Lifelong Learning: A personal commitment


By AGSM Aug 18, 2017 

It was with surprise and pride that John Mantzios received his Certificate in Executive and Management Development from AGSM this year.


The Certificate is an accumulated-points award for executive development in at least three AGSM programs. The CEMD is formal recognition by the Business School of the commitment by individuals to their professional development.

John didn't know he had qualified for the award. But having received it, he says it's "confirmation of the investment that my employer and I have made in my development."

The General Manager, IT says he made a "life-changing career move" when he moved to The BPAY Group in 2009. After a period of neglecting his own development, he has no regrets about moving to an organisation that makes "significant investments in its people, systems and processes."


In November 2013, John attended the AGSM General Manager Program. "I'd heard about the highly revered program director, Errol Benvie" recalls John. "I wanted to learn new practices and new ways of thinking that I could take with me in the next 20 years of my career and life," he says.

Everything about the program hit the spot. "The quality of the lecturers and program leaders is very impressive," says John. "And the diverse mix of candidates also adds value to the learning."

"It's a special place to be for that one week. It enables you to see life and work through a different lens. The value of the coaching you receive is incredibly far-reaching."

After his GM program, John recognised the need to change and review some of his team's processes at BPAY. In February 2014, he encouraged other  BPAY executives to attend a customised Lean for Leaders Program.

"This program is not only run by highly experienced and knowledgeable practitioners, it includes real world case studies from industry," says John. "These guys have decades of experience and they convey their knowledge in practical rather than academic terms."

"The value we extracted was amazing. Every single minute of the 18 hours of program time was valuable," he says emphatically.

John says his 15 years as an Australian Army Reservist has also reinforced his commitment to ongoing learning. "Self-development is pretty core to your life in that environment," he says.

As such, John's third AGSM program had a bit more of a personal, self-development element to it.

"Because of my defence training, I'm used to speaking to a crowd. That's OK in an operational setting. But I got some feedback that my communication style was a bit too direct for a business setting," he explains.

John has just completed The Authentic Communicator: Activating Presence, run by professional communicator, Josephine O'Reilly and actor, Peter Fisher.

"This program involved development of communication skills and the opportunity

to practise and review those skills on video" says John. "In an accelerated way, you identify the areas you need to improve. I learned that it's not about me – it's about my audience."

"By watching, listening and learning from the theatrical program leaders, I can now create a presence for different audiences and engage my audience on an emotional level."


John says the Certificate in Executive and Management Development is the icing on the cake.

"I had decided to make the conscious effort to undertake very high quality, formal professional development." John is happy with each program, and his Certificate on top of the programs is another personal reward. 

"All three programs covered so many different objectives," he says. John says BPAY is a supportive employer with an ongoing learning focus. "The philosophy from the top is that 'you own your career'. The values and actions of the leadership team support people to enjoy  a successful career in a well-run business."

Find out more about the CEMD here.

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