Janet Russell

When La Trobe Business School introduced the Professors of Practice concept early last year, Janet Russell was one of the first Professors of Practice to be appointed.

As one of the first Business Schools in Australia to pioneer this concept, LBS intends that Professors of Practice will provide students with invaluable insights into the industry, while also  strengthening links between LBS and industry.

With experience spanning from being a CEO and Managing Director to running her own executive coaching service for successful entrepreneurs, tech specialists, lawyers and accountants, Janet Russell has an impressive breadth of experience to bring to La Trobe Business School. ”As an executive coach, I aim to help clients identify the thoughts and behaviours that can hold them back in their careers or leadership roles so they can grow conscious of these and develop new ways of thinking and behaving that serve them and their organisations much better,” she says. “The key in my work as an executive coach is to ask the right questions to unlock what the real or underlying issue is for an individual. For example, I’ll often deal with clients who have been promoted on the basis of research they conducted, but they feel unequipped for their new position because they are insecure about their managerial or people skills. By asking the right questions, you can support an individual to deal with the often irrational fears that hold them back from realising their own potential.”

Currently, Janet Russell teaches on La Trobe Business School’s MBA programme, where she delivers subjects on Responsible Leadership, HR and Management. “I really enjoy teaching especially as my professional experience and knowledge are well aligned with La Trobe Business School’s values and goals, like creating work-ready graduates and fostering global citizens.” Janet says. “I was also very pleased to see that our Business School was named one of the only PRME champions in Australia recently. A strong focus on sustainability and developing responsible leaders is crucial for organisations globally.”

In November last year, Janet travelled to Hanoi, Vietnam, where she taught an intensive course on responsible leadership to twenty MBA students. “It was a wonderful experience to compare and contrast the learning environment of our Hanoi based students with our Australian based students.

When asked what she thinks a Professor of Practice should bring to a course, Janet Russell is clear: “Relevant experience and practical application of how what’s studied in a business subject translates into the real world of work and organisational environments, which I think all Professors of Practice have in abundance. The mix of experience in our Professor of Practice team is outstanding and complementary to the LBS faculty, in total providing an invaluable resource to our students.”