Magazine article New Zealand Management

NZIM/EAGLE TECHNOLOGY YOUNG EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR: Glenys Powell; Leaving Positive Legacies

Magazine article New Zealand Management

NZIM/EAGLE TECHNOLOGY YOUNG EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR: Glenys Powell; Leaving Positive Legacies

Article excerpt

Glenys Powell likes to think she will leave "legacies of positive change" wherever her career takes her. And she will, according to her current employer. Her focus on facilitating and delivering positive change is one of the many attributes that singled Powell out as this year's NZIM/Eagle Technology Young Executive of the Year.

"I am comfortable with ambiguity, open to change, skilful in overcoming obstacles and ready to seize opportunities," she told the judges. "But most of all I think I am a good follower and good leader in team situations."

And in the judges' collective opinion, these are invaluable qualities in today's young executives.

Powell is general manager -- sales and marketing of the Wellington-based Medical Assurance Society (MAS). She was formerly head of business development with banker ANZ Retail. She is already an outstanding young finance industry executive with broad experience across sales, marketing, business, product and service development.

MAS chief executive Martin Stokes thinks Powell's many strengths are underscored by her ability to deal with complexity, an essential attribute in today's world. And her success is despite, rather than because of, her training and background, he adds. "Glenys consistently displays and models strong leadership at all levels of our company."

Powell believes she is a "strong leader" who inspires and motivates others while simultaneously engendering self belief. "I like to transform businesses by creating an environment of trust, open communication and collaboration," she adds. "I try to establish something special by leading the way, and influencing and developing people to reach their potential while accomplishing challenging goals."

MAS is a financial services company. It provides insurance, loans and investment services to professionals, mainly doctors. Powell joined the company after five years with ANZ bank. The result, according to Stokes, has been year-on-year double digit business growth in three of the company's four core business and, "the highest level of new customer connections for a decade".

"My objective over the past three years has been to transform the company's sales and marketing performance and to deliver strong results across all areas in my responsibility," says Powell. "At the same time, I have contributed to the strategic planning and implementation of new initiatives across the wider organisation."

Her leadership approach has, according to Stokes, delivered a high level of employee engagement around strategic initiatives.

"We have also gained significant value from sharing best practice, new ideas and greater communication across the business," he says. "Glenys has a very structured approach to planning and as a result, staff have clear direction and understand what is expected of them. She is very responsive to new ideas and requests, and delivers on time."

Continual learning is one of Powell's personal priorities. "Not just to make me better at what I do now, but to further my personal development and career priorities," she adds. "I seek out new learning opportunities -- balanced between structured learning and taking time to reflect and consider situational outcomes, both successes and failures.

"I pick things up really quickly and can apply the learning to both my own work and through to others. …

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