active CEO Podcast Revital Golan Entrepreneur State Of Mind

active CEO Podcast #82 Revital Golan Entrepreneur State Of Mind

active CEO Podcast Revital Golan Entrepreneur State Of Mind
Managing Director Anemone Ventures

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Revital Golan about an Entrepreneur State Of Mind, mentoring female leaders, how Anemone Ventures supports tech startups in Asia and why Taiwan offers a unique opportunity of a business friendly environment.

We also delve into growing up in a Kibbutz and serving in the Israeli military, pushing the human limits, failure is a part of learning, living your own life and balancing adapting and influencing.

Revital Golan – Entrepreneur State Of Mind

Revital is fascinated with technology start-ups, aspiring future female leaders and being an active CEO. Known as a tenacious and determined leader, who loves the great outdoors, cycling big mountains and embodying diversity. She studied a MA Finance from the City University of New York, an Executive Master of Science in Finance from Zicklin School of Business and a BA Economics & Business Development from the Max Stern Yezreel Valley College.

After a career in the Israel Defence Forces, she moved with her family to Asia. Her roles included Project Manager & Assistant to Commercial and Defence Attache at the Embassy of Israel in Singapore; Country Manager Korea, Taiwan, HK Business Development Asia for Berlitz International; and Sales Director Asia for MassiveImpact. She founded Anemone Ventures in 2009 to help tech start-ups and SME’s establish in Asia.  With a huge passion in supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs and women business leaders she is the Women Professor Rank technical Expert at Providence University, Asia Pacific Desk Chief Representative for the University of Haifa Israel, and Chair of the Women in Business Programme for the British Chamber of Commerce in Taipei.

Revital talks about:

  • Military taught her discipline, decision making under pressure, teamwork and hardship.
  • Difference in leadership between Asia and Israel.
  • Having an entrepreneur state of mind.
  • How Asia taught her to be humble, be a better listener and observer.
  • Having a team that you can trust and build a team you can work closely with.
  • Her passion to bring start-ups and innovations into Asia.
  • Opening a company during the global financial crisis in 2009.
  • Why being an entrepreneur is a journey.
  • Now corporations are starting to encourage their employees to think as entrepreneurs.
  • Proven that companies that have diversity achieve better bottom lines and profit.
  • Being passionate about women in business and promoting more in senior positions.
  • Live your life, don’t live your kids life, husbands life or parents life.
  • Inspiring and empowering women in business across Taiwan.
  • Coping with low emotional times as an athlete or entrepreneur
  • Becoming a vegetarian at age of 16.
  • My continuous passion and will to challenge myself physically, mentally and emotionally.
  • Growing gap between the rich and poor, educated and uneducated.

Active CEO Performance Tip

Free Your Mind – We need to be very disciplined and attentive with our focus currency. It has become challenging to remain focused, be present and be attentive with globalization and technology driving constant contact 24/7. We can easily be bombarded with attention grabbing information, which can provide stressful emotions and be challenging to filter. Our workplaces have become custom-built to destroy both individual and team focus. We are exposed to constant chatter and noise in collaborative working and open plan workspaces. Ever growing number of scheduled meetings and internal emails can lead to overwhelm and scrambling to get “real work” completed before and after work, as well as the weekends. How temping is the lure of social media and social networking streams, status updates and instant gratification? It is important that you actively free your mind each day. This can be through exercise, meditation, walking in nature, listening to music, spending time with your children, breathing patterns, visualising positive and relaxing thoughts and for others it can be a walk in nature. How are you going to free your mind today?


“Learn how to be your own cheerleader. Nobody is going to give you a tap on the shoulder, oh my gosh, you did a great job. You have to do it by yourself, you have to find your own mentors, you have to be very determined for what you do and have to know how to adapt and change to the circumstances.” Celebrating the small wins in entrepreneurship with Revital Golan, on the active CEO Podcast.

