Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast #161 Dr Jo Brown Performance State Of Mind

Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast #161 Dr Jo Brown Performance State Of Mind

Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast #161 Dr Jo Brown Performance State Of Mind


On this episode of the Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Dr Jo Brown about performance state of mind, high performance, power of belief and holding space, Cool Runnings and being unstoppable.  

We also delve into what separates the great athletes from the other elite high performers, driven by giving back, having an exit strategy, dealing with doubt, selecting the people around you and internal moments of precision.  

Dr Jo Brown – Performance State Of Mind 

Dr Jo Brown lives and breathes high performance, is a Performance Coach & Consultant and Sports Physiotherapist, knows what goes on in elite performers minds and thrives on the power of self-belief. Her natural genius is in helping people find the right performance state especially just before they are about to go out and perform.  

She is the founder of Purpose2perform, The Sports Physico and Performance State with over 20 years’ experience working with elite athletes such as Jamaican Olympic sprinter Yohan Blake, the Australian Beach Volleyball team, Grand Slam tennis players, the Australian Swimming team and even the Jamaican Bobsled team.  

Jo talks about 

  • Are you going to react or respond in the moment?  
  • Wanting to be an Olympian. 
  • In built drive and self-belief. 
  • Not seeing cultural differences. 
  • What separates the great athletes from the other elite high performers. 
  • Relentless without being ruthless and reckless. 
  • Performance state of mind.
  • True high performers can do it more than once. 
  • Humans first, Olympians second.  
  • Have greater belief than the fear itself. 
  • Different capacity to control their own internal pressure switches. 
  • Instinct is a result of the work you have done before.  
  • True high performers have an exit strategy 
  • Helping athletes through the transition out of sport. 
  • Quarantine. 
  • Doing everything it takes for the team to succeed. 
  • Taking the jump to be full focused in high performance 
  • Nelson Christian Stokes “The Real Cool Runnings story” 
  • Performance is a choice, dream big and then take a first step 


“How do you walk away from being great for a chance at being unstoppable?”.  Talking with Dr Jo Brown about Performance State of Mind, on the Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast.  

“Absolute clarity around who they are, who they want to interact with, what they want to achieve and they are just unstoppable in the pursuit of that. So meticulous in the process and planning. Capacity to execute no matter what happens. They tend to be very good at picking the people around them. The people in their corner.” Dr Jo Brown discusses a high performer, on the Inspiring Great leaders Podcast.  

Resources Mentioned in this show: 
Dr Jo Brown Linkedin 
Dr Jo Brown Instagram 
The Sports Physi-Co 
Speakers Institute Corporate 
Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast
Craig Johns 
Craig Johns 
Craig Johns LinkedIn 

Recommended Listening: 

Purpose2Perform Podcast 



Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast #160 David Kidder New To Big Igniting Growth

Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast #160 David Kidder New To Big Igniting Growth

Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast #160 David Kidder New To Big Igniting Growth


On this episode of the Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with David Kidder about New To Big igniting growth, finding your proprietary gift, the interior life of leaders, 3 jobs of a Founder, and venture investing entrepreneurship. 

We also delve into creating an idea killing machine, the only way to go faster is to do less work, not being a well-rounded person, breaking the addiction of always being right, enabling permission and how did you bet your life? 

David Kidder – Igniting Growth New To Big 

David Kidder is an experienced entrepreneur and an angel investor in over 40 companies, co-founder and CEO of Bionic, growth transformation and innovation expert, and best-selling author of New To Big. He is an pioneer, an early angel investor in SpaceX and Airbnb, ignites growth revolutions and loves helping people build a permanent ladder to the moon.  

He has a BA in Industrial Design from the Rochester Institute of technology, received ID Magazine’s International Design Award, and was the Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2008. As an entrepreneur and businessman, he has co-founded Net-X, SmartRay Network, Renaissance Integrated Solutions, All Option Return, and Clickable.  As a New York Times best-selling author, David has produced The Intellectual Devotional Book Series, The Startup Playbook and most recently New To Big. 

David talks about 

  • Apple computers inspiring an interest in what’s inside. 
  • Having the space that allows people to consider things. 
  • Business-building vs company-building. 
  • Finding your proprietary gift. 
  • Clickable solving skill friction across platforms. 
  • 5 critical lens to view the world through before you bet your life on something. 
  • The company is a direct reflection of the CEO.  
  • How far are you willing to go? 
  • Having high conviction and non-consensus. 
  • Bionic unlocking new growth and competitiveness. 
  • What the CEO believes is possible, will limit what the company will do. 
  • Working in the science of experimentation. 
  • Thinking about growth mindset as lenses. 
  • Creating value that helps customers stay in a problem with you for several years. 
  • Your gift is your mind, when you decide.  


