Jul 26, 2017
In this episode you’ll hear from Jonathan Ling, CEO and MD of
Jonathan is also the former CEO of Fletcher Building and Visy Recycling. He is the
Chairman of Melbourne Rebels Advisory Board and has previously held a number of
other board roles including ASB bank and Pacific Brands.
During his time as CEO of GUD the market capitalisation has grown from $360
million to $1.2 billion and the share price from around $5 to in excess of $13. And
during his time as CEO at Fletcher Building market capitalisation grew from around
NZ$2.5 billion to NZ$4.8 billion.
Jonathan is a fantastic story of a little Chinese boy that rose from the frontline all the
way through the ranks to becoming CEO. He has taken on some of the biggest
challenges in business and succeeded both commercially and through the culture he
Jonathan outlines that “to get ahead you must tell wow stories” and that you must
have three key skills to be CEO; 1. The ability to innovate, 2. The ability to lead a
group of people to something beyond what even they though possible, 3. Know how
to truly make money.
Jonathan’s top messages include:
1. 1/3 of MBA graduates are better for it, 1/3 makes no difference, 1/3 come out
worse because they’re expectations of what will immediately happen as a
result of having the qualification exceed reality
2. Running your own business gives you a very different perspective on:
a. risk and what you're willing to take
b. how to stand out from the crowd; and
c. that you have to have to courage to take risks, calculated risks.
3. Some people more successful than others because the tell 'wow stories'. How
many people have you met in meetings that you just don't remember? People
have done something that is ‘wow’, or said something is ‘wow’, that is who
4. In telling stories the key is that you've got to want to stand out. The first thing
is the desire and the courage to take the risk to be different. If you're doing
what everyone else does you don't stand out. You have to be willing to put
your head above the parapet and take a shot at it.
5. One of the skills that you don't see that often, is the ability to make money.
I've never had a shareholder say, you're making too much money, slow down
6. The only three things I'm looking for is - are you
innovative, can you make
money, can you inspire people
7. Leadership is the ability to inspire people to achieve something far greater
than even they thought possible. And when you do that the feeling is just
8. For those that have hit a glass ceiling, are you pulling the right levers? Are
you pulling the levers that will make a big difference. There are three key
a. Do I have the right people in my team? The talent, intellect and drive
b. Do I have the right culture? The collegiateness, work ethic, risk
appetite and how they manage conflict
c. Does my team have the right tools?
9. Once I change my beliefs, when I come back to a problem you'll see it in a
different way. Its actually the notion of learning. You can do this by creating
emotional intensity in the team, both positive and negative that is good for the
team. And how do you manage it so it doesn't get personal.
10. Three big levers - the right people, the right culture, the right tools. You get
those three things together and it is amazing what a group of people can do.
11. You've got find out what drives you, then you find out how you can harness it
and then you have to figure out how to harness that for others
12. Political correctness is at the other end of the spectrum to authenticity
13. Hold a whole conversation with only open questions. E.g. What do you think
about? how do you feel about? how did you come to this conclusion?
14. If you want to get really good at something, find someone who is really good
or world class at it and go and work for them and learn from them. If you’re
going to be a CEO you have to learn how to make money. Go and find
someone that you think is probably the best moneymakers available and go
and work from them. I am against generalist mentors. Find specific mentors
for specific purposes.
15. Most successful people I've met have an inquiring mind. To get the most of
your mind there needs to be lots of stimulus
16. My leadership style has always been about working through others to get
17. If you're the boss and you’re running flat-out and then someone wants
something more from you, you've got nothing to give
18. Distraction is the source of all waste (for middle managers). Learn to
differentiate between what the urgency and importance in prioritising your
work. (See Covey’s Quadrants below)
19. If you find your meetings are going too long make everyone stand up. They'll
go for half the time.
20. One question you should ask yourself everyday: “Am I creating the right
stimulus to get me to the next place I want to be?”
Jonathan’s nominated charity is Team Rubicon Australia and I’ve made a donation of
$250 in Jonathan’s name for coming on the show. http://teamrubiconaus.org
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