“Don’t think that you are sacrificing anything for anybody else.  Your kids never ask you to sacrifice anything for them. When they become 18 you can’t say that you sacrificed your career for them.” Revital Golan explains why it’s important to do it for yourself, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Revital Golan LinkedIn
Revital Golan Facebook
Anemone Ventures
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recommended Reading

4 Day Week – Andrew Barnes Order Now

How Exercise Enhances A Leaders Performance Read Article
Fuel Your Body For Leadership 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

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active CEO Podcast Azran Osman Rani Power Of The Human Mind

active CEO Podcast #72 Azran Osman Rani Power Of The Human Mind

active CEO Podcast #72 Azran Osman Rani Power Of The Human Mind

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Azran Osman Rani about the power of the human mind, four pillars to decision making as CEO of Air Asia X, founding health tech startup Naluri, and his new book 30 Days and 30 Years. We also delve into balancing innovation with building high performing teams, being the crazy kid who rocks the boat, not being intimidated by the big challenge, the power of reflection and being a high performing leader.

Azran Osman Rani – Power Of The Human Mind

Azran is a phenomenal leader, who disrupted the airline industry, is making a difference to the health and lives of people around the world, is focused on the power of the human mind and loves taking on a challenge of racing some of the worlds toughest Ironman Triathlon events. He is a family man who is a former ultimate Frisbee champion, courageous triathlete, self confessed crazy guy, passionate about taking things apart, and author of the recently published book 30 Days and 30 Years

His education includes a BSc Electrical Engineering and a MSc Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University, and has completed a Specialisation in Executive Data Science Courser at The St Johns Hopkins University.

Azran’s career has included partner and senior management roles at Booz Allen Hamilton, McKinsey & Company, Bursa Malaysia and Astro All Asia Network. In 2007 he became a pioneer in the low-cost long-haul commercial aviation as he became the CEO of AirAsia X growing the business from start-up to grossing more than US$1 Billion per year. He is now involved as an investor and advisory roles at iflix Malaysia and MoneyMatch, and has developed a ground-breaking health tech start-up called Naluri.

Azran talks about:

  • Articulating & expressing his ideas with Professors, as a child in Malaysia.
  • Stanford University, the ticket to escape Malaysia & explore the world.
  • Working with Booz Allen Hamilton, management consultants in Asia.
  • Principle of obligation to dissent.
  • A conversation with Tony Fernandes, led to the first CEO of Air Asia X.
  • Helping Astro with speed of execution.
  • The importance of defining principles & values, to make decisions.
  • The power of the human mind.
  • Being comfortable in the uncomfortable.
  • “The Airline Industry is a really serious business, human lives are at stake!”
  • Creating a real compass that guides you on how you make decisions.
  • How to achieve the Air Asia X slogan of “Now everyone can fly”.
  • Why 8 years ago losing his father to diabetes & cancer, led to Naluri.
  • Number one & two causes of stress is workplace stress and money.
  • What 30 Days and 30 Years means
  • Speed alone without direction is a headless chicken
  • Not being intimidated by the big challenge of triathlon.
  • Losing his dream of competing at the Ironman 70.3 World Champs.
  • When was the last time you changed your point of view?
  • Early detection of suicide. Can we get better at detecting it?
  • “Taking time regularly to reflect, why I am doing certain things, can I do things differently.”

Active CEO Performance Tip

How Big In 2020? – What action are you going to take in 2020 that is different from 2019? First distinguish what you reflected on and learnt from 2019. Understand what the big goals are. REMEMBER: If you don’t set that bar high, you will only jump low. Be that mature person who rises above the noises go inside your head and go for the really BIG Goals. It’s time for you to take the big leap!


“Running organisations that are at a faster 30 day sprint cycles, but at the same time thinking about 30 years.” Creating agile organisations with Azran Osman Rani, on the active CEO Podcast.

“There is also a role for crazy people like me to challenge why things are being done a certain way and other different ways of looking at the current situation.” Azran Osman Rani finding his place at iFlix, on the active CEO Podcast.

