active CEO Podcast Mike Nishi Chicago Event Management Chicago Marathon Beyond The Race Craig Johns Speaker

active CEO Podcast #94 Mike Nishi Chicago Marathon Beyond The Race

active CEO Podcast Mike Nishi Chicago Event Management Chicago Marathon Beyond The Race Craig Johns Speaker
Mike Nishi – General Manager Bank of America Chicago Marathon

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Mike Nishi about Chicago Marathon Beyond The Race, risk and crisis management in mass participation events, closed loop environmental sustainability strategies and the power of collaboration.

We also discuss the Nike Breaking2 Project, partnering with Abbotts World Marathons, why he ran the Bank of America Chicago Marathon at the age of 13 years old, and why placing community at the center of event management decisions is so crucial.

Mike Nishi – Chicago Marathon Beyond The Race

Mike Nishi is the General Manager of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a global leader in environmentally sustainable events, and is described as professional, highly organised and forward thinking leader. A dedicated family man, he is an avid runner and cyclist, completed his first ever Chicago marathon at the tender age of 13 years old, and is a board member for Girls on the Run Chicago

He started out as an intern, while at school, before becoming an employee for the Chicago Event Management company in 1989. Currently, his role is Executive Vice President of Business Development and Operations looking after the organisation of the Chicago Marathon, J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge, Girls on the Run and the Nike Breaking2 project in 2017.

His role oversees the production of all Chicago Event Management events with a particular focus in event operations, emergency response and sustainability logistics. Over a decade a go he founded the Race Management Program, ten years ago, to provide an intimate forum for race organiser’s to share ideas and find solutions to create unforgettable event experiences.

Mike talks about:

  • Running my first Chicago Marathon in 4hr 25min, as a 13 year old.
  • 3 decades working with Carey Pinkowski at Chicago Event Management.
  • Growing the Chicago Marathon from 5,000 to 45,963 finishers.
  • Safety and security being the number one priority following 9/11.
  • Planning for the unknown and unexpected is very challenging.
  • Creating a forward command facility to protect the safety of athletes and the community.
  • Chicago Marathon Beyond The Race.
  • Creating sustainable partnerships with Abbott World Marathons.
  • The Bank of America Chicago Marathon environmental initiatives.
  • Closed loop sustainability program with compostable cups.
  • Using storytelling to share the journey of recyclable products.
  • Bamboo cups and Nike t-shirts made out of recycled plastic bottles.
  • Nike Breaking2 project to break the 2hr marathon mark in 2017.
  • Sponsorships Nike, Gatorade, American Airlines & Bank of America.
  • Aligning partner’s values in a collaborative arrangement.
  • Race Management Program to support the event industry.
  • Celebrating mistakes not on the outcome, but what you learnt
  • Incorporating Pilates and mediation in his daily routine.

Active CEO Performance Tip

SINGLE-task Not Multi-task For Productivity – If you try and multi-task, our brains move too fast, we lose focus and take on too much. In fact, the brain can’t actually multi-task and what it actually does is task switching. If you are task switching to often or too quickly, it slows down your response time and prevents you from completing tasks quickly, if at all. Break down your work into single tasks and block your time accordingly to the highest priority tasks. First, write down all your tasks. Second, prioritise your tasks according to low, medium and high priority. Third, schedule time specifically for high priority tasks first, in your calendar. Then delegate all medium and low priorities where possible. Plan your day so that you can single task to get the best productivity and performance as a leader.


“It is hard to plan for things that might not happen and things that you just don’t like to think about, but have to do, whether you initiate or not.” Mike Nishi talks about crisis management, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Michael Nishi LinkedIn
Michael Nishi Instagram
Michael Nishi Twitter
Michael Nishi Facebook
Chicago Event Management
Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Craig Johns
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recommended Reading:

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
active CEO Lessons In 2019 Read Article
Four Ways To Overcome CEO Loneliness In 2020 Read Article

