UPFRONT Blake leadership medal goes to….

They’re large and possibly sea-filled pair of boots to step into but the late Sir Peter Blake’s legacy of leadership was last month conferred on someone judged as another outstanding New Zealand leader.
Sir John Anderson – CEO of the ANZ/National Bank, chair of New Zealand Cricket and former chair of the NZ Sports Foundation – became the inaugural recipient of the Blake Medal at ceremony in Wellington’s Government House on July 23. Announced by Lady Pippa Blake and presented by Governor General Dame Sylvia Cartwright, the award is an initiative of the Sir Peter Blake Trust and designed to be the ultimate recognition of leadership in New Zealand.
Chosen by selection panel chaired by Sir Ron Carter (and including Ann Sherry, Sir Wilson Whineray, Sir Hugh Kawharu, Dr Lester Levy, Eion Edgar and John Graham), Sir John has certainly made an impact in range of different fields with leadership style that could generally be described as principled and empowering.
He helped to build and lead one of this country’s top financial institutions, providing clear vision for the business and establishing strong set of values and principles by which it operates. Surrounding himself with talented people is tactic he sees as supporting rather than challenging his own leadership status – so he picks the best people for the team, invests heavily in their personal development and provides opportunities for them to grow.
His expertise is regularly called on as personal adviser to industry and government and the high regard in which he’s held has been reflected by his knighthood as well as various awards and fellowships.
As well, Sir John has played leadership roles in sport and the environment – he chaired the World Wide Fund for Nature and also served on WWF’s international board in Switzerland. He is regarded as having inspired many New Zealanders – many of whom he has supported in becoming business and community leaders in their own right.
The Sir Peter Blake Leadership Awards also included recognition of six “Emerging Leaders”. These were chosen from range of different fields (many reflecting Blake’s own passions) – not just for the success they’ve achieved but the quality of leadership they’ve demonstrated.
Steven Carden (31) established the First Foundation, New Zealand not-for-profit organisation that partners with business to help financially disadvantaged youngsters to reach their true potential and, since working in the United States, has set up scheme to help rehabilitate prisoners in Ecuador.
Greg Fleming (34) has focused on family health through his work with Parents Inc and as co-founder of The Maxim Institute.
Neil Paviour-Smith (37) is managing director of Forsyth Barr where he’s overseen the company’s growth from staff of 85 to 180 and its transformation into widely diversified business covering private and institutional broking, funds management and investment banking services.
Glen Sowry (42) is leading yachtsman who was selected for Sir Peter Blake’s Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race campaign as well as subsequent yachting ventures and has since held public affairs roles for Telecom, TVNZ and Air New Zealand.
Samara Sutherland (25) is marine education advocate who established the Experiencing Marine Reserves programme in Northland and coordinated range of special events focusing on marine conservation.
Mark Weldon (37) is probably best known of the six, mainly for his high-profile role as CEO of the New Zealand Exchange (a role he’s held since June 2002) though he has previously been an Olympic swimmer and is current board member of the NZ Olympic Committee.
The Sir Peter Blake Trust was set up in June last year to honour Sir Peter’s memory and help carry on his work through programmes encouraging environmental awareness and leadership development.

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