“I wrote a user guide on how to work with Azran. I learned I am not the easiest person to work with. So, if I could shortcut the process the process of learning how to work with me, by specifying this is how I think, this is how I make decisions, so if you can adapt to me we can have a better relationship and I think that allows that to scale faster.” Azran Osman Rani talks about creating shortcuts for his staff at Naluri, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Azran Osman Rani
Azran Osman Rani LinkedIn
Azran Osman Rani Instagram
Azran Osman Rani Twitter
Azran Osman Rani Facebook
Azran Osman Rani Wikipedia
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recommended Reading:

30 Days & 30 Years – Azran Osman Rani Order Now
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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#68 – Abraham Kamarck (True Made Foods) – Leadership Lessons From The Sky Link
#67 – Liz Volpe (Ambisie) – Dare to Dream Link
#66 – Bill Coletti (Kith) – Reputational Resilience & Transformation Link
#65 – Todd Greenberg (NRL) More Than A Game Link
#64 – Gabrielle Dow (Green Bay Packers) Green Bay Packers Experience Link
#63 – Charles Fairlie Unsung Business Heroes Link
#62 – Amanda Jacobs (Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron) She Leads With Empathy Link

active CEO Podcast Miles Stewart A Lifetime Chasing Results

active CEO Podcast #70 Miles Stewart A Lifetime Chasing Results

active CEO Podcast Miles Stewart A Lifetime Chasing Results
Miles Stewart – CEO Triathlon Australia

On this episode of the Sportspeople Recruitment active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Miles Stewart about a lifetime of chasing results, winning an ITU World Triathlon Championship, the challenge of transitioning out of sport, lessons learnt in managing people and being CEO of Triathlon Australia.

We also delve into the detrimental side of corporate life, when a competitive instinct can become destructive, why the MEMOS Masters Degree has taken him out of his comfort zone, and designing a wellness structure to support high performance.

Miles Stewart – A Lifetime Chasing Results

Miles Stewart is a highly focused and determined leader who is an Olympic Triathlete, two times world triathlon champion and ITU World Triathlon Hall of Fame member. He is regarded as one of Australia’s all time best triathletes, a multiple national speedskating champion, MEMOS Masters Degree student and has the rare privilege of winning a world title in his home town.

His career has included Leasing Executive roles at McConaghy Properties, Colonial First State Property Management and Head of Retail Leasing at Charter Hall. Miles has also filled governance roles on the Triathlon Australia Board and High Performance Committee, and is currently the CEO of Triathlon Australia.

Miles talks about:

  • A lifetime being coached by a dad who produced world champions in three different sports.
  • Having an environment of very influential people at school.
  • Finishing 4th at the ITU World Triathlon Championships in Avignon, France, as an 18 year old.
  • Growing up racing with Spot Anderson, Brad Bevan, Greg Welch & Nic Croft.
  • The Big 5 in triathlon, Mark Allen, Scott Molina, Dave Scott, Scott Tinley & Mike Pigg.
  • A watershed moment in equal prizemoney & equality in the sport.
  • Winning the 1991 ITU World Triathlon Champs, on the Gold Coast.
  • The deafening noise of finishing 6th at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
  • Coping with the transition of stepping out of sport.
  • A lifetime chasing results.
  • The Four D’s of people leaving sport.
  • Realising that it is really hard to live a normal life.
  • Having to learn the impact of my behaviour on other people.
  • The detrimental side of leading a high flying corporate role.
  • Staff retention and happiness being a key driver.
  • The changing landscape of managing sport
  • The challenges of being an Olympic level coach.
  • Keeping perspective is important as a human being.
  • Why not reach outside my comfort zone.
  • Taking a long time after sport to be happy

Active CEO Performance Tip

CEO Legacy – Having a purpose in life and aligning it to the work that you do is important if you wish to enjoy what you do, be productive and perform at a high level. Some people have a desire to go beyond the world they work in and leave a legacy for future generations to benefit from. CEO Legacy is all about finding a greater purpose through a project or movement that creates a ripple effect across an area, industry or the world. What mark do you want to leave on the world?


