Good afternoon and thank you for the warm welcome. It is a real honour to be here.
The Chamber has been an important part of the Australian business scene for 47 years now. But as an American-born, Australian businessman it holds special significance for me.
Now I don’t want to scare you with coincidences but let me just point out that 47 years ago almost to the day Hawthorn won the VFL Grand Final and Australia was in a short lived recession. It was the first grand final the Hawks had ever won and broke a 36 year drought.
So compared to long-term Hawthorn supporters I guess I feel a bit humbled trying to give you advice about leadership in tough times.
What I’d like to do today is share with you the lessons I’ve learnt about managing in tough times, as someone who has been fortunate enough to watch some great leaders in action.
And from what many of you have said to me before we sat down, I know you’d like me to give you our views on what’s going on in the financial world and how that might play out in Australia over the next year or two.
You know, these two points—the fundamental changes going on in the world today and leadership in tough times—are of course intertwined.
As we know, a business leader’s management style has profound implications for his or her firm’s ability to create and sustain a productive organisational culture. But the right approach to this very much depends on the context in which we are leading.