When you’re leading an organisation, everyone looks to you for the right answers. Despite this lofty position, leaders are imperfect individuals so who can they turn to when looking for their own right answers? This burning question was answered in 1994 with the creation of The CEO Circle.

Two decades on and John Karagounis now leads The CEO Circle as CEO after buying the concept globally in February 2008. Three months later the Global Financial Crisis hit and Australian CEOs were faced with the most challenging business environment in recent years. Developing and strengthening The CEO Circle while helping CEOs through this tough time was a huge challenge for John. Despite this, John states that the foundations for The CEO Circle’s growth were strong.

“We had high profile, committed leaders of industry chairing our circles all around the country, and most importantly a small number of inspirational members who had joined The CEO Circle for the right reasons. I simply had to build the business from a sound base and reposition the circle as the most exclusive group in Australia.

“I started from scratch. Some of the existing chairmen were outstanding and some needed to retire. We needed to find new people to reinvigorate the groups. The first thing I did as the CEO was conduct an extensive review of the Circle. It was apparent our visual identity needed work and so did our overall offering. We needed to reposition the Circle in the marketplace.”