active CEO Podcast Chris Tabish Leadership Effectiveness With Comediology Craig Johns

active CEO Podcast #86 Chris Tabish Leadership Effectiveness With Comediology

active CEO Podcast Chris Tabish Leadership Effectiveness With Comediology Craig Johns

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Chris Tabish about leadership effectiveness with Comediology, breaking out of the secure zone, bringing joy to the boardroom, and being a voice for executive management.

We also discuss the differences in leadership style between Deloitte and Accenture; connecting the worlds of consulting and comedy; the principles of Comediology; and why humour is about authenticity and humility.

Chris Tabish – Leadership Effectiveness With Comediology

Chris is a serious consultant known to have a comedy problem, who is transforming Fortune 500 companies and bringing fun and laughter to the corporate world. He is a comedian who tries not to fall over, may have painted the Golden Gate Bridge with a toothbrush, and is adamant that he wont leave us short-changed on the show today.

Our guest has a serious side as well, completing a BS in Accounting and MBA in Business Administration from The University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business. His illustrious career includes consulting and director roles at Accenture, Deloitte, JDSU, Symantec, Jupiter Networks, Bodhtree and Verity Consulting. He co-foundered Stratus Partner before founding his latest entrepreneurial visions, Venture West Consulting and Comediology.

Chris talks about:

  • Always having a muscle to explore creativity.
  • Why he didn’t initially pursue being a comedian because it was too risky.
  • Shifting from a robot leadership style to someone who values employees.
  • Realising the value of humanity and creativity in leading people.
  • The WHY behind comediology.
  • Why he wasn’t being present and connecting with people.
  • Its not the content that connects with people it is the emotion.
  • In comedy you have to have a point of view or an opinion.
  • Start with something funny, that is humbling and lights up the room.
  • Why Robin Williams was so funny, but in a humble and sincere way.
  • Why he wouldn’t advocate to try and be specifically funny.
  • Leadership effectiveness with Comediology
  • Core essence is “finding your voice” and investing in your Creative 401k.
  • Comedy connects people, and people connect with people they like.
  • Let everything go and be completely in the moment.
  • How I can understand why I am here?

Active CEO Performance Tip

Chief Energy Officer – Do you know that we are all CEO’s. The Chief Energy Officer of our lives. And think how that energy affects other people and the way you behave. You all have control over your own energy. It is important that you manage your own energy first before influencing the energy of a room, a team, your family and any other person you interact with. As an influencer you can either create an environment of positive or negative energy. If you want to achieve success in a meeting, conversation, pitch, gathering or an event, then it is important that you create the energy state you desire, for both internal and external influence. Remember where focus goes energy flows. So make sure your intention is set for your desired outcome.


“Now that the filter is gone they start to bring out some really creative work.” Chris Tabish explains the benefits of comedy in the Boardroom, on the active CEO Podcast.

“Living to that differentiation and internal voice you have.” Chris Tabish explains why all comedy is different, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Chris Tabish LinkedIn
Chris Tabish Twitter
Venture West Group
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recommended Reading:

Comediology Book
4 Day Week – Andrew Barnes Order Now

Fuel Your Body For Leadership Performance Read ArticleHow 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
active CEO Lessons In 2019 Read Article
Four Ways To Overcome CEO Loneliness In 2020 Read Article

Recent active CEO Podcast Episodes

#86 – Chris Tabish (Comediology) Leadership Effectiveness With Comediology Link
#85 – Raise Your Energy Bar With CEO Periodization Link
#84 – Catherine Molloy (Auspac Business Advantage) The Conscious Leader Link
#83 – 3 P’s Of The Leadership Performance Formula Link
#82 – Revital Golan (Anemone Ventures) Entrepreneur State Of Mind Link
#81 – How A Leader Can Recover With Purpose Link
#80 – Jonathan Rake Launchpad To Go Beyond Borders Link
#79 – Free Your Mind Link
#78 – Hillary Poole Leading Healthy Sustainable Systems Link
#77 – Tips To Fuel Your Leadership Performance Link
#76 – Paul Veric (BTE Consulting) The Peaceful Warrior CEO Link

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active CEO Podcast Ellen Derrick Deloitte

active CEO Podcast #37 Ellen Derrick Make Mistakes No Regrets

Ellen Derrick – National Executive Deloitte Australia

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Ellen Derrick about the importance of being grateful and serving others; her high performance mindset; working with leaders to deliver excellence at Deloitte Australia; and the value of scheduling energy rather than time.

