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Name: Nick Addison
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Organisation: Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority
I have been fortunate to enjoy a fantastic professional career in the sports and entertainment industry, working across client, agency and rights holder organisations including Dynamic Sports Entertainment Group (DSEG), Victoria Racing Club (VRC), SUNCORP and currently at Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority. My roles have focussed on the creation of value and leading and mobilising teams to achieve bold strategic goals.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
The need to ensure your influence reaches and connects with each and every member of your organisation as well as important external stakeholders, when there are so many different pressures on your time. Everyone has 24 hours in a day, so it is important to continue to identify methods that help you to achieve that connection, often in a virtual sense, because it is difficult to meet with each and every area of your business on a daily basis.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I've always been a believer that you don't need a title or people-management responsibilities to start your journey as a leader. Strong leaders exhibit those traits regardless of their title or what stage of their career they are at. I have been fortunate to have very good leaders and mentors to learn from and they have shaped some of my leadership style today.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
In terms of work, I'm a planner and will generally allocate time at the end of each week to plan for the following week. I try to be structured around what my key focusses are at any given time, therefore trying to ensure I'm being as effective as possible with my time. I enjoy running so I will generally rise early to get a running session in, then return home to help prepare the kids for school. Where my schedule permits I'll drop one of my kids to school which is important to have that time together. My days are generally filled connecting with our team members and external meetings but you also need some time to yourself to ensure you re-prioritise and sense check that you are focussing on the key strategic issues. Again where my schedule permits, I try and ensure I'm home to spend a couple of hours with the family before the kids go to bed. If need be, I will catch up on any pressing work issues before going to bed and doing it all again! Put simply, I work off the mantra that 'sometimes work interferes with life, and given that, sometimes life should interfere with work'. Finding a balance between the two is the ongoing goal!
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Every single interaction with your team members counts towards your overall reputation as a leader. As a leader, it might be one of 100 interactions you have in a day, but for that team member you interacted with, it might have been their most important interaction for the day, so you need to treat each moment accordingly.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
It wasn't a book, but I was fortunate to study at London Business School and Costas Markides, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, once told me that a leaders primary job is to absorb the chaos happening around them, and emit clarity to your team as to how to respond. That has always resonated with me from a leadership perspective.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
There are many traits that make a strong leader, but perhaps the most important is your accessibility and approachability. People need to know that their leader is available to them and will provide a balanced, yet direct response regardless of the issue. A CEO shouldn't have any higher priority than to support their team.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Understanding your power and influence as a leader is an important development stage. As a leader, you are watched and observed closely, so every comment, tone, action or suggestion can be interpreted differently, so being mindful of that is important. I once had a team member provide some very helpful feedback that a message I delivered, which I thought was very clear, was not received in the way I had intended it. The misinterpretation was not the audience's fault, but rather my fault, and the implications were considerable. But by receiving the feedback, I was able to rectify the issue and get back on course. Without the feedback and my own self-reflection, it would have been an ongoing issue.