Professor Jane den Hollander is one career woman with the Midas touch and just last week was awarded an Order of Australia Officer honour.
She’s the daughter of an Irish gold miner who grew up in Africa who’s now the Vice Chancellor of Deakin University.
Professor den Hollander has been instrumental in taking Deakin’s global ranking from outside the top 500 a few years ago to it’s current position as 214th in the world.
She is responsible for managing the University’s billion-dollar balance sheet and shaping the lives of Deakin’s 46,000 students.
She is an early adopter of technology, integrating IBM Watson’s artificial intelligence into student services.
Jane is also a trustee director of top performing superannuation fund UniSuper and is on the board of University Australia.
Jane’s board roles and governance experience have played a key role in strengthening her professional skills and expanding her career.
In an interview with The Constant Investor, Jane says while “the first board role is terrifying” what it gives you, is a much deeper understanding of governance.
Her own experience, being a CEO reporting to a board and then being on a board and managing a CEO has been valuable in extending her own learnings from board participation to inform her day to day role.
Jane believes her board experiences has also given her “dimensions on how other people work.
By watching exceptional board members, you learn from them and how they think”.
Joining the UniSuper board and being across all the detail has up-skilled Jane on investments and also changed the way she views philanthropy.
“I give away more money away as a consequence of learning about its impact and understanding tax. You can do more when you understand what the dollar is worth and how you can use it”.
When it comes to productivity and time management, Jane’s number one tip on managing a huge workload is become an expert in dealing efficiently with emails.
“The one thing I do, if I open my email, I deal with it. I don’t have my email bouncing in at me all the time.”
She regularly switches off her email during the day and then deals with them in bulk in the evening.
The discipline of dealing with something immediately was advice given to her from a previous boss years ago: “If you’ve got something in your in-tray, deal with it. Don’t touch a piece of paper and put it back down, you’ve just wasted 15 minutes” Jane applies this same method to her inbox.
She also has one tried and true activity when it comes to taking care of her health while juggling a variety of professional commitments
Racking up 11,000 steps every day, recorded on her phone using the Samsung app S Health, walking is Jane’s key to staying healthy and clear headed. “I walk everywhere. I even walked to this interview.
Walking helps me, it also helps me think.” she says.