Consultant spotlight: Rob Rough


10 December 2018


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Q&A with Rob Rough

1. What motivates you?

Creativity, doing new things and feeling that I can help somebody.

2. How do you handle pressure?

Make a plan, set priorities keep my eyes on the prize and seek feedback. Supported by fresh air, headspace and the occasional beer.

3. What will change most about the world of work in the next few years?

The employee engagement revolution. I think we’re become more finely tuned to things like corporate missions and purposes, lessons learnt from successful startups and big innovative organisations will continue shift expectations of work. Employees will ask ‘why’ more often than ‘what’ or ‘how’ meaning employers will need people to care more in order to succeed.

4. What’s your defining career moment so far?

Everything! It’s all been a learning opportunity.

5. What book, film or tv show has really changed the way you thought about something?

Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull – provides an amazing perspective on problem solving and collaboration

Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy by Isadore Sharp – great approach to quiet but sustained excellence

Podcast Interesting people, Interesting times by Tom Goodwin – straight talking insight and ideas from all types of business environments

6. What’s your favorite sport to business lesson or story?

Ex NBA player Shaquille O’Neal once spent $1 million in a day because he was consumed by his quick success and didn’t understand how to effectively manage his finances – it got so bad that his Bank Manager called him to warn him he would go broke in a year. The same week he enrolled himself on a finance course and later a business course – going on to receive a doctorate.

He used that education to manage the finances he earned as a professional sportsman by investing and starting up his own enterprises. Including early investment in Google, ownership of 40 Gyms and 155 restaurants. His principles are to only invest in or build businesses that he would use. Now he is more successful as a businessman (in financial terms) than he was as an elite athlete.

If you approach every day as a learning day there are always opportunities.

7. What makes you proud?

When I know I’ve helped and somebody says thank you.

8. What makes you angry?

Bad manners – there is never an excuse.

9. Which leader do you most admire most and why?

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon – For his determination and drive to change the retail model, and his willingness to court failure having predicted to investors that there is a 70% chance Amazon would fail in the early days.

10. What are your best and worst characteristics?

Best – I think I’m creative

Worst – I think I’m funny

11. What would you like to learn and why?

Nutrition, languages, many musical instruments – the list goes on and on.. Why? So that I can travel more, communicate with the people I meet and play the odd song.

12. If you could choose anybody, who would you be for a day?

My 2 year old – just to go back to the excitement and freedom of youth and to get a different perspective on my parenting style.

13. Who would you like to invite for a dinner party, living or dead?

  • Elvis

  • Da Vinci

  • Muhammed Ali

  • The Queen

14. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Be stubborn about your vision but flexible about your journey.

15. What would your motto be (if you haven’t already got one)?

A little extra can turn ordinary into extraordinary.

16. What personal value would you never compromise?


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