52. Think and Grow Rich Guru James Whittaker on Winning the Day

In this week's episode we meet James Whittaker.

James has interviewed more than 100 of the world’s most revered business leaders, cultural icons and athletes to unlock their secrets to success. Including Grant Cardone, Lewis Howes, Bob Proctor, Barbara Corcoran, Janine Shepherd, Jim Stovall, John Lee Dumas, Warren Moon, Sandy Gallagher to name a few. 

Today, the bestselling author, speaker, entrepreneur and film producer draws on his unique experience to give people the tools to take ownership of their financial, physical and mental health.


  1. Of ALL of the freakishly cool interviews he did for his book… what was one thing that surprised him the most as he met some of his heroes?
  2. What was it like being Executive Producer of a movie?
  3. Why did you take on the project of writing the book?
  4. What do you mean by “Win the Day”?
  5. How you do stay motivated?


  • Taking simple and consistent action is the key
  • Start with your outcome
  • Get involved in masterminds
  • Change your thoughts and change your outcomes


Via his website: https://jameswhitt.com

Buy his book here. And Check out James Whittaker's incredible feature film  here!

Follow James on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Free bonus chapter of the book: https://jameswhitt.com/free-chapter


28. What to do when your boss is in the clouds

The Inner Chief – Episode 28 – What to do when your boss is in the clouds

Most of us have had a boss who seems totally disinterested in our work. They’re the opposite of micro-managers, leaving us completely to our own devices and at times in more senior regional roles can go missing for weeks at a time.

In this episode we cover:

  1. The most common reasons why they're not giving you the attention you deserve
  2. What this is really costing you
  3. Actionable steps  you can take to remedy the situation

Stay epic

27. CEO Hetty Johnston on passion, resilience and negotiating with Prime Ministers

In this episode of The Inner Chief we hear from Hetty Johnston, AM, Founder and Chair of Bravehearts.

You can support Hetty’s work through Bravehearts at www.bravehearts.org.au


Normally I put a detailed set of show notes. In this case, I’m electing not to. This will make sense when you’ve heard this episode. Hetty is someone you have to listen to. She is one of the most influential leaders of modern Australia and summary notes just won’t do her justice.

So find an hour to really focus on this session. Hetty tells the FULL story of her life and the horrific circumstances that led to the beginnings of Bravehearts after her daughter disclosed she was being assaulted. She also shares some of her techniques for negotiating with Prime Ministers, staying resilient and gives the ultimate career advice if you want to be a GREAT chief.


Hetty is the Founder and Chair of Bravehearts & Australia’s leading child protection advocate.


For over 20 years Hetty has been leading the charge in child protection and has built Bravehearts into powerful not-for-profit with global reach. She and her team are regularly asked to speak and advice on their most important work all over the world.

Hetty’s most recent accolades include:

  • Australian Businesswomen’s 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Queensland Australian of the Year 2015
  • Logan’s Wall of Acclaim 2015 Inductee
  • Member of the Order of Australia (AM) 2014
  • Author of national awareness campaign, ‘White Balloon Day’, ‘Sexual Assault Disclosure Scheme (SADS)’, ‘Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure’ child protection CD-Rom and her autobiography, ‘In the Best Interests of the Child’ (2004)

Just some of her responsibilities include:

  1. Chaired the Queensland Child Protection Week Committee for three years;
  2. Held a position on the Board of NAPCAN (National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect);
  3. Was a participant on the Federal Government’s Working Party on a ‘National Approach to Child Protection’;
  4. Currently sits on the Federal Governments working party on Cyber-Safety;
  5. Working with the Federal Government’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

She is consistently sought after by media for commentary on issues pertaining to child protection and has been the subject of personal profile in many print media, talk back radio and television documentaries such as Australian Story.

Hetty is a truly GREAT chief. She has battled resistance to change for 20 years from every angle imaginable and from some of the powerful groups in our community. And through it all she has stayed, strong, focused, warm and immovable. I’ve know Hetty personally for over a decade. She is a force of nature when it comes to leading change across our society and through all this has maintained a warmth and kindness, never forgetting that this is ABOUT THE KIDS.

