Conference Program

Tuesday 13 September 2022

The Emerging Leaders Summit is Australia’s key event for the next generation of managers, directors and leaders. The program brings together inspirational speakers, the latest industry trends and insights, and hundreds of ambitious, determined professionals looking to get an edge in their career.

You’ll hear from the best in the business on how they achieved their dream roles and all of the lessons they learned along the way. You’ll walk away feeling inspired and reinvigorated, with new contacts and a game plan towards being a leader others inspire to become.



The 21st century challenge for emerging leaders: Delivering core business whilst reinventing and transforming for the changing times


The times are changing faster than ever – technologically, demographically, socially, and economically.  In the ongoing quest for relevance, it is imperative that organisations and leaders observe the changes, understand the shifts and respond to the trends.

Emerging leaders of today face a different challenge to those of the past. Economic uncertainty, environmental concerns and social imperatives combine to mean what was successful in the past, is less and less likely to be successful in the future. So how do you ensure strong existing performance, whilst growing and reinventing for the future?

  • Ensuring you take a long term view on strategy rather than focusing solely on short-term issues
  • Focusing on the fundamentals of business and team culture, and diversity and inclusion
  • Developing an ability to adapt to shifts in your market, and renew strategy when required
  • Balancing the very different skills necessary to both run a successful organisation, and reinvent it


Values and purpose-driven leadership
  • Establishing a set of values that inform your leadership style
  • Ensuring you can always articulate your purpose and values
  • Developing values that allow for innovation, diversity and transformation
  • Being thoughtful and deliberate in your choices and decision making
  • The broader context of your leadership style and decisions
  • Establishing a framework to ensure your purpose is clear and consistent


Critical Communication – Dealing with the tough stuff


As leaders, managers and collaborators in the workplace, we need to have difficult conversations, whether we like it or not. From sharing uncomfortable, unpopular or sensitive messages, to dealing with difficult behaviours or personal issues, our ability to lean into hard conversations ultimately affects our leadership impact.

In this not to be missed session, People Whisperer Anneli Blundell will share how to stop avoiding the hard conversations, and reveal how to turn difficult, awkward and uncomfortable conversations into meaningful, measured and impactful exchanges:

  • Understanding how conflict can escalate into a negative culture and how to avoid this
  • The importance of asking the right questions
  • The role of leader as mediator
  • Addressing conflict effectively by tackling issues head-on and avoiding taking sides
  • Knowing the right time to step in
  • Conflict resolution as an opportunity to help your team reach their full potential


Your leadership foundation – Building and maintaining trust

Speaker to be confirmed

Building and maintaining trust is imperative to any leader, but how do you achieve this as an emerging leader? It takes time to earn trust but working on your foundations can pay dividends long into the future.

A successful business leader will share from his career learnings and share how you can:

  • Help your team reach shared goals with a sense of purpose by building and maintaining trust
  • Ensure you create and communicate a clear vision and direction for your team
  • Aligning your words and your actions and always be consistent
  • Demonstrate authenticity
  • Find ways to exercise good judgement and expertise
  • Keep the lines of communication clear, transparent and open
  • Demonstrate trust in others and offer autonomy where possible
  • Get trust back if you lose it


The psychology of success, resilience and optimal performance


As a Troop Commander in charge of 30 elite soldiers in Afghanistan, Mark’s role was to lead combat missions against senior enemy commanders, deep behind enemy lines. Through this unique and harsh environment, Mark developed his skills in leadership, teamwork and high performance. However, in the aftermath, Mark battled both depression and stress disorders, requiring enormous resilience to overcome.

His successful recovery saw him graduate from an Ivy League University, before joining McKinsey & Company and competing in Australian Survivor 2017.

Mark will share with you some of his key strategies to stay mentally resilient and maximise your performance, whilst juggling the unprecedented challenges of 2022:

  • The importance of ownership, and responsibility for, your own direction
  • Developing the ability to control the many variables that inhibit optimal performance
  • Celebrating gratitude over ego, and allowing vulnerability to form part of your team’s culture
  • Strategies for thinking clearly under pressure so you have capacity help others who may also be struggling
  • Thriving outside of your comfort zone
  • Developing resilience through balancing waves of stress with waves of recovery


Change resilience – how to embrace change as a positive force


We’re living in an age of unprecedented change fuelled by a digital revolution, artificial intelligence, generational fragmentation, economic uncertainty, with a global pandemic thrown into the mix.  All the while, predictions by Futurists and Economists range from the positively exciting to the absolutely terrifying. The truth, as always, lies somewhere in the middle. Rather than managing change or trying to avoid or control it, a more positive approach is to embrace it, champion it and lead it.

In this inspiring and thought-provoking presentation, Kieran will help you shift your mindset from Change Negative to Change Positive – leaving you motivated to seize the opportunity change presents to better support your teams and drive success. Kieran will:

  • Explore the three spheres of change and how to use each of them to future proof your career and take things to the next level
  • Help you drive positive change in yourself and your organisation
  • Demonstrate why we need to move from a ‘dealing with change’ approach to a ‘leading change’ one
  • Share how to make the process of change positive
  • Ask you to think about what you want to change and why there’s never been a better time to create the changes you want to see in yourself, your team and your workplace


Sticky teams: How to build cohesive, committed and connected teams


We are living in unprecedented circumstances. Every part of our everyday life is being threatened; our environment, our health, our wellbeing, our economy, our social structures. The way in which we live and work has been completely disrupted. It’s tiring.

As emerging leaders, it is imperative that you understand the context you are leading in firstly, as well as the key organisational elements necessary to drive high levels of connection and team performance.

Only then can you as a leader implement processes, structures and rituals into your leadership practice to enable your team to succeed, and build a strong, positive, inclusive and high-performance culture. In this keynote, Blythe will explore:

  • The notion of Sticky Teams: What they are and why you need your team to be ‘Sticky’
  • The Stickiness Scale: Mirror Moment – how sticky is your team?
  • The key forces that create team stickiness
  • The main force that can cause your team to come unstuck
  • The five adhesive forces that every organisation needs to create Sticky Teams
  • Practical tips on how to increase the level of cohesion, commitment and connection through designing and leading a Workplace, Worth Belonging.