Two of the most prestigious business schools in the world have encouraged the winners of the FEAL fund executive of the year award to focus on values, one’s legacy as a leader and on ways to deploy greater emotional intelligence.

Robyn Petrou, chief executive of Energy Super, returned this week from from a course at the London Business School, almost two years after winning her award, while Leeanne Turner, chief executive of MTAA Super, winner of the 2014 award, is currently at Stanford University, near San Francisco.

Both received education grants worth $20,000 from AMP Capital to fund their trips, where they have studied with other business leaders from around the world.

Petrou said her course focused on what her legacy should be as a leader and what her organisation’s values should be, not least because this was more relevant to the value set of employees born in the 1980s and 1990s.

This echoes thoughts made by executive mentor Anthony Howard, a speaker at the FEAL annual conference on August 6, who believes values are one of the few areas organisations can control in a fast changing business environment.

“Our challenge today is to make sure we do not become irrelevant because of all the change happening around us,” said Petrou.

Her week long course involved a day trip to Cambridge to see how its universities are helping to encourage world changing innovation and how this could be applied to Energy Super.

“The reason why there has been so much innovation there, is they encourage smart people into the university and then facilitate them to give them room and space to innovate.”

Leeanne Turner’s Stanford course is entitled Interpersonal Dynamics for High Performance Executives and teaches the development of more functional relationships, become more influential and ultimately more effective.

“For me personally the course provides an opportunity to better understand my leadership style and qualities – those that I’m good at and those that need to be enhanced or worked on,” said Turner. “There is increasing research that executives and senior teams require greater emotional intelligence than IQ in order for an organisation to maximise its effectiveness.”

Nominations are now open for the Fund Executive of the Year 2015 which will recognise one fund executive who has made an outstanding contribution to their fund and the superannuation industry.

Award nominees are judged on innovation, leadership, exceeding expectations, strategic planning, and their contribution to the market place.


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