“When I talk to people leaving sport now. The hardest past is to de-tune from being an athlete. Realising that a lot of the skills that made you a great athlete may not suit you in workplace environment or may not be the best skills in that space. Its very hard when peoples success comes from a certain pattern.” Miles Stewart discusses the challenge of transitioning out of sport, on the Sportspeople Recruitment active CEO Podcast.

“Being an ex-athlete I have this mentality that I cant let things slide or I have to get to the finish and deal with them. I have had to learn to get a lot better at relaxing and recovering myself. I have never been great at making myself a priority. I normally put a lot of things in front of me. Pulling that back is something that I had to consider.  Carving out some time to do something that I need to do is good for me as well.” Being an active CEO with Miles Stewart, on the Sportspeople Recruitment active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Triathlon Australia
Miles Stewart LinkedIn
Miles Stewart Wikipedia
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

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#68 – Abraham Kamarck (True Made Foods) – Leadership Lessons From The Sky Link
#67 – Liz Volpe (Ambisie) – Dare to Dream Link
#66 – Bill Coletti (Kith) – Reputational Resilience & Transformation Link
#65 – Todd Greenberg (NRL) More Than A Game Link
#64 – Gabrielle Dow (Green Bay Packers) Green Bay Packers Experience Link
#63 – Charles Fairlie Unsung Business Heroes Link
#62 – Amanda Jacobs (Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron) She Leads With Empathy Link
#61 – Mark Turner (Triathlon Scotland) Coaching Saved My Life Link
#60 – Jennifer Dunham (Happiness Matters) – Pivotal Moments Create Decisions Link
#59 – Tim Oberg (parkrun) – Moving A Nation Link
#58 – Andrew Barnes (Perpetual Guardian) – 4 Day Week Link
#57 – Lisa Hasker (VICSPORT) – Life Education Through Sport Link

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

Mark Turner – Coaching Saved My Life

active CEO Podcast #61 Mark Turner Coaching Saved My Life

Mark Turner – Coaching Saved My Life
Mark Turner – Lead Performance Coach Triathlon Scotland

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Mark Turner about how coaching saved my life, losing humility, being vulnerable and establishing a high performance environment.

We also delve into the lessons he learnt working in the Queensland Police Force, being an agent for change, losing it all after selling a highly successful Shapland Swim School franchise, establishing Triathlon Nation and being recruited as the Lead Performance Coach at Triathlon Scotland.

Mark Turner – Coaching Saved My Life

Mark Turner is a leader who focuses on developing people to maximize their potential athletically, unlock their true why and purpose, and creating a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. He is a passionate, driven and humble leader who has raised over $100,000 for Epilepsy Queensland and Special Olympics, Mark Turner.

His education includes an Advanced Certificate in Policing from the Queensland University of Technology; and Management Development Post-graduate Program at Queensland Police Service.

He has a passion for serving the community with 13 years in the Queensland Police Service, a business owner of the Shapland Swim School Everton Park, Head Coach for the Brisbane Girls Grammar School athletics team, General Manager of Healthstream Aquatic and Fitness Queensland, State Manager and Elite Programs Manager AFL Umpiring Queensland and Coaching Director of Tri Nation Triathlon. Earlier this year our guest was recruited as the Lead Performance Coach for Triathlon Scotland.

Mark talks about:

  • Being a shy child, who lacked confidence, growing up in a socially minded family.
  • Key lessons from a thirteen-year career in the Queensland Police Force.
  • Learning how to read people, listen to people and look at behaviours.
  • Switching from serving the community to building your own community.
  • How a lack of humility, meant losing it all.
  • Not being able to pay rent, and not have a job or a business.
  • Putting a peg in the ground and starting again, when he lost it all.
  • Making the decision to go full-time coaching.
  • Living in a mate’s garage and the struggles behind the scenes.
  • Coaching Saved My Life.
  • Excepting he had depression in 2014 after a full breakdown.
  • What he had been through was significant and didn’t need to battle alone.
  • The power of vulnerability is amazing.
  • As humans we are designed to live in communities and be connected.
  • Chasing the dream of being a high performance coach.
  • Lead Performance Coach for Triathlon Scotland.
  • Building open and honest relationships, having a genuine care for the athletes and having the technical expertise.
  • What causes people to react in two different ways emotionally?

