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Martial arts can help one cope with failure, learn from mistakes and handle the stresses in business. Through it, you can learn and apply skills that can help you realise your potential and make you feel proud of what you have accomplished.Today we speak with Karen Young, the Global Tax Director at Flight Centre. Her impressive career started with one of the big 4 accounting firms as a graduate, before moving overseas and working in the “Big Apple” of NYC.  She shares her story on why she decided to leave her job at EY,  how martial arts played a huge role in her successes, her leadership style and approach and so much more. We were even lucky enough to find out that Karen is a 3rd Dan black belt! How awesome is that? Books to the Boardroom is hosted by Sumith Dissanayake, CEO of Brisca. 
It’s true that being a startup founder can be incredibly stressful. From creating a business model, to seeking out funding from investors and creating a product that is desirable—these are all things a founder must deal with.Today we speak with former AFL star, Brad Moran. He shares his stories about the pressure to become the next big tech player has at times been crippling and the constant comparisons and battles with competitors are relentless. After retiring from the AFL due to injury, Brad launched his first e-commerce tech company, NoQ at just 24 years old. NoQ quickly evolved into a leading grocery platform across the US and Australia, and six years later he left to start his second company called CitrusAd. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on the Australian business landscape, MA Financial stepped up with funding to help CitrusAd increase its revenue by more than 10 times in 18 months. French company Publicis acquired CitrusAd for $205 million in July 2021 and is now one of the world's largest retail media providers.The episode features Brad's leadership journey, challenges he faced as a startup founder, his experiences as an elite AFL player and so much more.Books to the Boardroom is hosted by Sumith Dissanayake, CEO of Brisca. 
Hutchinson Builders, also known as “Hutchies” has been building across Australia for 110 years and is currently the largest privately owned construction company in Australia. The company employs 1,600 staff, builds over 300 projects annually and turns over approximately $3 billion each year. Today we speak with Scott Hutchinson, Chairman at Hutchinson Builders. From a young age, Scott knew he wanted to be involved in the family business. He had been working at Hutchies during his school holidays before becoming full-time in 1986. Taking over his father's position as Managing Director in 1992, he was exposed to all aspects of one of the fastest growing businesses in Australia. We hear about some of the challenges he faced as Managing Director, how growth affected the company both positively and negatively and how he invested in his passion for music here in Brisbane. This episode was hosted by Sumith Dissanayake. 
It’s been a big year for Kate Farrar, CEO of Brighter Super. Brighter Super was formed in July 2021 from three smaller superannuation funds including Energy Super and LGIAsuper. Currently, the fund has 255,000 members and has around $30 billion under management. She shares her experience of consolidating the back office systems, underlying portfolios and bringing together a team under a new single administrative system which is now known as Brighter Super. Before Brighter Super, Kate spent 8 years building an electric retailer start up, QEnergy. Before selling the company, she grew QEnergy to 25,000 members and generated around $100 million in revenue. Kate also shares some background on her undergraduate degree in music, her first job at NSW Treasury Corp as a Bond Quantitative Analyst and her time abroad as a DJ. You don’t want to miss this episode.Have a listen to the full episode here: episode was hosted by Sumith Dissanayake. 
Growth is a journey that requires the entire business to constantly adjust, optimise and execute, but it starts at the top. Only when the CEO, C-suite, and business-unit leaders have the right mind-set can leaders hope to drive growth across the entire organisation.Today we speak with Jade McCarthy, Head of Global Acquisition and Growth at Global Payments. As a seasoned growth leader, Jade has developed and implemented top line growth strategies by taking teams through multiple growth phases to expand into new markets, acquire new customers and positively impact top line growth. By embracing design thinking and building empathy with the customer, she believes the whole organisation benefits, and this is evident in her leadership style.Additionally, Jade shares a bit about her upbringing in the UK, time spent in Russia, previous leaders who have helped mold her into the leader she is today and so much more.  You’ll definitely be inspired after the stories and lessons Jade shares on this week's episode of Books to the Boardroom.Have a listen to the full episode here: episode was hosted by Sumith Dissanayake. 
Today we speak with Paul McCartney, Chief Clean Futures Officer of Clean Energy Finance Corp (CEFC).  CEFC aims to accelerate Australia's transition to net zero emissions by 2050 in agriculture, cleantech innovation, energy generation and storage, hydrogen, infrastructure, property, transport and waste.Paul has been with the CEFC since its inception and leads the origination and transactions team in deploying $10bn to finance renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. He has been involved in financing over $3bn of clean energy related projects including Australia’s first equity fund for bioenergy and energy from waste – the $200+ million Australian Bioenergy Fund. Throughout the interview, we discuss how Paul managed to make his way to the c-suite by 30, how CEFC navigated through COVID times and so much more.You’ll definitely be inspired after the stories and lessons Paul shares on this week's episode of Books to the Boardroom.This episode was hosted by Sumith Dissanayake. 
