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DDI’s Day in the Life Leadership Assessment ID's Outstanding AFR BOSS Young Executives

July 11, 2019

In partnership with DDI, AFR BOSS announces top Australian young executives for 2019

SYDNEY—Adaptability. Balance. True customer focus. And a humbling willingness to get their hands dirty.

These are just a few of the outstanding leadership qualities demonstrated by the winners of the 2019 Australian Financial Review (AFR) BOSS Young Executive Competition. This year’s competition marks the 16th year of the partnership between global leadership consulting firm DDI and AFR BOSS, leading Australian business publication, to select Australia’s most promising up-and-coming young executives under 35.

The awards are designed to recognise well-rounded young executives under 35 who show the emotional intelligence, business aptitude, innovation, and leadership skills to excel in an executive role. The top 10 candidates in the competition are interviewed by a panel of senior business leaders and participate in DDI’s ‘day in the life’ executive simulation. Six young executives are then selected as winners having shown a solid understanding of their company’s goals, clear and effective leadership skills and a strong commitment to the advancement of the business community and society.

“What’s impressive about this group is that they had a clear vision, conviction of purpose and a strong sense of direction to drive their organisations’ future success,” said DDI Managing Director of Australia Andrew Warren-Smith. “They are an exceptionally well-balanced and talented group. The future of Australian business is looking exceedingly promising if these six outstanding executives are leading at the forefront.”

This year’s winners are:

  • Catherine Anderson, Chief Customer Officer of electricity retailer Powershop Australia
  • Paul Belluomo, Head of Lending Operations and Collections at AMP Bank
  • Amrita Blickstead, Chief Operating Officer of Online Marketplace eBay Australia
  • Robert Hartley, General Manager Defence and National Security at software services company The Citadel Group
  • Larry McGrath, Executive General Manager, Customer and Corporate Affairs at construction company John Holland
  • Daniele Maggiolini, Director of Aftersales Solutions at commercial vehicle manufacturer CNH Industrial.

Each of the finalists demonstrated exceptional executive leadership skill during DDI’s challenging day-long executive simulation, stepping into the role of president of a fictional $28 billion artificial intelligence company operating in today’s agile world. The assessment analysed participants’ key business leadership skills such as developing a strategic business plan, data analysis, establishing and sharing a vision and influencing a key business partner. Afterwards, the finalists were given extensive feedback on their strengths and development areas, creating a development path for higher success.

“These rich leadership insights can catapult the course of our Young Executives’ careers and the people who they inspire,” said Warren-Smith. “The exciting opportunity (and challenge) for this group now is to continue building their skills and the skills of their teams to ensure that their own potential and the potential of their innovative business strategies are fully realised.”