CEOs / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Campbell Macpherson, CEO of Change & Strategy International

Campbell Macpherson is the CEO of Change & Strategy International, change expert, keynote speaker and award-winning author of The Power to Change.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

The list of my careers is quite bonkers. HR Director of a large financial services firm, Strategy Director of Zurich, founding Marketing Director of Virgin Wines, Strategic Change Adviser to one of the Middle East largest Sovereign Wealth Funds.

I started my career flying jets (really badly) in the RAAF. For more than decade now I have been helping CEOs to align their teams to a clear strategy and lead successful change via my consultancy 

2) What does ‘a day in the life’ look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

My workday will be a pick ‘n’ mix selection of the following:

  • writing or editing (The Power to Change is my second book I have been writing book three during lockdowns)
  • talking to clients
  • designing client solutions
  • planning speeches
  • recording videos for my online programs
  • delivering webinars on Leading and Embracing Change
  • conducting executive coaching calls with clients
  • wide variety of sales, marketing and admin activity

Life as a self-employed business adviser and speaker is 24/7 and never dull.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

My business can be conducted almost 100% from my home office. While Covid put a halt to face-to-face workshops and speeches, the world gradually has become used to online – and new, prospective clients have become used to meeting via Zoom. I think that online will be a part of how we do business even after things start to open up more around the world.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

This is the hardest question of all. It is so difficult to separate work from home when you work from home. I can get so obsessed with a particular project that time flies – and I can forget to drink enough water, exercise or take breaks.

I have had to become disciplined with myself (or try to!) – schedule breaks into the calendar, tear myself away from my desk and close the door to my home office and put my phone away at the end of the day.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

Yes I have almost completely stopped travelling to prospect meetings – spending hours just to meet someone for coffee. We do it via zoom instead. 

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

The newsletter that stops me scrawling and tempts me to read it is the US-based Farnam Street Sunday Brain Food newsletter, full of bite-sized, thought-provoking nuggets on work and life. For podcasts, Tony Nash’s Booktopian podcast is hard to surpass – interviews with select authors as their books come on to the market.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

I have just found one that may just change my life – a Theragun. It is a hand held massager, muscle tenderizer that will free up the most impossibly knotted and tense hamstring, thigh and glute. It may bring tears to your eyes on the highest setting but they will be worth it. 

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?  

It would have to be Jacinda Ardern – anyone with the confidence to take their newborn baby with them into the UN is someone we can learn from. I use her quote “humility is strength” in almost every workshop.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

It is a quote on the importance of embracing change from B. K. S. Iyengar: “Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.”

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.