The CEO Magazine is recognised as an influential global business magazine with editions in Australia and New Zealand, Europe, South-East Asia, and India. In 2015, CEO Chris Dutton was invited as part of an elite group of global entrepreneurs to brainstorm ideas with Richard Branson at his home on Necker Island, and has worked with Silicon Valley-based Adeo Ressi.

The CEO Magazine: Tell us about yourself, your business, and what you enjoy doing in your spare time.

Chris: The CEO Magazine started from scratch in Sydney in 2011, and we now publish four different editions across the world — Australia and New Zealand, Europe, India, and South East Asia — and operate out of offices in Manila, Stockholm, and Singapore.

I’m a complete foodie, and love Chelsea Football Club. In my spare time I’m usually cooking — or thinking about cooking — or spending time with my daughter. I recently invested in a rowing machine (which I’ve only used a few times as yet) and got into weights.

What makes a great leader?

I think good leadership is all about making people want to work for a brand or a company, and stopping them from perceiving their employment as a job. I think leaders should be ‘pully’ people and not dictators; empowering others to succeed and grow in the company while trusting them to perform.

Who inspires you and why?

I’ve spent a lot of time with Richard Branson, and I love his laid back approach to management; getting the best out of staff by trusting them to do their job and making it a fun place to work. He epitomises my philosophy that the best business leaders are ‘pully’ and not pushy.

Why do you think the Executive of the Year Awards is an important event?

The Awards has grown year on year, and we constantly get record numbers of applications. It’s such an important event, as it really focuses on the people in the business and not the results of the business itself. I’ve always said the best assets a company can have are its staff—the Awards underscores that belief, and in doing so highlights some of Australia’s best executives.

What three songs would we find on your favourite playlist?

  1. ‘Let Her Go’ by Passenger enchanted me when I first heard it, and has remained a firm favourite ever since — plus I love Michael Rosenberg’s success story.
  2. ‘Jubel’ by Klingande would definitely feature.
  3. And also something from Dustin Tebbutt. #risingstar

How would you spend your last $10?

If I had achieved everything I wanted to in life, I’d put it on England to win the World Cup at football (not soccer). You never know when a miracle will happen.