If you have seen the film "Once Were Warriors" that was how Christopher Wingate grew up. The difference was his parents were white and the house a bit more flash. But all the other dynamics existed in Rotorua in the 1960's.
He knew from a young age he wanted a different life and so instead of spending his days hanging around the Western Heights shops he spent it in the bush or wondering around some of the tourist businesses talking with the owners.
"Each Friday night we would have fish and chips- one piece of fish each. The others would hog their piece of fish but I would focus on the chips knowing my fish would be there long after they had scoffed their fish. I guess then I knew I was different"
Married 24 years with 4 kids, Chris was a self made millionaire by the age of 25. He has lived in Australia, New Zealand, Vancouver and Hawaii.
In 1997 he funded Auckland school kid Scott Dixon to race Formula Holden then the following year he set up Scott Dixon Motorsport to fund Scott's racing career. In 2003 Dixon won the Indy Racing world title in his first attempt and then in 2008 won the Indy 500 and the Indy World Title.
No stranger to adventure himself, in 1999 Chris shipped a 4wheel drive to India and drove to London with Sir Peter Tapsell and Prof. Frank Brosnahan via India,Pakistan, Iran, Syria Jordon, Lebanon,Turkey etc.
He is currently filming a movie called GOVERNMENT, a 9/11 type film about what he calls "idiots in power."
What Drives Chris?
Rotorua (now lives in Australia)
Reading, writing, painting, sculpture, poetry, cooking, studying humans, bush walks, humanities, law, nano technology, CERN, design, playing the piano, didgeridoo
To make politicians and judges accountable by getting the public to help remove Crown and Judicial Immunity. Our political systems of managing our countries are a failure. We really need to separate the nice smiling people from the constructive ones. Our politicians and judges want mana and prestige which they prioritise over the more important responsibility of being the most important fiduciaries in the world. If any other fiduciary fails they only harm a few. If our politicians and judges fail they can and unfortunately do ruin the entire nation.
My Favourite Time of the day is...(and why)
Being woken by our pet birds at 5am. Here in Australia when you go outside the sound of the forest all around us is just coming alive like an orchestra.
I really enjoy...
My family and seeing others succeed in life.
List a few of your recent accomplishments that you are proud of:
Picking my sorry self up out of New Zealand after losing the Matakana litigation, coming back to Australia to start again from scratch. But my greatest success has been seeing my children being successful.
Did you celebrate them? How?
Everyday we talk about their objectives and goals. I tell them I am proud of them and encourage them to keep moving forward
I am busy at the moment doing:
We are currently filming a movie called GOVERNMENT, a 9/11 type film about idiots in power.
My big hairy audacious goal this year is to:
Lose weight and get really fit, and be a better father and husband.
I knew I was onto something when:
I realised intention was the prerequisite of doing.
My secret for getting things done is to:
Prioritise things. Draft a list of what I need to do. I recall the words of a Tibetan Monk who escaped the invading Chinese army by walking over the snow and ice covered mountains. When asked how he did it, he said "One step at a time"
My darkest hour was when:
I lost the Matakana Island litigation at the Privy Council. I had won the 4 week trial in the NZ High Court - the defendants were clearly guilty and all the documents and cross examination proved that. Then the Court of Appeal changed the facts and ignored others, I was shocked democracy could be so negligent or corrupt. The Privy Council were supposed to be the beacon of intelligence so when they rejected my appeal I just went blank.
* EDITOR'S NOTE: The story behind the Matakana Island litigation is covered in this Scoop article. Chris Wingate has also set up a website about the venture.
I came through it by:
On the flight back sitting in first class talking with a Chinese businessman from Singapore we started talking about what we did. I explained I had just lost a court case and began talking about it all . I started showing him some photographs of Matakana Island from my briefcase and among those photo's were pictures of my family and our home, While looking at them I realised my family were about to lose their home as we had put everything into the litigation. Suddenly I found myself crying.
The Singaporean man put his hand over to mine and said " Maybe I don't know how bad things are for you but I want to consider this, imagine if you were on this flight for a different reason, imagine if one of your family had been killed and you were flying back to New Zealand for that reason, you would be here right now praying to god he take everything you own in exchange for that family member to be alive again. Money is not as important as family that is your priority and that is your wealth and reward". I got off the plane with a smile and my family needed that.
What would do if you were not ...
If I didn't do what I did I would love to be a postman. What a lovely calm life that would be.
What do you do to cope with stress?
As I have got older I cope better. Often I think of planet earth flying past in space and when I think of it from out there I remember whatever my problems are they really don't matter in the big picture.
How many hours do you work each week?
