A fearless
Leadership Experience


It was a great privilege to shadow Sina for the day at AUT’s event Shadow a Leader, who had invited me to attend Dinner with a Difference. The title of this event was Fearless Leaders. This intrigued me and I decided to it would be a worthwhile experience attending.

On arrival, having no expectations on what the night was going to hold, we got these red letters that we weren’t allowed to open until we were advised. It made me feel like Charlie and the Chocolate factory and one of us had the lucky golden ticket. Being a 19-year-old, AUT student, I felt a bit out of place with all these older business leaders, however I kept thinking 'be fearless', so I introduced myself to a few new people and started talking away. Little did I know what the rest of the night had install for me.


The two MC’s, Eddy Dever and Chris Parker gave us all a warm welcome and made me feel excited about the evening. My heart dropped when they said we were the live entertainment for the night and told us to open our envelopes. I was thinking please don’t be singing. I got poetry, which is not really my thing but on a positive note at least it wasn’t singing.


Our mentor, Selina, was so bubbly and made it so easy to meet and make friends with everyone also in the poetry group. We did a few warm up activities such as Chinese whispers, which was quite funny. We all had to pick a word that symbolizes us and then our groups had to brainstorm words that came to their mind when they heard that word. To make our poems we picked 5 of those words that inspired us and then we put 'I am' in front of them. This was a really easy but effective way to make a poem. After rehearsing a few times we were all ready to perform.

The performances had us all laughing and everyone was so supportive of each other, which made the whole experience a lot less nerve wracking. I want to thank Leadership NZ, in particular Sina who invited me to this event. I felt so inspired after and it has motivated me with other aspects of my life to be a fearless leader.

Catherine Foley





Leadership New Zealand, with AUT University Business and Curative, really delivered on their promise [dare] to face our fears at the 2015 Dinner with a Difference. We knew it was going to be different the minute we were handed a ‘red envelope’ and cheerfully told we were the entertainment.

The group’s energy instantly shifted from collegial comfort to surprise, some trepidation and finally settled on embracing the challenge with great humility and humour as we went off to create our performances.



For most of us we had to fearlessly embrace doing things we would not typically do but doing it anyway. My lasting impression was that you can have the most fun exploring the things you don’t consider yourself good at while discovering secret talents of a diverse group of people prepared to give it a try with you.

Marianne Scott


Proudly Supported by

Leadership NZ

Leadership NZ

Leadership New Zealand is a not-for-profit trust set up to focus on developing and enhancing the quality of our future leaders. Leadership New Zealand will identify, nurture and develop our leaders, from whatever corner of society they emerge. Driving this event forward, LNZ is bringing together speakers, crafting the program, and helping to host the evening.



Curative nz

Curative is a creative agency in the business of inspiring change. Our clients include community organisations, philanthropists, government partnerships and social enterprise ventures. Curative is Leadership New Zealand's Creative Partner, and have played a key role in curating Dinner with a Difference.



AUT Business School

As the major sponsor of Dinner with a Difference, AUT Business School is supporting the event with an inspiring venue - their new Sir Paul Reeves Building. We are very grateful for the support of Dr Geoff Perry, Dean of the AUT Business School, and the Business School team