For a woman in business, it can be lonely at the top. Historically, the representation of women in the boardroom has been shamefully low, and equitable hiring at companies across the board has left much to be desired. But slowly, change is coming. On today’s episode of the Books to the Boardroom podcast we meet with Jo Jessop, CEO of Multicap. Jo is such an inspiration for all women looking to break into the c-level suite. Her story reveals how she went from being a pharmacist to heading one of Australia's leading disability organisations. She talks about her role in guiding Multicap through the challenging COVID times, gender inequalities, provides purpose driven leadership advice and so much more. You’ll definitely be inspired after the stories and lessons Jo’s shares on this week's episode of Books to the Boardroom.This episode was hosted by Sumith Dissanayake. 
​​Franchising makes people rethink leadership. Mostly because as soon as you get that first franchisee, you are no longer in the business of business. You are now in the business of supporting people. Specifically, you have to shift your focus to your franchisees, clients, customers and the corporate team.After more than two decades in the franchise industry, it is safe to say that John O’Brien, CEO of Poolwerx knows what it takes to cultivate growth-minded teams with an aligned mission and positive culture. He found that having a solid mission, taking courageous actions in support of that mission and inspiring and supporting others has enabled Poolwerx to thrive not only in Australia but around the globe.An important takeaway from John’s podcast is that your job as a leader of a franchise system is not to have all the answers or do all the work. Your job is to create an environment and culture that nurtures those around you so you can all better accomplish your goals and carry out your aligned mission.You’ll definitely be inspired after the stories and lessons John’s shares on this week's episode of Books to the Boardroom.This episode was hosted by Sumith Dissanayake. 
Mentoring is super important for leaders because, put simply, it brings the best out of the people you lead. Mentoring generates confidence, inspires trust and fast-tracks team development. A big part of your own leadership development is determining what sort of a leader you want to be.In today’s podcast, we welcome Ross Thompson, CEO of PeopleIN. Since the beginning of his career, Ross has been leading teams in corporate, sporting and military environments. He has built profitable and sustainable professional services operations everywhere from Australia to Asia and the Middle East. He tells us how he followed in his brother's footsteps and joined the military, and how a handwritten letter helped him land a job in Abu Dhabi. You won't want to miss this Books to the Boardroom podcast episode!  
Good leaders are hard to come by. They never stop learning and continually work on developing their skill and character to become an even better role model for others. However, a great deal of leadership development comes from overcoming difficult and uncomfortable situations. In today’s podcast we welcome Shankar Kotha, Chief Commercial Officer of Arise Hotels and Apartments. After studying hospitality in uni, Shankar was fortunate enough to land a job with Addison Hotels before taking on a role that led him to opening resorts in the Maldives. Just before starting this new position, the devastating 2004 tsunami hit Sri Lanka. But even when everyone around him thought he should forgo this job, Shankar went with his gut and headed to the Maldives. Find out what happened when he got there and tune in to hear how he is currently giving back to the local Brisbane community. This episode was hosted by Sumith Dissanayake.
Who needs a coach? What does executive coaching look like? How does it work, and does it work for all? These are just a few questions Rob Balmer, Executive Coach and CEO of Executive Central answers on today’s episode of Books to the Boardroom. Rob shares his experience of his first introduction to executive coaching and how it ultimately transformed his performance as a leader.  We hear about how a performance review became his "wake up call" and his appreciation for constructive feedback. You won't want to miss the story about how joining the band, Jungle Studs, helped him grow professionally and personally. This episode was co-hosted by Sumith Dissanayake and Jack Ferguson. 
In today’s podcast, we welcome Allan Cooney, CEO of The North Australian Pastoral Company. Allan has been leading teams and taking risks from the young age of 28 when he took over his family’s farm. He has since been involved in all sorts of top level management roles across a diverse range of industries. Some of his experiences include working alongside the Chief Minister in the Northern Territory to a year and a half expedition in Antarctica with the Australian Antarctic Division. Listen in to hear how Allan overcame different challenges and the unique lessons he learned along the way.  This episode was co-hosted by Sumith Dissanayake and Jack Ferguson. 
In today’s episode we welcome Calvin McDonald, Head of Australian Operations at BrewDog. This BrewDog “lifer” shares experiences from his 14-year career on how he went from working as a part-time bartender during his economic degree to dropping out and pursuing his newfound passion for craft beer. We explore Calvin’s journey of how he was able to overcome challenges of expanding into new markets and how his passion for beer and the BrewDog brand enabled him to become the passionate leader he is today. This episode was co-hosted by Sumith Dissanayake and Jack Ferguson. 
This is the first time Sonia Chadburn, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NAK Hair, shares her story of how she transitioned from a Chartered Accountant in London to a renowned CEO of a leading international hair care company.  As a mom and executive, she talks about how she manages her everyday life, as well as juggling three young children. Sonia discusses the importance of emotional intelligence and how having a trust-building leadership style has helped her become the leader she is today.This episode was co-hosted by Sumith Dissanayakeand Jack Ferguson. 
