Technical Specialist to Leader Forum

Practical strategies to enrich the leadership capabilities of technical experts in engineering, finance & technology

  • April 9th - 12th, 2019
  • Crowne Plaza Auckland


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Optimise your career trajectory
Management essentials for progression
Unlock a strategic mindset
Strategies for change management


Matthew Needham

Matthew Needham

Matthew is an experienced CFO and Executive Interim, with specialities in business change, transformation, cost reduction and re-engineering the finance function. He is a highly engaged people leader with proven track record of delivering substantial return on investment.

Chief Financial Officer
Housing New Zealand

  • Colin James
    Colin James
    Head of Security Strategy
  • Arabella Brawn
    Arabella Brawn
    General Manager of Professional Services
  • Linda Davis
    Linda Davis
    Head of Transformation NZ
    Goodman Fielder
  • Gary Walker
    Gary Walker
    Executive General Manager


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Download the PDF
Emerge from technical specialist to leader
Build your network
Embrace technical changes
Impact & influence as a leader
Develop your leadership style
Strengthen your resilience
The relationship between people & process
Identify a new motivation
Strategic thinking
Craft a powerful message
Manage relationships & expectations
Establish your credibility
Create & lead highly effective teams
Lead change effectively
Plan for an effective transition
Growth mindset from technical specialist to leader
Pre-Forum Workshop - 9 Apr - 07:00- 14:30


To prepare for the leap from technical specialist to a leader, you must refine your soft skill set. This workshop will help you grasp new tools and strategies for leadership success. You'll learn practical strategies and create an action plan to accelerate your leadership transition.

Blend technical and soft skills 

- Leverage your credibility 

- Use your knowledge as power

- Embrace new opportunities 

Importance of your internal mindset 

- Develop self-awareness 

- Promote your passion

- Rediscover your purpose

Define your direction  

- Create a vision of success

- Navigate your leadership journey 

- Design an action plan and take the next step

Propel your leadership career

- Adopt a growth mindset 

- Embed your leadership style 

- Skyrocket into your new role

Forum Day 1 - 10 Apr - 06:30- 14:30

Case Study

To make your next career move, you'll need to build and enrich your support network. Linda will share practical strategies for capitalising on business relationships.

- Market your brand

- Create effective business networks

- Leverage influence to create opportunities

  • Linda Davis

    Linda Davis Head of Transformation NZ Goodman Fielder

Case Study

To gain buy-in and deal with change as a leader, you need strategic direction and a calculated approach. Maria will provide you with a plan for driving change and those affected by it.

- Plan your career development

- Transition into leadership with ease

- Gain buy-in

  • Maria Pozza

    Maria Pozza Corporate / Commerical Law Associate - Space Law Expert Govett Quilliam


Recognising your influence and importance as a leader will help your team deliver incredible results. Our panel of experts will share how leading by example is the most effective tool for influence.

- Be confident and courageous

- Share vision to reach common goals

- Develop awareness and boost team performance

  • Glen McLatchie

    Glen McLatchie Group Chief Information Officer SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited

  • Sarah Halliday

    Sarah Halliday Associate Director, Environment AECOM

  • Christina Pachel

    Christina Pachel Post Market Surveillance Manager Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

  • Anna Davis

    Anna Davis Finance Director Rocket Lab

Expert Commentary

The ability to adjust your leadership style and consider the broader organisation is difficult, but an essential part of transitioning from technical specialist to a leader. Lisa will share top tips for emerging leaders.

- Apply the growth mindset

- Blend technical and people skills

- Define your leadership style

Case Study

When pressure mounts, your expectations and requirements as a leader will change. Ruth will explore what skills and mindset are required to thrive in an unpredictable and changing world.

- Navigate uncertain environments

- Adapt to change

- Lead through adversity

  • Ruth Muller

    Ruth Muller R&D Director Frucor Suntory

Case Study

When leaders move beyond technical skills and develop an awareness of their team's attitudes and behaviours, they cultivate influence. Hear Gary's approach on how to make your transition into leadership seamless and successful.

- Develop self-awareness

- Learn to let go

- The importance of empathy as a leader

  • Gary Walker

    Gary Walker Executive General Manager Hawkins

Expert Commentary

A clear vision of success will ignite your drive and propel your career. Learn takeaways from Jessica and discover strategies to plan your next move.

- Find your “why”

- Enrich your role

- Psychological factors to change

Forum Day 2 - 11 Apr - 06:30- 14:30

Case Study

The ability to see the bigger picture is an essential aspect of leadership. In this session, John will examine the importance of thinking strategically.

- Draw upon core intellectual capabilities

- Recognise the different facets of your role

- Make decisions with confidence 

  • John Bryant

    John Bryant Group Strategy Manager Higgins

Case Study

Compelling communication is a powerful leadership competency, especially when driving organisational change. Colin will explore effective communication techniques for specialists.

- Master executive level conversations

- Leverage your voice and influence

- Communicate to the wider team

  • Colin James

    Colin James Head of Security Strategy Vodafone

Case Study

As you transition into leadership, you'll need to adapt flexibly and with certainty. In this session, Paul will present strategies for managing this dynamic shift.

- The transition from peer to manager

- Gain trust and respect

- Manage the dynamics with practical insights

  • Paul Hopkirk

    Paul Hopkirk Head Of Procurement T&G Global


Leading a team with technical understanding gratifies credibility, supports decisions and helps manage team performance. Gain tips on how to build leadership legitimacy from our experienced panel.

- Trust your decisions

- Deliver consistently

- Build your personal brand

  • Matthew Needham

    Matthew Needham Chief Financial Officer Housing New Zealand

  • Roger MacDonald

    Roger MacDonald Chief Executive Panuku Auckland Development

  • Paul McElwee

    Paul McElwee Chief Financial Officer Northpower

  • Kathryn Musgrave

    Kathryn Musgrave Technical Director GHD

Case Study

Enable your team to fulfil their potential through inspiring leadership techniques. Arabella will teach you how to lead a team to reach their objectives.

- The importance of culture

- Thrive through change

- Provide effective feedback

  • Arabella Brawn

    Arabella Brawn General Manager of Professional Services Datacom

Case Study

Effective change management starts with effectively articulating a compelling vision. John will share his advice on navigating challenging times.

- Have clear vision and purpose

- Build trust within your team

- Embed your leadership style

  • John McConnell

    John McConnell Executive Director McConnell Group


Prepare for your leadership transformation by reflecting on the forum's key highlights and create an action plan for success.

- Reflect on practical learning

- Strategies to succeed

- Take the next step

Post-Forum Workshop - 12 Apr - 07:00- 14:30


This interactive workshop examines the personal process of change and emphasises the shift from technical specialist to a leader. You'll learn how to effectively make changes in your behaviour and model a change-ready mindset to your team. Discover how to take control over your emotional reactions in uncertain environments and thrive as a stable, inspiring role model.

Embrace the mindset of continuous improvement

- Understand the mindset/skillset distinction

- Find your correct mindset

- Four levels of learning under change

Build emotional resilience

- Understand personal motivation

- Take control of your emotional reactions

- Overcome stress and obstacles

Set inspiring goals

- Set your goals

- Find your motivation

- Link business and personal goals

Make it happen

- Implement your action plan

- Maintain motivation levels

- Utilise the "Disney" strategy


Crowne Plaza Auckland

128 Albert Street, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand

(09) 302 1111

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