I guess I seldom stop if you consider thinking through things as work. The issues I am working on are huge. Everyone is caught up with the current system of political management but that system is failing and they know it. So where my mind is most hours of the day is reforming political management. By that I mean getting better performance from those who say to society "trust us with managing your society" The human apathy, technical, logistical and media obstacles in that are enormous and require endless thinking in order to hatch a plan to win. And I don't plan on losing the world can't afford that.
What do you do when things aren't going your way?
Never give up. But I don't keep banging my head against the wall I stand back from it and think about all the options. But the key is never, never give up the objective. And often the wall is an illusionary obstacle. In other words the things that you think are in the way are not really what's stopping you. And perhaps most important- when someone says no, don't worry about that, perhaps they just don't yet understand.
What is the most important piece of advice you'd give to people who are struggling to create a positive change in their lives?
You should never struggle to make a positive change because being alive is the most positive thing and with that whatever you think is getting you down is really not important in the scheme of things. People I come across who are in a rut are nearly always holding onto the rut like a blanket.
What is the hardest lesson you've had to learn in life?
Realising titles create the illusion ability exists. Learning to struggle with intelligent people in government power who have no common sense. Experiencing government incompetence among the drowning flood of silence.
What separates successful people from unsuccessful people?
Successful people do lots of things and unsuccessful don't do much at all. But success is in the heart not in the wallet. I know plenty of people with money but I only know a few of them with happiness. A friend of mine who taught swimming to the rich in Beverly Hills once said "The only happy people in Beverly Hills were the staff"
Do you have any daily rituals that help you keep focused and in the right mental state to succeed?
Go go go !!! Life is short. And remember the problem with doing nothing is you don't know when you are finished. So get off your bum and do something.
Do you have any school/study qualifications?
Dropped out at 15 with no educational qualifications but an attitude of I can do anything and I knew I wanted to see the world and be a success at whatever I did.
What are the three most important personal qualities you've had to develop to become a CEO?
I am still learning I don't think you ever stop that. But if I had my time over again the rules from the start would be - never lie, never steal, never do anything that wounds your soul, respect others, work hard and never give up.
What are the three most important skills that you would advise up and coming youngsters to develop?
Never do anything wrong that you can't come back from. Pay your bills. Talk about your objectives and explain how you require relationships in order to meet those objectives. In doing that everyone knows where you want to go and what part they can play in it. But for those who have tried and have failed, remember to rebuild to last we must be aware why we failed.
Who inspires you the most and why?
Firstly my wife. The greatest human I have ever known. If the world was seeded from her this would be a wonderful planet with wonderful people. There would be no wars and no problems.
But apart from her, Sir Peter Tapsell. He was a raised without shoes in a poor family. But his hard work and sense of drive led him to the top of sport, medicine and politics. Then in retirement he has found total happiness in saddling up his horse at 5am and riding into the hills to fix a fence, move livestock around. Peter lives life by looking forward, he never looks back. He is perhaps New Zealand's greatest son. I love the man dearly.
Do you have a formal goal setting process?
First goal is being able to see it and keeping your eye on it. When I was 18 Reg Ansett founder of Ansett airlines asked me if I could shoot a target at 50 yards on a barn door. When I said yes he then asked if I though I could beat the worlds best shooter to which I said no. He then said if you put a blindfold over the champion shooters eyes you could beat him. The lesson was it does not matter how much talent you have, if you can't see the target anyone can beat you. So if you want to hit a target you have to take off the blind folds in order to see the target. I have often thought about that. The blindfolds come in many forms with comments like you can't do that, you're too young, too old, it's too expensive, too hard, too far. Just focus on the target and don't let people put blindfolds on you.
Have you ever been scared to .........? What did you do about it?
I am not scared of anything which scares the hell out of those who travel with me. When my son was 8 we were screaming along on one hull out of the water on Lake Rotorua in our catamaran one cold windy winter's day. He was crying scared we would tip over and he would drown. I said to him if he feared dying and was hanging on doing nothing about it then would it not be better for him to try managing the event rather than being a passenger. He got the message and soon was helping me control the boat. That was one of his most important life lessons.
What comes first...success or confidence?
Confidence, you must have confidence about your plan. And as soon as you have confidence you have become more successful than those with money and no confidence. I recall an old Italian guy who owned a timber yard in Sydney talking about a young lad working for him who had just won lotto. He said "Everyone is saying he's rich. But he's not rich his heart, his soul is poor, he will never be rich."
The Parting Shot:
When I feel frustrated that things are not coming together as I wish, I proceed to... Again I look at the objective I am chasing and review the bridges and steps I am making to get me there. If you plant seeds, it's only one good seed that may count. But perhaps the most important thing I recall is something I wrote at the Privy Council in London. "The cost of failure is experience, but the cost for not trying is your soul"
Dwayne Alexander, our goal guru is founder of LiveMyGoals the social network for goalgetters