TVC064: Blending Business and Personal Vitality with CEO Boris Musa
Today’s podcast is all about building sustainable business vitality, with the CEO of the worlds largest Barramundi farm. Doesn’t sound like a normal pit stop on the Vitality Tour – but there is nothing average about my guest CEO Boris Musa or the company he leads.
Winner of the 2015 Boss Magazine Young Executive Awards, Boris demonstrates a clear mission to blend commercial excellence with a sense of community and sustainable best practice.
Balancing business and personal vitality for a healthy bottom line and wellbeing for the environment, himself and his staff.
Not only that but the decisions they make and the way the company is run is having a direct impact on a global market and putting rural Werribee, in Australia’s Victorian state, on the map internationally.
That’s exactly the type of leader we want to hear more from.
Almost half the global barramundi industry’s seed stock will be produced in Wyndham, following the opening of the world’s largest barramundi hatchery in Werribee – Mainstream Aquaculture’s hatchery in Lock Avenue. This rural location in Australia’s Victoria state, will export barramundi stock to 14 countries across four continents..
Making this the world’s leading provider of recirculating aquaculture food-fish products.
What’s so interesting about this?
Three things as far as I am concerned
- Strong business and commercial leadership
- Personal drive, energy and conviction for making an impact and a difference – and being able to keep the pace
- Tangible on the ground activities that grow a sense of community, family and connection for those inside the organisation.
Here’s the 5 top tips on creating business and personal vitality when you’re leading from within: (remember this applies to running a small business, a start up, a family or a large organisation…)
- Have a Vision
- Create a Clear Culture
- Be Accountable
- Be Conscious
Have a vision
For Boris it means creating a truly sustainable approach to the business.
“We are growing a fish and in doing so we’re substituting fish that are derived from capture fisheries and I think seafood is the only protein that is predominantly source from the wild. That’s not sustainable and 90% of global capture fisheries are either fully exploited or over exploited. It’s a very strong theme that we can communicate and that does permeate throughout the business that here we are, operating a fully contained enclosed business growing a premium source of protein and in doing so preserving the integrity of wild fisheries all over the world”.
Don’t assume everyone knows the vision:
Leaders we shouldn’t assume that that sort of information is going to diffuse throughout the organisation and throughout the stakeholder base.
Leaders need to communicate that. That’s our job and we make sure we remind people that every single role in our business is making a difference and it’s making a difference towards a very important mission.
It is critical to articulate not just the objective and the mission, but also translate that into the journey.
- What do we need to do day after day, week after week, month after month to deliver our objectives.
Ensure an ongoing process of interacting with the organisation to make sure that we don’t deviate from what we’re trying to achieve and we all recognise that we play a really important role.
There are a number of cultural aspects throughout the business. Communication flow, transparency information.
- Present yourself well and note others who do the same, the sense of pride in all they do.
Create a clear culture
You can have the best possible work plans, but if you don’t have people buying into the culture, then those little things at the margin that really differentiate your business from others, evaporate.
For Boris as CEO he still ensures attention to detail on a day to day level.
A little theme we try and incorporate in our company is, we don’t leave clutter lying around. Everything has a home. Everything is clean. We take tremendous pride in what we’re doing and that’s starts with me as a leader. I don’t leave pens lying around. I clean up rubbish if there’s a mess in the plant. I think that’s really critical because as an organisation grows you can have the best possible operating systems.
Culture is important. It’s one of those interesting things that you learn about in university textbooks and you think it’s a various component that doesn’t really add true value when you’re studying, but then you immerse yourself in a company and you realise how significant it is.
- Ensure everybody throughout the organisation feels and buys into the culture.
- That would be number one.
- Number two for me would be the inclusiveness and the communication piece.
The reality is, bad things happen to good people. Life does throw curve balls at you and my starting point has always been; What have I done to contribute to this. That might sound silly, but that should be the starting point. Ask yourself:
- How can I make this situation better?
- How can I extract the value from the negative and there’s always a silver lining.
I think the positive thought process and taking accountability, again is something that I hope people recognise I do and use to their benefit in growing in their respective roles and growing personally.
Don’t assume: It’s dangerous to assume that people are direction-ally aligned to you. It’s dangerous to assume role on the bus if we haven’t actually spent the time articulating the vision, and articulating the process steps we need to take to get there.
Be disciplined and consistent: The third piece really is about being disciplined and being reliable in the way that you approach your day to day activity.
I think every time I walk into the workplace I’m projecting an image. I’m projecting a way of doing things and if I’m having an off day, that could influence behaviours for many weeks subsequent.
As a leader provide the consistency, the continuity and do something in a positive context so people can align with that an use it to their benefit.
Digital Detox: This world is a lot busier than it needs to be. We’re living in the information age. We’re living in the digital age and I think those types of influences can be quite dangerous. I often see people in meetings picking up the phone, looking at emails while they’re at home with family doing the same thing.
- One of the simple things Boris did very early in the piece was that he banned television, not in it’s entirety.. just to make a point of not getting home and turning on the television.
- He makes point of putting the phone downstairs.
- Of giving himself a window of mental space where I can think about what I’m doing at home and what I’m doing at work.
We can always spare some time for being strategic and I think we can always spare some time for exercise, and again, it works for me, it may not work for others, but when I exercise I don’t have the music on or I don’t have the phone with me, because that’s just noise. That’s just background noise.
I immerse myself in exercise and I think and I feel that’s been a tremendous help to me, but again we’re all different people. We all have different ways of doing things.
As a Fitpreneur: being mentally fit and physically fit allows Boris to be emotionally agile to deal with challenges, to balance everything and the 1% is 14.4 minutes of a day.
True leadership and business vitality is knowing when you need to slow down. The reality life is now. FedEx is not going send us a new body tomorrow. This is it.
In order to make great mental decisions, we have to be physically capable and have that fresh perspective and bring both our business and our personal vitality to life.
Boris is a great example of modern leadership who is doing just that. Special thanks to him for being on the show.
I hope you enjoy this podcast and we’d love to hear from you or leave a review on the show on iTunes
For more information click the links or the bio below.
Yours in Vitality
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The C-Suite Bio: Boris Musa
Boris demonstrates a history of delivering profitable business growth within a corporate environment and boutique structure. His background is in financial services, where he commenced his career at Boutique Development & Marketing Direct (BDMD), joining as the first staff member. During his tenure, BDMD’s profitability and funds under management improved every year. When he departed, assets under management exceeded $A500 million.Boris spent five years at Macquarie Group, the last two as a Director. He performed multiple senior roles across a portfolio of businesses incorporating traditional asset management, agricultural funds management, portfolio administration, private equity and principal investments. Boris is a presiding member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Finance & Audit Committee, Victorian State Committee and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is also a member of the Wyndham City Strategic Planning and Policy Development Committee. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University, is a Deans Scholar in Finance, has completed a Diploma in Natural Resource Management and recently, a Masters of Applied Finance.Boris has been a director of Mainstream Aquaculture since 2010 and Managing Director since 2012.