active CEO Podcast 106 Kathy Robinson The Athena Principles

active CEO Podcast #106 Kathy Robinson The Athena Principles

active CEO Podcast 106 Kathy Robinson The Athena Principles

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Kathy Robinson about the Athena Principles, how a vacation to Alaska began her wellness quest, having an ultramarathon mentality, the layers of Wall Street and becoming an entrepreneur.

We also delve into the wellness taboo, transitioning out of a career in financial audit and risk, one size fits one, developing a wellness program based on risk principles and why having a life outside of work is so important.

Kathy Robinson – The Athena Principles

Kathy Robinson is a former Fortune 500 corporate disciple who found her inner self through becoming an author, speaker and certified wellness coach with Athena Wellness. She is a passionate wellness coach who has infectious energy, completed her first ultramarathon at age 54, lives by the philosophy “one size fits one” and is the author of The Athena Principles

Her career has involved senior executive roles in Audit at Credit Lyonnais, Citi, Morgan Stanley and ADP, before embarking he an author, speaker and certified wellness coach. As an auditor she assessed the wellness of Fortune 500 corporations, now she assess personal lives as they navigate through personal midlife transitions.

Kathy talks about:

  • Having an immigrant mentality of a hard work ethic.
  • Drive to wanting to have a different side of life for herself.
  • Why she felt she couldn’t make an impact in CITIbank with 340,000 staff.
  • Ending up burnt out, while loving work at JP Morgan
  • Making the decision to Investment in herself through health and wellness.
  • Why she was dying and withering on the vine.
  • Retiring at age 55 from the corporate world, just before COVID-19.
  • Why she never really identified with her corporate life.
  • The Athena Principles.
  • Wellness is based on risk management principles.
  • Wellness is the things that you do, the result of how we feel is well-being.
  • There is nothing that I can tell a client that they already don’t know.
  • What is One size fits one.
  • Most important Athena Principle right now is self-compassion.
  • Sustaining productivity over time requires an Ultramarathon mentality.
  • What it was like to cross an ultra-marathon finish line at age 54.
  • Listening to a lot of podcasts and coming up with lots of business ideas

Active CEO Performance Tip

Listening Is The Sound Of Intelligence – Do you find yourself talking more than other people in the room? Listening is the art of understanding and connecting with people. Many people think they need to speak more to be heard and show they either understand a topic or have the answer. Asking a question and intentionally focusing on listening is the art of intelligence. 3 ways to be more intelligent. 1. Ask a question 2. Listen intently 3. Ask another question


“We want to lead authentically, but do we bring our whole selves.” Kathy Robinson speaks about being the workplace wellness whisperer, on the active CEO Podcast.

“By taking care of yourselves and taking that investment, you are going to show up in a way that is more to people.” Kathy Robinson speaks about the benefits of the Athena Principles, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Kathy Robinson LinkedIn
Kathy Robinson
The Athena Principles Link
Craig Johns
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recommended Reading:

Book – The Athena Principles Amazon

Fuel Your Body For Leadership Performance Read Article
How Exercise Enhances A Leaders Performance Read Article
Four Basic Fundamentals Of Being A High Performing Leader Read Article
How To Be A High Performing Leader In 2020 Read Article
Four Ways To Overcome CEO Loneliness In 2020 Read Article

Recent active CEO Podcast Episodes

#106 – Kathy Robinson (Athena Wellness) The Athena Principles Link
#105 – Own Your OWN SPACE Link
#104 – Mark Weatherall (Te Araroa) Leading The Great Outdoors Link
#103 – Be Your OWN CEO Link
#102 – Scott Leggo An Eye For Detail Link
#101 – Own Your OWN VULNERABILITY Link
#100 – Sandhya Shetty Supermodel To Global Influencer Link
#99 – Build Your OWN TRIBE Link
#98 – Shannan Gove (Rosterfy) Building Motivated Workforces Link
#97 – Own Your OWN GRATITUDE Link
#96 – Christian Boucousis Leading Out Of The Danger Zone Link

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Kate Palmer (Sport Australia) – Changing the Game

active CEO Podcast #12 Kate Palmer Changing the Game

On this episode of the Sportspeople Recruitment active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns and Ben Gathercole talk with Kate Palmer about finding her dream job, where she combines her passion for sport, and desire to improve the health and wellbeing of a nation. We delve into her role of leading and catalysing the Australian sport industry to encourage more Australians to become more active, and shape the future of elite and grassroots sport.

