The Corner Office - Jetstar NZ Head.
What is your personal business philosophy or business focus?
My overall business philosophy is to be honest; honest to myself and to everyone I interact with, and I look for that in return. Treat your customers and staff the same as you would like to be treated. I do expect everyone to take responsibility for their actions and I like to encourage people to take ownership of a problem and be prepared to make decisions. I also believe that having a sense of humour makes a big difference to a business culture.
What was the best business decision you made for the company?
I think it's every decision that we've made for our Flying Start programme. Over the past three years we've provided 11 grants with a combined value of $330,000 to well-deserved non-profit organisations throughout New Zealand and those decisions have had a very positive impact on hundreds of individuals and their families.
What was the hardest or worst business decision you made and what did you take away from it?
I've been involved in a number of large businesses over the years and many times there's been a need to undertake a review in regards to structural requirements. Unfortunately this sometimes requires a reduction in head count or the need to make changes to roles and responsibilities. In these situations I know that the decision I am making will have a significant impact on that person and their family. I never underestimate the impact the decision may have and I always try to put myself in the other person's position.
Do you have a golden rule you follow or a business motto?
Enjoy your role, enjoy your organisation, enjoy your team and most of all enjoy life. If you don't find joy in what you do it can be very tough going.
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Do you have a business mentor or leader you admire or aspire to emulate?
A person I have always admired is Sir Edmund Hillary. I admire him for his determination and courage to conquer Mt Everest in 1953 but also his philosophy on life. His forever humble nature inspires me. I do think determination is really important for success. If you are truly determined to succeed you'll make the necessary sacrifices or go the extra mile when you need to. But don't forget to enjoy yourself too otherwise you might reach your destination only to find you haven't enjoyed the journey.
What is your business goal for 2015?
We've achieved some significant successes for Jetstar in the past couple of years and I want to continue that momentum. For me it's about getting our customers to where they want to go safely, on time, at an affordable price and with service that puts a smile on their face.
What are you most looking forward to in 2015 (personal or business)?
For the business I'm looking forward to seeing our teams focus on taking customer service to new heights. We're a low fares airline and we're not about offering five-star service because that comes at a cost, but I believe there are plenty of ways to improve the customer experience for little or no expense.