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7 Questions with Murray Saylor
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7 Questions with Murray Saylor
Name: Murray Saylor
Current title: Managing Director
Current organisation: Tagai Management Consultants
Murray Saylor is the founder/Managing Director of Tagai Management Consultants, an award winning company driven to work respectfully with clients in the Australia and Asia/Pacific region to deliver market leading procurement/supply chain management, business advisory, community development and advanced futures services.
Murray is a Torres Strait Islander which is one of the two Australian Indigenous peoples', and the Torres Strait Islands is located between Papua New Guinea and Australia. Murray’s passion and drive are focused on maximising opportunities to make a difference in our global village with a focus on the diversity sector, and in particular Indigenous Australian cultural, ecological and economic sustainability. Murray has over 20 years of diverse experience in the fields of government, defence, community development, Indigenous affairs and resource sectors.
Murray has had the humbling opportunity to sit on various governing bodies over the years. In early 2020, Murray was appointed by the Australian Government Minister for Indigenous Affairs as a Council member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
The most challenging aspect of my role is balancing my commercial side with my cultural values. Together both have created a business point of difference but also have at times created challenging situations for me as an enabling leader.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
The foundational seeds for my entrepreneurial journey were sown growing up in a dysfunctional and violent household where love was conditional and social welfare dependency was commonplace.
How did this situation affect me, you might say? To escape the physical and mental abuse I embraced my Torres Strait Islander culture and the teachings of my elders. I also dreamed of another life that allowed me to think about alternative universes, dimensions and eventually goals. Finally, I was gifted with great mentors and people that came into my life and allowed me to flourish and break out of the bonds of abuse.
I ideated my business and brought to life with $80 and have steadily grown the business to where it is now working with some of the largest companies in the world primarily in the areas of social procurement, sustainable procurement and community development.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Early morning starts reading the news and connecting with family and colleagues. My team and I operate in an agile approach which allows me to balance the rigours of leading the business and my own life.
The lights go off sometimes late into the night due to work commitments or I am mixing up another concept for me and the team to develop.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Sometimes it is better to listen, then talk.
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?
"Decolonizing Wealth" by Edgar Villanueva has had a great impact on my entrepreneurial and leadership journey. It aligns with my Torres Strait Islander culture and my motivation as a social impact enabler within the global village.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Lead side by side with the team, maintain operational practice to keep the lights on but encourage and challenge the organisation and clients to explore other concepts and strategies that are outside the box that create social impact and/or commercial value.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
I had the opportunity to give a motivational speech to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their families during a vacation program. My speech was focused on "super powers'', the idea that everyone has superpowers and school was just a way for the student to develop their super powers in order to live in the world but also structure their identity.
The outcome of the speech was that students came up to me motivated and with a spark in their eyes to the point that some of the students approached me afterwards describing their super powers and which superhero they saw themselves as.
It was meaningful because it epitomised what I drove to do and that is to maximise opportunities to make a difference in our global village by using the "super powers - still in development" to enable impact with large corporates but also remote communities where a digital connection is still foreign.