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One Step Ahead

Part 1 focuses on why some CEOs and leaders need help.


Part 2 is about planning, preparing and positioning yourself for a leadership or CEO role.

Part 3 demonstrates how you can hit the ground running, and what CEO’s and leaders need to know before, during and after their first 100 days. Some useful tools have been included to ensure you keep on track.


Part 4 provides some insights into what it takes to ensure your continuing success as a CEO/leader into the mid to late term of your tenure.​

Some new CEOs and leaders are not successful


As you would have observed, some CEOs and leaders in the not for profit, public and private sectors in recent years have not been viewed as being successful, and this trend has also been reflected in the turnover of CEOs in the local government sector in Australia.


This seems to be more common with many early to mid-career CEOs and leaders. A number of them do not complete their contracted employment term, or at the end of the contract do not get it renewed by the board.

In this book I have identified some of the reasons why I believe many leaders and CEOs are not as successful as they might be. Some of the reasons I have observed include internal organisation politics, conflict between the CEO and their appointed or elected board, lack of personal positioning and preparation for the role, and in a number of cases the CEOs emotional and social skills are not mature enough to give them a strong start in those crucial first 100 days and the months ahead.


This book can be used as a guide for private and public sector CEOs/leaders

Throughout this book, where I refer to the board, this term applies to an appointed or elected board.

I have had the chance to experience and observe the different styles and approaches of CEOs, senior leaders and owners of businesses across a range of industries.  I have reflected on how they went about making decisions and how some of them might have done some things differently.

I have had first-hand experience of the successes, mistakes and judgement calls CEOs and senior leaders have made. As a business colleague or peer, I have seen a range of different leadership skills, approaches and levels of performance.

What I recognise from working in the public and private sectors is that many of the skills required of a CEO or senior leader are similar across diverse industry sectors. Whilst the technical knowledge or core business of organisations and businesses varies greatly, it is my view that approximately 90% of a CEO or leader’s role and responsibilities is the same or very similar.

Sharing of insights

During my career I have dealt with some difficult and complex political, strategic, operational and personnel issues. This book offers me the opportunity to share with aspiring and current leaders the information gained, lessons and insights from experience, suggestions for some steps you can take to improve your skills, and an approach to leadership.

When I recall my first CEO appointment, I realise it would have been beneficial if I could have had direct access to the lessons learned and insights gained by “my older, more experienced self”.

I’m aware many CEOs and leaders, particularly in the early to mid-career stage, might be reluctant to acknowledge they have much to learn and often don’t reach out when they should to a coach and mentor in those early years.

I now fully appreciate the benefits of having access to a coach and mentor and I understand how having those insights in my early-mid CEO career would have fast - tracked my learning and made me a better leader.

Positioning yourself for your next leadership role

So, what are the personal strategies and action plan you need to develop in order to be considered for the next CEO or senior leadership role?


Are you seen as leadership material and do you enable high performance of those people around you? And how do you ensure your success in the short, medium and longer term?


Leadership isn’t about working harder, faster or longer hours and having a more detailed industry knowledge base than everyone else.


Leadership is about your willingness to learn and plan. It’s about the way you interact with and respond to those around you, your self-awareness and ability to reflect on your actions, knowing the impact your personal style has on others, and your willingness to support, coach and ask questions of others.

“A good leader is one who concentrates on building up their leadership skills, and a great leader is one who concentrates on becoming a better leader, and who inspires others towards becoming better themselves.” 

The Executive Connection (TEC) 

In conclusion

I hope this book will encourage you to learn more in relation to making you a better leader by providing some insights which can apply to yourself, individuals and teams in your workplace, businesses, local clubs and service organisations in the community where you live.

The suggestions made have been tested on many occasions by myself and others. Whilst they are not the only way to prepare yourself for that leadership or CEO position, I have found that success can follow if you adopt this approach for those critical first stages of commencing a new role.


Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the book identify a practical approach that an aspiring, new or experienced CEO or senior leader can follow.

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