Written by Kimberly Rees, Alumna 2013
“The Leadership NZ Programme is transformational,” Angela Bull says. “It is unlike any other leadership course. It stimulates you to not only think about things differently but also think about things you don’t always have time to think about in your day job. The result is a positive long-term effect on both your personal and professional life. I feel fortunate to have done the Programme and now be part of the Leadership NZ Alumni / whanau.”
In 2010, Angela, a property development senior executive at the time, was one of two employees that Foodstuffs Ltd sent on the Leadership NZ Programme that year. Indeed Foodstuffs had been regularly sending staff to the Programme over the years, subsequently creating a subset of Leadership New Zealand alumni / whanau within the large organisation. Angela states, “The Leadership NZ Programme develops your ability to better connect with people in building trust and confidence within different circumstances. This is of value for any organisation and it should not be underrated.”
Angela goes on to say, “Like anything, what you put in is what you get out. But the way the Leadership NZ Programme is structured makes it easy to contribute. The system of using a rotation of smaller participant groups in the duties for each session provides you with group collaboration skills and opportunities for engagement you rarely get to experience as a professional adult. It builds a trusting environment to expand yourself and to learn how to help others do the same. It’s also a lot of fun!”
Angela remembers, “I did the Leadership NZ Programme at a really busy time in my career. I now realise, this was the best possible time to do the Programme. Any potential applicant thinking they are too busy to do the Leadership NZ Programme - you are not, it is when you need it the most.” When asked to expand, Angela says, “The Programme emphasises the importance of (and importantly gives you the time for) personal reflection and self-determination.”
In looking back on Angela’s career, it is hard not to notice that she has achieved a lot in a relatively short period of time. As a law graduate from the University of Auckland, Angela worked as an RMA specialist / environment law solicitor on increasingly complex commercial property development cases for both Simpson Grierson and Chapman Tripp in addition to a one-year position as criminal law associate counsel at the Crown Law Office. Over that ten year period, Angela had a successful track record of servicing clients’ legal needs on large property developments. This was acknowledged when in 2006 Foodstuffs offered her an executive position in the property development area of the organisation.
Soon after joining Foodstuffs, Angela was heading up a team delivering a $150 million-a-year programme to refurbish and expand the region’s supermarkets, giving her extensive influence in the property development sector. She says of the time “I was constantly busy, always up for the challenge, taking on more, fitting all the pieces together and making things work. Even though I knew I was good at what I was doing, it was a big step up for me and very challenging at times. The Leadership NZ Programme came along at exactly the right time as it provided the opportunity for me to pause and reflect on my career and my life. I was challenged to think about things differently which helped improve my self-awareness and to build my own self-sustainability.”
Angela has continued to take on more over the years since doing the Leadership NZ Programme which includes starting a family. As the proud mother of two children aged 2 and 5 years, Angela says “Children definitely keep you focused on the here and now. Just like in the workplace, children are at their best when you model respect and give them the opportunity to ask questions. We get a lot of “why” questions in our household. My home life often gets translated into my work life and it’s this constant adaption to the challenges that makes it interesting.” Earlier this year Angela moved from Foodstuffs, taking on a new challenge in a new work environment as Chief Executive of Tramco Group.
As a leader of an organisation, Angela says her personal goal is to build a long-lasting, respectful and supportive work environment where innovation is encouraged and people’s individual contributions are valued. Angela states “Providing people with the environment and opportunities to be the best that they can be – that’s what delivers the most rewarding workplace.”
We wish Angela well with this endeavour.