Leah Fricke (1989)

Leah Fricke (1989) was pleased to receive the first global Future Director Award from the Future Directors Institute.

“This award distinguishes who I am and what I bring to a board, it says there is something that is slightly different about me and that makes me a good Director. It’s really nice to receive positive feedback and acknowledgment.”

Leah’s focus is on fit-for-purpose governance and strategic leadership. With a wide range of experiences and roles including Company Director, Futurist, Lawyer, Surf Lifesaver, Angel Investor, Mentor, Leah has a unique lens in the boardroom through which she sees opportunity and risk.

“I am constantly seeking challenges, to see what is possible, new and where opportunities lie that could provide a bit of an edge. Coming from a legal, governance background everything around compliance is innate to who I am, it’s like breathing. That frees me up to focus on the more strategic questions around, ‘What is possible and how might we execute it so we will be successful?’”

Leah considers the best boards have three components, that fit like a jigsaw puzzle: the right combination of composition, collaboration and agility.

“It’s the right people, doing the right thing with a level of flexibility and an understanding of the game they are playing, so they can play it in any season at any pace. Everyone brings something slightly different to the table, in a truly collaborative board there’s the ability to share ideas and discuss them with their colleagues, creating a rich conversation, and being fit for purpose, the specificity around being able as a board to do what’s right for that organisation at that moment.”

The right composition includes having the right Chair.

“The capacity for that individual to draw the best out of everyone in the room, to negotiate conversations so everyone has the opportunity to be heard and feel heard, so no-one is dominating, is essential. And from the Directors there’s a real individual responsibility around self-awareness. Getting into detail that is unnecessary usually co-exists with a lack of self-awareness.”

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