Mr Justin Greiner
About the speaker
Our speaker today is Mr Justin Greiner.
Justin is the Chief Executive Officer of JBWere, a leading wealth management firm providing a wide range of investment and advisory services.
He started his career in a number of roles in Private Banking, Wealth Management and Financial Advice with Westpac and Rothschild Asset Management and prior to his current role, he was the General Manager for ANZ Wealth.
Justin is a board member of the Youngcare Sydney Leadership Team, the Chairman of the Financial Industry Community Aid Program, the Vice-President of the Harvard Club of Australia and a board member of the Institute of Bone and Joint Research.
He holds a Bachelor of Accounting degree from UTS and holds a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.
It gives me great pleasure to invite Mr Justin Greiner to deliver the occasional address.
Vice Chancellor, graduates, ladies and gentlemen.
Today I want to talk about guts.
Not your "ab blasting", "tummy trimming" "infomercial at 1 am when you're cramming for exams" type of guts.
I mean good old-fashioned Australian guts...
- The guts to lead
- The guts to make courageous decisions, and
- The guts to be true to your values.
Because we are all called to lead: whether it's at home, in business or in our community.
Your graduating class will encounter a world of rapid change the likes of which we have never before seen. As we face into that world, Australia needs business leaders who believe that they can make a difference not just for their shareholders but for their customers, the people they work with and, importantly, their community.
We need business leaders who will drive innovation and are energised by disruption. Ultimately, we need business leaders with the guts to create the future...
and that is the mantle which I encourage you to embrace today:
Be a business leader that creates the future.
Now leadership is hard work, regardless of where you lead. At JBWere, I lead a firm of 520 people and at home, we have 4 teenagers and a dog.
Who wants to guess which is easier to lead?
Wherever you lead, understand that leadership is not an end unto itself, but rather a capability that we must constantly build. It needs practice and requires you to learn every day.
Leadership is powered by constant learning....and is emboldened by curiosity.
Be curious. Be a leader that encourages people to share and adopt creative ideas.
Embrace the learning that comes from the success and, importantly, the failures of new thinking because if you can embrace failure, your capacity to innovate will increase.
Become the person who embraces challenge; who sees opportunity in failure; who empowers people;
And you will learn to be the leader that creates the future.
Learning leaders need the guts to be courageous if they're going to create the future. And you know what, I think it's time to encourage courage. As individuals, in business and as a nation.
Where has our courage gone? Where are the bold ideas to transform our community and to build the prosperity that Australia needs and deserves? We need guts to tackle issues like economic, social, political and environmental reform.
And we need leaders with the guts to do it.
As a leader who creates the future, you will need courage to think differently, courage to try new things and the courage to bounce back when you fail.
Confront the facts, understand the risks but most importantly never lose hope that success is possible.
Australia needs leaders like you who can inspire hope and who act with courage as we face into our future.
Twenty years ago, I faced into my future just like you do today. I sat where you sit; graduating from the UTS School of Business, and I thought I would share two quick stories that have helped shape my leadership journey - to illustrate my message today.
In 2005, I left Westpac and joined a start-up. To be honest, that took some courage. I was head of one of the country's largest dealer groups and I traded that for less pay but a belief that we could make a real difference to the lives of Australians. For three years we worked morning, noon and night. And just as we were on the threshold of launching... the Global financial crisis hit. All bets were off. Funding dried up and ultimately the business shut down. It was devastating ....but I tell you what… it was one of the best experiences of my professional life. I learnt more during that time than in any other role. I learnt about the power of culture, the voice of the customer, the importance of resilience and that risk is not to be avoided but it must be managed and understood.
More important, however, than any of those, I learnt about myself, and that making a difference is at the core of my values.
This experience helped shape the leader I am today.
Two years after joining Greenway, a group of us founded FiCAP, the Financial Community Aid Program, in 2007 because we wanted to make a difference in the lives of young Australians. We set ourselves the goal of trying to raise a million dollars over ten years. Today, I have the great privilege to be the Chairman of FiCAP and in this, our ninth year, I'm delighted to say we have already raised over $1.2m.
But what I'm most proud of is the variety of programs we have built to bring dignity, respect and hope to "at-risk" teenagers, indigenous youth, kids from disadvantaged schools as well as children with cancer and life-ending illness.
And that is what drives me.
Making a difference.
It is core to my values.
So let me ask you... what are your values?
Finding and being clear on your values is core to how you will lead because you will become known for your values. Your values will be your compass. They sit at the heart of the decisions you make and the behaviours you display.
Great leaders are defined not just by WHAT they do, but by HOW they do it. Sometimes it takes guts just to do what is right. My final ask of you today, is to find your values and have the guts to be true to them and live them in everything you do.
Graduates of the UTS Business School, today is a wonderful day for you.
Well done. Congratulations.
Take the time to reflect on all you've achieved and importantly take the time to thank those family and friends who have helped you get here, because in my experience success is a team effort.
Your degree confers advantage but brings with it responsibility, so:
Face the future with confidence.
Lead and always learn.
Be courageous and bold.
Live your values.
And most importantly, have the guts to go out and create a better future for you, your family and our great nation.
Thank you for allowing me the privilege of sharing this day with you.