active CEO Podcast 74 Lucy Bennett Baggs Just Challenge Global Impact

active CEO Podcast #74 Lucy Bennett Baggs Just Challenge Global Impact

active CEO Podcast 74 Lucy Bennett Baggs Just Challenge Global Impact
Lucy Bennett Baggs – Founder Just Challenge

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Lucy Bennett Baggs about Just Challenge Global Impact, fundraising over US$1.5 million for charities including WaterAid, partnering with Laureus Sport For Good and Putting on very meaningful events to make a difference in the world. We also delve into working at HSBC, the world of sponsorship and events, taking companies to some of the remote places in the world, and A life creating challenges for people all around the globe.

Lucy Bennett Baggs – Just Challenge Global Impact

Lucy is a young, determined and entrepreneurial leader who knows the true meaning of being comfortable with the uncomfortable, loves taking teams to incredible locations across the globe, and has led fundraising efforts of over US$1.5 Million for charities around the world, including WaterAid and Laureus Sport for Good. A leader who is passionate about philanthropy, sport, entrepreneurship and bringing out the best in people.

She has a 1st Class Honors in a Marketing BSc from the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, and was the winner of Women Leading Change in Asia, in 2018. Her career includes working at HSBC as part of the Undergraduate Management and Executive Schemes, and in Marketing, Sponsorship and Events.  In 2017 she founded Just Challenge an agency designed to use sport and adventure as a platform to respond to business’ objectives – including CSR, employee engagement, client relationships and leadership development.

Lucy talks about:

  • Looking for ways that I could think outside the box & how I could push other people.
  • Being on a great graduate program at HSBC.
  • Knocking on the head of sponsorship & events door desperately begging him for a job.
  • Voluntarily organising two major charity challenges for HSBC, in the Sahara & Gobi Deserts.
  • Differentiating yourself in a corporate culture of the survival of the fittest.
  • Raising $250,000 for WaterAid on the first HSBC expedition.
  • The importance partnerships & collaborations in sponsorship.
  • How HSBC put rugby into schools with the Hong Kong 7’s grass roots sponsorship program.
  • Constantly looking at ways to get corporates to have a voice.
  • Switching from a life with a high level of certainty at HSBC to starting Just Challenge.
  • Just Challenge Global Impact
  • Why Oman, Great Wall of China, Himalayan Mountains, Mongolia & South Africa provide incredible destinations for Just Challenge.
  • Taking people off the beaten track that is somewhere that people would go normally.
  • Creating expeditions that are sustainable & environmentally friendly.
  • Funding & investing in sustainable water pumps for Vietnam villages.
  • Creating global policies to reduce and offset our carbon footprint
  • Scaling Just Challenge.
  • Joining Michael Johnson and Sean Fitzpatrick on the 2020 Just challenge in New Zealand.
  • Pressure to demonstrate health & wellbeing both physically & mentally.
  • Surround yourself with brilliant people & that will take you where you need to be.
  • #inthistogether and going to places that you would never imagine you could get to.

Active CEO Performance Tip

Leaders Speak Last – How often do you go into a meeting and the lead person talks, talks and talks some more? The people in the room begin to switch off and when time comes to action following the meeting, no one really buys into it. High Performing Leaders always speak last. They may open the meeting and provide context, before allowing everyone else in the room to speak. They wait until right at the end of the meeting to wrap up what has been said and identify steps forward. This ensures everyone has an opportunity to speak, new ideas can surface and the team makes the decision. In a 30minute meeting, a high performing leader may only speak for 1-2 minutes.


“People want meaningful experiences and there are so many beautiful places around the world that I think that brands can engage their people whether it is clients, employees or leaders.” Lucy Bennett Baggs talking about meaningful experiences, on the active CEO Podcast.

“Conversations we have when your phones are off, you have got no signal, you are having real conversations with people for the first time in a very long time, you are not walking, you are not in the rat race, your meeting new people and asking questions. Its amazing what comes out on these challenges and what they are going through.” Benefits of going off the grid with Lucy Bennett Baggs, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Lucy Bennett-Baggs LinkedIn
Just Challenge
Just Challenge Twitter
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recommended Reading:

4 Day Week – Andrew Barnes Order Now

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

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Mike DeNoma (KBZ Bank) Part #1 – Your Strengths are What Energise You

active CEO Podcast #8 Mike DeNoma Your Strengths Are What Energise You

PCB Vol 8- Mike DeNoma
Mike DeNoma – CEO KBZ Bank

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns and Ben Gathercole speak with Mike DeNoma, getting a fascinating insight into a driven leader, someone with a huge amount of resilience who is inspired to take on the world’s toughest endurance challenges to raise funds for very important charities. We delve into ambition, flying a plane through clouds, the difference between a written and a presentation culture, leading in different cultures, creating a higher purpose, understanding that your strengths are what energise you, and what drives Mike DeNoma to get out of bed every day.

Mike DeNoma

We have the pleasure of bringing you a highly motivated, exceptionally organised and a passionate leader. Mike DeNoma has held senior executive roles across the globe, including managing multinational teams across North America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Over the past 20 years he has led large teams in the emerging markets banking sector with CEO and Leadership roles in CitiBank Singapore, Taiwan’s Chinatrust Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Singapore, and his current role at KBZ Bank in Myanmar. Awarded Global Retail Banker of the Year in 2008, he has also held senior roles in well-respected companies such as GLH Hotels, PepsiCo, Proctor and Gamble, and Asia Foods Limited. It is a highly entertaining, thought-provoking and insightful chat. Enjoy listening to the show.

Mike talks about:

  • Writing a letter that led to working in the Amazon jungle with Billionaire Daniel Ludwig
  • Having three careers at Proctor & Gamble
  • Taking a leave of absence from the Wharton Business School
  • Ambition – “the spark that makes you challenge your destiny at any point in your life”
  • Why he thought business world was like altitude when he first started
  • The differences between the working cultures at Proctor & Gamble and Pepsi Co.
  • The pro’s and con’s of a written versus a presentation culture.
  • A brilliant concept during a performance review at Pepsi Co.
  • Most employees are much tougher on their own performance than you are as a CEO
  • Cultures are more similar, than different, across the world
  • The need to work for a company that has a heart, that I believe in and generally has good intentions.
  • Making Grandma dance at Standard Chartered bank
  • The dynamics of transformation when working with wealthy family owned businesses.
  • Once the organisation has transformed, then you need to realise that the family is the CEO.
  • Why Mike likes to mobilise thousands of people
  • Why sponsoring the Singapore Marathon and Ironman events was important
  • Your strengths are what energise you
  • The power of the Gallup Cliftonstrengths finder to mobilise your team, understand what each others strengths are, and how they compliment each other and determine where the gaps are.
  • Powerful way to use it, is to take the team and you do the profile of all the strengths and then figure out where are the gaps
  • What Mike’s strengths are and how he uses them to lead every day
  • Why Mike likes challenges that require 10,000 people to step to the left and create an earthquake


“I like challenges that require 10,000 people to step to the left and create an earthquake.” with Mike DeNoma. You can listen here

“Ambition, the spark that makes you challenge your destiny at any point in your life”. Listen to Mike DeNoma on the active CEO Podcast

“Your strengths are what energise you”. Leadership by strengths, with Mike DeNoma on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Mike DeNoma LinkedIn

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben’s best selling book

Previous active CEO Podcast Episodes:

#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