On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Chris Robb about mass participation sport events, growing the Standard Chartered Marathon to over 60,00 participants, being the course manager for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games marathon, and changing people’s lives through money can’t buy experiences. We also delve into the immense power of pause, coping with it being lonely at the top as a CEO, collaborative leadership, inspiring others to make a powerful impact on the world and serving a tennis ball into the back of Sir Richard Branson’s head.
Chris Robb – Money Can’t Buy Experiences.
Chris is an international authority on iconic large-scale mass participation events; a humble, loyal and curious leader; and a passionate family man now living in Bali, Indonesia. He is an enabler of people to have an active and healthy lifestyle, author of Mass Participation Sports Events and Better business Better Life Better World, is a high impact consultant and a champion of Buy 1 Give 1.
Growing up in Zimbabwe, he studied a Bachelor Commerce and Bachelor of Agricultural Management at the University of KwaZulu-Nattal. Getting his first taste of event management while at high school, our guest has over 30 years experience organising and leading events. During his career he has been at the helm of events for more than one million participants in the likes of Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Zimbabwe, South Africa and India.
He established Spectrum Worldwide in Australia in 1992, where he worked on the 2000 Sydney Olympics, before establishing himself in Singapore at the commencement of the Asian health and fitness boom in the 2000’s. In 2015 he established Mass Participation Asia, an annual conference for event stakeholders, before selling Spectrum Worldwide to IRONMAN, in 2016.
Chris talks about:
- Life growing up on a farm in Zimbabwe, during the independence war.
- Having a rich upbringing from life experiences, even though they were financially poor.
- The importance of embracing circumstances you find yourself in.
- Being an 800m and 1500m runner training on farm tracks and dirt roads.
- Planning to go back and run the family business on the farm.
- Being involved in organising the Comrades Marathon while studying at University.
- Changing people’s lives through money can’t buy experiences.
- Getting parents out and getting active with their kids.
- Getting more governments globally to recognise the value of sport especially the social and health impact.
- Organising the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon with over 60,000 participants.
- Expanding the JP Morgan corporate challenge running events into Asia.
- Partnering with Dave Hansen from Supersprint Events and Robbie McEwan.
- Going from zero to sixty thousand customers within 6 months.
- Ramping up from a team of 30 to more than 5,000 people over a 3 month period.
- A mindset expecting that there is going to be a curveball will be thrown at you.
- Collaborative leadership where you are always looking for a solution.
- Surround yourself with a great group of mentors much like an athlete has.
- Having ritual’s and keeping yourself mentally and physically in shape.
- Helping make it easier for our future leaders to grow in the industry.
Active CEO Wellness Tip
Life Is Not A Dress Rehearsal – It is important that you turn up, show up and be present right now. It’s not about what you did yesterday or what you plan in the future. It is all about this one second, one minute, one hour or even one day and you are ready to go.
“Connecting with a community and a tribe and doing training and things together and taking you into the outdoors. It’s crucial for the health and wellbeing of the world.” Chris Robb talking about the power of sport and events on bringing people together, on the active CEO Podcast.
“I love putting that jigsaw together and making sure that everyone knows what they are doing, but also empowering them to make decisions.” Chris Robb on leading people, on the active CEO Podcast.
Resources Mentioned in this show:
Chris Robb LinkedIn
Chris Robb Facebook
Chris Robb Website www.chrisrobb.asia
Chris Robb Email email@example.com
Mass Participation World www.massparticipationworld.com
Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon www.singaporemarathon.com
Craig Johns firstname.lastname@example.org
Craig Johns LinkedIn