“This isn’t about a one-off innovation moonshot. It’s about building a permanent ladder to the moon.” Discussing innovation with David Kidder on the Inspiring Great leaders Podcast.  

“You can’t live or lead through a lens of fear if you want to create growth.” Having a growth mindset with David Kidder on the Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast.  

“When your daily actions are in concert with your higher beliefs, you have a credible claim to inner peace.” Talking with David Kidder on the Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast.  

Resources Mentioned in this show: 
David Kidder
David Kidder Linkedin 
David Kidder Twitter
David Kidder Instagram
On Bionic 
Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast
Speakers Institute Corporate 
Craig Johns 
Craig Johns 
Craig Johns LinkedIn  

Recommended Reading: 

New To Big Book  



active CEO Podcast #154 Michelle Gibbings I've Got A Bad Boss

active CEO Podcast #154 Michelle Gibbings I’ve Got A Bad Boss

active CEO Podcast #154 Michelle Gibbings I've Got A Bad Boss

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Michelle Gibbings about I’ve got a bad boss, building strong relationships, learning the language of business and stepping into conversations you need to have.

We also delve into influencing other people’s behaviours through our own behaviour, future proofing your career and finding the courage you need to have the real conversations.

Michelle Gibbings – I’ve Got A Bad Boss

Michelle is a workplace expert, global keynote speaker on leadership, and bestselling author of Bad Boss, step up, career leap and get career fit. She is the founder and managing director at Change Meridian, certified dare to lead facilitator, curious about bad bosses and famous for getting you ready for tomorrow, today.

Her education includes a Bachelor of Business Communications, PR and Government from Queensland University of Technology, Diploma of Management from Swinbourne University Technology, and a Masters of International Trade in Diplomacy from Monash University. Our guest has an esteemed career including Press Secretary and Public Policy Advisor for Federal Member of Parliament, Communications Manager at Mt Isa Mines, various senior management roles at ANZ and NAB Banks, and transformation management office and change director at AMP.

Michelle talks about

  • Stepping into other person’s shoes.
  • If people didn’t like me, it didn’t matter.
  • A relentless drive and energy.
  • Don’t listen to what other people say about you.
  • Coping with cultural changes in a company.
  • People not stepping into the conversations that they need to have.
  • Creating an environment your team will thrive in.
  • We all influence others by what we do.
  • The courage you need to have a conversation.
  • You cant future proof your job, but you can future proof your career.
  • What you can do to reshape your career.
  • You can’t divorce your career from your personal life.
  • How to fix the relationship dynamic.
  • What to do when I’ve Got A Bad Boss.
  • Creating psychological safety so people speak up.
  • Let my team know my weaknesses are.
  • What am I going to do to close the gap?
  • The unwillingness to listen to people to people they disagree with.
  • I need to be free to be me.


“Why do I think they are behaving like that? What’s the pressure that they are experiencing, what is happening in the organisational system that could be challenging them, could be prompting them to think, process and act in a certain way?” Michelle Gibbings talks about improving leadership and managing Bad Bosses, on the active CEO Podcast.

“No one is going to remember the work that you did, the only thing they will remember is how you made them feel and what you’ve done to help them progress in their career.” The real impact you have as a leader with Michelle Gibbings, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Michelle Gibbings
Michelle Gibbings LinkedIn
Michelle Gibbings Facebook
Michelle Gibbings Instagram
Michelle Gibbings YouTube
Speakers Institute Corporate
Craig Johns
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recommended Reading:

Bad Boss Book
Get Career Fit Book
Career Leap Book
Step Up Book

active CEO Podcast 143 Vulnerable Open Honest Communication

active CEO Podcast #143 Vulnerable Open Honest COMMUNICATION

active CEO Podcast 143 Vulnerable Open Honest Communication

Vulnerable Open Honest COMMUNICATION

As leaders it is important that we create a safe psychological space for vulnerability & open honest communication.

Great leaders create a space for effective communication, whereas poor leaders allow poor communication to occur by itself.

