In support of the Children’s Cancer Institute, The CEO Magazine’s Chris Dutton is game to get a tattoo, do the ice bucket challenge, walk on hot coals and glass or even attempt a flying trapeze at this year’s CEO Dare to Cure event – and he wants you to get involved, too.

We sit down with Chris to find out why he’s so passionate about supporting this cause.

CEO Chris Dutton
CEO Chris Dutton

Why are you taking part in this year's CEO Dare to Cure for the Children’s Cancer Institute?

I found out that every year a thousand children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer. We’re participating in the CEO Dare to Cure to help raise awareness of the excellent work that the Children’s Cancer Institute does, and to help make a difference. It’s a new event, but it’s a fabulous event and it’s one that needs to be on every business leader’s radar. We're getting involved again this year because we want to spread the word.

We were a proud partner at last year’s inaugural CEO Dare to Cure event, and it’s important that we continue to build momentum. It’s a fantastic cause and I really want it to become a must-do event on every business leader’s calendar. The more people who know about it, the bigger it will get, and I’m pretty sure within a few years it will be one of the biggest events for executives in Sydney.

“It’s a fabulous event and it’s one that needs to be on every business leader’s radar.”

What dare are you going to challenge yourself with?

I reckon I would be up for walking on hot coals or glass. Flying trapeze is a new one that’s been added, which I would love to do. I don’t really see that as a dare. I see it as fun. I’d probably shave my head. I’d probably get a tattoo. I’d probably do three or four dares. If I got a tattoo, I think I’d probably do something relevant to the event.

I think people will embrace the dares. The ice bucket challenge will be fun. People have this thing with snakes as well. I think it’s going to be interesting watching that. The flying trapeze sounds like fun. When I first saw people walking on hot coals or glass at last year’s event, I was thinking, “God. You’re mad.” But having chatted to the Children’s Cancer Institute team I know that it’s very safe, and they look after you. It’ll be great.

“Flying trapeze is a new one that’s been added, which I would love to do. I don’t really see that as a dare. I see it as fun.”

CEO Dare to Cure ice bucket challenge
CEO Dare to Cure ice bucket challenge

How much money do you think you’ll be able to raise?

Our aim is to spread the word to encourage other CEOs to join. The more CEOs and business leaders that get involved, the better. More CEOs equals more money and that means a better chance to helping put an end to childhood cancer. It’s only a few hours on one morning once a year. We’ll obviously try to raise money, but I think with our network it’s more important that we can encourage other CEOs to join in.

To me, the most important thing is spreading the word to encourage other CEOs to do it. It’s important that as many as possible sign up. I could think of a few people who’d probably hate me if I called them out, but as many as possible is the answer.

I don’t think it’s how much you raise that’s important, it’s about actually doing it because that will help spread the love. Awareness is the most important thing.

“The more CEOs and business leaders that get involved, the better.”

Why is it so important to raise money for the Children’s Cancer Institute?

When a group from The CEO Magazine visited the Children’s Cancer Institute research labs, someone told me that 60 years ago if a child was diagnosed with cancer it was nearly always a death sentence, but today eight out of 10 children diagnosed survive.

The reason for this is medical research, but that obviously costs money so that’s why it’s important to support this cause. More money equals more research and obviously a better chance of finding a cure.

What struck me when we did the tour of the Institute is the passion of the people working there. They really care, and are driven to help make children’s cancer a thing of the past. They’re a bunch of committed individuals and The CEO Magazine will continue to support them in any way we can.

The people at the Institute know that childhood cancer can actually be beaten now. Their catchphrase is, ‘It’s not if, it’s when.’ And events like this can only help promote the good work they do.

Why do you think it’s important that we challenge ourselves and step outside our comfort zone?

I see challenges as opportunities. If you remain in your comfort zone, it’s a dangerous place because you can become complacent. You can’t accomplish anything if you don’t try, and everyone who is an expert in their field was once a beginner.

By stepping out of your comfort zone, you allow change to happen. Every effort, every step, and even every failure pulls you closer to success. I don’t think anything is ever wasted when you step out of your comfort zone and if you fail or trip up, you learn from that too.

Most people are happy when they’re in their comfort zone, but you can’t grow and you certainly can’t learn if you stay there. I saw slogan the other day that said, ‘Outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens.' I totally agree with that, and I would challenge any successful person who’d disagree with that.

“By stepping out of your comfort zone, you allow change to happen.”

Sign up today to get involved in the CEO Dare to Cure 2019 on Friday 6 September. The event will be held between 6:30am and 9:30am at the Fleet Steps in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.

Are you a CEO who dares to cure children’s cancer?