As a recently appointed Chief Executive Officer, a capability I believed I needed to develop to improve my leadership skills was my personal proficiency. In particular, the areas of corporate governance and financial performance/risk management. It was my belief that this would improve my personal performance, and consequently, allow me to more effectively lead team members/the organisation as a whole.
I applied for an Industry Leaders Fund (ILF) grant to complete the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Company Director’s Course. The application process itself was valuable in terms of reflecting on my own leadership strengths, weaknesses, and other areas requiring improvement that I could work on (regardless of the outcome of the application).
Undertaking the course proved to have particular relevance not just for myself but also for my organisation. It helped me improve personally in the areas of compliance, issues of risk, corporate governance, ethical considerations, and also financial performance/risk management.
Following the completion of the course, I was immediately able to function more effectively at the Board level. The course provided me with more insight into the reasoning behind the tools in place, a better understanding regarding the scope of board functioning, and the board-executive relationship. Additionally, I was able to make better recommendations regarding the governance of the organisation for it’s long term sustainability. As a result, I was soon appointed as an Executive Director of the organisation.
As the Company Director’s Course is not specific to either my current organisation or industry, the knowledge and skills I gained also positioned me as a better leader within the community. This broader non-industry specific skills helped me attain a Non-Executive Director role (Board Secretary) in a Not-For-Profit organisation in an unrelated sector. The knowledge and skills learned at this course helped me to immediately implement practices to improve the corporate governance of the organisation.
I would highly recommend not just the AICD Company Director’s Course, but also the Industry Leaders Fund application process.