- Vice President, Commercial - Australasia & Japan
Date of birth: Jan. 3, 1970
Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand
Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 1 (as of June 2018)
In 1999, I attended a Star Alliance meeting, a company I worked with at the time, in Kyoto. I recall buying some beautiful miniature samurai swords that still sit on our shelf today. Ironically, while I bought them in Japan, I was not allowed to ship them back into the country during my move.
My parents always instilled in me the motto of “Do your best,” and I always tried to live up to that. More recently, it has shifted to a focus of living as simply as possible and enjoying the journey versus worrying about some future destination.
I’ve lived and worked in the U.K., U.S., New Zealand, Australia, China, Thailand and now Japan. This has given me the privilege to experience most major markets in the world. Projects come and go, and results are achieved, but I am most proud of the way I’ve been able to adapt to different cultures along the way.
My goals in Japan are to immerse myself in the culture, see as much of Japan as I can, learn a decent amount of Japanese and move the business forward in the area I lead. Most importantly, my goal is to help lead and grow my team so they can grow their own careers and fulfill their potential.
Listen more than you speak. Embrace the culture. Empower team members. Also, read between the lines, as communication in Japan is often implied and not always explicit. This is the opposite of most Western cultures and can be a difficult transition and change the way issues move forward.