We also discuss topics such as transformational change, reducing layers of compliance, the future of sport business structures, the new ‘move it’ campaign, and how she implements health and wellness into the team at Sport Australia.

Kate Palmer

Kate is one of the leading female CEO’s in the global sport industry. In January 2017, Kate took the reigns of the Australian Sports Commission, which has since been rebranded Sport Australia. She has a successful record in leading transformational organisation change, instilling good governance and providing excellent people management at organisations such as Netball Victoria and Netball Australia.

Growing up in regional Victoria, Australia in the town of Shepparton, Kate fell in love with sport playing netball, softball and was a keen waterskier. She studied a Honours Degree in Applied Science at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and a Masters of Sport Management at Deakin University. In 2014, Kate was awarded the AIS Sports Performance Leadership Award. Her passion for sport extends to governance roles at the Australian Commonwealth Games Association, Victoria Institute of Sport, Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, International Netball Federation and the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Known for her ability to engage a diverse audience, she values having different voices and opinions at the table. She knows that to influence a system you need to get inside it, be reasonable and don’t give up. As a leader she believes in working with people in a team, showing them a vision for the future and being truly authentic.

Kate talks about:

  • Her memories of sport as a young child.
  • Growing up in rural Victoria, in Shepparton.
  • The benefits of meetings in motion and walking meetings.
  • Sport providing the health of local communities.
  • Ensuring young children learn the basic movement fundamentals.
  • What inspired her to become a sport administrator.
  • Taking the reigns as CEO of Sport Australia.
  • Transitioning from being a CEO of employees to leading a whole industry.
  • The relationship between the Minister of Sport, the Office of Sport and Sport Australia.
  • Reducing layers of compliance and keeping it simple.
  • Why it is important for sport organisations to consider and adapt to new business models in the future.
  • Ensuring sport organisations have the structures and capability to be sustainable in the future.
  • Health and wellness of athletes, and how they transition into the ‘real world’ after life in sport.
  • Changing the lives of people with intellectual and physical disabilities.
  • Can we look at different ways of working in the sport industry as an administrator, coach or high performance management.
  • The significance of the ‘move it’ and ‘find our 30’ campaigns.
  • Changing the balance and ensuring that she reads, exercises and eats a healthy breakfast.
  • The Hugh Palmer scholarship and the “corporate handbag”.

Active CEO Wellness Tip

Ben and I talk about the importance of self-regulation and why it is such an important element of emotional intelligence. We talk about being aware of your emotions, how to manage and express them at the right time. Self-regulation is also about the ability to remain calm, consider all the possibilities and have a clear head.


“I am quite a practical person, pragmatic, and I can see things, I like to change things, and I like to fix things.” Gaining an insight into Kate Palmer, the CEO of Sport Australia, on the active CEO Podcast.

“Take responsibility and make a decision. If you fail or if you make a mistake we fix it, we will fix it together.” Kate Palmer on giving responsibility to employees, on the active CEO Podcast.

“I don’t think sports can look at us and say, you give us 80 to 90% of our revenue, and that’s a lot of money, but we are not prepared to improve our business.” Kate Palmer on investing in sport for the future, with the active CEO Podcast.


Resources Mentioned in this show:

Kate Palmer LinkedIn
Sport Australia
Find Your 30 website
Netball Australia
Netball Victoria
Australian Commonwealth Games Association website
Victoria Institute of Sport
International Netball Federation website
Melbourne Cricket Ground website
Deakin University
RMIT University
Sportspeople Recruitment
Craig Johns LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole Performance Coaching

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben’s best selling book

Previous active CEO Podcast Episodes:

#11 – Tim Cosulich (Fratelli Cosulich Group) – Navigating the Global Family Business link
– Dr Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien (Rising Tide Africa) – Magic Happens Outside the Comfort Zone link
#9 – Mike DeNoma (KBZ Bank) Part #2 – Creating an Earthquake link
#8 – Mike DeNoma (KBZ Bank) Part #1 – Your Strengths are What Energise You link
#7 –
Trina Gordon (Boyden World Corporation) – Recruiting World Leaders link
#6 – Indiran Padayachee (RentCorp) – Winning Only Matters link
#5 – Suzie Hoitink (Clear Complexions) – Enemy of a Great Life is a Good One link
#4 – Rene Zondag (PBI) – People Are Our Greatest Asset link
#3 – Anne Gripper (NSW Office of Sport) – 6 C’s of Leadership link 
#2 – active CEO Intro (NRG2Perform) Part 2 link
#1 – active CEO Intro (NRG2Perform) Part 1 link