Walter Bellin taught me the most important lessons of my career, namely, the irresistible power of organisational culture and the unique role that leadership plays in creating and nurturing it. If the organisational culture is dysfunctional or needs to be changed in some way, the responsibility for doing that rests squarely with the CEO who must be actively and constantly involved in driving a culture change program.
Doing that is part of the CEO’s job; primary responsibility cannot be delegated to the HR manager, something which happens in too many organisations – and doing that is a recipe for failure. Stressing this foundational principle and emphasising that the real benefits of cultural change and leadership development will take about five years of sustained effort to realise, were foundational to Walter’s approach.
Importantly, he explained clearly how organisational culture is grounded in the collective unconscious mind of people within an organisation. Changing culture demands the skilful application of tools and techniques to change deeply ingrained and implicit beliefs about “How we do things around here”. To do this successfully, Walter stressed in particular the importance of developing effective communication skills, especially that most neglected of such skills, the ability to listen actively.
Walter did not allow people to skate serenely on the surface of their existence, blissfully content among the shadows and illusions which characterise much leadership and management theory and practice. Rather he persuaded people to look bravely below the surface, even into the murky depths of the human condition – and “Here be dragons!”, as the Medieval cartographers wrote on the margins of their charts.
Des Mueller AO
Lieutenant General (Retired)
Former Vice Chief of the Defence Force
I have had the privilege of knowing Walter as a trusted advisor, teacher, trainer, meeting facilitator and friend for many years. I first met Walter when he was running personal development programmes, and had the privilege of taking a number of his courses. He has an extraordinary depth of knowledge about people – what motivates and inspires them, and what holds them back from achieving their dreams. It’s an old-fashioned word now, but wisdom best describes Walter’s remarkable insights into the human condition.
Walter provided a number of training programs for my business as it grew. He helped my team to understand each other, and to build on each other’s strengths to achieve greater success. He helped us build and embed a cooperative culture that proved vital in a challenging business environment. He also helped me to grow as an individual and a leader, to understand leadership, to be self-aware, to listen and communicate effectively, and to know how to motivate my people, both individually and as a team.
Walter can help you grow, and to claim and enjoy more of what life has to offer. As you “climb a different ladder” the people around you will benefit too; your family, friends, colleagues, even customers, and the community in which you live and grow. Don’t waste a moment in grabbing hold of what this remarkable man has to offer.
[This testimonial is provided in his private capacity, but in his business life Roger is the Chairman of 3 very large industrial businesses, Deputy President of a private boys school, a director of a venture capital company, principal of a substantial investment business, Chairman of a university research council, Chairman of a family foundation focused on social justice issues, and Chairman of the Sydney fundraising committee for a major charity organisation.]
I have known Walter Bellin for over 20 years in his capacity as Chief Executive Officer of Corporate Crossroads which is a leadership, corporate strategy and organisational culture consultant business.
During my executive career leading the Financial Institutions Group at Citibank in Australia and as an Executive Director in charge of the Equity Capital Markets Division at Macquarie Group, I used Walter to undertake organisational reviews, leadership development and team building programs. Walter has a unique ability to listen to and understand complex business issues and challenges. As a facilitator of corporate leadership development programs and team building programs, he draws on his deep understanding of human nature and relationships. These programs proved highly successful in assisting in the development of high performing teams with a shared sense of values and purpose. I believe that these programs underpinned the successful growth strategy of both these businesses.
Through Walter’s years of experience in running personal development programs he has a particular gift in encouraging individuals and teams to challenge long held views and to develop creative and flexible alternative thinking. His sessions are focused on enabling teams to set and achieve clearly articulated shared goals.
Belinda Hutchinson, AM
Non Executive Director of several public companies and newly appointed Chancellor of Sydney University
While working at Citibank in Sydney, some years ago, I formed the Corporate & Investor Services Group with some 20 staff, both from other parts of the organization and hired externally. I engaged Walter Bellin to work with this team of experienced professionals. The key objectives of this engagement were threefold:
Instill leadership skills among the leaders of this Group;
- Build a team-based culture within the Group to facilitate working cooperatively; and
- Facilitate the leaders of this Group to assume positions of leadership in the Citibank organization beyond the Group, itself.
Through workshops and individual developments sessions conducted by Walter, the Group came together as a much more cohesive and collaborative team and this no doubt contributed significantly to the Group’s ability to surpass its profitability objectives over the ensuing couple of years during which I led this team.
My recollection is that this engagement was one of Walter’s earliest efforts to work in the corporate world and from all accounts, his ensuing work with corporate and Government groups in Australia has had enormously successful results.
Personally, Walter is one of the most enlightened, engaging and motivating persons I’ve had the pleasure to meet – along with his wife, Shana, who joined him many years ago in this journey of facilitating self-awareness and life skills and leadership skills development.
I am thrilled Walter has now recorded some of his wisdom in his first book.
CLS Bank Group
I have worked with Walter in both culture change processes and in leadership development activities at two different organisations. Walter’s authenticity and empathy shines through and allows him to rapidly engage with staff at all levels of an organisation. He has an astounding depth of knowledge and transfers this to his participants in an enjoyable atmosphere that is highly conducive to learning.
Brian Heim | Director Education & Training
Australian Agricultural College Corporation