7 Questions with Allan Briggs

Name: Allan Briggs

Current title: CEO

Current organisation: Crisis Shield

Founder and CEO of Crisis Shield. Over 30 years of experience in crisis management. 16 years with Victoria Police, 10 of those years in Media & PR Department. Provided a good grounding in crisis management and crisis communication. Next role, Manager Media & PR, Sponsorship, and Marketing at Victoria State Emergency Service. Managed media for several major incidents including Black Saturday. Started Crisis Shield in 2010 and acquired Crisis Clarity in 2020. Established London office in July 2019. Love the fast pace of crisis work and the ability to make key decisions quickly.

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1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

Managing staff and building the business while maintaining a work life balance.

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

Founded the business in 2010. Back then there wasn't a large appetite or understanding about crisis preparation and management. As organisations experienced more crises they identified the need and we had the service they required. COVID-19 just took everything to a new level.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

Early riser, 45min workout and light breakfast. In office early and try to achieve as much as possible in first 4 to 6 hours of the day where I have best productivity. Try to be home by 6.30pm, dinner and no work unless urgent, spend time with my partner watching travel or renovation shows. No alcohol during week and try and keep off all media over weekend.

4. What’s the most recent significant leadership lesson you’ve learned?

Don't see your staff as your friends, you're running a business not a social club.

5. What one book has had the most profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

66 Days Adrift. True story of a boat that sank offshore and how the two passengers survived. Lesson learnt was about preparation (they had the cheap life raft) and what items they took as their boat was sinking. The mental challenge and keeping faith even when things looked ominous (had plenty of those experiences running my business). Have read several books with similar theme, preparedness, decision making and resilience being the key them to succeed.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

Identify talent and coach them. They need freedom to make decisions. Be firm but fair and don't over praise them.

7. If you had to pick just one story, what would be the most meaningful story from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

You must believe in your product/service. It then just flows when you are pitching, planning and delivering as you have full faith in what you are doing is adding value and works.