Active CEO Performance Tip

Playing the Long Game – It’s so easy to get caught up in the detail of the business and forget to look after the health and wealth of your company long term. Focus on long game and put things in place so that in the future your company is thriving, growing and stepping up the game so you can stay one step ahead of the game in the market place.


“We need to be at our best for the athletes that we coach to get them to be at their best. It’s is the same for us. If we are not at our best, how do we expect the athletes to be at their best?” Being a high performing leader with Mark Turner on the active CEO Podcast.

“Getting the basics right. Getting all the things right that don’t require talent and holding each other to account.  Having environments where there is psychological safety where you can have open and honest challenging and candid conversations between coaches, support staff, athletes-to-coaches.” Mark Turner discusses a high performance environment, on the active CEO Podcast.

“Anyone in a position of leadership whether it is a coach, a teacher, an educator, politician or anyone in a position of influence, the more that they can say, I have had my struggles to and it was really hard.” Mark Turner talks about a real sense of power for being vulnerable, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Mark Turner LinkedIn
Mark Turner Twitter
Mark Turner Instagram
Mark Turner Facebook
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recommended Reading:

Mark Turner – Triathlon Secrets For The Age Grouper (E-Book, Coming Soon)

active CEO Podcast 59 Tim Oberg parkrun

active CEO Podcast #59 Tim Oberg parkrun Moving A Nation

active CEO Podcast 59 Tim Oberg parkrun moving a nation
Tim Oberg – CEO & Founder parkrun Australia

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Tim Oberg, CEO of parkrun Australia, about creating a healthier and happier planet, building communities, and parkrun moving a nation. We also delve into his leadership style, CrossFit, anxiety and empowering volunteers.

Tim Oberg – Moving A Nation

Tim Oberg is a charismatic CEO who is inspired to build a healthier and happier planet for his kids, has created a movement that has seen people run 38,771,680km and is a proud mental health advocate. He is a successful entrepreneur, devoted father, passionate cross-fit athlete, an anxiety sufferer, and a man who is driven to move a nation.

Tim has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Movement Studies and Bachelor of Education in Secondary Education Teaching from the Queensland University of Technology, and a Masters of Business Administration from Heriot-Watt University.

His career has included the roles of Managing Director of The Tourman, Managing Director of The Celebrity Planet, President of Active & Healthy Alliance Gold Coast, CEO and Founder of parkrun Australia and has recently commenced a role as Strategic Director Asia Pacific of parkrun international.

parkrun Australia

parkrun is now the largest mass participation sporting activity on the planet. In Australia alone there have been 62,765 events organized by 365 locations, involving 589,122 runners who have completed 38,771,680km. The average person has attended 13.2 parkruns.

Tim talks about:

  • His first entrepreneurial venture as a Mobile DJ during university.
  • How he became “Tim the TourMan”.
  • Guinness World Record for the largest pub-crawl.
  • The challenges and opportunities of starting your own business.
  • People first style of leadership.
  • Not being afraid to employee people better than you.
  • Starting parkrun in 2010 after meeting founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt.
  • parkrun moving a nation
  • Far less about the run and far more about the community connections.
  • Making friends, health and happiness with parkrun.
  • Volunteers gain as much at parkrun as those who participate as walkers and runners.
  • How parkrun has assisted the growth of running clubs.
  • Can the parkrun mentality be successfully transferred to other sports?
  • Why volunteering has been so successful in parkrun.
  • Volunteering is not about sacrificing, but giving.
  • How a panic attack and anxiety has changed his life.
  • Starting meditation and developing a toolkit to manage anxiety.

