Allstate Northern Ireland held a Global Leadership Conference at the William J Clinton Leadership Institute at Queen's Riddell Hall in June 2014. This was a fitting venue for Allstate NI because of the Institute's link with its parent company, The Allstate Corporation, in the US. More than 150 of Allstate's global managers gathered to hear from a number of key speakers at the event, including current President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University Belfast, Professor Patrick Johnston, who encouraged leaders to "dream no little dreams."
In his speech to Allstates leaders, Professor Johnston emphasized the importance of leadership as having a "passion for making a difference, a passion that goes beyond the individual to the collective." Professor Johnston likened his experience as Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University and said, "Like Allstate we view our people as our most important ingredient — We take time to invest in our staff, focus on leadership, meritocracy and transparency, and do it in a way that lets everyone have a collective ownership."
Allstate NI has recently embarked on a global leadership program for people who work with employees across the US, Northern Ireland and India, providing crucial development for leaders who now work across multiple time zones, manage teams virtually and face cultural differences.
Research shows good local leaders do not necessarily make good global leaders and that different mindsets and skills are required. Professor Johnston talked about his experiences of working in Washington, DC, and globally to establish Queen's University as a world class research centre. He encouraged Allstate's leaders to, "not be afraid to make mistakes but also learn to take the time and patience to reach your destination." Professor Johnston concluded his presentation to the group by saying, "leadership is about courage, conviction and putting you second — not first."
Professor Johnston made such a lasting impression not only on Allstate's employees but on Suren Gupta, Allstate's executive vice president of technology and operations, that he invited Professor Johnston to speak at a leadership meeting at the company's US headquarters. Suren Gupta thanked Professor Johnston for his contribution to both events and said,
"Professor Johnston is inspiring, both to me personally and to our global leadership team. His passion and commitment to research and development and making a difference in people's lives is simply outstanding.
Allstate NI already has a long standing relationship with Queen' but we hope to expand that into new arenas within research and development and are currently working on an exciting project relating to cybersecurity. It is the unique collaboration between education, government, business and the talented workforce that makes Northern Ireland so attractive as a destination."
If you would like to find out more about working at Allstate NI visit www.allstate.com or for more information on the Leadership Institute visit htpp://www.leadershipinstitute.co.uk/.