Owner/Manager of the Year 2015: State Finalist, for our CEO, Simon Smith

We are very proud to say that our CEO, Simon Smith, for the second year running, has been chosen as an Owner/Manager of the Year 2015 State Finalist (NSW & the ACT) in the annual Australian Institute of Management (AIM) Excellence Awards.

Simon is 1 of only 7 finalists who will be interviewed on 18th September by a panel of the Australian Institute of Management’s most senior business leaders and executives. This will be a tough gig but we’ll be backing him!

The objective of the Awards program (according to the Australian Institute of Management website) is simply to recognise the achievements of some of Australia’s best and most inspiring managers and leaders.

One of Simon’s personal favourite motivational quotes is by Booker T Washington: “Success is not so much to be measured by the position one has achieved in life, but by the obstacles one has overcome to achieve that success”.

Simon started Southern Cross Coaching & Development in 2006 after being suddenly and unexpectedly retrenched a couple of months before Christmas, with about 6 weeks payout – and right in the middle of his Australian Permanent Residency application (yeah, he’s a pom originally, we have to admit – a fully fledged Aussie Citizen now though :)). In addition, Simon was still recovering from a very nasty attack by The Black Dog (deep depression), so there were a few obstacles to overcome.

The company started literally with just him and a blank laptop working from home, and has grown to its current success, which includes a growing team of 28 deeply experienced Trainers, Executive Coaches and Consultants, plus our team in head office.

Simon Says (we’ve been wanting to get that into a newsletter for ages – RESULT!), “it’s the team that really make the business what it is, they’re the ones who do all the real hard work and make the company look good. In fact, they ARE the company; it really would be nothing without them”.

So I hope you can please join us in wishing us every success in the assessment interviews on Friday.

While we’d love to win of course, whatever the result we’re very proud of the obstacles we’ve all overcome to get to where we’ve got to. And we’d like to put it out there that ultimately success comes from within you and what you feel you’ve achieved, and the obstacles you’ve overcome to achieve that success.

The Australian Institute of Management Owner/Manager of the Year


Entrepreneurs and business owners are recognised through the Owner Manager of the Year category. They are savvy, hard working individuals with incredible determination who have channeled their learning, turning points and visionary moments into viable businesses.

This award is aimed at the managing partners and owners of businesses across all industries. The nominees in this category are usually owners, co-owners, sole proprietors and managing partners. The nominee’s organisation must employ five or more people. The nominee must be the person actively managing the business and must have at least a 25% share in the business.
Please note that this category is open to nominations for individual owner managers only. Joint nominations cannot be accepted.
Nominees must be able to demonstrate:
• Management excellence and ongoing best practice in their own business
• Survival strategies for the continuation and/or growth of the business
• Effective communication of their organisation’s goals and vision to all stakeholders
• Leadership and/or mentoring capabilities
• Demonstrated financial success