My journey with the Industry Leaders Fund began when a previous grant recipient mentioned this initiative to the Managing Director of our company, and she suggested I investigate this opportunity. I was at a stage of my professional development when I was ready for a more extensive course, but unsure as to what, given my existing qualifications. Also, given my location in Cowell, the selected course needed to be conducted in week long segments to avoid the extra hassle and expense of travelling costs.
On registering my interest with the Industry Leaders Fund and starting the application process, I received a call from the CEO of the Fund, Geoff Vogt, who understood my professional development dilemma, and suggested some options for further learning that would be eligible for a grant. On researching the various options, Melbourne Business School Mount Eliza’s Leadership Development Program key learning objectives aligned with my learning outcomes and I completed the application process with this goal in mind.
The two stages of the application required a lot of personal reflection on my leadership style and skills. For me, leadership was something that I always just fell into, and was something I had given little thought to, so to be asked to comment on this was a new experience for me.
The final stage was an interview by a panel of members of the Board. On researching the calibre and experience of the panel, I was somewhat nervous in the lead up. All nerves, however, disappeared when the interview was introduced as a 15 minute speed date.
I was thrilled to get the news that I had been successful in my grant application, and I immediately planned my trip to Melbourne Business School Mount Eliza. Their leadership development program was unlike any professional development I had done, and was delivered professionally and seamlessly in beautiful and well equipped facilities. It is very hard to describe this program unless you complete it yourself, but the personal growth that they help you to achieve in one week is amazing and you leave exhausted, but highly aware of your strengths and weaknesses as a leader, and focussed on three goals. These three goals are developed at the end of the week with assistance from a personal business coach. As part of this program you also have two reviews with your business coach at times and dates of your choosing to review the progress of your goals. The two reviews act as a reminder of your key learning and refer you back to the course content to further reinforce your week at Mt Eliza. For me this course was a professional epiphany and one that I would recommend to any senior manager in any profession or industry!!
Also, completing this week with 21 other individuals from diverse industries and locations created a special bond, and we have established a fabulous support network in which we communicate regularly, albeit by email. We have even toyed with the idea of a reunion.
Without the belief and financial assistance from the Industry Leaders Fund, I would never have had the opportunity to complete professional development of this nature, and I believe this has been fundamental to my success as a future leader of industry in South Australia. I look forward to continuing my association through the Scholars Network with the other grant recipients, to share and hear other experiences from this wonderful initiative.