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Sydney Chief Executives Share their Challenges and Triumphs



SME business leaders learn from the lessons of their peers at the Sydney All TEC Day event.

Sydney can be considered the Mecca for The Executive Connection’s (TEC) national All TEC Day event. Over 400 SME business leaders and TEC members heard of the real-life challenges faced by four of their compatriots. All from a variety of industries, the four TEC member-speakers shared the practical ways in which they all successfully overcame difficulties in their personal and business lives.

Local ‘big boy’s toys’ leader John McArthur told the story of the serendipitous start and extraordinary first three years of Freightliner Australia. Believing that the CEO is the Director of Sales, John credits the success of Freightliner to getting all stakeholders; staff, clients, and the industry, to sign up to the dream, passion and belief that drive him and the three other owners. Finding comfort in simplicity, John manages with the uncomplicated adage “see it, dream it, believe it, do it”.

Telling her story of becoming managing director of DTH Products after the tragic death of her husband, Gillian Hurst delivered an inspiring story of how she was thrust into a male-dominated industry to take the drilling consumables business in outback Australia, to a position of high sales and profitability, and then navigate it successfully through the GFC.

Mark Parker demonstrated to the audience of chief executives how, by using blue ocean strategy and unlocking the potential in social media, he took on the big retailers to build a successful online business. The simplicities of listening to and talking with (instead of to) your customer were credited by Mark for his success against the giants.

Presenting to a home crowd about his daily life on top of their treasured icon, managing director of BridgeClimb Todd Coates shared with his peers how he developed a culture that balances the 'hard' and 'soft' sides of business. Todd shared with the audience his ten keys that have led to his enormous success at BridgeClimb. Of most importance, fostering the passion and excitement in your team for what they do, to ensure much as your customers’ feel this when they make the journey to the top of the bridge, is what Todd believes is the route to success.

Life in The New Reality was enthusiastically painted by leading economist Jonathan Pain through his perspectives of the submerging and emerging global economies. Tied in nicely to what this means for business and life in the future, the audience were left feeling somewhat positive about their children’s future, particularly as we welcome in a new era of frugality.

The All TEC Day attendees are among 14,500 business leaders worldwide who have become members of The Executive Connection (TEC) to enable them to become better leaders, make better decisions and drive better results for their organisations. TEC membership provides access to new ideas and fresh thinking through monthly peer think-tanks, one-to-one business coaching and expert speaker presentations.