Active CEO Performance Tip

Own Your Own Mental Conversation – Everyone has a commentator inside their head which owns the voice that you can easily over-consume your version of the truth. The voice that is observing criticizing your own actions, behaviours and thoughts can blur your view on the world. You need to own your own thought-chatter and ensure that it has perspective and clarity. The more we tell ourselves something, the more it becomes in grained and leads to our own truth. If that truth is negative by nature, then it can have a profound affect on your mood, opinion and the ability to make clear and appropriate decisions. Be objective and look at home you can ensure the conversation is positive and open.


“What they are doing is making friends, it is a friendship things, you are making friends with new people in the community. Reconnecting with friends and family who you may have not seen for a while or even seen for a week.” Tim Oberg talks about the drivers of parkrun, on the active CEO Podcast.

“Creating a healthier and happier planet.” Discussing the parkrun mission with Tim Oberg, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Tim Oberg LinkedIn
Tim Oberg Twitter
Tim Oberg Facebook
Tim Oberg Instagram
parkrun Australia
parkrun Australia Facebook
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

active CEO Podcast #52 Francesca Boase Building Trust In Crisis Management

Francesca Boase – General Manager Edelman Australia

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Francesca Boase about building trust in crisis management, storytelling as an art of communication, leading change, the Edelman Trust Barometer and being a great mentor. We also discuss personal development, being a custodian of peoples careers, the pain of accepting feedback, workplace wellness, and managing her energy and performance.

Francesca Boase – Building Trust In Crisis Management

Francesca Boase is an experienced global corporate communications specialist who is committed to the community, health, fitness and wellbeing. She is known for building strong relationships, impressive personal development programs and competing at the world triathlon championships.

A genuine people person, she is passionate about mentoring, facilitating and leading teams. Her focus in corporate and financial communication, media relations, reputation management and strategic counsel, has given her the necessary skills to thrive in her current role as Managing Director of Edelman Australia, the world’s largest independent communications agency.

Educated globally, she went to Island School, Hong Kong; studied Journalism, Film and Broadcasting and completed a Post Graduate Diploma Public Relations at the University of Wales, Cardiff; and attended the Australian Graduate School of Management. Her previous senior executive appointments have included roles at Sharman Networks, PPR PR Agency and Sefiani Communications Group.

Fran talks about:

  • Growing up in Hong Kong in the 1980’s surrounded by many nationalities.
  • Acting and then communicating with absolute integrity.
  • Honesty and transparency are absolute fundamentals to building that trust.
  • The most important elements when it comes to being proactive in crisis management.
  • We are in constant state of change.
  • What’s its going to take for you to say yes.
  • Fear accompanies change or uncertainty.
  • What makes a really great mentor.
  • Strategies to use when determining your teams internal motivations.
  • Managing stress and the importance of wellbeing in a fast-paced environment.
  • Having high standards and integrity as a leader.
  • Noticing and recognising the cultural differences of the generations coming through.
  • Businesses increasingly have a role to play in building the trust of Australians.
  • Talking about workplace wellness and not actually doing enough about it.
  • Recognising people as human beings in a holistic sense.
  • Really have to take care of yourself first and then come in and tackle the day.
  • Managing competitiveness in a healthy way and figuratively in a healthy way.
  • How to help young people really appreciate and value themselves.

Active CEO Wellness Tip

Motion Call – Stand up and go for a walk when you receive a phone call rather than stay seated at your computer. It reduces distractions and ensures you get the value of motion leads to emotion when you are walking. You will be surprised how much exercise you can do and how productive your calls become.


“Being able to effectively communicate means you can build trust, address issues, you can form an organisational and business point of view, and build a narrative and a story which is a very important part of engaging whether it is your target audiences, your staff or your customers.” Effective communication with Francesca Boase, on the active CEO Podcast.

“The bottom line is that people don’t come to work to achieve a business result. People come to work to be with other people. My experience is that being a leader and being able to communicate on a very human level is critical. Its critical to managing staff, it is critical for great client relationships. It is very important when you are dealing with very difficult situations.” Francesca Boase on communicating at a human level, on the active CEO Podcast.

