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7 Questions with Mel Alpar
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7 Questions with Mel Alpar
Name: Mel Alpar
Current title: Director
Current organisation: PwC
A results-driven executive leader with 25 years’ experience in the Banking and Financial Services industry. Proven success in strategic planning, leading transformational, growth initiatives, fostering cultural change and business development improvement. Strong negotiation and influencing and relationship management with both external and internal stakeholders. Proven results in delivering strategic plans requiring leadership across a large team, change management, delivery on growth in strategic partnerships, and accountability and ownership for facilitating exceptional employee and customer experience.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Working within an industry with a large amount of regulatory change and disruption, it is challenging that larger organisations do not embrace the need for a more agile workforce to face these challenges.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I have a genuine interest in continuous improvement and drive to achieve results. I have been fortunate to have a few great leaders who have helped me focus my energy and stem my frustrations whilst providing great insight and support. My curiosity to enhance my industry and how we connect with customers has ensured that I developed networks to grow my own skills, provide future opportunities and support those around me.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
When I wake I spend some time reflecting on how lucky I am and think of those around me. Whilst still in this moment I consider my intention for the day and what specific outcomes I want to achieve. From here I ensure I connect with the family before I start my working day. My diary is structured with work activities (including networking and recognition contact) and time to think and consider. At the end of my day my phone is turned off so that I can spend quality time with my family and pet poodle.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
The most significant lesson of late has been that no matter the positives and benefits in a considered change to an organisation, its people and/or customers not all leaders will embrace it or want change. Often this mindset can not change and these leaders are unable to bring along the journey.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
The book written by Dr Peter Fuda on Leadership transformed has been my greatest reference. It has allowed me to review past change and also when considering my actions and plans to understand whether it is a truly 'burning ambition' or a 'burning platform'. It is a great difference to make to help focus how you move an organisation along the journey. I also have very much enjoyed Reason and Meaning by Viktor Frankl in understanding my optimism and not having blind faith.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Empowerment is a commonly used word of late and I believe we need to focus on what is underneath it. If we can find peoples purpose and connect it to the successful outcomes required in their role, I believe they will naturally grow as a leader. It is also key to help plant the seeds of leadership capabilities and provide support for this, ie mentorship is a key component to build leadership capacity and it would be great for this to occur across divisions in organisations in confidence.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
My most meaningful story at the moment comes from only a short time ago and it is about how I showed courage. I have never been shy to voice my opinion but being confident enough in my own values and purpose to voice against actions of other executives (even more senior) has shown me that when pursuing continuous improvement one must have (and share) courage for what is right.