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excellence and enterprise, so just
talking to attendees and members
has always been a valuable and
What would you say is the
most important element of a
1. The ability to move quickly
and adapt to the changes you
see coming, regardless of the
uncertainty they may create.
You have to be brutally honest
about areas where you are
unprepared, and where you
need to take a new road.
2. Creating a team you trust and
listen to. You can’t know it all,
and you can’t control it all, so
be open to their leadership.
Don’t confuse ownership with
the need to control everything.
If you haven’t got that team,
it’s your fault. You have been
hiring (or tolerating) the wrong
3. Having fun, and not being
afraid to go back to the
beginning and why you started
it all, and make changes
What’s a piece of advice
that you’ve been given that
you’ve never forgotten?
Cash flow is vanity, profit is sanity.
What is the achievement
you’re most proud of, either
in business or personally?
In my business, I guess it’s creating
completely new television genres,
and watching them take off and
change the industry. Also, building
a company from nothing, and
giving employees a chance to build
their lives, and watching their
In my private life, my good friend
Philip Mactaggart and I started a
school in Cambodia a couple of
years ago. We now have three
schools, teaching about 250 kids
from kindergarten to high school.
We call it Kulen Outreach after
the remote mountain that we
started it on. We all need a bigger
reason than ourselves to be doing
the work we do. This is a good
one to have.
If a young entrepreneur
wanted to know your
number one tip for making it
in business, what would you
Only work on projects you
passionately believe in—then you
will instinctively know how to
create and grow them. They will
be part of your work/play DNA.
Chance of success: 90 percent.
Chance of fun: 110 percent.
Of course, you can always do
something for the money—but it
won’t be as much fun, and you will
eventually get bored of it.
In your opinion, what are
the biggest challenges facing
businesses at the moment?
How to capture and keep people’s
attention. For all the change
that our digital distractions
have created, I believe we seek
fundamental connection to core
needs, including stories that we
connect to and information that
improves our lives. But it’s harder
than ever to make that connection
amid the noise and dross.
What does your perfect
weekend look like?
An early-morning flat white with
the person you love at the cafe
you know. An outdoor lunch with
family and friends while telling
very politically incorrect stories and
falling off chairs laughing. Then,
a long walk through the bush. A
nap. A home-cooked meal. Dinner
and games. No TV.
What’s your favorite travel
For 20 years, a group of my
closest friends—all couples—
have been getting together for
a week in a place in Scotland
that is stunningly beautiful and
somewhat remote. With no
distractions, we become very
close again. It’s restorative.
Lots of hiking and picnics, and
adventures and dress-up dinners
and nonsense. We also have time
and quiet to be in a place that is
rare these days. Any destination
that gives you that is a blessing.
What’s the best film that
you’ve seen recently?
Get Out. Said a lot in a clever,
funny, scary way.
If you could only listen to
one album for the rest of
your life, what would it be?
“A man and his music”—Frank
Sinatra, live at the Sands Hotel
with Count Basie. I have owned it
on vinyl, cassette, DVD and now
Is there a book or piece
of writing that has really
Elon Musk’s recent biography
[Elon Musk: Tesla, Space X and
the Quest for a Fantastic Future].
He will change our world forever.
He is up for the big stuff. Makes
Steve Jobs look like a small
Years ago, I would have answered
The Road Less Traveled because it
made me understand that there
was another way to approach my
life and work.
What dreams do you have
that you’re yet to achieve?
Write something worth reading,
find a bigger footprint in the
digital world, and grow a business
that has nothing to do with
We aren’t aging like our parents.
We have way more productivity
and verve on the back nine.
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