“You genuinely need to have that recovery time. In terms of performance in a role that is very demanding, having a break and taking some time out is as important a lesson to learn to learn as is learning how to respond to a client or developing a communications strategy.” Francesca Boase talks about the importance of recovery with purpose, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Francesca Boase LinkedIn
Francesca Boase
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

active CEO Podcast #51 Chris Robb Money Can’t Buy Experiences

Chris Robb Mass Participation World Money Cant Buy Experiences
Chris Robb – Founder Mass Participation World

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
Chris Robb Email
Mass Participation World
Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recommended Reading:

Mass Participation Sports Events Chris Robb
Better Business Better Life Better World Chris Robb

active CEO Podcast Major General Cheryl Pearce (United Nations) Leading From The Front Lines

active CEO Podcast #50 Major General Cheryl Pearce Leading From The Front Lines

Major General Cheryl Pearce – Forces Commander United Nations Peacekeeping Force

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Major General Cheryl Pearce about leading from the front lines, being an authentic leader, serving your country, managing workplace wellness, empowering a sense of purpose, and creating high performance teams. We also delve into her leadership roles at the Australian Defence Force and with the United Nations; creating a safe and inclusive environment to work in; completing the New York Marathon; and getting out of her comfort zone.

Major General Cheryl Pearce

Cheryl Pearce is an authentic leader, dedicated servant for global peace, change agent in cultural and gender diversity, and game-changer in the world of Defence. She is a next generational leader who is New York Marathon finisher, proud mum of two daughters, and Member of Order of Australia for Exceptional Leadership.

Her education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies from the University of New England, a Master’s in Policing, Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism from the Macquarie University in Sydney, and a Master’s of Arts in Defence Studies from the Deakin University in Melbourne.

Over the past 35 years she has risen through the ranks of the Australian Defence Force, starting off as an Officer Cadet when there were only a few females. Cheryl’s career has included: Australian Army’s Provost-Marshal and a military observer with the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor in 2002; Commandant of the Defence Police Training Centre and Commanding Officer of the 1st Military Police Battalion; Director of Special Operations Support; Australian Army Headquarters Chief of Staff; and the Commander Commandant Australian Defence Force Academy.

In 2016, Cheryl was the Commander of the Australian Joint Task Force Group in Afghanistan providing training, advice and assistance to the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces as part of the Resolute Support Mission of The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Her most recent role sees her as only the second ever female appointed by the United Nations to lead a peacekeeping mission, as the Forces Commander – United Nations Peacekeeping Force based in Cyprus.

Cheryl talks about:

  • The shock of capture when joining the Australian Army.
  • Working day-by-day and focusing on chunk size bites at a time.
  • The internal motivation of serving your country and be much more than your individual self.
  • Managing competing priorities as a leader and having a young family.
  • Having an army behind the scenes.
  • Gaining the confidence to be that authentic self and have an intuitive leadership style.
  • Being sensitive to perfectionism and judgement.
  • Leading from the front lines
  • Why exercise is my stress release and my safe space.
  • The importance of listening to what other people have to say and not transmit our own ideas.
  • The Cultural shift in inclusion and behaviour within the Australian Defence Force.
  • Her role as the Forces Commander – United Nations Peacekeeping Force based in Cyprus.
  • Speaking in front of the UN Security Council.
  • How health has taken on a broader aspect from mind and body.
  • Completing the New York Marathon after her partner, Paul, went through lifesaving cancer surgery.

Active CEO Wellness Tip

Recover With Purpose – To ensure that you deliver high performance every single day, you need to recover with purpose and have productive downtime. It could be doing exercise, creative pursuits, quality time with family, meditation, listening to music or watching a movie.


“Internal narrative that keeps churning, it is ok to be imperfect. To be perfect, the authenticity is not there. It’s ok not to be perfect.” Major General Cheryl Pearce speaks about the challenges of perfectionism, on the active CEO Podcast.

