Lessons from the Corner Office with Michelle Winzer

By Courtney Mathew

24 Jun 2020

Everyone’s path to leadership is unique to their own set of circumstances. For some, it is pre-determined from an early age. For others, the journey is more organic, based more on life and career experience and exposure to certain influencing factors.  

But what makes a great leader great, and how does a leader build a culture of success? 

In our latest WiBF Leadership Series, we were joined by Michelle Winzer, former Bank of Melbourne Chief Executive and one of a small number of females who have led large financial institutions in AustraliaMichelle shared with us what she has learned both personally and professionally in her distinguished career in financial services, which included executive roles at Westpac, Bankwest and Commonwealth Bank across retail banking, business banking, customer service and operations.   

In her most recent appointment as CEO of Bank of Melbourne, Michelle passionately led a team of more than 1,000 Victorians, who deliver exceptional service to over 650,000 customers through an extensive branch and business banking network across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.  

Michelle was also a member of the Bank of Melbourne Foundation that has supported more than 120 local charities with $3.5 million in grants, making a difference to over 600,000 Victorians who need a helping hand.  

Michelle is a Non-Executive Director of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is also a member of the Risk and Audit Committee. Michelle is passionate about customer service, diversity and inclusion and supports a number of organisations in this capacity – including of course our webinar today with members of Women in Banking and Finance.  

Michelle shared a few lessons from her career and time in the corner office: 

Michelle attributes mentoring as a key factor in her career – though we are inclined to choose people who are like usthe key to a successful mentoring relationship lies in finding people who are our opposites. Who can make you think outside of your square, and who will be honest and brutal with youGive them permission to be straight with you, as it opens a lot of different conversations in the way you navigate yourself and your career. 

Thank you, Michelle, for sharing your insights with us, it was an enlightening discussion. 

You can listen to the full recording on the Members Dashboard or register for our upcoming events and webinars.