I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Carmella Galasso to take a deep dive into the things that have driven her own leadership style and the characteristics that encourage a culture of mentorship.
Carmella, for those of us who haven’t been lucky enough to work in your sphere- what is your approach to leadership and how do think this influences your actions?
I am truly honoured to be the Head of Small Business Banking – NSW/ACT and am well-regarded mentor within ANZ and the banking and finance industry. It is a role that I coveted for years – I’m the daughter of immigrant parents and grew up watching them run a small business so it’s a natural fit. I grew up seeing my parents listen and learn from people who were generous with their time and experience and I believe that this has shaped the leader and mentor I am today. In the early days of mentoring – I didn’t even know it had a name – it’s just what I did.
As part of my role I have had the privilege of working with my large team of over 200 people, as well as numerous small business owners that are either women or run their businesses with their partners. I enjoy spending time with business owners to learn about their intrinsic needs and goals for the future. This allows me to have a deeper understanding of their businesses so I can help them make life altering decisions around growing and shaping their businesses, as well as making some difficult decisions. There have been eye opening, confronting and, at times, tearful moments, but my approach to leading and mentoring is always the same – be authentic.
I strive to be approachable and relatable, and I believe that it my genuine care that makes the greatest impact. It has allowed me to connect with people across my organisation, with customers and other people that I mentor outside of these areas.
YOU HAVE DEDICATED YOURSELF TO HELPING OTHERS IN BOTH FORMAL AND INFORMAL WAYS- WHY HAS MENTORING BEEN SUCH A BIG PART OF YOUR OWN CAREER JOUNEY?
I wasn’t lucky enough to have a mentor early on in my career and I promised myself that if I ever reached a role where I could be impactful to others then it was my obligation and responsibility to help. I’m authentic and approachable, and I make myself available, allocating approximately 16 hours per week to mentoring, connecting and supporting people outside my immediate sphere.
you’re truly an inspiring person just to be around- What are your next steps as a driver for leadership?
It was my commitment to myself in 2020 that I would actually broaden where I would spend my time- And it would be outside of the communities that have traditionally been my comfort zone- baking and finance. I’ve recently joined the board of MacArthur FC, Australia’s newest elite team, as a founding director and board member in a very male dominated sport. It’s an exciting time around what we can actually do for the MacArthur area and the difference we can make, not only in the sport, but also in the community.