He claims to be no success, but Ali Williams has nudged up a fair amount of runs thus far in his short term.
From representing New Zealand with the All Blacks for going on 8 years and now eying up the World Cup, co-founding one of New Zealand’s most prominent charities - Kids Can which delivers back hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in tangible support to reduce child poverty in New Zealand.
You can then throw in the humbling experience of having a high growth furniture store cut short with the onset of the recession, and teaming up with Dan Carter and Richie McCaw to roll out the ‘For Everyone’ brand - it’s fair to say Ali isn’t here to shag spiders.
Given that, Frank had the pleasure of grabbing a healthy breakfast with the man on crutches to find out what drives him to get out there and tear shit up.
How would you describe your leadership style?
A mixture of a doer and a talker, I like to be more of a doer on the rugby field but I know the value of talking the deal in the business field and being able to back it up.
What is your definition of success?
Leaving people in a better position than when you found them, my biggest goal is to be financially successfull so that i can have the ability to make a long term difference in the world. I do believe that individuals will all have different diffinitions of success and that’s cool as long as you are bettering yourself from the day, week, year before.
What are the three best books you’ve read?
The BFG – Roald Dahl, because that taught me how to read.
The Winners Bible – Kerry Spackman
Otherwise it’s a collection of motivation books that you take one or two pages of decent material out of, and the rest of the book is shit because they’ve got to
make it one or two hundred pages long to sell. (laughs)
How do you generate your most creative thoughts?
Through my eyes, sitting back and looking around and I think how can I make that better. I think if you look at how to make things better not how to make money it comes naturally. It the same approach I play rugby with - purely for the thrill of it, of course I’m there to win and no c*nts going to beat me, but I play it because I enjoy it not because I have to.
What motivates you, and how do you stay motivated?
To be the best that I can be, and I think the beauty of that is that you can never really achieve it - The stars are always within reach, but out of reach.
I believe everyone’s been given different aspect or different advantages, and I believe you’ve just got to make the most of them – it’s pretty simple really.
How do you get things done? Are there any routines, habits or personal rules that you’ve used to help you get to success?
Just do what needs to be done. I’d like to be a bit more organised but I just do what needs to be done.
What three attributes were most important for getting you where you are today?
Sense of humour, I enjoy everything.
A burning desire to make this place a better place.
Family & friends, I don’t think you can speak highly enough of those people who are around you.
What do you do when things aren’t going your way?
I take a backwards step and look at things from more abroad, take a bit more time and then I think of what my end goal is, like with my leg I keep getting set back but I look at my end goal which is to win that world cup. So you still have the vision but you realise you need the small steps as well.
Also if you publically say it to your friends, it has to happen you can’t get away from it. Like when I was 18 and I said I was going to be an All Black and I had only been playing for two years, my friends thought I was nuts but I knew if I said it I would achieve it.
What’s getting your ass out of bed at the moment?
Heaps of shit (laughs), world cup is getting my out of bed, the desire to make New Zealand a better place and probably the reality that I’m one of the few real lucky human beings alive. My old man’s in a chair... and I can still walk, to an extent at the moment. (laughs) I’ve still got my limbs, still got a sense of humour, still got my brains – life’s bloody good.
What is the most important piece of advice you'd give to an aspiring leader?
Follow your gut instinct, follow what you believe in but do it for the right reasons. If you do it for the right reasons the cream will come later.
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