“Doing what I do, my heart rate races when I de-escalate and have difficult conversations with my opposing forces when I try to get messages a across or deal with stressful moments. I find that is sufficient adrenaline to test me all the time.” Doing something for the first time with Major General Cheryl Pearce, on the active CEO Podcast.

“I know it when I can be in the moment, I am performing really well at work, I am visionary, I can really focus on where we are going and know what my big rocks are and where they are going, while dealing with the small and actionary issues and listening.” In the moment with Major General Cheryl Pearce, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Cheryl Pearce LinkedIn
Cheryl Pearce Twitter
Australian Army
UNFICYP website
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

active CEO Podcast Brad Gunn (Vault Accounting) – Four Day Work Week

active CEO Podcast #43 Brad Gunn Four Day Work Week

Brad Gunn – Managing Partner Vault Accountants and Financial Services

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Brad Gunn, from Vault Accountants and Financial Services, about the four day work week, creating a customer centric financial business, the role of technology in client relationships, and high levels of staff retention. We also delve into sports leave, incentivizing staff to be active and healthy, taking Triathlon Queensland from insolvency, and his love of a fine wine.

Brad Gunn – Podcast Interview Brief

Brad Gunn is a humble, thoughtful, determined and creative leader, who has the quote “When you know your WHY, you’re going to attract people that bring the HOW” on his LinkedIn page.

He has more than thirty years experience in the financial services with senior roles in investment advisory, funds management, practice management and accounting. His education includes a Bachelor Economics, Accounting and Commerce at the University of Queensland; and post-graduate studies in financial management at the University of Adelaide and Columbia University in the City of New York.

In 2008 he co-founded Vault Accounting and Financial Advisors in Brisbane, Australia, a progressive advisory group that offers expertise across the entire financial planning landscape.

Brad talks about:

  • His father always saying he was a leader and people would follow.
  • Client engagement and communication is the key to successful retention in any business.
  • Developing customer centric approach so that companies could come to one place.
  • Training, education and ongoing up-skilling being important to Vault.
  • Moving people across and up in the business has lead to high levels of staff retention.
  • The only way they are going to learn is get their hands dirty on the tools.
  • The role of technology integration with accountants in the client relationship.
  • Wanting to dial back from the business, where they can exit the business within ten years.
  • Trialling the four day work week in February 2019.
  • They were putting a 40-hour week in 4 days and productivity was up through the roof.
  • During the debrief staff identified an improvement in mental health and a reduction in stress
  • Incentivising Vault Accountant’s staff in leading an active and healthy lifestyle.
  • The inspiration behind starting the Croc Triathlon Club with Brad Bevan and Rod Cedaro.
  • Being a Board member for Triathlon Queensland for 11 years including President for 8.
  • Managing change with a struggling organisation, which was technically insolvent.
  • Changing the way that Triathlon Australia and the State triathlon organisations operated.
  • His wife Sally seeing the need for him to get his work-life balance sorted out.
  • BBQ favourite wine is the Wirra Wirra Church Block Shiraz
  • Wanting to solve the question of how to fix the Australian Tax problem

Active CEO Wellness Tip

Energy Meeting – Why don’t we challenge the way we have always provided sugary muffins, coffee, lollies and soft drinks as our meeting snacks? How do we expect to perform optimally and get the most out of people when we are not focusing on strategies to ensure sustainable energy levels. If we want optimal performance, optimal learning and optimal outcomes then we need to implement effective energy strategies and that starts with what food and drinks we put on the table.


“The university degree doesn’t automatically give you the right to know everything. It really is only a start.” Brad Gunn discusses on the job experience, on the active CEO Podcast.

“The first week was the most difficult as people were going through a transition and adjusting. The second week everyone was getting used to it, the third week they were loving it and by the fourth week can we keep this going.” Brad Gunn speaks about the four day work week trial, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Brad Gunn LinkedIn
Vault Accountants and Financial Advisors
Triathlon Queensland website
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole Performance Coaching

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben Gathercole