Leadership at its best in a time of crisis

11 October 2012 By Freya Cole

LV Alumnus Bruce Pickthall at the State Emergency Centre
LV Alumnus Bruce Pickthall at the State Emergency Centre

Two years since they undertook Leadership Victoria’s  Experience Bank program, a group of connected alumni continues to catch up and strengthen their bond through a series of workplace visits.

The inspired workplace visits, which the group organizes themselves, provides the group members with the opportunity to experience successful leadership in action. Not only is each visit a learning experience, it is a fun opportunity to catch up with friends.

In March, the group visited the State Emergency Centre, a visit organised by the Senior Station Officer at the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and LV alumnus Bruce Pickthall.

The State Emergency Centre is a workplace where good leadership and swift decision making is crucial.

“The centre is a place where serious decisions are made and a place where decisions will no doubt have consequences,” Mr Pickthall says.

Mr Pickthall says the group was given the opportunity to see how all of the pre-work is undertaken at the State Emergency Centre before a crisis actually hits.

“The layout at the centre is very inclusive and the group got to see the facility and the systems that support innovative and fast decision making,” he says.

It is a rare opportunity to visit the State Emergency Centre and to learn about the skills it takes to be a good leader in a time of crisis.

“This centre, as well as regional centres, do the best they can to support a decision in a time of crisis,” Mr Pickthall says.

“It’s the calmness, confidence and the professionalism of leaders in this environment which is very reassuring when there’s an emergency.”

Mr Pickthall says that remaining in touch with his alumni group has allowed an easier development of network opportunities to occur.

By remaining in contact with his group, Mr Pickthall was able to re-establish a connection between the MFB and Big Brother Big Sister – a not-for-profit mentoring organisation providing youth with support and advice.

“For me, there’s no business side of it, it’s just about connecting with people who I can learn from. They are terrific and nice people to be in touch with,” he says.  

The group from the 2010 Experience Bank program also visited the Neighbourhood Justice Centre this year and plan to catch up in a more social atmosphere for Christmas.