- Kevin Roberts – Red Rose Consulting - https://www.redrose.consulting -

Taking Leadership to the Next Level – YPO Australia


Imperatives are to:


64 Shots. A shot is a fast swing, creative idea, potent injection, immediate action, explosive charge, a sudden impact that improves people’s lives.

For this session I’ve condensed 10 shots on how to be a brilliant business leader.

#1: VUCA

We live in a VUCA world. Volatile. Uncertain. Complex. Ambiguous.

The Lowy Institute’s Michael Fullilove is right: “We must… stop America from going full Trump.”

Australia… budget deficit, inequality, high cost/high risk energy, an unfettered tax office, accommodation cost & supply, pornography, the high dollar, China dependence, AI job displacement, crappy warplanes, gay marriage dinosaurs, dual citizenship…25% of Aussies take sickies for sleep deprivation!

Global challenges facing business include:

I love the YPO gang. Entrepreneurs are the dreamers, the crazies, the pirates, the radical optimists, and as Colin Powell said: “perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”

Your job is to create a SUPERVUCA world, and it comes down to a mixology of leadership.

Vibrant. Unreal. Crazy. Astounding.

Political leadership has failed; business must step up.


 Attitude is the X factor.

After 50 years in corporates I’ve been waiting for round 2… becoming an entrepreneur.

MFB, CriqHQ, Beattie, Unfiltered, Booths RAP

And it seems to me young companies / start-ups face 6 challenges:

 #2: Leaders Must  Lead

Leaders do three things:

Character traits of an Inspirational Leader:

Leaders inspire winning behaviours:

 #3: Fire with Purpose

Your people are your business, and people run on purpose.

Eagles won’t fly in formation… but they will fly higher.

MLK RAP It all starts with a dream. Dreams are about reaching for the stars, not counting them.

A shared dream creates belief, belonging, direction and the appetite for relentless pursuit – propelling the team on a winning path.

 Running a large organization requires synchronous purpose-driving components.

It requires emotional architecture.

Purpose components:

Character: attributes climb towards Spirit statement.

Spirit: organizational DNA, its life force, the vital emotional energizing principle, defining character…

 S&S: Nothing is Impossible; One Team, One Dream


Inspirational Dream: Reason to exist, derived from legacy, immeasurable, based on Beliefs, what you stand for.




All Blacks and England rugby dreams


Purpose starts with a One Word Equity


 New Zealand’s OWE is “EDGE”.

We took the language from “God Defend New Zealand” to “Winning the World from the Edge.”

 EXERCISE ONE – 10 Minutes

Focus: Fundamental principle of thought and action. What has to be done now, in the next 100 days, next 12 months. Focus aligns everyday actions to deliver the GIC.

Team NZ: Make the boat go faster.

 GIC: The most demanding and rewarding dream-based achievement that can be imagined within 5 years. Measurable, stimulating, stretchy, exciting.

All Blacks: to win back-to-back-to-back World Cups

Moving from a large organization to small organization, here is the purpose of a retail entrepreneur…

What about purpose at the individual level?


Personal purpose must align organization purpose.

Use 4 questions:

If there are significant disconnects between personal and organizational purpose, people need to:

 Purpose starts at birth.

#4. Create a Lovemark

Purpose is the start of the performance journey. Before we travel that winning path, I want to show you the destination, a space beyond brands.

Being bigger than a brand demands red hot emotion. Emotion creates premiums – across volume, share, margin, reputation. Emotion is how you beat the big Amazon machine .

Emotion generates premium returns and Loyalty Beyond Reason.

Reason leads to conclusions; emotion leads to action.


Where do you sit?

People today can choose to block, ignore, scorn, embrace or, applaud brands – and most brands look and feel the same.

Brands are commoditized. Lovemarks are alive – a priceless feeling that people will make sacrifices for.

Brand managers no longer own “their brand.” Brands are owned by the people who love them.

Brands are built on “respect”; Lovemarks are “respected and loved.”

Brands create loyalty for a reason; Lovemarks create loyalty beyond reason.

Brands were irreplaceable; Lovemarks are irresistible.

Brands add mystery, sensuality and intimacy. These are the properties of Love.