We also delve into coping with her adopted mother passing away from Breast Cancer at the age of eleven; how her children fuel her to deliver better leadership; being open to mistakes and having no regrets; and why speaking on stage with her daughter Kate, who has Cystic Fibrosis, was one of the best days of her life.

Ellen Derrick

Ellen is an impressive Senior Executive who is a leader with a service mentality, who has a bios for action and accountability.

Growing up in the USA she played a lot of sport, including tennis at University before switching to squash, which she played at an international level.

She studied at Nardin Academy, has a BA Government Business at Colby University and has completed an MBA Management from the Australian Graduate School of Management, since moving to Australia.

Her impressive resume includes managerial roles for Accenture, IISM Group, the Australian Federal Government Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, and is currently the National Leader Public Sector and Public Policy and a member of the National Executive for Deloitte Australia.

Now living in Australia she is an affiliate member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, plays an active role in national charitable foundations including Cystic Fybrosis Australia, and is a mentor for the center of economic development of Australia and Institute of Public Administration of Australia.

Ellen talks about:

  • Growing up in an Irish part of Buffalo, New York, USA.
  • The influence of her mother, who passed away from Breast Cancer, when she was eleven.
  • Her mum teaching her to be grateful, serve others, keep perspective and be optimistic.
  • Always being in a hurry, feeling time limited and always looking for the next thing.
  • Loving playing soccer and basketball for many years, before switching to tennis & squash.
  • Her love of history, English, writing and the systems of government.
  • Leading national public practice and public policy at Deloitte.
  • Working with the leaders to deliver excellence and having a lasting impact.
  • How we better our life expectancy.
  • Keeping her mind relaxed and calm, while leading a very diverse portfolio.
  • Are leaders born or made?
    Helping to find the confidence and courage to take big leaps.
  • How her team would describe her leadership style.
  • Coping with her early days at Deloitte, where she felt the effects of imposter syndrome.
  • Coming back from maternity leave, knowing she was a different human being.
  • Adjusting her life when she learnt her daughter has Cystic Fibrosis.
  • Her professional purpose and personal purpose converging every day.
  • The importance of scheduling her own time to free the mind and re-energise.
  • The impact of speaking on stage with her daughter Kate, for the first time in front of influential senior business leaders
  • What we truly need to do collectively in ensuring our sustainability and our prosperity?
  • Feeling energetic, positive and focused when she is in a peak state of mind.

Active CEO Wellness Tip                                                       

Better Place – It is our role as leaders to be a steward and leave what we are looking after in a better place for our future leaders. We need to ensure our stewardship continues to build it up step-by-step so we leave a positive legacy for the next generation.


“How do you really seize opportunity from challenge and how do you keep your perspective when things are truly hard.” Ellen Derrick speaking with her daughter Kate on stage in front of influential business leaders, on the active CEO Podcast.

“We don’t always get it right, but we are perfectionists, we are the big four, it is our job to get it right, and it really hurts us when we don’t.” The challenge of leadership expectations with Ellen Derrick, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources mentioned in this show:

Ellen Derrick LinkedIn
Ellen Derrick Profile
Deloitte website
Cystic Fibrosis
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole Performance Coaching

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben Gathercole

active CEO Podcast #17 Patrick Kidd OBE Invictus Games Healing Power of Purpose

Patrick Kidd OBE – CEO Invictus Games

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Patrick Kidd OBE about his approach to being driven by service and purpose; empowering your team members; balancing boundaries with the freedom to operate; knowing when to seek advice; the art of planning; and finding the clarity of your strategy. He gives us an in-depth insight into the tight connection and bond developed in the armed forces; the challenges veterans have when transitioning back into society; leadership being driven by context; the purpose of the Invictus Games; the healing power of sport; and how he leads an active CEO lifestyle.


