top of page


Cultivating Effective Leadership in Pasifika Organisations

Pasifika organisations are essential to the cultural and economic vitality of the Pacific Islands.

by Joey Nanai  I    4th September 2023


They provide essential services, support community development, and promote cultural preservation. However, these organisations can only be successful if they have effective leadership.

Effective leadership in Pasifika organisations is based on a set of core principles, including:

  • Listening and learning: Effective leaders are always learning and growing. They are open to new ideas and perspectives, and they are willing to listen to the voices of their community.

  • Humility: Effective leaders are humble. They know that they do not have all the answers, and they are always willing to learn from others.

  • Respect: Effective leaders treat everyone with respect, regardless of their position or background. They create a culture of cooperation and collaboration.

  • Objectivity: Effective leaders are objective in their decision-making. They put the interests of the organisation first, and they avoid making decisions based on personal biases.

  • Teamwork: Effective leaders are team players. They are willing to collaborate with others and share credit for success.

  • Discretion: Effective leaders are discreet. They handle sensitive information with care, and they protect the confidentiality of board discussions.


By following these principles, Pasifika leaders can create organisations that are strong, vibrant, and effective.

The Consequences of Ignoring Leadership Principles

Ignoring these principles can lead to undesirable outcomes for both the organisation and its leaders. For example:

  • Undermining team cohesion: When leaders neglect teamwork, they erode trust and cooperation among board members. This can lead to conflict and ultimately the failure of the organisation.

  • Missing out on opportunities: When leaders fail to actively contribute, they deprive the organisation of their unique insights and perspectives. This can limit the organisation's ability to grow and innovate.

  • Jeopardising reputation and success: Self-serving decisions can tarnish the organisation's reputation and financial stability. This can make it difficult for the organisation to fulfil its mission and attract new supporters.

  • Affecting personal reputation: Poor conduct by leaders can stain their personal reputations, making it difficult for them to engage with other organisations and future opportunities.

The Significance of Graceful Transitions

Recognising the right time to step down from a board position is crucial for the organisation's prosperity. Effective board service demands appropriate time and attention. Neglecting this responsibility can jeopardise decisions that hinder organisational growth.

When a leader steps down gracefully, they signal their commitment to the organisation's mission and pave the way for more capable and dedicated individuals to contribute. This ensures that the organisation thrives under capable leadership.

Screenshot 2023-06-19 082153.jpg

Honourin' Sponsors, Funders, and the Community

In addition to these principles, it is also important to remember the significance of acknowledging the organisation's sponsors, funders, and the community it serves. This can be done by:

  • Maintaining regular communication with sponsors and funders to update them on progress and demonstrate the impact of their contributions.

  • Express gratitude through formal acknowledgments, events, and updates to underscore appreciation for their support.

  • Align actions with the community's values and needs, ensuring that the organisation's efforts directly benefit those it serves.


By following these principles, Pasifika leaders can create organisations that are strong, vibrant, and effective. They can also build a legacy of respect and trust that will benefit future generations.

bottom of page