Gordon Tredgold: Author, Speaker, Coach & Leadership Expert


Gordon Tredgold, known as the Leader’s Leader, inspires leaders to develop engaged teams with clear plans so they can revolutionize their results.

Gordon has always had the unique ability to assess difficult situations, determine what could be done differently and then create simple, easy to understand and easy to implement solutions, which deliver sustainable results FAST.


My Definition of Success | I have a simple definition of success ‘did I achieve the goals that I set for myself’.

I believe that success is personal, and comparing myself to others and how well they did doesn’t define my success or not.

It took me quite a while to learn this, and I think it is a key to happiness. For example, I started running marathons, and when I did I set success as crossing the line and crossing the line healthy.  Many people said I should set a time target of under 5 hours, but for me that wasn’t important, it was finishing my first marathon that was important. When I ran it I completed it in 5hrs 12, and I was so happy. But if I had let other people define success for me, then I would have been disappointed, I would have failed even though I had achieved something great, for me.

I think this is crucially important, it also allows us to be successful too. Success breeds success and big successes are a culmination of small successes so it’s important for us to be successful. But if we let someone else define that for us, then it can prevent us achieving the small successes that lead to large successes.

I Am Driven By | I like to help people. I like to see the look in people’s eyes when they achieve something they didn’t think that they could do. That inspires me.

When I was younger, I liked to surprise people with what I did that they said I couldn’t, that drove me. But now it’s about inspiring other people to achieve great things as this allows me to leave a bigger legacy. The more people I can help to achieve great things, the more great things that will get achieved.

My Highlights | To be honest, I think the highlights are still to come, and that drives me to continue, I like to keep raising the bar, pushing the envelope.

The things I look back on that I am proud of are those things that are still going today. For example back in 1986 I started the first rugby league team in a non-rugby league area and now 30 year later that team is still going. I like to achieve things that are sustainable because then it means that I made a difference, a lasting difference.

I have delivered a lot of large projects, saving $60m per annum, improving performance etc. all of which I am proud of, but that’s less significant to me now.

Today I am more interested in helping people, so I am very happy that my leadership writings are helping people, I get emails nearly every day telling me that I have inspired them, that they want to be a better leader, or I have inspired them to learn more.

So I was very happy to be selected in Inc. Magazine Top 100 Leadership Speakers and Experts, and also as #1Leadership Expert to follow on twitter.  Not because I like to be on those lists, which is nice, but because these lists are about engagement, so it shows that my articles are being read and helping people.

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The Difference Between Good And Great | That’s a tough question, I think sometimes it comes down to longevity, how long to they do it for, like in sports anyone can have a good season, but to keep doing it year after year after year that’s requires you to be great.

That doesn’t mean people can’t achieve great results in one season, but I think it’s the consistency that ultimately defines greatness.

I think that the difference between people who are good and great is in the aspirations. For example, people might want to become world boxing champion, and when they achieve it they lose the hunger and then can lose fights. Whereas people who remain champion, who keep coming back or keep going, their aspiration isn’t just to be world champion, their aspiration is to be the greatest.

So if you want to be great, then set that as your aspiration, because it’s our aspirations that drives us.

A Key Talent | My key skill that has helped me be successful is keeping things simple.  It’s my defining quality. The simpler we can keep things, the easier it is for other people to understand when people understand things. Then they can do them, and if it’s explained simply enough and people can see how they can be successful then it will inspire them.

So keep things simple. The simpler we can keep things the more successful we will be.

Sometimes people feel it makes them look clever if they can understand complicated things, but real intelligence is when you can explain complex things simply.

The Characteristics of Success | I have an approach to leadership which I have defined, based on how I have achieved success over thirty years, and it’s called FAST, so these are the qualities I believe which have helped me, and can help others.

These are Focus, Accountability, Simplicity and Transparency.

I am a much-focused person, and I look to ensure that I am focused on the right things, too often people fail because they are focused on the wrong things, or on too many things.

Accountability is about ensuring that people take ownership for the work that they do, and when people do this the results are significantly better, and accountability starts with leadership. Leadership defines culture, so we need to be accountable, and this is something that I have always had. I even assumed accountability when I wasn’t in charge.

Simplicity, as I mentioned before, the simpler we can make things the more belief we will have, and with belief comes confidence and with confidence comes success.

Lastly, Transparency, as a mathematician, I love the data, I love the numbers, and I think having transparency into our performance is crucial, because if we know how we are doing then we can make changes to get us back on track. Also, transparency into which we are is important, it helps build trust and engages people.

Principles I Live By | Openness, honesty, helpfulness.  If we all did that the world would be a much better place.

Critical Skills I Develop | I have focused on improving my leadership, I believe leadership is crucial to success, and continuous improvements.  Leadership inspires people to try new things, to keep raising the bar.

How I Use My Mind | I use simplicity to help me, and my teams, come up with plans that we believe in. When we have a plan that people believe in, then teams become inspired and engaged and that immediately increases our chances of success.

Lessons I Have Learnt | There a saying trust is earned. But that stops us from trusting people until they do something trust worthy.

But my approach now is to trust everyone, and only change that when someone does something untrustworthy.

And I apply this approach to other things too; I think we get what we expect, so why not expect good things.   This sounds a very small thing but it can have significant impact.

Dealing with Doubt | We all have fear and doubts at some times and what I do is I keep a list of successes things I have achieved and I go back and read through them to remind myself about how I have been successful before.

If it’s something new, like when I ran the marathon for the first time, I looked to come up wit ha simple plan, create some early successes in that plan, and just start. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step so just start. Get some early success and keep going.

Performing At My Peak | I just look to do my best each and every time, this doesn’t guarantee its peak performance, but it does guarantee it’s my best. Some days it will be better than others, and if I am having a bad day, I might take a break and come back to it.

We can’t achieve peak performance every day, but we can look to do our best.

Resources I Before I used to read a lot, but now because I write a lot, and teach a lot I find that keeps me growing, because it drives me to better understand so I can teach it better.  If you want to learn something, look to teach it.

Books I would recommend, are any by Ken Blanchard, I love his simple approach to leadership, and of course Stephen Covey.

My Future Dreams and Ambitions | My goal now is to become a leadership expert at the same level as John Maxwell, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey. That might seem a bit arrogant, but we need to set big bold goals for ourselves. And given that just over 2 years ago I was unknown, and today I am in the Top 100 I believe it is doable.

People like my simple approach, and my goal is to make leadership accessible to as many people as possible, so who knows.

The Meaning of Life | I think the meaning of life is to leave the world in a better state than we found it.

The Best Advice I’ve Received | Always be yourself. This was advice from my grandma and I believe it has been invaluable.

Advice on Building Wealth | I would ask them to look at their values, their passions and get them to check that this would really make them happy, and if it won’t, then figure out what will.

To me being rich is about being happy, it’s not a question of money. Of course money can help, but there are many rich people who are not happy.

My son is a musician, maybe he will become rich and famous maybe not, but he loves music it’s his passion and as long as he makes enough money he will be happy.

I think we should seek happiness not money.

On Inspiring Others | Success is a great motivator, very few people leave a winning team, so I would say it’s because I try to be successful in what I do.

I Am Inspired By | As a leader Nelson Mandela is a great role model and he inspires me.

As leadership expert, it’s Ken Blanchard, I love the way he makes leadership accessible and fun.

The Legacy I Would Like To Leave | I’d like FAST to become an accepted leadership approach that helps people achieve more success.

I’d like to inspire people to be better leaders.



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