Recent active CEO Podcast Episodes

#94 – Mike Nishi (Chicago Event Management) Chicago Marathon Beyond The Race Link
#93 – OWN Your OWN FREEDOM Link
#92 – Lisa Tamati (Author of Relentless) Relentless Leadership In Life Link
#91 – 8 Ways To OWN Your OWN Influence Link
#90 – Jason Treu (Unstoppable Workplaces) Building Trust For Transformation Link
#89 – How Many CEO Performance Habits Link
#88 – Kate Maree O’Brien (SHE Conference) Tenacious Spirit Of An Entrepreneur Link
#87 – Have You Got CEO Presence Link
#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

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active CEO Breaking The CEO Code

Mass Participation World White Paper – Breaking The CEO Code

At the 2019 Mass Participation World Conference at the Hilton Hotel in Singapore, Craig Johns presented Breaking The CEO Code.

active CEO Breaking The CEO Code

Please find the following links from the presentation:

For more details, please contact:

Craig Johns
+61 415 675 939

Amanda Jacobs She Leads With Empathy

active CEO Podcast #62 Amanda Jacobs She Leads With Empathy

Amanda Jacobs She Leads With Empathy
Amanda Jacobs – General Manager Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron

On this episode of the Sportspeople Recruitment active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Amanda Jacobs about She Leads With Empathy, empowering women in sport, working at the London 2012 Olympic Games and the ultimate elevator pitch. We also delve into entrepreneurship and working in corporate life, balancing family life, imposter syndrome and the 3 major ingredients to a successful Olympic Games event.

Amanda Jacobs – She Leads With Empathy

Amanda Jacobs is a champion of great ideas, engaging leadership coach for sport event professionals, and the creator of the ICC Method. She is an empathetic and creative leader, who is passionate about encouraging more women into leadership roles, empowering people through The Event Show Podcast, and spending quality time with her three young children

She has a Bachelor of Creative Arts, Theatre from the University of Wollongong, in Australia, and is a Chisholm Institute certified Trainer and Assessor. Amanda loves being involved in major sporting events with roles as Venue Manager at the 2007 World Swimming Champs in Melbourne, Event Acquisition Manager for the Victorian major Events Company, Head of City Operations Manager at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and Strategic Business Management at Limelight Sports.

As a busy entrepreneur, she has founded Like Minds Create, She Leads, The Event School Global,, and in her spare time, she is the General manager of Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron.

Amanda talks about:

  • She Leads with empathy.
  • Following a pathway that she loved.
  • Her first experience with imposter syndrome.
  • The amazing experience of working at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
  • Managing multiple stakeholders under pressure.
  • Taking your own personal objectives out and thinking of the bigger picture.
  • The ultimate Elevator Pitch that led to the 2012 London Olympics.
  • Connecting people with the bigger picture.
  • The Blairgowrie yacht Squadron motto of Family, Friendship & Sailing.
  • Her key leadership strengths of empathy, creativity and collaboration.
  • Having a professional coaching appointment once per month.
  • Empowering women in sport through She Leads.
  • Females not being able to see a visible pathway to leadership.
  • “You’ve got this” through Like Minds Create.
  • Changing habits and restoring some balance in my life.
  • How do we inject more play and creativity on a daily basis?

Active CEO Performance Tip

Your Main Job Is To Develop Talent – Leadership development is a vital ingredient to company or organization success. As a leader your main job is to develop talent. How are you observing and then developing talent within your environment?  Identify, nurture, develop and challenge the talent within your organization and ensure that it is aligned to their internal motivation and purpose.


“Its all about collaboration, getting the most the skillset in that room, creating an ensemble that is high performing, understanding how that theatre show is going to connect best with the audience and a really early insight into what emotional intelligence is, and read peoples emotions and understand why they are making certain decisions.” Amanda Jacob shares her leadership lessons from theatre, on the Sportspeople Recruitment active CEO Podcast.

“When I worked out that empathy is what I lead with, that’s when I became the leader I am today, with confidence.” Amanda Jacobs discusses leading with empathy, on the Sportspeople Recruitment active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Amanda Jacobs
Amanda Jacobs LinkedIn
Amanda Jacobs Twitter
Amanda Jacobs Instagram
Amanda Jacobs Facebook
Like Minds Create
Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn