Speech delivered on 29 November 2018 in my capacity as ASFA President, following two other former ASFA President contributions by Rosemary Vilgan and Lorraine Berends, at a tribute dinner to retiring First State Super CEO Michael Dwyer.
Rosemary and Lorraine, wonderful tributes.
Like my predecessor Chairs of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, thank you Michael, ASFA Life Member, for your contribution to our industry, your grace in debate and discussion.
I do not want to exaggerate.
At such a function you hope the person honoured is not discredited as beyond reach, a holy being. As if their performance and record is at some supernatural plane, beyond the capabilities of the rest of us.
Michael is flesh and blood; very conscious he is a guy trying to do his best; thirsty to drink from the wisdom of others; always seeking ways and means to deserve trust; & building a culture that puts focus on the member:
Sometimes you meet people who never seem to lose their cool, handle difficult situations with aplomb, who somehow make you wish you were a little bit more like them.
Over the 30 plus years I’ve known Michael I’ve noticed his disarming, welcoming, technique that comes naturally.
“Linda, have you thought about…”
“Martin, are the implications of what you are saying…”
By mentioning a person’s name in responding to or initiating a point, it’s friendly, engaging, and a wonderful way of establishing rapport.
A couple of points to think about.
I get a daily email, a reflection prompt. Today I read from the author John Wood:
“Life is truly not about what we do and what we have. Life is about who we become.”
Who we become.
That’s a journey. Tonight is about Michael’s journey; who he became; forks in the road; lessons.
It might look effortless. But what a way we have to travel to become that better version of ourselves.
Finally, today I came across one of the Harvard Business School’s definitions of leadership:
“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”
Thank you Michael for your leadership; we witnessed.
Thank you for the lasting impact here and beyond that will live on in your absence.
Each of us need to go on our own journey to be better. Make our own decisions – hopefully in the spirit and camaraderie of a great culture.
For many of us I suspect it might help to ask:
“What would Michael Dwyer think and do?”
On behalf of everyone on the ASFA Board, thank you Michael Dwyer.
Michael I had known since the mid 1980s when he was working at State Super.