Communication should always be a dialogue, not a monologue, and therefore ensure everyone has a voice at the table, is heard and respected.

To ensure people have trust to be vulnerable enough to display open and honest communication, they first need a safe psychological space. Remember, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Richard Branson describes communication as the most important skill a leader can possess”.


Psychological safety is a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes.” … A solid team should be able to bounce ideas off each other, strengthen action plans, help solve issues and provide support to each other.

Psychologically safe team members “feel confident that no one on the team will embarrass or punish anyone else for admitting a mistake, asking a question, or offering a new idea.” 

Psychological safety is as important to team or company success as employee experience and workplace culture.

Simon Sinek notes in the Circle of Safety “leadership reduces the threats people feel inside the group, which frees them up to focus more time and energy to protect the organization from the constant dangers outside and seize the big opportunities.”


Vulnerability has traditionally been viewed as a weakness in the workplace, and the thought of being exposed — flaws, imperfections, challenges, and all— is, for most people, completely terrifying.

But the conversation about vulnerability in our culture is starting to change. And as it turns out, being vulnerable at work isn’t a liability — it’s an asset.

Dr. Brené Brown defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.” She also notes that “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable.”


Being clear, open and honest gives the impression of authenticity and integrity, essential foundations for true collaboration.

Open and honest communication leads more quickly to a mutual understanding and respect for a difference in views, interests and needs.

As a leader how will you create a safe psychological space for vulnerability & open honest communication?

Want To Learn More?

Check out the Break The CEO Code whitepaper. It provides an overview of Break The CEO Code and showcases the 6 key phases. We also go a little deeper into the 2nd phase PERFORMANCE, where we discuss the 3 P’s of the Leadership Performance Formula.

Breaking The CEO Code Whitepaper Download

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Subscribe to active CEO Podcast on Itunes
Craig Johns Keynote Speaker
active CEO Coaching
active CEO Podcast
Corporate Programs
Sport Performance
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recent active CEO Podcast Episodes

#143 – Vulnerable Open Honest COMMUNICATION Link
#142 – Penny Locaso (Hacking Happy) Hacking Happiness Link
#141 – IMPACT Through Clear Outcomes Link
#140 – Dr Amir Rashidian (Mid-Atlantic Chiropractic) The Stressproof Life Link
#139 – TRUST Through Healthy Confrontation Link
#138 – Kine Corder (Presidential Lifestyle) Finding Your Money Mission Link
#137 – Clarify PROCESS For Commitment Link
#136 – Steve Rodgers (IGI Principles) Overcoming The Indulgent Life Link
#135 – Reward, Recognition & Reflection Link
#134 – Julie Masters (Inside Influence) How Gravity Shifts Influence Link

Craig Johns Friday Fast Five Newsletter Speaker Coach Consultant

Subscribe To Friday Fast Five

* indicates required
Email Format
active CEO Podcast 133 Growth Through Creative Risk Taking

active CEO Podcast #133 GROWTH Through Creative Risk-taking

active CEO Podcast 133 Growth Through Creative Risk Taking

Growth Through Creative Risk-taking

How to foster GROWTH through creative risk-taking, problem-solving & information sharing.

Albert Einstein once noted that ‘creativity is intelligence having fun’. He was discussing the connecting between the science and the art in society through experiments, creations, innovative thinking and different perceptions of the world.

Creativity involves bringing something new or innovative, whether it be an action, product, idea, approach or representation.

It is how we interpret or translate what we see, believe or create for the world.

How can you create a culture of creativity and innovation in your team or organisation?

What ways can you ensure the focus on creativity and innovation is throughout the entire team or organisation?

How are you living the leadership behaviours of creativity and innovation?

What can you implement to ensure that innovation is reinforced through providing the time to innovate, values, recognition and rewards?

It is valuable to ensure that barriers are removed, but just enough controls in place to ensure that intelligent risk-taking takes place?

It is time for you to reward and foster a culture of creativity and risk-taking.

Want To Learn More?

Check out the newly Breaking The CEO Code whitepaper. It provides an overview of Breaking The CEO Code and showcases the 6 key phases. We also go a little deeper into the 2nd phase PERFORMANCE, where we discuss the 3 P’s of the Leadership Performance Formula.

