My passion for good leadership inspires my work with the next generation of families.
A New York Minute
I woke up one crisp clear day in my apartment in New York as one of the youngest Vice Presidents in Goldman Sachs. My career was built around helping people reach their potential by asking some basic questions about purpose, alignment, impact and leadership. I turned the mirror on myself that morning.
I spent my career working in change management and leadership development with some of the world’s most influential financial institutions, which brought me to New York, London and then Sydney. My most rewarding experience at that time was being part of the team that created the now globally recognised Pine Street Leadership Development Group at Goldman Sachs.
I relished the challenge of taking people on a journey; through the hard start, the messy middle and the rewarding end. I loved seeing people change and develop, fulfilling their potential as leaders. For me change was a given and you either led it or it led you. How it was managed captivated me.
I wanted to build something from the ground up again in a place and with people that would push me beyond my comfort zone and toward my potential.
My best friend says she can explain my need for change in a simple word – ‘wanderlust’. As a third-generation airline family we didn’t just talk about visiting exciting, new places; we experienced them. My curiosity to see things firsthand took me to over 50 countries by the time I was 40.
One of them was Australia. I fell in love with the country when I studied in Perth and I was determined to make my way back one day.
When Goldman Sachs launched a joint venture with JBWere I saw an opportunity in the new entity, created a role for myself and moved to Sydney to launch a commercial leadership platform to develop the most senior leaders of the firm, its key clients and community.
I brought the ascend leadership forum that I co-created at Goldman Sachs to Australia, designed to strengthen and enhance female leaders by addressing current socioeconomic issues on a global scale. Through this work I saw a tremendous opportunity and deficit in developing leadership capability amongst female leaders, non-profits and families. I threw myself into building the first corporate-led non-profit and family business leadership forums.
I had a richly rewarding career based on solid family values where we were taught that a good education and work ethic led to a secure path in life. But I was still curious about what else I could achieve. When I asked the same questions again that I ask my clients, I decided to take on more risk while I could and make a leap into the unknown. I followed the simple but powerful advice from one of my mentors to ‘back myself’.
In 2010 I broke away from the ‘up-or-out’ path offered by the corporate world.
The most fulfilling part of my professional life began when I invested everything – financial, human and intellectual capital – into building a company that I believed in. I started working directly with clients in different sectors, keeping a toe in the waters of the global giants but intentionally supporting small businesses, non-profits and families.
The answers to those same questions that had stayed with me throughout my professional life started to come easily.
When I started my own family it made me think about what I had inherited from my parents and what I wanted to pass on to my children.
My parents taught me the values I hope to pass on to my own kids one day – confidence, accountability, perseverance, resilience and adaptability. That was their legacy to me and I wanted to help other families to share their own.
I had been at the centre of leadership development in the corporate world but saw that it was largely missing in families. Momentum Advisory Group was born out of the desire to help families take on the challenge of preparing their future leaders.
When we talk about legacy, most people think of the tangible resources, but a legacy can also be defined as something intangible; stories, values, experience, skills, wisdom and the guidance of the family leaders.
I want to share my vision with families; legacy is about so much more than the transfer of wealth. I want the next generation of families to take the best from their elders and plot their own course to find their true purpose and fulfil their potential.