Our chief communicator Jack Walden sat down with Iolanthe Gabrie from Red Slipper Consultants this week and answered her questions as a “Business Ninja”. Here are his answers courtesy of Ruby Slipper.
1. What makes your business ‘magical’, setting you apart from other competitors?
C-words of course. We’re a crew of creative thinkers. We’re connected to extremely clever and colourful characters. And we embrace collaboration.
2. What are your maddest ‘ninja skillz’?
I have a black belt in conversations. (Actually, do ninjas have black belts or belts of any colour?)
3. How did your lightbulb moment in creating your business come about?
I’ve always wanted to start my own company, so I can’t quite remember the light bulb moment. But it is a culmination of many years of support and encouragement from family, friends and colleagues. There was a light bulb moment when I came up with the name. I was walking back from a morning coffee run, throwing ideas for names around in my head, when I suddenly remembered that communication was a c-word. And I knew it was the name of my new company.
4. What is your earliest memory?
The brilliant sounds and colours of Queensland cane fires. I grew up on a cane farm on the Sunshine Coast and I can still remember the incredible crackling sound, the intense heat and the extraordinary colours.
5. What would your last meal be?
6. What is your best tip for recruiting staff or choosing business partners?
I look for people who are passionate and creative (or who have an ability to handle/manage the passion and creativity of their colleagues). I also look for attention to detail. And I think you need to think about how their personality will compliment the rest of the team.
7. What is your favourite sound?
The sound Tivo makes when you move from screen to screen. Sad but true.
8. Who would you like to invite to dinner?
I would invite a few of my nearest and dearest friends and family to join me and: President Bartlett and CJ Cregg from the West Wing to discuss political communications and international affairs (Martin Sheen and Allison Janney would be nice guests too) Oprah and Martha Stewart to talk about world domination, television and magazines. Queen Elizabeth II to discuss the royal wedding preparations and the changes she’s seen while on the throne. And I’d round it out with Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey (who I’d probably use Jack and Lemon on their place cards).
9. Who has inspired you to be a better ‘Business Ninja’?
I’m inspired by so many people. Great clients. Fantastic suppliers. Cool colleagues. Amazing friends. And a truly supportive and encouraging family.