CEO Magazine’s Executive of the Year Awards Wrap-up

CEO Magazine’s annual Executive of the Year Awards was held on Thursday 27th November and was a great success! 

As proud sponsors of the HR Executive of the Year Award, we were honoured to be there for the big night.  Congratulations to the finalists for this category:

  • Megan Bromley, Head of Employee Experience, Red Balloon
  • Neil Trembath, Chief People & Sustainability Officer, Ausenco   
  • Kate McCormack, Executive Director People, Learning & Culture, Mercy Health  

And congratulations to the winner, Alicia Gleeson, Executive General Manager – Human Resources,  from Crown Melbourne.

As the night progressed, it became apparent that two major themes were central to the success of these leaders; people and innovation.  Each leader recognised the importance of finding and retaining talented people, and understood the necessity to innovate in order to stay profitable.

The winners were all unequivocal in their praise of their team as the driving force behind their success.  They all shared the belief that a leader can only be as good as the team they are leading and said that a company’s culture and values must be nurtured and held as the central notion for all other decisions to be made.

In the lead up to the awards, we interviewed many of the finalists and about how they lead with authenticity and how they demonstrate their care for their staff.  We heard about one MD who came to work on a Saturday when he knew his staff had to put in extra hours to get a project finished on time.  He personally cooked and served them all lunch to show his gratitude and loyalty to his team. His humility was well-received by his staff and strengthened their loyalty towards him.  It also influenced other managers to act in the same way. This was a beautiful example of true leadership at work.

Another hot topic discussed on the night was the importance of allowing failure.  It was heartily agreed that failure is a part of innovation and that successful companies will accept the risk of failure, knowing that the pay-off will be something of benefit to the business. 

None of this should be surprising; however it is rare to find a company that does all of the above consistently.  Often we’ll come across a company with leaders who really look after their people, but they fear change and therefore never innovate.  Conversely, we know of companies who are ahead of the market in innovation, but their retention strategies could use a tune-up.

The key is to maintain both these drivers of success consistently and with authentic passion.

Congratulations to all the winners! 

For a list of the winners, click here.