Recommended Books by Hetty Johnston

The Gift of Fear – https://www.amazon.com/Other-Survival-Signals-Protect-Violence/dp/0440508835/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522021749&sr=8-1&keywords=the+gift+of+fear


26. Why you should run across a desert and love it

Why you should run across a desert (and love it)

G’day Chiefs

In this episode I talk about why you should run across a desert (and love it). Huh? What I really mean is why you should do something epic.

In 2007/8 I conducted a personal growth experiment by tackling the Gobi March a 250km ultra marathon across the toughest terrain in the world. I then repeated the effort with my mate Glen Hunt at the Atacama Crossing over the same distance in Chile in 2010. 

This is a bit of that story and what I discovered on…and didn’t expect.

The benefits of doing something epic:

  1. A totally new perspective on life
  2. Boosted confidence and esteem
  3. Knowledge of the power of total commitment
  4. A new and awesome network
  5. Practical application of smashing big goals

Most people never attempt big goals because their mind is full of objections like, “I’m not an athlete” or “I don’t have time in my life already so how would I do this?”

The thing about big goals like this is that you find a way to learn something new or get fitter so you can get a little further along the journey. You find something that inspires you—like climbing Kilimanjaro, or completing the Camino trail—and you find a way to get it done.

When you settle on something epic, make it congruent by involving your family in the training, doing it with your partner, or raising money for charity. I raised money for Bravehearts and it kept me going at least once or twice when the chips were down in training or during the run.

The greatest victories are closer than you think…but the window of opportunity for doing them gets smaller every day. Just do it.

Stay epic


24. How to get and keep a CEO Mentor

G’day Chiefs,

In this episode we are going to cover How to get and keep a CEO mentor.

Every CEO I’ve met has had a mentor of some sort in their career. Interestingly, in most cases, these were through a reporting structure and weren’t formal mentoring relationships.

How to convince a CEO to mentor you

CEOs are insanely busy people in very high demand. And yet, every one of them I have met finds time to mentor several of the next generation. The fact is they want to help and give back, but they don’t want to waste their time.

It is unlikely that you can offer them much from spending time with you except for giving back. So that is the lever to pull. Here are a few steps that have worked time and again when I’m connecting with big chiefs.

If I skip any of the steps the success rate plummets. :

  1. Carefully select the right mentor for you. This should be someone you admire and trust through what you’ve seen of them. You need to be able to connect with them and so if it’s a fabricated relationship setup by the company if very often doesn’t work. Start with someone you WANT to learn from.
  2. As a rule of thumb aim for someone 2 to 3 (stretch 4) levels above you in your current organisation. If they can see common ground you’ll be more likely to get a positive response.
  3. Get to know them in a social setting at a work function or similar first. This has a massive impact of response rate. Build an initial connection by asking natural questions and just being yourself and show that you’re willing to be vulnerable and learn…if they can sense that you’re genuine and comfortable in your own skin then that goes a long way to them having a good instinct about you. In the end, if they can put a face to a name when you send through an note requesting to meet up for a coffee then your chances will sky rocket.
  4. Don’t ask, don’t get. Stop the rot and all the ridiculous reasons why you think they’ll say no and just ask. I’ve had plenty of CEOs turn me down for The Inner Chief or to meet up for a coffee but never once has any of them ever made me feel bad about asking. They respect it. Mainly because it is what they did.
  5. Get your email request right, this is not all about you. You have to pull the right heart strings. As a guide include the following:
    1. Proof that you listen to what they say and have read any articles/newsletter they’ve published
    2. Demonstrate that you’re keen to learn, aspirational and are challenging the status quo in your work
    3. Make the request and outline that you are also mentoring a couple of younger leaders (If you’re not, then start you’ll learn just as much in that process as in having a mentor and its rocket fuel for the soul)
    4. Just ask for one coffee to begin with rather than a full blow mentoring relationship. This is sort of like going on a bit of a date.

Example email:

Subject: Are you open to a coffee?

