Alumni profile: Dan Bidois
MP for Northcote at NZ House of Representatives
What was your role at Deloitte?
I was a Consultant in the Strategy & Operations team in the Consulting Service Line.
What did you take from Deloitte that serves you well in your current role?
Fundamentally Deloitte gave me a strong skill set in problem solving and structured thinking, which has served me well in my post Deloitte career. The ability to clearly define a problem, apply strategic frameworks and generate creative solutions is a useful and career enhancing skill in any profession, including politics.
Beyond this, I developed some good friendships and relationships while at Deloitte, and many of these friendships continue to this day.
Being a Member of Parliament means a position of leadership – what do you think makes an outstanding leader?
It’s an immense privilege to be in a position to demonstrate leadership as an MP. But having a position of leadership I think is very different to demonstrating leadership. It’s relatively easy to obtain a leadership position but harder to demonstrate leadership while you are there. Hence, I think leadership is more a set of actions one exhibits in their day-to-day life. Top of mind actions to me are:
- Listening. Hearing my constituent’s feelings and concerns is essential if I want to inspire confidence in them. Equally important is to “hear the unheard”; the feelings or concerns that are often uncommunicated. In layman’s terms, that’s hearing and communicating the elephant in the room.
- Problem solving. In the absence of a problem, no leadership is really required since everything is status quo. What I’ve found is that people look to you as a leader to help them solve a problem. The bigger the problem the more leadership is required to solve it.
- Results orientated. Setting and communicating a strategic direction or vision is of course an important task of a leader, but equal to this is to follow through and achieve results towards the long-term goals or aspirations.
Were you offered any strong pieces of advice at Deloitte that you still use today?
A mentor at Deloitte gave me the best advice: Focus 70% of your time on your strengths, 20% on your weaknesses and 10% on learning new skills.
Also, he told me to always print out and proofread your deliverables before submitting them to your client/partner.
You’re a Member of Parliament now – what are the challenges and high points of working in this area?
Well I’m a political rookie here so not too much to say. I’m enjoying the breadth of the role and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.
What do you do for fun outside of work?
I love travelling and experiencing new cultures. I’m also a binge-watcher of online TV series (currently making my way through season two of West World!).
What would you be doing if you weren’t in politics?
I think I’d be back in the business world most likely.
Do you have a mantra that you live by or one that you would like to?
Live every day as if it were to be your last and live with no regrets.