Just keep swimming: The Hackett Mentality

Matthew Kidman

Centennial Asset Management

Grant Hackett is one of the most recognisable figures in Australia. Having experienced the highest of highs through Olympic success, his thirst for a challenge never wavered. After retiring from swimming for the second time, Grant went back to business school and spent a couple of years in banking. And when the opportunity arose to join the team at Generation Development Group, the allure of the opportunity was irresistible.

Having recently taken over as CEO, Grant notes that there are clear similarities between his intensity in the pool and the demands of running a publicly listed company. The importance of building a winning culture is paramount and that requires trust and belief in the people around you

"The standards you walk by are the standards you accept" 

In this episode of the Success and More Interesting Stuff podcast, I talk to Grant about how he has dealt with change and transition, the parallels between business and sports, and the importance of resilience and internal drive when it comes to achieving multidisciplinary success. 

Time stamps:

  • 1:13 - Grant’s past as a musician
  • 3:08 - His “nothing else matters" mentality
  • 5:05 - An introduction to Generation Development Group
  • 11:40 - Grant’s pathway to becoming an Olympian 
  • 14:34 - The importance of internal competitiveness
  • 21:24 - The parallels between Grant’s career trajectory and personal stability
  • 24:34 - The importance of goal-setting and maintaining high standards 
  • 30:59 - Understanding others and building a high-performing culture across the organisation
  • 40:22 - Does Grant’s past act as a weight around his neck in the world of business?
  • 43:12 - The key measures of success going forward
  • 46:01 - What is the long term vision for GDG and how will it reach its growth potential?
  • 54:51 - Business aspirations to have achieved by the 2024 Paris Olympics

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Disclosure: A fund run by the author owns shares in Generation Development Group


Matthew Kidman
Principal and Portfolio Manager
Centennial Asset Management

Matthew is the Principal and Portfolio Manager at Centennial Asset Management. Prior to this, Matthew was the CIO at Wilson Asset Management between 1998 and 2011, achieving 18% p.a. over the period.

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