Dear CEO,

Thanks for your presentation at the recent annual leaders forum. Your insights around accountability really hit home for me and I’ve been thinking more about how I approach my career and life.

We’ve met briefly a couple of timesand if you recall I lead ABC function. We are in the middle of a significant transformation that requires full commitment and energy for all involved.

I’ve always been a believer in having mentors and currently mentor several young leaders in the business. I’m looking to be really stretched in my career and I was wondering if you could spare 45 mins for a coffee to give me a little guidance. I’ll come to you, I’ll buy the coffee. Whatever fits for you.

Of course, I understand if you’re already fully committed.



How to manage your CEO relationship

If you don’t get a coffee that’s cool. The timing just isn’t right. Try someone else. If you nail it then get yourself prepared and take a mindset to LEARN.

According to Dan Hunter, CEO of HealthShare NSW, “you manage the relationship, you manage the agenda.” This is spot on. You need to make this as simple as humanly possible for the CEO. Here is your agenda. Aim for once a quarter and arrange the time with their EA.


  1. Establish rapport and ask about their work, career and challenges
  2. Reconnect and update them on your progress. Outline how you acted on the advice they gave, the results from each of these and the lessons you learned.
  3. Ask any further advice on those challenges. E.g. “How would you approach…”, “What would you do in x situation?”
  4. Finalise by thanking the for their time and if they are open to catching up once a quarter in a similar format.

Other quick tips. If they recommend a book. Read it and take notes. Send them a one line email when done to say you read the book and the one big lesson you got from it. Be vulnerable and genuine and show that you’re looking for areas to grow and learn. CEOs are not looking for people that know it all or are blind to their development areas or impact on others. In fact, they are looking for quite the opposite.

Stay epic


23. Ownership Precedes Victory – How to really take control of your career and become a great Chief

In this episode I cover one my personal mottos “Ownership Precedes Victory” and how to use it to really take control of your career and become a great Chief

Life in the chaos of the modern business world can be crushingly difficult. The rapid pace of change in technology, as well as new customer and employee expectations is now amplified by a hyper-competitive global landscape. Executive teams now have to navigate their companies through transformational change just to survive.

For those reporting to the executive team, and leading the operational charge towards big targets and new cultures, it can be incredibly complex and difficult to stay in front of the game. They work hard all day, every day, on an endless list of tasks at work and home. The politics, red tape and antiquated systems suck their energy and many begin to wonder if there is more to life than this.

It feels like the world is happening to them, rather than they’re happening to the world.

After spending the last decade with some of the best in business and sport, it is now crystal clear that their intelligence and relationships, while undeniably important, are only a part of their success. They became great Chiefs not because they are lucky with intelligence or networks, but because they have taken to heart a powerful philosophy: ownership precedes victory. They take personal accountability for the outcome of every challenge they face, relationship they enter, and business they lead. They demand ownership of it and they will not share the blame with others

It is this hunger to accept the mantle of responsibility that separates the good from the great.

But in practice ownership can be brutally difficult because it is between you and you. And the best are their own hardest markers.

As one CEO said to me recently, “You can’t lie to the person looking back at you in the mirror.” This is what ownership is all about. Can you be truly honest with yourself?

Using this little philosophy can be like an internal call to arms when challenges arise. Instead of shrinking in the face of a challenge or a difficult person, ownership is about rising up to your full height and using every resource, connection and strategy at your disposal to get a new outcome.

In a work context take stock for a minute and ask yourself whether you have taken true ownership of the outcomes in the following:

  • Your relationship with my boss (hint – your boss is your customer, how would they rate you as a customer?)
  • Key stakeholders and peer relationships
  • Low performers in your team
  • Your company targets and results
  • Your personal development and the development of your team?

Sometimes we just need a little reminder that the qualities and habits that make one great are not natural. They are learned and earned and 100% in our own control. It isn’t a quick fix – it takes lots of soul searching and all of your personal power. But when you rise above the challenge by taking the harder road and knock it out the park, your victory is so much sweeter.


Stay epic