active CEO Podcast Bill Coletti KIth reputational resilience and transformation

active CEO Podcast #66 Bill Coletti Reputational Resilience And Transformation

active CEO Podcast Bill Coletti KIth reputational resilience and transformation
Bill Coletti – CEO Kith

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Bill Coletti about reputational resilience and transformation, crisis preparation, opportunities that arise from adversity, and the 7 Levers of Reputation from the book Critical Moments. We also delve into being involved in political campaigns and elections, Bills time in Bulgaria as CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce and advising the Prime Minister, Kith approach to crisis management, and the speed of response during a crisis.

Bill Coletti – Reputational Resilience And Transformation

Bill Coletti is a reputation and crisis guru, who has more than 25 years of global experience managing high-stakes crises, issues management, and media relations challenges for both Fortune 500 companies and winning global political campaigns. Bill is the CEO of Kith, a best-selling author of Critical Moments, has a passion for safe-guarding reputations, is a Wall Street Journal Risk & Compliance panellist, and enjoys sailing, riding his bike and unwinding through yoga.

He studied a BA Political Science and Government, Communications at Florida State University and an AA General Studies at St Petersburg College. His career has included co-leading the Global Risk Management and Crisis Communications Practice for Hill+Knowlton Strategies; Executive Director of Bill McCollum for US Senate; served in the Republic of Bulgaria as a senior advisor to the prime minister, Council of Ministers, and the Labor minister; and was the first ever executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria. Through his various roles, our special guest has worked with major corporations such as AT&T, Target Corporation, American Airlines, The Home Depot and Xerox, as well major universities and global NGOs.

Bill talks about:

  • Reputational resilience and transformation.
  • Leadership by stereo with comments from both the left and the right.
  • Becoming the first ever American Chamber of Commerce Bulgaria in 1995.
  • Honing negotiation & communication skills while Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister.
  • Building the structural requirements & a communications strategy to join the EU.
  • The key personality characteristics as a crisis and reputational management expert.
  • Reputational damage hurts more personally when it is an individual.
  • The mindset and behaviors that separate the leaders that perform best during a crisis.
  • The key differentiator between good and great in crisis management, is speed of response.
  • Impact on a crisis is very often finite.
  • Build a reservoir of goodwill as the market place will be more willing to accept.
  • Crisis management is more than just getting back to normal.
  • Needing quiet quality time to think and process what is going on.
  • Love to solve the question of how to cure cancer.
  • Why aren’t more people happy?

Active CEO Performance Tip

Conditions Will Not Be Perfect – Our environment changes from year to year, month to month, day to day and minute to minute. As leaders we need to be prepared for the conditions not to be perfect. We need to be agile and ready to adapt at a moments notice. It is our responsibility to utilize our wide range of experience, skills and expertise to deliver our best performance no matter what is in front of us.


“The nature of your character was more important than the size of your car.” Bill Coletti describes life in Bulgaria in the 1990’s, on the active CEO Podcast.

“The crucible of crisis doesn’t develop your leadership it reveals it.” Bill Coletti discusses leadership during crisis, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Bill Coletti
Bill Coletti LinkedIn
Bill Coletti Twitter
Kith Consulting
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recommended Reading:

Critical Moments The New Mindset of Reputation Management

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 #20 Sean King Leading Within Proximity

active CEO 20 Sean King Leading Within Proximity 2

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, we chat with Sean about his path to becoming a lawyer, innovating in the legal services industry, becoming an entrepreneur, never defining himself by his career and being a co-CEO. We also speak about the triple bottom line, fostering an active and healthy lifestyle in the workplace, being involved in the community and seeing the world through the eyes of an adventure racer.


Sean King is a young thriving entrepreneur who has disrupted the legal landscape of Australia, is scaling his business Proximity at a rapid rate and knows the importance of his team having the energy to perform.

He is an adventurous Canberra lawyer, who founded the Proximity legal practice in 2011 with James Dunn, following a successful career at law firm, DLA Piper and Phillips Fox. Proximity is an award winning law firm with a difference providing legal, procurement and commercial, and governance and assurance solutions through innovative advisory practices.

He has a Bachelor Degree in Computer Engineering and Bachelor of Law from the University of Canberra, as well as a Graduate Diploma Legal Practice from the Australian National University. In his spare time, he is a Director of EarlyBird Events, supports Menslink, loves being in the outdoors and recently competed in the Adventure Racing World Championships held in Reunion Island in Madagascar.

Community is a huge part of his life and has been a great role model for his team in supporting and getting involved in the Proximity Canberra Triathlon Festival, which is the most accessible triathlon for the corporate, government and community.O

Sean talks about:

  • Having a traditional upbringing and growing up in country victoria, Australia.
  • Being open minded where your career takes you.
  • The drivers that led to Sean setting up Proximity with good friend and co-CEO James Dunn.
  • Challenges that some of the big law firms have with some pretty significant mental health challenges that result from the work pressure, long hours.
  • Having to be strategic about what you are going to pursue.
  • The backstory behind the name Proximity
  • Being forced to innovate as a new entrant as you have advantages and disadvantages to a market, especially an established market.
  • Focusing on getting the flexible work environment right for staff.
  • Bringing the corporate, government and community together for the Proximity Canberra Triathlon Festival.
  • Staff participating in the Proximity Canberra Triathlon Festival.
  • Proximity being proud to put back into the community.
  • Menslink and the relationship with Proximity.
  • The spark that led Sean to becoming an adventure racer.
  • Finding new limits for yourself and navigating adventure racing with your friends. 
  • Focusing on leadership that gets a lot of people involved in the decision making.
  • Having a collective decision making process, so people feel a part of it.
  • Going horse riding and jumping for the first time.
  • Why he would love to solve how we do better by Australia’s indigenous population.

Active CEO Wellness Tip – Be the One!

Be the one! Developing a positive frame of mind about your exercise is important. Align your exercise efforts with things that are both positive and reassuring. Exercise in a fun & enjoyable environment. Objectively measure results. Do things that you enjoy. Exercise with a group of positive people. 


“The good feels so good, when you navigate to a point because it is often the hard part to get there and I think that is true of life. If everything came perfect all the time and super easy, then you might not enjoy those highs as much.” Sean King navigating business and life on the active CEO Podcast.

“How you relate to people with inside your organisation, dealing with clients, and providing meaningful and useful advice that helps people solve the problems and issues they come to you with.“ Discussing the importance of people with Sean King, on the active CEO Podcast.

“I didn’t want to find myself in 20 years looking back and saying, ‘I have carved out this great legal career but it is at the expense of everything else that interests me.’” Sean King on becoming an entrepreneur on the active CEO Podcast.

“At certain points you have just got to say what have I got to do right now, because if you think of the whole thing, it is just a bit overwhelming.” Being in the moment with Sean King on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Sean King LinkedIn
Sean King Facebook
Proximity Canberra Triathlon Festival
Proximity LinkedIn
Earlybird Events
Adventure Racing World Championships
Australian National University
University of Canberra
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:

#19 – active CEO (NRG2Perform) – The Gift That Keeps on Giving Link
– Dina Al-Tayeb (Dentalia Clinics) – Arabian Tri Eagle Link
#17 – Patrick Kidd OAM (Invictus Games) – Healing Power of Purpose Link
#16 – Liza Pavlakos ( – Adversity Transforms Lives Link
#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 (Peter Burwash International) – 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