CPA Australia CEO Alex Malley educates and inspires
Approximately 180 people turned out to hear CPA Australia CEO Alex Malley speak at UOW’s Innovation Campus on 18 May.
Mr Malley was at UOW to promote his book, The Naked CEO, which seemingly has become a fundamental component of Mr Malley’s personal campaign to share what he knows about career and leadership principles.
Beginning with an overview of his most impressive achievements -- being a LinkedIn influencer; conducting the most substantive interview with Neil Armstrong ever filmed; hosting the Nine Network television series 'The Bottom Line'; and being a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, for example -- Mr Malley then back tracked to his early working life.
Alex Malley is one of only two Australians to be included on The Accountant publication’s list of the world’s top 50 most influential people in the accounting profession. Mr Malley's bestselling book The Naked CEO was launched in November 2014. Born out of the success of the highly popular mentoring community, thenakedceo.com, the book combines Mr Malley's candid, real-life stories with practical career and life guidance.
Recently, Mr Malley was invited to become a LinkedIn Influencer, an exclusive group of global leaders, which includes Richard Branson, Bill Gates and US President Barack Obama. Via regular blog posts, Alex shares his leadership and career insights with LinkedIn’s network of more than 300 million professionals around the globe.
SUCKING IT UP
“If I could rewrite one thing in my early working life, it would be the near fatal mistake I made assuming that, every time I did not like a job, the smartest thing to do was to quit and move on to something else,” Mr Malley said.
“For about a decade I kept swapping roles in the belief that the flawless job was calling me. In reality, I was ill disciplined and far too immature to deal with the confronting and uncaring work environments that I walked into. On reflection, I realised it was not that they were uncaring; it was more that I was expecting the world to come to me, rather than I become part of the world.
“Had I built early discipline rather than job-hopped, I would have begun my big life earlier.”
Mr Malley, who is responsible for 19 offices globally -- 150,000 people in 21 countries, also shared with the largely young audience the regret he has about job-hopping for a decade following university instead of persisting through parts of a job he didn’t necessarily enjoy. This early career experience forms the basis of the 18th chapter of his book, appropriately titled ‘Sucking it up’.
INSIGHTS COME FROM EVERYWHERE
During his wide ranging presentation, Mr Malley also gave some insight into some of the experiences that have shaped him, including a kind encounter with a cleaner at the hospital where his mother was being treated for clinical depression.
“On one particular day when I was about 13 years old, I was at my mother’s bedside in the hospital waiting for her to wake up. Various doctors and nurses came in to check on her, but they didn’t talk to me,” Mr Malley writes.
“But then a cleaner came in to mop the floor. After a short time he caught me eye and smiled as he said something to the effect of, 'You must be Alex. Your mother had told me all about how much she loves you and your brother and sisters'.”
That experience, Mr Malley says, taught him that insight doesn’t always come from someone in a senior position or someone with more experience.
“I had prejudged who it would be to comfort me that day,” he said. “It’s important to respect others and recognise the people who may not have had the opportunities in life you’ve had.”
The event was organised by the Faculty of Business. Earlier in the day, Mr Malley delivered his presentation in the Hope Theatre. At both events, Mr Malley made time to meet with members of the audience and autograph copies of this book, The Naked CEO.