The Gallagher Chief Executive Rising Stars Program for 2019 is aimed at nurturing skills development and fast-tracking the careers of promising staff members through a combination of workshops and practical hands-on challenges to solve business problems.
Client-centric and empathetic, Perth Operations Manager Emma Mekisic's candid, upbeat professional style is underpinned by the highest standards of professionalism and accountability, while her banking background discipline is reflected in her structured approach to understanding the requirements of each of the Perth office's 13 teams.
How long have you been with Gallagher?
Two and a half years
What’s your background?
I have been in financial services for 17 years, in a wide variety of roles. I have owned my own business for five years during which time I won the 2007 Business Woman of the Year award.
What is the scope of your current role?
As Branch Operations Manager in Perth I help support each area of the business achieve their objectives and client excellence goals, along with all day-to-day management of the branch operations tasks such as debtor management, branch compliance, driving and influencing client service and engagement standards, just to name a few.
How did you come to be part of the Rising Stars program?
It was a discussion that my area director and I had in regards to my career progression, about doing it for not only the learnings but also the networking and getting to know all parts of the business, based on the brief of the program, my current skillset and my previous experience in management.
How did you and your area manager see this as providing value to the business and your career at Gallagher?
The value of this program was more to focus on identifying the skills that I can enhance to fit within the insurance industry, and by enhancing these skills this would assist with strengthening my personal brand within the Perth leadership team and beyond.
What particularly earned you recognition?
I was a key part of the amalgamation of the three separate locations in Perth into one office 18 months ago and working since then to change the Perth office culture. Working to change a workplace culture has its struggles and finding people’s drivers to why they come to work and how they want to be led is a big part of bringing about a culture change.
How is the program contributing to your career and skills development?
Rising Stars is a great program where I have been able to do a lot of self-reflection and re-alignment of what I thought I wanted out of my career to what I do want. The program has shown me areas of strength that I did not see I had and helped me to Identify one area that I feel I want to work on. It has also helped give me the skills to evaluate what I see as a leader and the type of leader I want to be, and how I want to lead people and how I want to be led.
I have also been able to make some good friends and help people find their value.
What has been your most valuable learning?
To date from this program the most valuable lesson I have gained is the ‘power of the pause’, being able to stop, reflect and communicate in a more effective way.
What are your challenges?
The challenges I have found with this program is being one of two participants in Perth, along with the pressures I have within my role and finding the time to allocate to the program.
The time difference of being in Perth and my team being on the east coast did present its challenges, along with each member of the team having a different role in the business made it difficult for us to align our diaries, but not impossible.
What’s your ambition for the future?
Being part of this program has made me question my previous ambitions. I am spending time re-evaluating my ambitions and what they are and how I will achieve them. I have chosen to continue on the path of developing my leadership skills to lead, coach, mentor and drive my team for personal and professional success and to do this in a way that I can use their individual drivers to fuel their passion to be successful.
Your chance to be a star
If you've never considered a career in insurance, perhaps now is the time? Find out about career opportunities at Gallagher, or sign up for job alerts, here.
Read about other Gallagher Rising stars