In December I was speechless and was overwhelmed when I was recognised as NZ Herald Business Leader of the Year. In my view, personal recognition for leadership is a difficult thing to accept as my success comes from the support and efforts of my family , friends and colleagues. It is not a solo achievement. Thank you to all of you who provide support and guidance in so many ways. I accepted the recognition in the spirit it was made and feel truly honoured to be recognised in a country I have come to love so much. The recognition came at the time when I had come to realise that after 5 years it was time for IAG NZ to benefit from a new leader , for me to transition to a new role within IAG and for Michael and I to move back to Australia. I remain committed to our NZ team and communities and am lucky enough to be able to stay connected through my broader role within IAG.
As I navigate through through this transition I realise how trite it sounds when we convince people that "change is a constant" . Actually when you reflect through history this has always been the case but technological advances has meant we live in a more connected world. What this means for me is that it becomes harder and harder to be less distracted and be in the moment. Towards the end of 2015 as I was facing so many demands on my time I was physically and emotionally exhausted. I gain incredible support and energy from my work , my broader role as an IAG Executive, my extended family and friends,my personal commitment to my own health and fitness and the excitement of planning Kirsten and Matts wedding in March but it is a lot to juggle. All really good things but exhausting.
I decided to accept my own silent personal challenge and have a "technology detox" over the Christmas break. I am pleased to say that I survived! Of course having a family holiday in Antarctica for 2 weeks helped me go "cold turkey". This experience helped me realise how the constant multi tasking and connectedness can stop you seeing what is right in front of you. I have never felt more connected to my world and to my family than on our Antarctica Expedition. I am sure that giving myself permission to lessen the distractions as I reflected will help me face 2016 with renewed energy and focus. This can only be good for all those around me. I look forward to the opportunities and challenges of 2016. Happy New Year!