conducted by three Fellows at the University of Ballarat in late 2012. The Wimmera Development Association (WDA) has been running the Leadership Wimmera Program annually and Leading Teams has delivered the entire program for the last six years.

Since Leading Teams has been involved, the results have been particularly positive. The program aims to increase the leadership skills, knowledge and networks in the region.

There are three elements to the Leadership Wimmera Program (LWP):

  1. Community/Regional Leadership Skills Initiative – youth and emerging leaders – Facilitated by Dain Fay
  2. Business Leaders program – Facilitated by Kraig Grime and Ray McLean
  3. Women’s Mentoring Program – Facilitated by Martine Harkin

There was an average of 32 participants on the program each year. The structure of each of the individual programs was:
Program Overview– Community/Regional Leadership Skills

  • An introductory session
  • A weekend retreat
  • 5 full days of skills training within 6 months
  • 1 full day workshop on public speaking and presentation skills
  • Working on a project in teams

Program Overview– Business Leaders

  • An introductory session
  • A weekend retreat
  • 5 full days of skills training
  • 1 full day workshop on public speaking and presentation skills
  • Workplace learning project using peers and facilitators

Program Overview– Women’s Mentoring Program

  • An introductory session
  • A weekend retreat
  • 3 full days of skills training


Research Methods

69 participants undertook the online survey which consisted of yes/no questions; a five-point Likert scale; and open-ended written responses

Key Results

  • Increased levels of self-confidence and empowerment of participants
  • Development/refinement of leadership skills and knowledge of participants
  • Increased networks and collaboration in the community
  • More open and honest communication, including the use of personality profiles
  • Several new events in the region
  • Inspired people, now more focused on building their career and making positive changes in their lives
  • A significant rate of volunteering in the community that include a wide range of activities
  • Increased involvement in the community, including groups and fundraising of participants
  • Increased levels of involvement in local state and national level committees

Reasons for Participation

  1. Develop myself professionally (88%)
  2. Improve my leadership skills (77%)
  3. Learn more about leadership (57%)
  4. Connect with other leaders in the community (44%)


Participant Outcomes/Results

An aim of the Leadership Wimmera program is to increase the networks of participants. This appears to have been successful with participants generally feeling that their participation in the program had improved networking and collaborative opportunities. 91% felt they had increased their participation in networks and groups since completing the program and 86% felt that the program gave them access to a professional network.

  • 100% of Business Leader participants felt they had been given access to a professional network.
  • 75%of Community/Regional Leaders felt they had been given access to a professional network.

Demonstrating the strong impact of the Leading Teams program, more people who participated in the last five years (since Leading Teams’ involvement) felt they had gained access to a professional network (90%, compared to 65% 6-10 years ago, prior to Leading Teams delivering the program).

More participants who completed the Leading Teams-delivered program meet with other participants (66%) compared with those who completed the program 6-10 years ago (39%).

The LWP has influenced 79% of participants to make changes in their life, career, organisation or community (91% of Business Leaders and 79% Community/Regional Leaders).

100% of Community/Regional Leaders applied their learning in leadership in their workplace and community.


This evaluation demonstrated that Leading Teams has been successful in increasing the skill, knowledge and individual leadership capacity of participants in the Leadership Wimmera Program.

The leadership skills and knowledge acquired included:

  • Thinking ‘outside the square’
  • Open and honest communication
  • Use of personality types to better manage and communicate in the workplace, home and community
  • Building confidence

This demonstrates that leadership skills are not innate and can be taught, learnt and practiced (Forsyth 2009; Hoffman et al., 2011), reinforcing the important role of these programs.

The skills and knowledge being presented in the programs are of direct benefit to those participating in the program.

The evaluation shows that 38% of Community/Regional Leaders participants have meetings with one another, and this aspect may need strengthening. 90% of Business Leader participants have meetings with other program participants.


  • Establish an Alumni annual program
  • Mentoring/one-to-one facilitator time

Full-day workshops were rated most effective, followed by the weekend retreat and then the public speaking workshop.

80% of participants felt that the program had a significant impact on their leadership capacity.

Click here to download the full study

Results with thanks to the Horsham Campus Research Precinct, School of Education and Arts, University of Ballarat.

© 2013 Horsham Campus Research Precinct


Ray McLean

Ray McLean

Ray founded Leading Teams in 1992 after working as a leadership officer with the Air Force. He has published two books, ‘Any Given Team’ and ‘Team Work’. Ray is based in Geelong.
Learn more about Ray.