Breaking The CEO Code Whitepaper Download

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Subscribe to active CEO Podcast on Itunes
Craig Johns Keynote Speaker
active CEO Coaching
active CEO Podcast
Corporate Programs
Sport Performance
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recent active CEO Podcast Episodes

#133 – Growth Through Creative Risk-Taking Link
#132 – Ron Carucci (Navalent) Rising to Power With Influence Link
#131 – Influence Collaborative Leadership Link
#130 – Alison Hill (Pragmatic Thinking) Building leadership Potential Remotely Link
#129 – Establish diverse professional RELATIONSHIPS Link
#128 – Luis Gonzales (Fierce Communications) Develop Your Intercultural Competency Link
#127 – Role Clarity For Culture Link
#126 – Donna-Leigh Perfect (Dream Guards) Double Dose Of Dopamine Link
#125 – Create Direction & Meaning Link
#124 – Shane Quinnell (Glide To Soar) Leaders Glide to Soar Link
#123 – TEAMS 10 Elements Of Leading High Performing Teams Link
#122 – Matt Sweetwood (LUXnow) Reimaging Business Link

Craig Johns Friday Fast Five Newsletter Speaker Coach Consultant

Subscribe To Friday Fast Five

* indicates required
Email Format
Liz Volpe Dare to Dream active CEO Podcast Ambisie

active CEO Podcast #67 Liz Volpe Dare To Dream

Liz Volpe Dare to Dream active CEO Podcast Ambisie
Liz Volpe – Founder Ambisie

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Liz Volpe about Dare to Dream, inspirational stories through Ambisie, Imposter Syndrome and #give1hour. We also delve into the League of Extraordinary Women, being present and switching off, and how a pitch off competition reminded her of getting out of her comfort zone.

Liz Volpe – Dare to Dream

Liz Volpe is an incredible entrepreneur who dares to dream, connects & inspires women to bring out their extraordinary, and loves to inspire the next generation through a collection of stories worth sharing. She is a purpose driven leader, global change agent, proud mother of two, Latin dancer and is on a mission to educate a million disadvantaged youth by the year 2020.

Her education includes a BA Honours in Media Communication and Media Studies form the University of Leads. In her spare time she is a fundraising volunteer at The Australian Cambodia Foundation, Sunrise Cambodia. As an entrepreneur our special guest is a Director of Zest Possibilities, Co-Founder of The League of Extraordinary Women, Founder of Project Gen Z and most recently the Co-Founder of Ambisie.

Liz talks about:

  • Dare to Dream
  • Growing up in Rochdale, a small town in Northern England.
  • Having 30 jobs by the age of 21.
  • Being inspired by Australian TV show, Neighbours.
  • Learning who she was while studying Media and Communications.
  • Thriving on change and a challenge.
  • How a dream board propelled Zest Possibilities.
  • Imposter Syndrome still popping up into her head, once per week.
  • Co-Founding The League of Extraordinary Women, in 2012.
  • How a visit to Sunrise Cambodia led to Project Gen Z & Dare to Dream.
  • Vision to educate a million disadvantaged youth by the year 2020.
  • The catalyst to, her latest venture, Ambisie
  • #give1hour to help kids explore careers and tap into their passion.
  • Being a little bit crazy with huge ideas and somehow manage to pull them off.
  • “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”
  • Having strict rules and structure for health and wellness.
  • Go into meditation through dance and having a break just for me.
  • Entering a pitch off competition for investment.
  • Solving the problem of stress and mental health with young people.

Active CEO Performance Tip

Mental Toughness Is A Skill – We often hear the term Mental Toughness. What does it really mean? Mental toughness is a personality trait that determines how well we can consistently perform under stress and pressure. It is our ability to respond to challenge, stress and pressure, irrespective of the circumstances. A good way to describe mental toughness is our ability to keep going when the going gets tough.


“What can I do next, what can I develop and what can I try that will bring fear back to me, as fear is healthy.” Liz Volpe talks about getting out of her comfort zone, on the active CEO Podcast.

“A little bit crazy with huge ideas and somehow manage to pull off.” Discussing Liz Volpe’s leadership style, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Liz Volpe Website
Liz Volpe LinkedIn
Liz Volpe Facebook
Liz Volpe Instagram
Ambisie LinkedIn
Ambisie Facebook
Ambisie Instagram
Project Gen Z
League Of Extraordinary Women
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Deep Listening Performance Oscar Trimboli

active CEO Podcast #55 Oscar Trimboli Deep Listening Performance

Deep Listening Performance Oscar Trimboli
Oscar Trimboli – Deep Listening

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Oscar Trimboli about how Deep Listening benefits performance, being a student of people, going beyond the first context, leadership identity, and managing people at Microsoft and Vodafone. We also discuss the five levels of listening, the art and science of listening, the barriers to listening, and teaching a hundred million people how to listen.

