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Mind-set change for Emerging Leaders Program cohort as they pass half-way point

Alexandra, Denzel and George joined the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) to advance their careers and develop leadership skills to enhance their clinical practice. Here they share the mindset changes and fresh perspectives they’ve gained two-thirds of the way through KINNECT’s 12-month-long professional development program.

A deeply held belief by KINNECT, and by thought leaders and trainers in leadership and management, is that everyone can benefit from learning leadership skills. As such, KINNECT’s Emerging Leaders Program is open to employees from all areas of the business – from administration and finance to occupational rehabilitation and nursing. This year, it has been participants in clinical roles who have gained a new appreciation of what it takes to lead a business.


Alexandra Goncalves – Lead Consultant, Occupational Health NurseAlexandra Goncalves - Executive Leadership Program Participant

Alexandra joined the ELP to widen her scope and knowledge of KINNECT. She hoped the program would broaden her horizons and push her to show up as a better team member and mentor within KINNECT. So far, it has lived up her expectations and has changed her mind-set about working within the organisation.

The program has allowed me to have insight into other aspects of KINNECT that I wouldn’t normally have within my role as a nurse. It has helped me gain an appreciation for some of the processes, [culture and engagement] surveys and decision making by the business.

It has opened my eyes to other pathways within the business and encouraged me to look outside of just purely the nursing side of KINNECT. It’s shown me that there is always so much more going on behind the scenes of the business than what we see happening day to day and how important it is for many avenues to work together to continue to see the business expand and grow,” she explained.

So far, the most important leadership perspective she’s gained has been that: “vulnerability fosters trust, and without trust a team cannot function effectively towards a common goal. Sometimes this trust must be built on healthy debate and disagreement so that the team can better come together.

Also, leaders should always exhibit the behaviors and qualities they want to see from their team and that the team must be ‘all in’ to effectively accomplish a goal.”


George Barbarigos – Senior Consultant, Accredited ExerciseGeorge Barbarigos - Executive Leadership Program Physiologist

George entered the program with the aim of stepping out of his comfort zone and gaining a deeper understanding of the backend processes that front-line consultants often aren’t exposed to. He also believes that: “leadership can be cultivated rather than being inherent, so I’ve sought to develop some challenging leadership skills and integrate them into my daily responsibilities. Among the most delightful lessons I’ve absorbed up to this point, two prominent themes stand out: the concept of prioritising deep work in the morning and the practice of focusing on lead measures, as they pave the way to achieving your goals,” George reported.

George has described the ELP experience thus far as “profoundly enlightening”. As a clinician with a limited foundation in business and management decision-making, George says: “gaining a deeper understanding of the intricate backend procedures, as well as comprehending the significance of the gathered information and data in decision-making processes, has been an eye opener. Everything is calculated and everything can be justified.”

He has also gained an appreciation for managerial staff and team leaders, with a newfound understanding of the depth of what that truly involves. This led to a key revelation for George: “Being a skilled consultant doesn’t automatically translate into being an effective leader. Leadership demands a diverse set of abilities that aren’t necessarily developed through rehabilitation-consulting alone. This is precisely why this program has proven to be immensely valuable. It has exposed me to insights and teachings that I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise,” George enthused.


Denzel Wenitong – Consultant, Accredited Exercise PhysiologistDenzel Wenitong, KINNECT consultant

For Denzel, the ELP experience has represented a change – albeit a positive one – from his day-to-day professional life.  Having gone into the program to learn more about what qualities make an effective leader, he has already started to put tools and ideas into practice to become one, such as trying to network more within his own professional circle.

Having had no previous leadership experience, Denzel said that his perception of what it takes to be an effective leader has certainly changed. Similarly, to Alexandra, his most important insights have been about trust.

Trust is a highly important contributor to the team environment. Once trust is broken, it is very difficult to rebuild, and this affects the team performance,” Denzel explained.

The program has also changed his mind-set about his own career, and with his new-found knowledge about team dynamics says he is keen to investigate a leadership role in the future.


The ELP, which runs until the end of 2023, encompasses guest speakers, lectures and workshops on developing workplace culture, finance, operations, time management, discipline and execution. A feature of the program is reading, reviewing and unpacking a series of books from successful, global business leaders who’ve documented their perspectives on effective hiring practices, improving team focus and inspiring employees.

For all the participants, their changing perspectives on leading a business, and being a leader themselves, has only whetted their appetite to learn more. We’ll check in again with them at the end of the program.