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Don't Retire, Refire Podcast

Jun 28, 2019

David spent 25 years as a senior executive and Director of Smorgon Consolidated Industries which was one of Australia's largest family companies. Since then he has held a number of positions, notable president of the Western Bulldogs Football club, and the inaugural chairman of Family Business Australia. Today he shares his wisdom as a well-regarded consultant to successful family business, where he asserts that most family businesses fail for family reasons not business reasons.  During this podcast David talks about transitions in business and life. How these transitions are inevitable and bring with them both good news and bad news. Everyone loves the good news, but it's how we deal with the bad news, the failures, disappointments, that really matters. It's not what happens, but our attitude and how we deal with it that counts. He councils us to regard failure as a detour, not a defeat. Treat it as a learning experience that if we can accept the lesson can move us forward to new heights. Love the 3 fundamental questions he asks of any potential partner:


  1. Who are you? (do I like you? - are you friendly, humble, do you smile, do you care beyond yourself)
  2. What do you stand for? (what are the beliefs, principles and values that drive your behaviour)
  3. Where are you going? (what do you want to achieve)


David also believes that most businesses, families and individuals could experience even greater success if they have written answers to these questions ... "the faintest ink is better than a distant memory"


His final lesson for my youngest daughter - and all of us - is you can only do so much by yourself.  You need the involvement of others to increase your chances of experiencing a fulfilling, meaningful and successful life.


David's website is