Oscar Trimboli – Deep Listening Performance

Oscar is a leader who loves experiential learning, connecting people to their passions and creating impact beyond words. We go deep into the world of listening as “every human wants to be listened to, yet what they crave is to be heard”.

He has an MBA Marketing from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management, a Graduate Diploma International Company Directors from the Australian Institute of Company Director, an Organisational Coaching Cert 3 – Institute of Executive Coaching & Leadership, and is a Gallup Strengths Coach.

His career has involved sales, business development and marketing roles at Peoplesoft, Professional Advantage, Vodafone, Microsoft and Polycon. At present he is a speaker, author and mentor with Oscar Trimboli Pty Limited and head of coaching faculty for The Marketing Academy Australia.

Oscar talks about:

  • How going to school with 23 nationalities taught him to be open to different ideas.
  • Using “Tell me more” to explore what you are hearing a little bit deeper.
  • Managing Dyscalculia’s and always being a student of people.
  • Developing Microsoft protégé for graduates at Microsoft.
  • Teaching a hundred million people how to listen.
  • How do leaders take a long-term perspective while delivering on short-term results.
  • How do leaders have the presence of mind not to react always?
  • What’s the legacy you really want to leave when you are no longer on this planet?
  • On a quest to create one hundred million deep listeners in the world.
  • ”If you can’t achieve your goal in your life time then it is ambitious enough to chase.”
  • Getting listening into school teacher curriculum.
  • All the great disasters are beautiful examples of the lack of listening.
  • The biggest myth about listening is to be focused on the speaker.
  • I speak at a 125 words at a minute, you listen at 400 times a minute.
  • We listen in black and white and listening in colour is what deep listening is all about.
  • We cant listen to anybody else unless we a clear and available.
  • Silver is putting away all the distractions, gold is to learn to listen what is not said at the Listening Olympics.
  • Crucial element of communication, we never ask for a second opinion.
  • Why is listening implied in education rather than being taught?

Active CEO Performance Tip

Own Your Own Space – If you have one skill and you are really strong at it, it can be easily copied allowing a competitor to get a step ahead in your space. If you stack your skills you can own your own space, get a step ahead of your competitors, be the authority and be the expert in your field.


“When people leave a company, they say we didn’t leave the company we left our manager.” Listening in the workplace with Oscar Trimboli, on the active CEO Podcast.

“The difference between hearing and listening is taking action.” Oscar Trimboli talks about deep listening, on the active CEO Podcast.

“Use metaphors, analogies and stories because it connects with the most innate emotions in humans. Yet most leaders will talk about KPIs, performance benchmarks, dashboards and everybody will fall asleep.” The power of stories as a leader with Oscar Trimboli, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Oscar Trimboli
Listening Myths
Oscar Trimboli Blog
Oscar Trimboli LinkedIn
Oscar Trimboli Twitter
Oscar Trimboli Podcast
Oscar Trimboli Facebook
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recommended Reading:

Deep Listening Oscar Trimboli
Breakthroughs Oscar Trimboli
125-400 Rule: The Art & Science of Listening Oscar Trimboli

Liza Pavlakos ( – Adversity Transforms Lives

active CEO Podcast #16 Liza Pavlakos Adversity Transforms Lives

Liza Pavalakos – Founder

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, we are blessed to hear a compelling insight into the incredible life of Liza Pavlakos, from being physically and sexually abused, raped, homeless, kidnapped, tortured and human trafficked, to leading highly successful businesses and becoming an acclaimed international speaker, with limited high school education and no business training. We discuss overcoming and coping with adversity, starting a business with no education or business education, selling the service before the product, treating everyone as human beings, being proud to talk about your adversities, first knowing your ‘why’ before you know your ‘how’, and how she leads an active CEO lifestyle. This is one episode of the active CEO Podcast that you do not want to miss.


Liza Pavlakos is a beautiful lady who has emerged from the depths of misery, frustration of powerlessness, humiliation of sexual and physical abuse, heartache of abduction, loneliness as a homeless teenager, hopelessness of being human trafficked and hardships of poverty, to rise up and lead a highly successful life as a businesswomen and international motivational speaker.

