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12 December 2022
New Zealand’s largest locally owned life insurer Fidelity Life is helping five brave advisers develop their leadership skills through a life-changing Outward Bound course.
Over 45 enthusiastic advisers registered their interest after the opportunity to attend a 5-day Outward Bound Professional course, heavily subsidised by Fidelity Life, was announced earlier this year.
Fidelity Life Head of Distribution Mel Beattie says she was inspired by the many heartfelt submissions received, which demonstrated an eagerness from advisers to continue pushing themselves to learn and grow.
“I really want to thank all those advisers who registered. We had so many great entries and a wide range of reasons for why advisers were keen to take part - from wanting to connect with the outdoors to improve their mental health, to ticking off a personal bucket list item, to wanting to build better leadership capabilities – which made for a very tough selection process.”
Following the month-long selection, the five advisers selected are:
- Annette Arnold, Farmers Mutual Group.
- Jamie Norton, RMA Financial.
- Laken Gollop, Financial Independence.
- Maryann Pratt, Professional Investment Services Manawatu Ltd.
- Philip Robinson, Phil Robinson Insurance.
Fidelity Life unveiled its new sponsorship with Outward Bound at its ENGAGE 2022 adviser conference in July.
“We’re always looking for ways to better support advisers and being able to offer such a unique experience with one of our sponsorship partners makes it even more meaningful.
“We hope advisers attending the Outward Bound course find long term value from this transformative experience and can apply their learnings to both their personal and professional lives,” says Mel.
Phil Robinson shares his Outward Bound experience.
One adviser who can attest to the value of Outward Bound is Phil Robinson, who completed his course in late November.
Having made some drastic lifestyle changes earlier in the year and rediscovering his love of fitness and the outdoors, he was drawn to apply as a way to further enhance his journey to health and self-discovery.
While adjusting to the new environment took some time, Phil says that by the end of the five days, he came away with much more than he could’ve imagined.
“Initially, I felt like I was waiting for an ‘ah-ha moment’ or for a certain intensity to kick in. Once I let go of that ‘expectation’, I felt really present and focused on each moment. As the days went by observing myself, our group, and our approach to things, it dawned on me how much time and energy we often put into the ‘noise’ of life.
“I’ve come away with greater clarity and focus, lessons, and insights that I can apply in my life; and a deeper understanding of myself and others,” he says.
“This experience has enabled me to understand people from the perspective of ‘who they are’ without preconceived notions and really helped me recognise the reasons for their behaviours. It altered my filter from judgemental to receptive, which has no doubt helped me be a better adviser to my clients, a better leader to my staff and a better support to my family,” concludes Phil.
Helping financial advisers to grow their resilience, adaptability, self-awareness and confidence, was important to Fidelity Life, as an adviser’s role can often be professionally and emotionally demanding, says Mel.
“In today’s world, most working professionals rarely get the ability to unplug and connect, especially among nature with strangers in a non-judgemental environment. In addition to this, advisers can often carry their clients’ burdens too, sometimes without even knowing it, so it can be especially important to reset and reassess values from time to time.”
Fidelity Life’s sponsorship of Outward Bound also includes opportunities for internal staff and the provision of 20 external scholarships a year. The scholarships are awarded to a group of diverse young New Zealanders to complete the 21-day course to develop lifelong skills to give back to their communities.
Outward Bound CEO Malindi MacLean says the sponsorship with Fidelity Life is already making a tangible difference.
“The last few years have been some of the most troubling and the uncertainty looks to continue for some time, so it’s timely to be helping New Zealanders build greater confidence and resilience through our courses. It’s also been great to see such a diverse group of people coming to Outward Bound via the relationship with Fidelity Life, so we look forward to building on this moving forward and making a greater impact, together.”
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