Take 5 with Alicia Aitken, Head of Investment Management and Delivery at ANZ

Written by Guest User

Take 5 with Pioneera is a series of micro interviews with key business leaders on wellness, leadership, productivity and workplace culture.

This week we’re taking 5 with Alicia Aitken, Head of Investment Management and Delivery at ANZ Banking Corporation.

A bit over five years ago, after running her own successful business, Alicia moved into the corporate world to help organisations deliver their strategies. She is a mathematician at heart who eventually discovered she really liked people and helping them be successful.

So, now I am a caring person who can add.

Welcome, Alicia!

1. What does your workday routine look like?

I have no routine work-days. I get up at 5:45am, run my dogs, have breakfast and then open my diary to see what the day has in store. Most of my day is working with people to solve problems, no one talks to the head of investment management unless something has or is about to go wrong. 

2. How do you stay focused and maintain a positive mindset when things get crazy busy?

I’m lucky. In my industry, problems don’t typically have a life or death component to them, so I remind myself whenever I get frustrated that no one dies from investment management problems. I also make a lot of cups of tea – it gives the mind a break, the hands something to do, and for a few minutes while the water boils and tea brews you can disconnect from the problem. By the time the tea is ready, problems rarely seem as stressful as they did before. 

3. What are your three must-haves for a healthy work-life integration?

I tell my teams all the time, to work with me you need to be on top of your nutrition, your sleep and your exercise. If you get those right you’ll have the mental and physical health to keep up the pace of delivery that will lead to us feeling productive and successful as a team and as individuals. 

4. What’s your top tip for creating a thriving workplace culture?

Care about your people and take the time to get to know them as whole humans. If you really care, not just fake it, you’ll find out all about the secret superpowers everyone has and be able to turn your team into a productive, thriving, engaged and successful team. 

5. How do you bounce back when things don’t go as planned?

Move on to the next thing. I fail at things all the time, we all do. I figure if I just keep moving I’ll get to the next success faster and the oopsie from today will be a distant memory. Besides, you can’t change the past, you can influence the future. Seems like a better bet to put my energy where I can make a difference. 

This conversation was brought to you by Pioneera.

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