Tag Archives: Leadership

Good is the enemy of Great – Jim Collins

It is now more than a month since I sat enthralled with thousands of other Australians listening to one of the worlds great business commentators – Jim Collins. Having consumed his books and been influenced by his insights into leadership and greatness, I wondered what would stand out for me as time moves on. His delivery style was authentic, and very grounded – he was happy to share stories about his personal life as well as his work. It is…

The future of retail… Why Freckleberry changed its spots?

Is the end of bricks and mortar retail approaching? In the most recent episode of TEN’s Shark Tank, John McGrath talked in depth about the rise of online retail versus bricks and mortar. I thought the topic was worth exploring more, because the jury is still out as to what is the most effective business model for retailing. Before RedBalloon was started back in 2001, I looked at all sorts of online business opportunities. One thing I noted was that…

How I got hooked on a peg – called HEG

This article first appeared in BRW in the week following the airing of Episode 5 of Shark Tank Australia. When the double doors open and someone walks through the Shark Tank ready to start their pitch, there are a number of things that go through my mind. Do I know anything about this industry? Could I add value beyond investment to this business? Is it scalable? Am I going to have to fight another Shark for this? For more than…

Your business will thrive when your people thrive

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 12.25.07 pm

In last Sunday night’s episode of Channel Ten’s Shark Tank – John McGrath gave some very sage advice to one of the entrepreneurs – he said “I think you are both the biggest asset … and liability to your business.” John is a measured guy – and he did not say this lightly. A leader, founder, inventor, entrepreneur needs people around them to tell them how it is… often we can’t see this. And if we ever want to grow…

Love them or they will leave you

It was great to have a $2 million pitch on TEN’s Shark Tank a few weeks ago. It was a business with a track record, a solid customer base and a clear vision for growth. Not to mention Stan Kruss, the founder, was an extremely polished presenter. When Andrew Banks asked Stan, “How would your people describe you?” Stan looked a little surprised at the question. Eventually he responded with, “loyal”. When Andrew asked him how long his closest leaders…

Shark Tank Australia Episode Five on TEN Sunday 8 March 8.00pm

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 12.52.21 pm

Watching this episode at home with the family – we had plenty of laughs. Every week we marvel at how diverse the business ideas are – and equally how commercially ready they may or may not be. I was delighted with the show – it showcases great Australian innovations come from everywhere. Here is my wrap up from episode five. Joseph Mourad – inventor and hair stylist to the stars. For more than 30 years as I stylist he has…

Is an investor what you want?

As we enter the second month of Shark Tank, I thought it was time to reflect on an important topic. Although this might seem confusing, sometimes when you miss out on an investment deal, it’s actually the best thing for your business. This may seem contradictory, but when someone so passionately shares the ins and outs of their business – and it looks as if it has significant traction – sometimes it’s best if they just keep doing what they’re…

Live What You Love: Purpose (Extract)

  Purpose extract from Live What You Love I don’t live to work, I work to live. But if I love the work I choose, then my work is no longer work. Our society celebrates the idea of the workaholic. Earlier in this book I have written that the happy employee creates a great workplace. I note that a culture of fun and happiness can be authentic and fostered by all people in a business and that hap­piness can deliver…

Why I ate pet food on national TV and why I would do it again

Image courtesy of TEN - On set for Shark Tank

When I walked into work on Monday morning I was met by RedBalloon’s PR Executive who greeted me with, “You’ll never believe the headline I just read about you!” The article she was talking about was Shark Tank recap: The night Naomi Simson ate dog food on national television. There’s no doubt eating food meant for canines makes great TV, but there was actually a very real business reason why I did it… it’s called “customer experience”. During episode two…

Summer Reading

I am just back from my summer break – and like everyone else most of the year I make a pile of fabulous books that I am given or collect saving them for the time that I can sit down and enjoy. This summer I managed to be consumed by six books… Thanks to all those people who gave or lent me these great books… (only one fiction). The thing is about books – they have some benefits over the…