Tips From Australia’s Best: Become An Industry Leader

About the Author: Ashley Thomson
Ashley Thomson

If you tried to contact us last week you may have noticed we were not at our usual location. Instead we have been conferencing at the stunning Peninsula event space at Central Pier, Docklands.

Team Tenfold attended the “Australia Business Excellence Forum and Awards (BEF)” which was from 29th February and 1st March. This event is held annually and is for businesses of all shapes and sizes with their coaches (all shapes and sizes). The conference is about recognising and honouring the innovation, passion, risk-taking and results of companies and business owners.

There were four outstanding guest speakers who, under the umbrella of leadership took everyone on their own personal journeys of weakness and triumph.

John Eales “The Recurring Themes of Success”

John is a former rugby union player and is the most successful captain in the history of Australian rugby. He discussed his years of experience being part of a team and also leading a successful team. He paid tribute to the New Zealand All Blacks, and discussed the cultural significance of the Hakka and how it has defined a winning culture in their team. Due to his experience in the sporting world his insights into team dynamics was outstanding with his belief that “diversity of thought makes a team; while diversity of direction breaks a team”. John passionately believes that harbouring a supportive culture creates a strong foundation for success.

John’s Awesome Thought Provokers

“Is your business culture by design or default?”
“Will your business be relevant in 5, 10 or 20 years’ time?”
“What wouldn’t you do in the name of profit?”

Layne Beachley “Motivation, Inspiration, Determination”

Layne is a 7 times surfing world championship winner; six of those she won consecutively. She still holds the record for most consecutive wins. As a presenter she is a vibrant and inspiring. She is an advocate for only surrounding yourself with people who support you and can assist you in pursuing your goals. She believes in learning from the mistakes of others and has always, and she will only surround herself with people she can learn from.
Layne discussed the importance of a strong mindset and how fear almost got the better of her as she self-sabotaged her own attempts at success. She removes the sabotaging voice by only focusing on what she wants and avoids thinking about what she doesn’t want.

Layne’s Inspiring Thought Provokers
“Who do you surround yourself with”?
“What are your personal values”?
“Know your Why!”

John Bertrand “The Essence of Leadership”

A truly inspiring story from a man who did the unthinkable and took down the Americans (in sailing that is!) as he skippered the “Australia II” to victory in the 1983 America’s Cup, ending 132 years of American supremacy. We were in awe of his modesty and simple belief in a structured process: “get the process right and the results will follow”. John believes that if you hold your management, technology and team to a world class standard your results will reflect your efforts. To achieve a world’s best practice in your business, John suggested that you should look at what other industries (different to your own) are doing and apply that knowledge to your business. John is currently working with the Australian Swimming Team and they’re exploring other fields for advice and inspiration, such as Maclaren Racing and Google. This research and fusion of advice has created a strong culture of learning and personal development within the swimming team.

John’s Innovative Thought Provokers

“Emulate the success our kids will achieve in 20 years and implement that now.”
“Are you focusing on “world’s best practice” for your business?”

Mark McKeon “Embracing Change”

Mark is one of Australia’s leading work life balance and team cohesion advocates. He was the High Performance Coach for Collingwood Football Club who has consolidated his experiences on and off the field to create a winning guide to managing your time and adapting to change. Mark believes in “confronting brutal facts” about what you do and who you are. He works on mental toughness by training you to only focus on the very next thing, whether it is the first task of the day or the last.
For tackling day to day activities, here are some of Mark’s tips;

Clear your desk and make sure to remove all distractions (mobile phone, I’m talking to you)


  1. Prioritise your “to do list” by placing the harder tasks (or things you enjoy the least) first. Leave the enjoyable task to the end as a reward.
  2. Create a non-negotiable target that is within your control. Think about the time that activity will take and add in some buffer time to make sure your goals are achievable.
  3. Work in intervals, whether it is 40 minutes or 2 hours. Make sure you take a break in between your designated work periods (mobile phone, you are welcome to join us again).
  4. Finish with a personal debrief, go through your activities and be celebrate what you have accomplished and move tasks not completed to the top of your list to be completed in your next designated time slot.


Mark’s Powerful Thought Provokers

“Going to bed tired means you’ve had a productive day, going to be stressed means something hasn’t been successful”.
“Never underestimate the impact you have on other people”.

Overall it was an inspiring week and a fantastic opportunity to learn from some of Australia’s great leaders. At the awards night Tenfold Business Coaching also took home a couple of wins (stay tuned to find out what happened).

The final thought provoker I’ll leave you with was another pearler from Mark McKeon;

“Are you enjoying or enduring your career?”

If the latter is true, come and chat to us because we are always happy to meet the next wave of industry leaders.