Take 5 with Ron Arnold, Managing Director at 11eight

Written by Guest User

Take 5 with Pioneera is a series of micro interviews with key business leaders on wellness, leadership, productivity and workplace culture.


This week we’re taking 5 with Ron Arnold, Managing Director at 11eight.

After a long time at very senior levels in Corporates, and having done most every Senior Executive job there is, Ron decided it was time to move on, and set-up 11eight. Through 11eight, he is pursuing his passion to help Corporates get real impact from their innovation, and harness the power, dynamism and agility of early stage businesses to make the world better.

Welcome, Ron!

1) What does your workday routine look like?

I work from home, so it’s easy to get an early start – no travel or work attire to get into. I love the stillness, the rising sun and the freshness of a new day. I start around 6.00am. I normally make a cuppa, revisit my list of to-dos and then get on with it. I try to take about a 90 minute break around 11.00am to do a bit of exercise and have a coffee with my lovely wife. I will typically finish up around 2.00pm.

2) How do you stay focused and maintain a positive mindset when things get crazy busy?

Having recently left Corporate life, now working for myself, it is relatively easy to avoid getting overwhelmed. I can manage the flow of work and make sure I am spending most of my time working on things that give me ‘up-energy’. When it does get a little hectic, I replace anxiety with focussed and positive activity.

3) What are your three must-haves for a healthy work-life integration?

Great question. First, be really clear about your work purpose and make sure the majority of your work is focussed on that.

Second, set your boundaries, make it clear to others what they are, and don’t apologise for those boundaries. For instance, when I was in Corporate life, I made it clear that I would be picking my son up from football training - and that is what I did.

Third, understand it is not about work-life balance, it is about work-life trade-offs. So be very clear and comfortable about the work-life trade-offs you are making. The more time you spend at work, the less time you spend with your family, friends and loved ones.

4) What’s your top tip for creating a thriving workplace culture?

Another great question. There are many things, so I would like to pick a few…

To get excited about coming to work, people need to believe in what you are trying to do. So a believable and inspiring sense of purpose is important.

Also, people need to feel safe in the work environment, and that you have their back if they make a mistake. It is only then that they will push beyond their boundaries and discover what they are really capable of.

As a leader, you need to show vulnerability and fallibility, and never ask people to do something you are not prepared to do yourself.

Finally, value and nurture diversity. People should feel they can make a difference - regardless of their background, race, gender or beliefs.

5) How do you bounce back when things don’t go as planned?

Well, being 55, I have seen quite a lot and have had quite a few ups and downs. This really helps to keep things in perspective -  it rarely is a life or death situation! It also helps to understand that everything, for better or worse, is a learning opportunity.

Finally, I have worked in some great teams. My colleagues have always been willing to help out. Never underestimate the value of a great team to support each other.

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