active CEO Podcast #11 Tim Cosulich Navigating the Global Family Business

Tim Cosulich active CEO

Tim Cosulich – CEO Fratelli Cosulich

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns and Ben Gathercole speak with Tim Cosulich, a very humble, young and disciplined leader. We discuss leading Fratelli Cosulich, a family business full of tradition; adapting your leadership style in different countries and being aware of the cultural environment you are working in; and being “in the office” mentally.

We delve into life outside of the office, which includes giving back to the hospital that saved his young sister from life-threatening brain cancer; coaching disabled children for the Special Olympics; transitioning from water polo to triathlon; inspiring his team through health and wellness; and working with triathlon legend, Jurgen Zack. 

Tim Cosulich

Tim Cosulich is a 6th generation CEO of the family business Fratelli Cosulich. Born in New York, raised in Genoa and now based in Singapore, Tim started his career working as a general manager for APM Terminals, then as a Manager at Pricewaterhouse Coopers in London and Madrid, and the Moller Maersk Group in the Netherlands.

He is a passionate learner starting out with a Bachelors with honors in Business, Economics, Finance at Universita Degli Studi di Genova. Tim also completed an MBA Business from INSEAD; the High Performance Leadership, Organisational Leadership, Executive Education at IMD Business School; International Directors Program (Business, Corporate Governance) at INSEAD; Finance, Economics, Portfolio Management at CFA Institute; and an International Business Strategy Course at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

This very proud Italian is not only a very organised and compassionate leader, he is also a top age group triathlete competing in long distance triathlon events around the world including the holy grail, IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

Tim talks about:

  • Leading a team with multiple cultures, timezones and industries.
  • Finding out what motivates the team.
  • Making sure that he is physically present with his people.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of leading a family owned business.
  • Being demanding in relation to performance, but not developing insecurity in our people.
  • How living in Asia has changed his leadership style.
  • Defining high performance as a CEO.
  • Ensuring that you make sure that you have everyone performing at their best.
  • The need to be ‘In the office’ mentally and not elsewhere.
  • Why passion is so important for the Fratelli Cosulich business.
  • Why in 161 years of the business, Fratelli Cosulich has never distributed dividends.
  • Life as a professional athlete before going into triathlon
  • Sport is a good way to integrate into new cultures when moving to new cities.
  • Dealing with Tim’s little sister being diagnosed with brain cancer.
  • Making it look like it would be impossible to complete an IRONMAN triathlon in under 12 hours.
  • Tim’s journey to qualify and compete at the Hawaii Ironman World Championships
  • Similarities between a high performance athlete and a high performance CEO
  • The importance of being a coach and his athlete-coach relationship with Jurgen Zack.
  • Visiting a shipyard from the south of Japan.
  • Giving every employee a $50 allowance to spend on sport related activities
  • Volunteering as a running coach for disabled kids who are involved in the Special Olympics
  • Why his father has had the greatest impact on your career.


“I was told by my father that if I wanted to join the business at some time, they would be happy to consider it but I would never become a multi-millionaire or have a Ferrari or a private yacht.” Listen to the active CEO Podcast as Tim Cosulich explains becoming part of the family business.

“How well you are able to motivate your people, because people are motivated by different things and types of jobs.” Listen to Tim Cosulich on the active CEO Podcast

“Why am I here, I am never going to do it again.” Learn more Tim Cosulich’s first IRONMAN triathlon on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Tim Cosulich LinkedIn

Fratelli Cosulich

Jurgen Zack Z-Coaching Phuket website


Special Olympics website

Craig Johns LinkedIn

Ben Gathercole LinkedIn

Ben Gathercole Performance Coaching

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben’s best selling book

Previous active CEO Podcast Episodes:

#10 – Dr Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien (Rising Tide Africa) – Magic Happens Outside the Comfort Zone link
#9 – Mike DeNoma (KBZ Bank) Part #2 – Creating an Earthquake link
#8 – Mike DeNoma (KBZ Bank) Part #1 – Your Strengths are What Energise You link
#7 –
Trina Gordon (Boyden World Corporation) – Recruiting World Leaders link
#6 – Indiran Padayachee (RentCorp) – Winning Only Matters link
#5 – Suzie Hoitink (Clear Complexions) – Enemy of a Great Life is a Good One link
#4 – Rene Zondag (PBI) – People Are Our Greatest Asset link
#3 – Anne Gripper (NSW Office of Sport) – 6 C’s of Leadership link 
#2 – active CEO Intro (NRG2Perform) Part 2 link
#1 – active CEO Intro (NRG2Perform) Part 1 link

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