A successful member of The Illawarra Connection (TIC) determined to never stop learning is among those starting the second cohort of the Leadership Illawarra Program.
Michael McKeogh decided to do the program after finding out about it from the peak networking body.
TIC helped found the initiative co-ordinated by RDA Illawarra and University of Wollongong's Sydney Business School.
Mr McKeogh runs a former Illawarra Business of the Year, Fibre Optics Design and Construct, but said despite all his business' success, it was always possible to learn more.
"The fact we have won Business of the Year and various awards ... hasn't stopped us constantly trying to find a new way of improving things. That is not just in the physical work, it is also about how I lead my team."
Late last year the Bulli company was invited to tender on the biggest project it has ever been approached about.
It has worked on the NBN rollout, fibre optics on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and communication systems for major motorways but this tender was four times bigger than anything it bid for previously.
It was a NSW-wide tendered project and Mr McKeogh said it was phenomenal for an Illawarra company to even be considered.
"For customers to come to us and say we have got enough confidence in you to take on projects worth millions of dollars is an endorsement of the people who work for me."
Mr McKeogh's business has grown so quickly, it has always been a case of constantly innovating and finding new ways to do things to stay ahead.
"I know I can improve," he said.
Mr McKeogh said leadership in the company changed almost daily.
"It is important when you are involved in successful projects and leading a team bidding on major projects," he said.
Former Illawarra Business Chamber chief executive Mike Leask was a graduate of the first cohort and noted how leadership was different for everyone.
"Everyone of us had a different style of leadership and a different approach and personality level," he said. They also found themselves contacting and helping each other when they had specific challenges.
"Leadership is something you grow and develop," Mr Leask said.
" This leadership course is so broad it touches on every different area of leadership. It has incredible site visits ... and you gain an understanding how things are done in different sectors."
Mr Leask said the program had leaders in the community as mentors but students from the first cohort were keen to start an alumni and act as mentors for the second cohort.
The two-year course includes a three- to four-hour meeting once a month that is effectively a site visit and presentation from a successful organisation in the region.