The defining characteristic of every great organisation or team is leadership.

Leadership isn’t a difference maker; it is the difference maker.

My approach is built on the empathy of someone who has deep experience with leadership, including the wisdom that can only come from the need to give of yourself as a leader.

I like the metaphor of the swan when it comes to leadership. When in the air or on the water, the swan finds its grace, beauty and presence – it is in it’s element. But it cannot spend all its time in the air or on the water. It spends much of its life on land, where it looks awkward and lumbering, struggling in this environment.

Such is leadership.

At times leadership requires a level of courage and bravery that you did not realise you possessed until such time as your circumstances demanded.

It is then that you have found your element as a leader.

Hence my mantra:

“Never forget how hard it is.”

Our Thinking

Loved? Liked? Respected? TRUSTED!


Your words tell others what you think.

Your actions tell them what you believe.

The designCEO leadership offering is for leaders, teams and organisations seeking to build high levels of cultural, strategic and personal trust as the basis for sustained high-performance.  

In our experience the best leaders are not the most talented or gifted, they have established outstanding leadership and performance habits.

They have turned self responsibility into a daily practice, performance habits that compound over time to establish their personal leadership mastery.

At designCEO, we teach a system that is focused on high-performance leadership habits to enable leaders to establish their daily practice of leadership excellence.

We teach and embed four main leadership habits, to create the behaviours and culture to achieve high performance outcomes.

Step one

Leadership NEED

Define the leadership need

Many leadership development programs fail to answer the most critical questions, including:

– What is the organisational need for this program?
– What outcomes are you seeking from the program?

We first seek to determine the type of program required utilising the designCEO Performance Trust framework that matches leadership ambition with leadership capability to define expectations and performance outcomes.

Step TWO

Leadership Capability


When the goal is to build a leadership capability, we focus on developing the leadership behaviours that are most essential to meeting your organisational needs.

These fall into three are, those being Personal Leadership, Team Leadership and Execution Leadership.

Simply it means, getting the job done.

Step Three

Leadership System

Embed a leadership system of operation

A central part of the program’s design is that it does not seek to replace important strategic, human resource and governance frameworks.

Its role is to ask the right questions of these programs, but more importantly, ensure that leaders take responsibility for their overall effectiveness.

Above all else, we are seeking to build powerful leadership habits, small changes done regularly, all aligned to a high-performance leadership mindset.

Step Four

Leadership ROI

In terms of measurement, your leadership Return on Investment (ROI) and Return on Effort (ROE), we focus on behavioural and business impact, as well as overall program effectiveness, reflecting on the discussions held when designing the program.

These include Behaviour Impact, Business Impact and Program Effectiveness.


You cannot just do leadership…

You must be leadership

At age 24, I was the youngest CEO in the 160-year history of the AFL, the preeminent professional sporting competition in the country.

My first lesson came hard and fast. You cannot just DO leadership; you must BE leadership.

I then spent the next 25 years as a CEO of AFL clubs learning what it meant to BE LEADERSHIP. 

It was 25 years of intense learning in the unforgiving, unrelenting and often ruthless environment of elite sport.

As CEO in this environment, the expectations of the position often move faster than your capacity to build capability.

I was forever searching for learning and personal development experiences to match the expectations of the role.

It was a journey that would take me to some of the world’s best universities and most famous sporting clubs. I would seek and receive mentoring from thoughtful, inspirational and sometimes provocative leaders from sport, business and public life.

Forever a searcher, there was always the bedside table full of books, a selection of which would accompany me wherever my adventures took me, and whatever city our team played.

Against this background, I set myself to build the CEO and leadership learning experiences that I yearned for all those years. It was more than simply filling a void. It came from a deep sense of purpose, and honour.

A CEO of an AFL Club at 24

Age when appointed CEO of the famous Richmond Football Club. Youngest CEO in the history of the AFL

Number of years as a CEO in the AFL. Second longest serving CEO in the modern game.

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We are based at Work Club
Level 2, 287 Collins Street,
Melbourne, Vic. 3000.



+61(0)411 860 931