Boots On The Ground
Kylie Leonard's leadership journey spans from the methodical routines of a dairy farm to the structured debates of council chambers.
With a foundation built on passion, leadership, and family roots, Leonard's experiences offer a unique perspective on adaptability and commitment.
Leonard's passion for farming is more than just professional—it's in her DNA, a bond that she shares with the land. This link to a nature-bound lifestyle is something many may feel distanced from in today's fast-paced world. However, for Leonard, each day on the farm is a chance to reconnect and reflect.
And Shoes In The Boardroom
"The farm's my happy place, like my absolute place of joy where I feel at peace and absolutely just the best place to be in the world.”
Though farming comes naturally to her, leadership presented its own set of challenges. Leonard acknowledges that while leading may not always have been her comfort zone, she approached it with the same determination and grounded outlook as she did with farming.
Drawing strength from her family, particularly her mother's resilience, Leonard finds motivation in overcoming adversity. And adversity she has faced. But with every challenge, she emerges with a lesson learned and a story to tell. The strength she draws from her mother's journey, particularly through personal hardships and health challenges, serves as a consistent touchstone for Leonard.
Now, as CELF's Alumni Leader of the Year for 2022, Leonard's leadership journey has come full circle. Sponsored by Tompkins Wake onto the CELF Elevate Leadership Programme, owing to her recognition as NZ Dairy Woman Network Community Leader of the Year in 2018, Leonard has been on a remarkable leadership trajectory since graduating from the program in 2019.
More than her professional achievements, Leonard juggles roles that are personally fulfilling. She is a dedicated mum and wife and stands as a pillar in her community. As an experienced director, governance specialist leader, mentor, rural professional, and farmer, Leonard's expertise stretches across multiple domains. Her involvement is evident in the numerous boards she chairs or is a part of, where she provides unwavering guidance and leadership. Her accolades don't stop there: Leonard was a finalist in this year's Women on Boards, successfully retained her seat as a Taupo district councillor, as well as being awarded the coveted Nuffield Scholarship.
Leonard's commitment to New Zealand's farmers is steadfast. She is a staunch advocate for their welfare, underscoring their genuine commitment to the land. Aware of the intricacies and evolving challenges in the farming sector, she believes in the importance of having representatives who are intimately familiar with the field.
“I am committed to staying up-to-date with the latest developments in governance and bringing innovative solutions to the table.”
In sum, Kylie Leonard's journey to date is multifaceted and deeply resonant.
She stands as a testament to the idea that diverse roles, both personal and professional, can be harmonized. As she navigates the vast pastures, council chambers, and boardrooms, Leonard remains a beacon of dedication, and adaptability in the field of leadership.