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7 Questions on Leadership with Arihia Chen

Name: Arihia Chen

Title: Director / Interim CEO / Business Owner / Founder

Organisation: TOTORU Business Management Consultants

8 years of running her first business Totoru Business Management Consultants which lead to creating businesses such as Dosi By Totoru and Poipoi Collective. Before starting a business 15 years of working in the disabilities and aged care industry, community services, construction & retail.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Arihia's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

Correctly placing team members into roles based on their skills and strengths. It can be challenging finding the right people to fit into roles where they are going to help your business productivity stay consistent, increasing scalability and most importantly business expansion.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

As a result of challenges initially, I was unemployed and could not find a job. I started my first business pretty much on zero which led to businesses today. It is a great testimony to say that you can start something from nothing, just utilizing all your skills and experience to start a business from scratch and not allowing your circumstances dictate what you can become as a Leader you can start anywhere.

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

Incorporating kanban into both professional and personal life. Such a useful tool for staying organized and structured with appointments, deadlines, and goals.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

Accepting failure is not bad, it means more to learn to help you grow. Failure is only bad when you repeat the same mistakes and do not take accountability for them.

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?

At the moment I am currently reading The Entrepreneur by Anthony Cerantonio which covers so many areas of business including finance which is pushing me to make changes in different aspects of my business in terms of analyzing, assessing, planning, and approaching how I should be managing my businesses, team, and health.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Not to allow the doubts of others and their challenges to determine the direction of the Leader they want to become. Strive to learn, to be firm, to be transparent but most importantly to be accountable.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

I was hosting one business event where I had a business owner who was publicly speaking for the first time. They were nervous, so I pulled them aside for a one-to-one talk. "The most important thing is when you speak share your story to impact the audience. Focus on the message you want them to hear and everything else will flow." Those words helped them pull off a really good key speaker series. Then they started speaking at different business events full of confidence and now an upcoming leader.

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