Benchmarking board performance: 500 board reviews later

Unlock evidence-based insights into board performance

Prominent business leaders reflect on the 7 Business Habits

Foreward by Dr Brian McNamee, AO

I am delighted to write the Foreword to this book because the 7 Business Habits gel so strongly with my own experience during my 23 years as Chief Executive Office and Managing Director of CSL, a leading global specialist biotechnology group. At CSL, I endeavoured to practise and to achieve simplicity and clarity of message. This book provides a simple and clear message – if you want to increase your organisation’s performance, adopt and live the 7 Business Habits. Read more…



“Our highest performing business units all have the highest scores in employee engagement, Client Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures, Contractor Satisfaction and are lead by our best leaders as measured by their people in our leadership surveys. Our best leaders also deliver the best financial results, are the most efficient in terms of productivity and have the lowest staff turnover. We find the common theme across each of our high performing business units is that the leaders of those business units practice the 7 Business Habits that Drive High Performance. There’s a clear, tangible link. Practice the 7 Business Habits that drive High Performance and your business unit will become a high performing business.”

Peter Acheson – Chief Executive Officer, Peoplebank Australia Limited


“This book is a timely reminder that economics is essentially a human enterprise. The emphasis that it gives is an ever-needed caution about the importance of human factors in any enterprise: it is a lesson that we ignore at our own economic risk. The basis of the presented argument is one steeped in hard-core data and, as such, is one strongly deserving of our serious consideration.”

Dr Ronald D Francis, Author and academic. His books include: The science of management (with S. Moss), Leadership in Asia-Pacific (with A. Armstrong & N. Muenjohn) and Business ethics in Australia: a practical guide.


“7 Business habits is a must read for all business leaders. The outstanding learning for me is the fact that success is driven not by any one of the habits alone, or even a few together, but it is only through embracing them all that leaders will drive high performance.”

Katie McNamara, Partner | Consulting – Strategy, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu


“In the 10 years I have known Nicholas Barnett I have observed his great ability to grow his businesses and make them successful high performance organisations. What you read in 7 Business Habits that Drive High Performance is what really works and resonates strongly with my own experience.”

George Savvides, Managing Director, Medibank Private


“The key to delivering sustainable, superior shareholder returns is getting the people dimension right. In any organisation, people are the key to driving high performance – whether in terms of internal productivity or customer satisfaction. Nick’s book provides a simple framework for leaders at every level to understand the importance of creating an authentic vision and motivating their teams to achieve extraordinary performance, within the context of the highest standards of values, behaviours and ethics. This resonates with my experience of leadership in a range of major organisations, which has reinforced the belief that people truly make the difference.”

Michael Ullmer, Non Executive Director, Woolworths and Lend Lease, and previously Deputy CEO, National Australia Bank


“Nicholas Barnett’s new book titled, 7 Business Habits That Drive High Performance, is well worth the read. Powerfully simple, it concludes that the most important habit is to live an inspiring vision. Everyone wants to be led with a sense of purpose and hope and this result confirms that. Five of the other habits go to the heart of how an organization manages its people and customers – lessons all too often forgotten as hard numbers and egos can regrettably take centre stage. And yes finally – it’s good to have sound systems that are accessible, simple and clear. This research is highly consistent with research from our Institute. Making it all happen continues to represent the journey ahead for all of us in the workplace.”

Peter Wilson AM, National President and Chairman, Australian Human Resources Institute


“At BHP Billiton we have the good fortune to have a charter that recognises the need for superior performance in all our people. In our industry we have the equally good fortune to know that what we do makes a difference; helps improve the lives of millions of people and develops the global economy. To be successful we need to harness the energy of one team. The 7 Business Habits provide a guide to achieve this by creating a clear and compelling vision and fostering a transparent, caring culture underpinned by shared values. Consistently applied over the long term, the Habits will meet the personal needs of each employee by developing trusted leaders who are respected and supported and who create that vision. They will also foster a workplace where each person can make a meaningful, valued and sustainable contribution.”

Karen Wood, President, BHP Billiton and previously President, Human Resources


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