Dr Samantha Graham
Founder and CEO of State of Mind
Photo credit: Wolter Peeters SMH
My work as a Leadership Education designer has spanned decades and ranged from social change and academic programs for NGOs and Universities in the UK, US and Australia (since 1994) to corporate sustainability and leadership development programs (since 2004).
The latest iteration of State of Mind builds on my work with Executive & Senior Leadership Teams and middle managers across a range of sectors, including banking & finance, FMCG, construction, public transport, insurance, advertising, and broadcasting.
As I evolved my program, with everyone from the Rabbitohs to St Kilda AFL team, Nestle to the Salvation Army, Deutsche Bank to Allianz and the BBC, it dawned on me gradually that I was doing a disservice to the women in the room whose experience of many aspects of corporate life is entirely different and often undocumented, to the experience of men.
So while my tools for greater resilience, efficiency, focus, creativity etc, have lifted the performance of countless teams, the linguistic, socio-cultural and institutional biases that act like a constant headwind against women were not being discussed. Nor were the limitations being put on men in terms of roles they could play in their home life, or how a corporate culture can act to keep everyone, (women, men and those who identify as n/either), from playing their full roles to their greatest capacity both at work and home. Thus in addition to my existing programs, I am delighted to be offering Gender Intelligence (GQ) 101.
Alongside this growing body of work is the existential crisis we are facing with the barely-acknowledged climate emergency. It is impossible, if not simply disingenuous, to offer programs that attempt to deal with ‘everyday’ stress and worry without speaking to this larger anxiety that psychologically shrouds all other ‘lesser’ concerns, and in business terms affects (or soon will) every single aspect of an entity’s operations. This conversation therefore necessarily informs all my work, my PhD in corporate sustainability (2003) providing the in-depth understanding of the science and ‘human ecology’ of the situation humankind is facing.