The busi­ness of be­ing a leader

The life of a CEO can be lonely. De­ci­sions need to be made that are some­times un­pop­u­lar, harsh or even against the grain of a per­sonal stance. CEOs may at times be at log­ger­heads with staff, up­per man­age­ment and even busi­ness part­ners.

Business First - - EDITOR’S DESK -

Gen­er­ally, CEOs make de­ci­sions that are in the best in­ter­ests of the com­pany and its share­hold­ers. Mean­while they have to bal­ance these de­ci­sions with the best in­ter­est of its clients or con­sumers. Be­ing the CEO can be the great­est jug­gling act in the world.

Busi­ness First’s pur­pose is to make it eas­ier for CEOs to make the hard de­ci­sions. This is a peer-topeer mag­a­zine: writ­ten by CEOs and other high level ex­ec­u­tives, with in­ter­views with some of the coun­try’s best lead­ers.

Take Sony DADC’s Dar­ren Houghton for in­stance. Here’s a man who steered Sony UK through the worst of the Lon­don ri­ots, lost mil­lions of dol­lars worth of stock, but still man­aged to turn a profit. He was sec­onded to Aus­tralia and has over­seen some large ac­qui­si­tions as well as a ma­jor change on the tech­nol­ogy front. Dar­ren has a lot of ad­vice to of­fer on sev­eral is­sues that af­fect the day-to-day run­ning of a busi­ness, as well as the im­por­tance of look­ing ahead.

Our cover story fea­tures Allan Jones. Not the shock jock, or the singer, but the English engi­neer who dur­ing his time at Wok­ing, re­duced CO2 emis­sions by 77.5% from 1990 lev­els to 2004 and un­der­took ground­break­ing work on energy and wa­ter ef­fi­ciency. He did the same in the Greater City of Lon­don, when then Mayor Ken Liv­ingston re­cruited Jones to head up his new cli­mate change agency as chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer. Jones has been hired by the City of Syd­ney to turn Syd­ney into one of the most sus­tain­able cities in the world. Some of Jones’ bat­tles in achiev­ing this have in­cluded reg­u­la­tory re­stric­tions and pri­vate com­pany risk as­sess­ment con­cerns. Allan is well versed in over­com­ing a large num­ber of hur­dles, but you get the feel­ing that by 2030, Syd­ney will have easily reached its energy re­duc­tion tar­gets.

There are some great fea­tures in this inau­gu­ral is­sue of Busi­ness First. We speak with Arthur Essey and Alessan­dro Garo­falo about dis­tri­bu­tion, Gavin Ward about the com­pet­i­tive na­ture of of­fice sup­plies, Mark Davis about cus­tomer ser­vice in bank­ing and Luke Herbert about the value of team play­ers.

There are many other great CEOs fea­tured in this is­sue and we hope you learn as much from them as we have.

Some of the con­trib­u­tors you will be­come fa­mil­iar with are MYOB CEO Tim Reed, Im­age Group In­ter­na­tional CEO Jon Michail, Asia ex­pert Pamela Young and Mar­ket­ing Eye MD Mel­lis­sah Smith. Mean­while Lau­retta Stace, CEO of Fit­ness Aus­tralia will give her views on how im­por­tant it is to stay healthy while deal­ing with the stresses of the day.

Fi­nally, when all the hard work is done, it’s time to re­lax with a fine bot­tle of wine, a good place to eat, a re­lax­ing place to rest and a com­fort­able car to drive. You’ve worked hard, you de­serve to be pam­pered.

So welcome to Busi­ness First, a mag­a­zine for you, writ­ten by your peers.

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