Author Archives: Naomi Simson

One hour with Jeff Weiner – Global CEO Linkedin

When you are given the opportunity of an hour with the CEO of the world’s largest professional network, i.e. the 313 million people who are part of the global LinkedIn network, you know it is a significant moment in your career. Instantly my mind started racing – What did I want to know? His journey to leadership? His vision for the future? How he aligns the team to the company’s mission? Or even how he comes up with ideas for…

3 things I wish I’d known…

I was recently interviewed by AICD (Australian Institute of Company Directors) on three things I wish I’d known… (very pleased I could squeeze all those years and years of hard work into a 2 minute video) Going from urgent to urgent – rather than taking a longer term view. Most businesses in start up phase are in a constant state of ‘urgent’ having a longer term view can all serve greatly the effectiveness of effort. Three things I wish I…

There are no shortcuts in leadership

I was recently interviewed for News.com.au on my thoughts on leadership – I thought I would share them here too. What is the biggest challenge you face/have faced as a leader in Australian business? At RedBalloon, we work hard to ensure that our employees have a great day at work. Due to this, it can be tough to be taken seriously in Australia, because everyone doesn’t share our belief that a workplace can be a happy environment. There are some…

The dark side to workplace happiness.

As I said in a recent LinkedIn post I came across an article from The Guardian entitled The dark side of work place happiness. Of course this peaked my attention – if you took out the words ‘work place’ you end up with “The dark side of happiness”. “What on earth could be the dark side of happiness?” I asked myself. Perhaps if we are having a good time then others will see this and be envious. Happiness does not…

My dad always thought I could… how grateful I am.

People have asked me: where to you get your determination and drive? Is it nature or nurture? One thing I know is that my father had a great influence on who I am. And as Fathers Day fast approaches in Australia, I thought it time to publicly acknowledge him. My Dad, taught me the definition of motivation… that simple. He worked hard, laughed loud, and pursues his passions single-mindedly. My Dad, taught me to dream big, to play full out…

Six gold nuggets on great mentoring.

I sometimes find myself in a difficult situation – I receive on average one request per day about becoming a mentor. This is flattering and I always want to ‘help’ – but I often don’t think I am qualified. I happily share from my experience and what I have learned (which I do by blogging and speaking), however it is simply not possible to mentor 300 people each year. On this basis I attended an insightful event hosted by EY…

About leadership from a great leader

Ann Sherry AO has had what I would describe as a ‘non-linear’ career. However there is at it’s core a consistency in her dedication to improve the working lives of those around her. Much has been written about her career. I have known Ann for many years… the first time I met her was when we had just started redballoon.co.nz At the time she ran Westpac New Zealand – she not only met with me, she opened many doors for…

With your friends by your side… 10,000 steps a day can change someone’s world

Yesterday I did the City to Surf with some of my colleagues from RedBalloon. Together with 80,000 other’s we headed the 14kms to Bondi – apparently this is the biggest race in the world. A massive celebration of humanity. This person standing in front of me at the start of the race – had the right sentiment. Nothing better than: The wind to your back, The sun in front of you, And your friends beside you. To share the Happiness…

The life of an entrepreneur is not for everyone

This is me! This is my life! Taking one careful step after another, with a consistent smile, confidence and resilience (and all whilst being the brand and wearing red). Juggling much while focusing on a far distant vision. This life is not for everyone. You have to be a little bit crazy and have a very thick skin. Be prepared to live from hand to mouth and give your life to the ’cause’. Years ago a fellow founder described being…

Inspirational women of history

We all need role models and people to inspire us. I feel very fortunate that I had strong women around me as I grew up (and continue to grow)… Here are six great women who contributed greatly and give all of us food for thought. “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams” Oprah Winfrey. “We should all start to live before we get too old. Marilyn Monroe. “Creativity comes from trust. Trust your…