What is your background and where are you from?
I’m from Melbourne and grew up in Forest Hill in Melbourne’s east. I’ve recently been living in Laos due to my wife’s work, and I’ve also lived in London and Sydney for several years. That said, I’ve lived in Melbourne for most of my life and it will always be home. In terms of my ancestry, my father was born in Kaunas, Lithuania and moved to Melbourne via Canberra when he was 13 years old and my mother is Australian and grew up in Ormond.
Favourite Melbourne restaurants?
In the past I’ve enjoyed Donovan’s & the Stokehouse in St Kilda. It was very sad to see what happened to them both. The Pelican on Fitzroy St does great Tapas. Some great local favourites are Barca in Armadale, and Livingroom in Malvern.
Of what are you most proud?
- My children, Aidan and Natalia – incredible little human beings!
- My wife Tammy. She became a CEO at 34 and is doing some outstanding work for ANZ Bank in Laos and across the banking sector in Southeast Asia. Her work and how she goes about it is an inspiration to me. But most importantly, she is also a great wife and mother, remains young at heart and balances it all extremely well, and
- amge+ – the future of the business is very exciting with the people, culture and platform for growth that’s in place. I rate the entire team as excellent operators professionally, respect them greatly as individuals and I'm already enjoying this new phase of the business.
What qualities impress you most about a recruitment candidate?
The achievements some candidates have had in their career and/or the level they have reached can alone be impressive. Skills and achievements aside, it’s their ability to engage with others. And engagement is about striking the right balance between good communication, good listening and good presentation. The best communicators are often the best listeners, they read the situation and their audience well and they respond effectively to that ‘in the moment’. A candidate who presents confidently, displays humility, self-awareness and uses body language that makes people feel comfortable; This enables them to make a real connection and it's this connection that leaves a lasting impression.
How do you know when a good match is being made?
I get excited when a role is a great ‘Now’ opportunity for the candidate. I know the client will be able to provide great medium to long-term career opportunities for the candidate, and I know the candidate will deliver value to the client. Finally, I expect that they will enjoy the journey together because I see that their values are aligned. Sometimes their personalities are similar, sometimes they aren't, but the values and working style will keep them connected for a very long-time. Some candidates I have placed have stayed with the same organisation for 8 plus years and have had 4 or more promotions. Other people I have put together have chosen to work together at several other organisations due to the strength of their connection. People follow people!
What blogs do you read regularly?
I have found the E-myth Revisited book (by Michael E. Gerber) and blogs incredibly useful since I started amge+. It definitely helped me make the transition from being a Manager & Consultant in recruitment, to becoming an effective Business Owner and Managing Director. Now, I find that following twitter and LinkedIn is the best way to stay across a broad range of business leaders, books and articles from top Australian and Global business publications such as The Economist, Harvard Business Review and Forbes.com to name a few.
How do you create work/life balance?
I like to exercise and play an intensive sport at least 3 to 4 times a week. Be it football, cricket, running or going to the gym, I find it’s both a good mental release and helps to keep me in shape. I am much sharper at work when I am exercising regularly, and I sleep much better. My wife and I have a regular weekly ‘date night’ which allows us to have some one-on-one time and stay connected. Sunday is family day, and generally the weekends are about spending time together as a family and having fun with the kids. Some other passions I have are music and travelling.
If you could go to dinner with anyone, past or present, living or deceased, who would it be?
Steve Waugh, and I’d also invite the late Richie Benaud. Both successful Australian Test Cricketers and Captains, before the era of 20-20. I could ask them both questions about sport and life for hours on end.
What’s your secret to happiness?
I am not sure if I can claim to have the secret, but I always like to keep challenged and developing myself, achieving a balance between what I love doing and the things I have to do, and spending quality time with my friends and family. Spending time and money on experiences, rather than material things, definitely seems to create more happiness. That said, I also believe in making wise investments and deep down, I am a ‘plan for the future’ type of person.
Favourite cities in the world?
Aside from Melbourne, it would have to be New York, which I fortunately visit regularly given that Tammy and her family come from New York. In terms of places I've travelled to in Europe, Salzburg in Austria and San Sebastian in the Basque Country in Spain, were both very beautiful and fun places to visit.
We have two beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Cali is a tri-colour girl, or black, white & tan. Axl is a Blenheim male, or brown & white. They are both 5 years old and have finally settled down after the puppy stage. Yes, it took a while! They are best of friends; in fact my wife Tammy held a marriage ceremony for them 3 years ago, so they were no longer ‘living in sin’. Our kids love them, especially our 2 year old daughter Natalia – she is constantly calling after Cali & Axl!
What are some of the most important lessons YOU'VE learned in life?
Always listen and never assume, you don’t know it all and the opportunities for learning are endless.
Take risks but when you do, don’t leave everything to chance. Risks more likely return reward if you research thoroughly, plan rigorously and execute diligently to make them succeed.
Hire hard, manage lightly, fire quickly!
The comfort zone is an uncomfortable place if you want to keep growing
Great people and great relationships make life worth living.