Yesterday the country’s business leaders gathered in Sydney for Forbes’ start-studded Business Summit. The one-day event saw speakers such as Meta’s Naomi Shepherd, Christine Holgate from Team Global Express and Dr Sam Prince grace the stage.
And there was one man that everyone was keen to hear from. Multi-millionaire and property developer Tim Gurner (LEAD) had previously got himself into hot water for suggesting that unemployment should be increased to improve productivity.
“We need to see pain in the economy,” Gurner had told the Australian Financial Review’s Property Summit in September.
“We need to remind people they work for the employer, not the other way around.”
Gurner did not shy away from the comments on stage yesterday, telling the audience immediately that he was sorry and expressed regret for saying “something really stupid”.
“I had a lot of people going through financial destress themselves and families that have lost jobs reaching out directly to me. I was really confronted by the experience and its something I really regret. I did a lot of damage in those comments and its something I still get credit for today”.
The week that followed the comment was immensely difficult he said, adding that he didn’t get much sleep and got trolled on social media.
“But I brought that on myself, I deserved it and we live and we move on,” he said.
Also at the star-studded event was Zambrero-founder Dr Sam Prince who spoke openly about his journey with entrepreneurship.
After training as a medical doctor, entrepreneurship wasn’t the obvious choice, Prince said. However he was glad that he followed his intuition and chose the path less trodden.
The event also featured speakers Anna Lee – Flybuys, Christine Holgate – Team Global Express, Sean Gordon – The Yadha Muru Foundation, Cindy Hook – Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympics and Dom Price – Atlassian speaking on leadership styles.
Holgate revealed that her, Hook and Lee knew each other outside of the panel and were similar in that they strongly advocated for the importance of listening in leadership.
Meanwhile on a panel about growth and disruption, Finder CEO Fred Schebesta said that growing isn’t about changing people but changing their environment.
“The fastest way to grow, you don’t necessarily need to change people, you just raise the bar of what’s acceptable.”