It is with great pride that I call myself an Industry Leaders Fund scholar and I would like to thank the ILF for its generous contribution of $10,000 to my recently completed Advanced Management Programme through Melbourne Business School.

MBS offers two AMP programmes per year and I was on the second one for 2018 and was joined by 15 other attendees from around Australia and New Zealand. The cohort came from diverse industry backgrounds and all attendees were significant leaders in their own right and offered a wealth of experience and insight towards the course content. The course is run as a residential programme over two weeks and doesn’t stop from the moment you arrive to the moment you get into the taxi back to the airport.

The programme covers a range of technical business topics such as strategy, finance, marketing and the like, but its core focus is on your role as leader within the organisation and delves deeply into your leadership style, competencies and areas for improvement. In-depth analysis through 360 and other evaluation methods, coupled with private and group mentoring sessions throughout the programme, provide you with the opportunity to truly understand who you are as a leader. In coining a phrase from one of the visiting CEO mentors, “people deserve to be better lead” and this programme definitely brings to the fore what you need to develop in yourself to be an exceptional leader.

Kelly Engineering is a company that manufactures, sells and distributes agricultural tillage equipment around the world. It has been in existence for over 30 years and makes its machines in Australia and the USA, and more recently, Germany. Not only are Kelly’s products leading the world in minimum till applications, but the company also strives to be leading edge in its engineering, supply chain, operations and marketing strategies, systems and activities. Therefore, it follows that cutting edge leadership thinking for our organisation is essential to achieving its lofty ambitions. This programme delivered the opportunity for me to grow as a leader and to take back a better leadership approach and style into the organisation, thus allowing me to lead by example and mentor the broader leadership group to be more effective.

The course itself is very well thought out, delivered with exceptional professionalism, and is both intellectually challenging and a lot of fun. The programme is very well structured and offers a wide variety of approaches and learning environments to enhancing your leadership capabilities, while the Melbourne Business School offers a five star living experience.

Finally, the course ended in an oral submission of our leadership charter which was the synthesis of two weeks of intensive leadership training and introspection. This charter has become my handbook so to speak and is my guiding leadership compass.

Going forward I recognise that good leadership is a journey and not a destination and my role as a leader will continually be tested and shaped by the dynamic world in which we live. Knowing and enhancing one’s strengths and capabilities in the area of leadership is paramount to being able to seize the opportunities that come with change, while retaining one’s overall integrity and commitment to being a great and responsible leader.

I commend the ILF for its noble pursuit of creating great South Australian leaders and thank it again for this incredibly valuable learning and life changing opportunity.