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Silent Leadership Challenge 2013

On Friday 2 August 2013, New Zealand's senior leaders took part In this ground-breaking fundraising and awareness challenge. The inaugural event raised over $57,000 for our work for hard of hearing New Zealanders.

We’re hugely thankful to our 43 participants and over 650 individual supporters who made this event a big success!

CEOs, directors, senior managers, councillors and politicians from Whangarei to Invercargill donned bright yellow ear protectors and tackled four communication challenges, at work and at home.

009Julian Hughes
Julian Hughes, executive director, Business Leaders Health and safety Forum, talks with Matt Tong and Jenni Philpott of Wellington accountants Pocock Hudson.

‘I had to concentrate much more and could only focus on one question at a time.’

Experiencing deafness

Business leaders describe the 2013 challenge.

Anne Stichbury, CEO, One4All

"I started the day with an intense business review meeting. My colleagues paid attention to me for a bout five seconds, then gave up talking to me. I don’t think they realised they were doing it, but I was left completely isolated. I was hearing conversations all around me, but could only make out what they were saying if they were talking one to one."

Mark Brown, CEO - Life Unlimited

"I often missed pieces of conversation and had to decide whether to ask for a comment to be repeated or to let it go. Interaction was a lot more difficult and I and others did tend to avoid some 1:1 conversations."

Jane Wrightson - CEO NZ On Air

"It was profoundly disturbing. The hearing loss, and a sense of being slightly off-balance, leads to a feeling of dislocation. It was also difficult to know if you were speaking too loudly."

Andy Doherty - CEO Southern Hospitality

"I felt OK with the hearing part. I did use my hands more, and took more notes than normal. The hardest part was crossing the road – I lost all confidence."

Andy Doherty with headphones