Leadership is a mindset, says Dr Vikram Murthy.
The business strategist and leadership builder was recognised at a formal ceremony at Rotorua Boys' High School last week for his commitment to education and community in Rotorua.
Dr Murthy, director of the Academy for Collaborative Futures, has given leadership lectures to those in the local education sector for the past three years through a contract with the Nga Pumanawa e Waru Education Trust.
He said he was "delighted" by the ceremony.
"It's a very nice moment for me. I do this as a calling, it has been for many years, but it is nice to be recognised."
A professor at Massey University, Dr Murthy works in both New Zealand and Australia, while living in Sydney.
He said during his three-year contract he ran leadership programmes for senior principals, deputy principals, heads of department and people in the local education sector.
"The idea is that there is lots of expertise here in the education sector, with well-qualified people. However there are challenges with the disparity with how people learn and how technology is impacting on learning. How do you use it?"
He said he thought the six main foundations of leadership were focus [of] attention, collaboration, collective wisdom, learning, worldliness and time.
The education sector in Rotorua was strong, Dr Murthy said.
"Many foreign students want to come here- that's a solid indication of what Rotorua has to offer."
Nga Pumanawa e Waru Education Trust executive director and chairman Leith Comer said he was pleased Dr Murthy was being recognised for his work.
"We wanted to take the opportunity to acknowledge the contribution Vikram has made to the work we are doing."
He said the ceremony was "short but special" and a number of principals who Dr Murthy had worked with attended.
Mr Comer said the trust wanted to make Rotorua a great place to learn.
"We wanted to build on the strong education sector. We have the view it can be enhanced; that our leadership capability can move from good to great."
He said Dr Murthy had a way of explaining leadership, with "an ability to engage people, with professionalism and expertise".
He said the trust had been involved with most of schools in Rotorua, "facilitating change" and also with technology companies.
"We are fortunate to have funding to bring about a change in the way teachers practice and learners engage, with an emphasis on learners' involvement with devices such as iPads. Technology is very much dominant with kids today."
At the ceremony Rotorua Boys' High School principal Chris Grinter thanked Dr Murthy and his wife Aasha on behalf of the educators in Rotorua who took part in his programmes.
"He's led a total of 19 different groups, I understand that's over 200 enrolments across 150 educators within the city, including 28 principals.
"It's not however just about the numbers. For me, Vikram unlocked collaboration across schools and the education sector within the city through his work with Nga Pumanawa e Waru."
Mr Grinter said he was in the first group of principals in the Learning to Grow programme.