Her grit and determination to turn around her life, overcome adversity, understand life is worth living, be exceptional and become a successful entrepreneur, has led her to inspiring and motivating many people around the world.

She broke through barriers and bounded over obstacles, as a young self-taught entrepreneur and philanthropist, to transform Minibar Piccolo into a popular Melbourne café, successfully grow Finest Alterations from a struggling business to a thriving profitable five-outlet franchise, and at the age of 23, plan and stage the Miss India International Pageant generating $100,000 in ticket sales.

This remarkable woman inspires hope, empowers audiences, energises people and transforms lives with her moving story, beautiful soul, lasting imprint and infectious optimism. She shares her story and message around the globe through the Liza Pavlakos Foundation, and with global companies such as CNN, Ritz Carlton, PWC, Qatar Airways, Colonial and ANZ.

Liza talks about:

  • Being exceptional about the way we think about the situations that be fall us and being the best version of yourself that you can be.
  • How we choose to handle adversities, is what defines us.
  • Being physically and sexually abused from the age of six by her uncle and cousin, who she really loved and trusted.
  • Feeling unheard at the age of 15 she developed depression, which led to an addiction to suicide and running away from home at the age of 17.
  • From a very sheltered Malaysian Islamic background, to being homeless and alone on the streets of Melbourne in Australia.
  • Being kidnapped by a stranger while walking home from school, to a destination she did not recognize and tortured for 8 hours till she was a knife edge away from death as she was given her last rights.
  • Feeling the heartbeat of her first child made her feel that she was loved, that she had a sense of purpose and to be the best version of myself.
  • Coming up with her first business idea that resulted in a $100,000 profit, Miss India International beauty pageant, with zero start up and a baby in her hand.
  • Empowering women and girls that have been abused themselves, but who weren’t able to articulate it or come out in the open.
  • Feeling the calmness come over you when tragedy is about to strike you
  • An Uber ride in the Middle East with her cameraman and assistant that led to being held at a prison and the uncovering of a human trafficking ring of over 350 people who had been gagged, murdered and burnt as military intelligence saved their lives.
  • Suffering and coping with Post-traumatic stress syndrome, and now having the courage to make change and talk about it. .
  • Having to ask customers how to make a Latte during her first days at Minibar Piccolo.
  • The product should always be good, but it is always selling the service first before the product.
  • Treating everyone as human beings as everyone has a story.
  • Treating everyone who works with her as family members and they all will have a vested interest in the business.
  • Staying calm, relaxed and focused on the person or people who need you to be strong, during moments of vulnerability.
  • Seeing people from the eyes of love, forgiveness, empathy and understanding that it makes the world of difference.
  • Know your “why” and then you will know your “how”.
  • The purpose of the Liza Pavlakos Foundation.
  • Teaching her children that they don’t need to shy away from anything and they don’t have to worry how people perceive them.
  • Waking up in the morning, preparing food for dinner, going to the gym, doing something for her, listening to music and reading books.
  • When travelling she always ensures that she has arranged a trainer ahead of time.
  • Her soon to be released book – Voiceless No More

Active CEO Wellness Tip

Ben and Craig discuss the importance of getting active in the workplace. Extended periods of time spent sitting can result in chronic back pain, cardiovascular disease, muscle deterioration, decreased productivity and even poor mental health. It supports a sedentary lifestyle that could also lead to weight gain, poor cardiovascular health, weakened muscles, stiff joints, and even diabetes.


“The adversities are the very thing that makes them beautiful, that make them unique, that make them resilient, that make them strong.” Overcoming adversity with Liza Pavlakos on the active CEO Podcast.

“I am proof that a person can prevail against seemingly insurmountable circumstances if they have perseverance and the right mindset.” Liza Pavlakos on being consistent in the pursuit of her dream, on the active CEO Podcast.


Resources Mentioned in this show:

Liza Pavlakos LinkedIn

Liza Pavlakos

Liza Pavlakos Facebook

Liza Pavlakos Instagram

Finest Alterations link

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:

#15 – Michael Sewards (SkyBus) – All Aboard the SkyBus Link
#14 – Jamin Heppell & Jen Ziegner (Mountains & Marathons) – Leading From the Mountain Tops Link
#13 – Chris Dean (Choice Energy) – Disrupting the Energy Spectrum link
#12 – Kate Palmer (Sport Australia) – Changing the Game link
#11 – Tim Cosulich (Fratelli Cosulich Group) – Navigating the Global Family Business link
#10 – 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

December NRGizer Newsletter

IMG_8193The NRGizer by NRG2Perform December newsletter is now available – Be the Best Version of Yourself – In this issue we discuss Changing the Game with Kate Palmer of Sport Australia; quietening the mind before going to sleep; parking the ego in a co-CEO environment with Michael Sewards SkyBus, and take a look at whether you are seeing the big picture.