Are your customers loyal beyond reason?

EXERCISE TWO  – 10 minutes

#5: Build a Winning Culture

Back to the journey… Leaders build a winning culture on 4 pillars in pursuit of an Inspirational Dream:

Hire talent with cultural fit to go faster. Personal and organisational purpose must align.

Talent retention: Great people stay in great places where they can do great work.

What do Millennials want from you? Work / life balance [RAP: Challenge this notion of balance; Work/Life Integration], flexibility, security and enough dough to save for a house! Aussie makes it hard!!!

#6: Invent Your Own Language

Revolution starts with language.

Language is how you bring everyone together, wherever they are, all the time.

Change the language, and you can change everything.

All you need to do is to change a word. FremantleMedia turned the idea of the Vatican on its head with the insertion of a single word: The Young Pope.

The language that made Apple insanely great:

 Some language of the All Blacks

Master the art of short-form storytelling. A great purpose statement:


More importantly, make story-sharing part of your operating system.

Story-sharers are where the influence is. The entire purpose of communicating today is to have people share your stories: by their actions and behaviors in the workplace, by being ambassadors and evangelists, through their social networking.

The role of the CMO is not to target audiences but to create movements, to be Chief Magic Officer.

Here are some short form “meaning of life” narratives. 5 seconds each.

#7: Unleash your Edge

Australia’s international competitiveness is an issue.

The future is in soft power, ideas, ambition and pace.

Jason Pelligrino, MD of Google Australia and NZ: “What scares me for the future of Australia is 46% of small businesses that we surveyed don’t think that digital is relevant to their business. That fundamentally has to change.”

Time to slingshot the great Aussie X factor. The facts show that Australia’s continuous exporters consistently outperform both non-exporters and intermittent exporters. Digging up your backyard is a holding pattern. Ideas change the pattern.

Start at home, find your edge, and execute.

On the edge you have Peripheral Vision – the ability to be farsighted and deep-seated with a system-wide view.

As finance people know, the action is always on the margin.

Stephen Jay Gould’s theory of evolutionary biology called Punctuated Equilibrium tells us change comes from the edge of the species.

Better worlds are created from the edge, not the center. Edge places, edge shakers and thinkers.

The Edge is premium territory where creativity flourishes. Edge is shorthand for disruption. It’s any place or space where “it can’t be done” gets booted out of the room.

The Edge is often on the coasts, but edges are everywhere – from Silicon Valley to Ayres Rock.

New Zealand launched an “export or die” mentality with a dream to become the world’s edge, moving from a resource–based to ideas-based economy.

An existential heads-up to Aussie’s top entrepreneurs – get your nation going on this!!

Aussie could conquer the world with the creativity that courses in Australia’s soil and blood. This is the land that invented the combine harvester, the black box flight recorder, the electric drill, Kiwi Shoe Polish refrigeration, the electronic pacemaker, the bionic ear, Internet Wi-Fi the and – save us all – the beach fashion crime of the century, Speedo swimwear!

Time to create Australia’s future…

#8. Develop Mental Toughness

Grant Fox told me the key to winning test matches was to have “fire in the belly, ice in the mind.”

Bob Seelert put on my armor at Saatchi & Saatchi. He said: every morning, “strap on a waterproof back and a bulletproof vest.”

Next-level leaders have a psychological edge under pressure. Like the ABs, they always find a way to win.

Fundamental prerequisites: clear goal; clear direction; unshakeable; resolute; measurable; tangible; real; shared language and attitude.

Mental Toughness Cs & Ps:

Physical training is tablestakes. Train to win. Practice under pressure, build technique and build up intensity.

Red Head – H.O.T – Heated, Overwhelmed, Tense in pressure situations. Off task, panicked, ineffective.

Blue Head – on task under pressure, maintain clarity and accuracy, optimal state, at your best. Control your attention, therefore thoughts, you can manage emotion and enhance performance.

The BFI + The Last Detail.

#9: Run the Four As

Leaders lay out Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements:

 #10. Win with the 5Qs

The only equation I’ve ever written sums up our session.

IQ + EQ + TQ + BQ, all powered by CQ.

5 next-level leadership takeaways from today:

And remember, none of us is as good as all of us.