Every now and then you meet a person who instantly peps you up. Duncraig Class of 1995 alumni Kim Lancer is one of those people. Beyond her beaming smile, infectious laugh and curly hair, there is a sense of self and belief that shines through so it comes as no surprise that she started her own Global Leadership Development company, encouraging people to “stand tall in their unique potential”.

After living abroad in New York and London for almost two decades, Kim returned home to Perth with her husband and two sons, all originally from Philadelphia, and established Tall Poppies where she guides, coaches and motivates company leaders to be the best they can. Her clients include WA Police, Mastercard, Goldman Sachs, Water Corporation, J.P. Morgan and Deloitte among others.

“I love that I’m able to guide, inspire, motivate, and coach leaders through that journey,” Kim said. “It’s an incredibly fulfilling career, because to me, our purpose in life is to be happy and follow our passion.”

The tables were also turned recently when Kim returned to St Stephen’s School as a keynote speaker to staff, and some of her old teachers, at the School’s 2020 Staff Expo where she navigated the idea and practice of mindset.

After graduating from the Duncraig Campus, Kim lived in the Netherlands for a year as an exchange student.

“I learned Shakespeare in Dutch (a bizarre experience), cycled to school along the dykes and lived in a tiny farm town with a windmill where clogs were the normal attire.”

“It was an incredible experience that taught me to be open-minded and enhanced my interest in seeing the world.”

When she returned home she studied and graduated from Curtin University with a degree in Journalism.

“I set sail for London all starry-eyed and started as a ‘runner’ in the newsroom at Sky News on weekends while juggling a full-time job at an Investment Bank.”

“After working in campus recruiting, attracting graduate talent for the Investment Bank, I realised what I wanted to do was develop its leaders so I transferred to the Talent Development department.

“The best career experience was joining a Global Leadership company, RogenSI in New York where I learnt from the masters and coached thousands of leaders across five years.

“I up skilled at New York University to learn about adult learning behaviour and studied with the International Coaching Federation in Philadelphia.”

After six years in London and 11 years in New York, Kim missed home and in 2018 relocated back to Perth when Tall Poppies was born.

On the company website ( Kim challenges people to ‘stand tall’. She offers executive coaching, development programs and keynotes speeches among other services and is passionate about girls’ empowerment and women’s leadership.

“St Stephen’s was full of happy memories for me.It’s where I first discovered my identity, formed deep lasting friendships and was incredibly supported and encouraged by the teachers,” Kim said.

“The feeling of community that they created, has stayed with me.”