Patrick Kidd OBE is a highly experienced, meticulous and humble leader who has successfully transitioned from serving in the Armed Services to becoming an impressive CEO on debut.

He has a lifelong love of learning and professional development with a Masters of Arts at the Cranfield School of Management, MBA at the Open University, Diploma inSecurity Services at Deakin University and completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Company Directors Course.

He served in the British Army for 20 years and the Australian Defence Force for 10 years before transitioning into a principal consultant role at Deloitte Australia in 2015. His impressive leadership has been recognised, with a Queen’s Commendation in 2000 and an OBE in 2005.

Joining Deloitte Australia in 2015, he focused on strategy and operations consulting to Defence and the Defence Industry. He led the Deloitte team responsible for the Invictus Games Sydney pro-bono effort, which resulted in being appointed as the CEO of the 2018 Invictus Games Sydney.

Patrick talks about:

  • Bringing together an amazing collection of people who come together because they are trying to make a difference for the good.
  • Creating that atmosphere when things go wrong, the team will come around and support them.
  • The act of planning is everything
  • Balancing leading the team and the individual.
  • Understanding what it is that you are trying to do and why you are trying to do it.
  • A time when he made a mistake when leading in the Armed Services and the strategies he employed to resurrect the situation.
  • Respecting the world in which you live and the people that you are dealing with.
  • Failing to back his Deputy while in Iraq.
  • The biggest challenges he faced when transitioning from the Armed Services into his role at Deloitte Australia.
  • Former Wallaby Australian Rugby Captain, Stephen Moore, being the catalyst to Australia commencing its bid, in 2014, for theSydney Invictus Games.
  • The Invictus games giving a greater purpose to the staff of Deloitte Australia.
  • Why the Invictus Games is so important to those who have served and the families who have supported them.
  •  The Invictus Games being about those individuals that are going to get the most out of the experience.
  • Prince Harry being the inspiration behind the Invictus Games.
  • The “whats next?” The legacy of the Invictus Games.
  • Veterans Sports Australia’s role to bring together the community of people who have served and give them pathways to connect.
  • People often over-analyse problems and situations, when actually sometimes all you need to do is, do something.
  • Learning to ask for help.
  • Switching off and being ready to move into another setting, is an incredibly hard thing to do.
  • The effect that his wife and Sir Winston Churchill have had on his career

Active CEO Wellness Tip

Ben and Craig discuss – Apologise to Me! How comfortable are you in saying sorry? We naturally value our ego more than our relationships and therefore it takes strength and courage to be able to say ‘I’m sorry’. Emotional intelligence helps you to comprehend that by saying sorry you demonstrate humility and by apologising it doesn’t always mean that you are wrong. Humility is an important quality that improves relationships and naturally draws others to you. 


“Our young need to believe in something, they need to recognise that life has a purpose and it’s not just about them.” The importance of defining your purpose with Patrick Kidd OBE on the active CEO Podcast.

“It is your job to bring a team together, give the team purpose and to help them along the way so they can do great work. “Patrick Kidd OBE on leading teams on the active CEO Podcast.

“Unless you have got a really clear view as to what the objective is and what you are trying to do, you are never going to get there.” Achieving goals with Patrick Kidd OBE on the active CEO Podcast.

“It is not about who you are and what you did yesterday, it is what you are going to be.” Where you focus should be with Patrick Kidd OBE on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Thank you to Peppers Gallery Hotel, Canberra for hosting the interview.
Patrick Kidd LinkedIn 
Invictus Games
Deloitte Australia link
Australian Defence Force
British Army
Kingston University
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst link
Cranfield School of Management
Deakin University
Australian institute of Company Directors link
The Open University
Craig Johns LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole Performance Coaching

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben’s best selling book Purchase Now

Previous active CEO Podcast Episodes:

#16 – Liza Pavlakos ( – Adversity Transforms Lives Link
– 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