Ben Gathercole and Craig Johns also delve into disrupting the energy sector with Christopher Dean, you can’t stop rotting wood; leading from the mountain tops with Jamin Heppell and Jen Ziegner on Mountains and Marathons; and are you working out with a purpose.

View the Newsletter

You Can’t Stop Rotting Wood

Have you ever felt like the company you are working for is like a ship that has sprung a leak, taking on water and gradually going under?

At first you put a wrong decision, behavior or action down to a mistake or an interesting choice, but after it is replicated many times, it feels like you are on a runaway train with no brakes.

Once a negative culture or behavior becomes ingrained it is like wood in that when rot sets in there is no way to stop its progress.

Photo by Rubén Bagüés on Unsplash

I have found that a dysfunctional company or team culture starts from the leader or leaders of an organization lacking the necessary skillsets to one, set a positive culture, and two, have the ability to manage the direction of the culture created.

The demise of many teams and companies can be directly related to the environment created by a leader, leadership team or a group of people who are able to use their influencing abilities in a negative manner.

As is often noted in business circles, ‘the fish rots from the head down’, meaning that the when a team or company fails, it is the leadership that is the root cause.

Why is culture so important to a business? Here is a simple way to frame it. The stronger the culture, the less corporate process a company needs. When the culture is strong, you can trust everyone to do the right thing.

BRIAN CHESKY, co-founder and CEO, Airbnb

Deloitte completed a Global Human Capital Trends survey in 2016, which found that 82 percent of respondents believe that culture is a potential competitive advantage as it drives people’s behavior, innovation and customer service. (Kaplan et al. 2016)

Ashworth (2015) noted that, “a company’s culture is the only truly unique identifier. It is like a fingerprint. It may be similar to others, but is uniquely distinct to your business”.

Iannarino (2012) pointed out that, “if leadership doesn’t establish and protect a healthy culture, some unhealthy culture will fill that vacuum… If a pocket of negativity or cynicism exists, it’s because leadership hasn’t cut it out of the organisation – especially when the pocket of negativity comes from the leadership ranks”.

Culture is like the wind. It is invisible; yet its effect can be seen and felt.

BRYAN WALKER, Partner and Managing Director, IDEO

There was this one time when I was working for a start-up company who over-hired during the pre-opening phase due to the ambitious large scale of the operation.

As the company moved into the opening and post-opening phases they had to reduce the size of the team to improve financial and operational efficiency.

The problem was is that the leadership team continued to down-size more than once and the leadership team continually change over a period of three years, which resulted in a lack of trust and the development of an unhealthy culture.

An unhealthy culture then began to spread external to the company into the community, like a plague of locusts, creating negative brand image and consumer distrust that resulted in members leaving.

Today I want to share with you three ways that you can be in more control of your culture and ensure that a positive environment exists in your team or company:

  1. You must live and breath the values, lead by example, be a positive role model, and show your team members what the right or acceptable behavior is.
  2. Communicate regularly with your team members, get to know them in both a formal and informal setting, and be curious by asking questions that allow the team members to feel valued and know that their work matters.
  3. Empower team members, motivate and inspire them to do their best work, and recognize and reward them for positive behaviors that continually strengthen the culture.

It is important that you protect your wood, ensure that it is watered, has adequate nutrients and is protected from the harsh elements.


Ashworth, P. (2015). Why Company Culture is So Important to Business Success. BrightCoach LinkedIn Article. link

Iannarino, A. (2012). A Fish Rots from the Head Down (A Note to the Sales Leader). Iannarino Company Website. link

Kaplan, M., Dollar, B., Melian, V., Van Durme, Y., Wong, J. (2016). Shape Culture Drive Strategy. Deloitte Insights. link

Looking for More?

Keep up-to-date on the latest membership information, research and ideas by signing up the the NRGizer Newsletter. SIGN UP NOW

Are you looking for more insights and ideas? Then read the following inspiring and thought-provoking articles and podcasts: