The greatest successes are founded upon recognising the skills of others. Rev John Murray Welcome to my regular series entitled "My Light Bulb Moment". This column highlights a blinding flash of insight that business, cultural and sports leaders have experienced, and how this changed their lives forever.

Rev John Murray

John Murray is an ordained minister of the Methodist Church of New Zealand - te Haahi Weteriana O Aotearoa - and is the executive director of Methodist Mission Northern, Lifewise and Airedale Property Trust.

Once a year, Lifewise organises The Big Sleep Out, partnering with influential Kiwis who spend a night on the streets, raising funds for New Zealand's homeless.


Raised on a farm and educated in Otorohanga, John's first job was as an engineering sales cadet in Auckland. After his theological education he began parish ministry in western Southland and has moved north since.

Lightbulb moment
"I recall as far back as I can remember, being amazed at what others could do, whether it be sport, art, music, academic ability or simply driving a vehicle."

Through this journey, John discovered an innate ability to recognise and value what others could do and contribute.

"In many ways this was a lightbulb moment and I didn't know it," John says.

This approach would become foundational to the way he viewed the contributions of others and encouraged them to "have ago".

Over time John found working with people who willingly shared their expertise was satisfying and deeply rewarding.

"To me it was the building of a team that was critical -- not just a team of the obviously skilled and talented, but a team that was based on diversity, tolerance, inspiration, dreams, energy and openness."

At the Big Sleep Out, the expertise of business and community leaders, entertainers, educationists, homeless and many others is brought together and solutions for the common benefit of all people are discussed and honed.


"I stay awake throughout the night and am humbled and exhilarated that these people are working together out of a deepening awareness of the values, lifestyle and needs of others.

"There is a statement made in some church services that begins, 'We are not alone'. I believe that whether we are an employee or an employer, it's vital we understand that the greatest successes are founded upon recognising the skills of others and bringing them together, not having to do it by yourself."

• Please partner with your humble columnist Tom O'Neil as he sleeps rough. Visit Join Tom O'Neil's free webinar "10 Secrets to Successful Personal Branding", giving you key tools to move to the next stage in your career; register at to take part on Monday, June 29, 8pm. You can also sign up to Tom's newsletter on his website or contact him at