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7 Questions with Greg Luck
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7 Questions with Greg Luck
Name: Greg Luck
Current title: Chief Executive Officer
Current organisation: Help Employment & Training
My bio can be found at: www.thetop100magazine.com/greg-luck
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Changing the existing and embedded culture of an organisation into a dynamic and innovative high performing team with the customer at the heart of everything that is done. Whilst the depth of the challenge is different in each organisation, when the change starts to gain traction, they represent some of the most satisfying moments in one’s career to be witness to just how fast the results come.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Early in my career, I took the opportunity to relocate to new cities and countries to develop my cross-functional and specialist experience. Supported by some close mentors, each role was larger than the previous, stretched me and had me out of my comfort zone. My first executive role was with Ford Motor Company, this organisation provided tremendous developmental support and experiences for its leaders. Fast forward to today, the journey since that first executive role has spanned 20 years, 3 other large enterprises, living on 3 continents and travelling to and overseeing operations in around 30 countries. I have been back in my home country of Australia now for 4 years, as the CEO of a profit-for-purpose organisation. I am finding that my experiences working across the spectrum of large listed and private companies in emerging, developing and mature markets has been incredibly beneficial, as many of these skills are transferable helping me to add real value to the organisations, teams and clients that I serve.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I am an early riser, starting off the day with exercise, breakfast and into the office early. I do the heavy lifting and complex tasks first at the office,while the mind is fresh. Then I catch up on emails, followed by scheduled ‘think’ time where Iexplore strategies and ideas. Then I move onto relevant meetings or get out of the office and onto the frontline, where I speak with the teams and customers. Getting direct feedback from the frontline is perhaps one of the most important things I do in business, as this informs everything else. I ensure I get home each day to have dinner with the family and spend time playing with the children and put them into bed.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Engaging the entire organisation to drive innovation and business momentum is critical. Key elements to success are prioritising speed over precision and embracing and managing risk. I find that too much of most organisations’ time is spent on tracking and managing processes instead of the outcomes of those activities.
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?
‘Leaders Eat Last’ by Simon Sinek. Real leaders are prepared to throw themselves into the fire to protect or support their team or the people they serve, without needing to way up pros and cons of what may happen to them personally. Servant leadership is a core philosophy of mine.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Empowering teams, but guiding and mentoring (don't leave them alone). Holding people accountable, but giving them all the support they need to be successful. Creating a culture of one team, working on it every day, and aligned to a purpose . Lead by example in all the required leadership behaviours and when the going gets tough, actions are always louder than words.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
When I started in one of my roles, a few of the incumbent senior managers who would be reporting to me were lacking confidence in themselves, were not seemingly being successful and the organisation had poor culture and accountability. With time and one-on-one mentoring, they became completely different leaders, and have taken their parts of the business to heights they never expected was possible. What is meaningful to me is helping people to become successful, because only then can the organisation become successful.