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CHU CEO among Australia's best

CHU CEO Bobby Lehane has been recognised as one of Australia’s best leaders, after he was named among the finalists in the Executive of the Year Awards.

Lehane, who has been in the top job at CHU since 2015, is in the running to win the highly coveted CEO of the Year Award.

Speaking to Insurance Business about his unique leadership style, Lehane described himself as collaborative but with a clear sense of purpose.

“I delegate and I trust but I also hold people accountable, I am acutely aware of my own shortcomings and I become aware of new ones every day,” he said.

It’s an approach which is mirrored by one of Lehane’s golden leadership rules – that is, always be willing to admit when you’re wrong, or have made a mistake.

“There is nothing as powerful as a genuine apology,” he stressed. “I have made plenty of mistakes in my time, but it is only by owning them that you can learn and progress.”

While Lehane has a modest view of his own leadership abilities, he’s far quicker to boast about his colleagues at CHU who, he says, have enabled him to reach his full potential.

“My time at CHU has been hugely satisfying and affirming, I have a chairman who understands how I tick and respects that, allowing me to be the best that I can be,” he said. “My personal leadership attributes are clearly suited to this environment and I am extremely fortunate to work with an amazing group of people.”

With so much respect for his co-workers and colleagues, it’s no surprise that Lehane often looks to them – as well as customers – as a way to measure his success as a leader.

“Staff retention, staff engagement, business performance, customer feedback and customer net promoter score – all of these are key indicators,” he said. “I am not always on the right track – however, when I see the talented group of people around that are so professional, so committed to the journey we are on, and so positive, I know that something is going right.”

Commenting on CHU’s journey, Lehane said there’s lots going on both behind the scenes as well as front-and-centre for the underwriter.

“We are currently working on our strategy to 2025 which is very exciting and will see us continue to explore further and deeper the themes of AI and technologies, diversity and inclusion, and environment and sustainability,” he said. “All of these are huge and will be key to our organizational success into the future.”