Josam Watson is Chief Risk Officer (CRO), of digital banking company Tyme.Having an exceptional life starting in Zimbabwe where he couldn’t afford shoes as he was growing up, Josam has grown into an exceptional leader over the course of his career. This podcast details that journey.We talk about:How the development of a Chief Risk Officer has occurred.The value of root cause analysis and how it can help organisations from failing. Why Josam thinks individuals are easy to blame in leadership but this isn’t necessarily the best way to fix problems.The story of a pedantic leader who shaped him and made him realise who he didn't want to be.How he asks himself whether he is being the kind of leader he said he wanted to be when he is making critical decisions. What it was like to watch banks fail in real-time and what he believed went wrong.His challenging teenage years in Zimbabwe and how that still influences him today. And Much More.This podcast episode was co-hosted by Jack Ferguson and Sumith Dissanayake.
On today’s episode we are speaking to Peter Wolff, Managing Director of Wolff Coffee Roasters.It seemed he was always meant to build a business in coffee as Wolff is spelled with two ‘f’s, like how coffee has two ‘f’s. In this episode we speak about:Building his coffee business when he was young. How Peter credits a couple of mentors with shaping his approach to business and leadership at an early stage in his life. How he faded out (but didn’t drop out) of Law school to pursue a career in hospitality.A move to Melbourne in his early life to work in hospitality and start a coffee business.How he has built a culture in his company with an attitude towards continuous improvement. AndHow Covid really impacted the hospitality sector and his business? Peter talks about how hospitality has changed significantly and what changes he believes will be permanent.Peter is full of fun anecdotes, wisdom, and leadership advice.This episode was co-hosted by Sumith Dissanayake and Jack Ferguson.
Today we are very fortunate to have a shark on the show. That shark is Dr Glen Richards, Investor and Director of The Richards Group, Ex-CEO of Greencross, and an investor on Shark Tank Australia from Season 2 - 4.He chatted to us about all things entrepreneurship and leadership.As you can imagine, Glen is a wealth of knowledge and was very generous with the insights he shared and the stories he told on this episode.We talk about:What life is like after Shark TankHow his companies did during Covid. His thoughts on the Great Resignation. In what ways employers are on notice, and what employees need from their workplaces.What he needs to see in an entrepreneur to invest in them.His own transformation into a leader and the 2 specific moments in his life that ignited that transformation. The value of the Rockefeller Habits and why he has been using them for years.How leaders can develop themselves.What he thinks about the current state of leadership in Australia. And What advice Glen has for young people coming up through the ranks now.Jack Ferguson and Sumith Dissanayake co-hosted this episode. 
Today we are speaking to Ben Flintoff, COO of QTM EnergyHaving just moved on from a successful tenure as GM of Baskin Robbins, a well-known brand, Ben speaks about why he made the move into a completely different industry and what to think about if others are thinking of doing the same.It might appear like an unusual decision on the surface but we take the time to really unpack what it’s like to make a big change after you are already established in your career. We also speak about:How important it is to build strong relationships over time. How he made a difficult decision to repeat a year at school when he was younger. What others can learn from his self-described ‘Canada Moment’ and what that means for communication styles. The importance of Agitators in a team.What his thoughts are on recruiting people. AndAll his thoughts on leadership.Jack Ferguson and Sumith Dissanayake co-hosted this episode. 
Today’s guest is Sharyn Williams, CFO of G8 Education. In this episode you will hear how Sharyn was impacted by Covid. G8 Education is a company that runs a number of childcare centres around Australia, so this past year and a half has been very difficult. We speak about that at length.Other topics we discuss include:How Sharyn’s team reacted to Remote Working during Covid.How Sharyn got her first shot at leadership when she was playing sport for Australia.How and why Sharyn thinks that leadership can come from anywhere and from people without leadership titles. What happened when she was thrown in the deep end throughout her career.AndHow having imposter syndrome has impacted Sharyn. But interestingly, how it has also helped her. This episode was co-hosted by Sumith Dissanayake and Jack Ferguson.
Today's guest is Michael Hentscher, CFO at The Scooter Group.Michael tells us about growing up in Outback Queensland and some of the culture shocks you can expect when coming to work in the city. Beginning his career in the city, Michael shares valuable insights as to what those first few years were like.Michael shares his experience watching those who get promoted to management positions based on their technical proficiency, and not necessarily their management skills. We cover this topic in depth on this episode. What was unique about Michael’s mentors was that he had different people give him totally different view points. What do you do when you have mentors that do that? Is it helpful to have such different perspectives in your ear? We discuss this at length.Finally we speak about how Martial Arts can be great for one’s personal development, and why Michael has put so much effort into studying this over the years. Listen to how he says it helped him.This episode was co-hosted by Sumith Dissanayake and Jack Ferguson.
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