active CEO Podcast #13 Chris Dean Disrupting the Energy Spectrum

active CEO 13 Chris Dean Choice Energy Australia

Chris Dean – CEO & Founder of Choice Energy

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns and Ben Gathercole speak with Chris Dean about how his team is transforming the energy sector, the puzzles the energy sector faces with electric cars, turning an empty asset into a power station and scaling a business at a rapid rate. We discuss reducing sick days, investing in your people, improving productivity in the workplace, and the value of role-modeling an active and healthy lifestyle.

Chris Dean

Chris is a young enthusiastic and tenacious CEO who loves to be at the cutting edge of service innovation. He is highly self-motivated, driven and passionate about leading teams, and disrupting the way we think and act.

Known for his ability to positively influence through his infectious leadership style, he has been a Director at Ludlowthomson in the UK, CEO of Sun Connect and is now the CEO of Choice Energy. He joined Choice Energy in 2015, not long after it was founded in 2013. In 2017 The Australian Financial Review recognised us as the 12th fastest growing company in Australia.

Chris is at the cutting edge of developing and leading high performing teams. He emphasises the importance of his teams health and wellness on the productivity and performance of Choice Energy. In his spare time he enjoys reading, spending time with his young family and participating in triathlons.

Chris talks about:

  • Deciding not to go to University straight out of school.
  • Realizing that he could hit his goals when helping other people achieve theirs.
  • Two of the fastest growing industries in world, aged care and renewable energy, and why he decided to venture down the renewable energy path.
  • The mental shift from running someone else’s business to setting up his own.
  • Employees treating their desk as their own business.
  • Partnerships and the flagship partnership with independent hardware group.
  • Finding energy efficiency and cost reduction for companies, both large and small.
  • The effect of electric vehicles in the future and the infrastructural change required.
  • By 2030 75% of cars will be electric and the current power grid is unable to handle it.
  • The shift from manufacturing jobs to other services and IT jobs
  • Scaling the business at a rapid rate and how to shift his leadership approach.
  • The effect of changing government on the renewable energy sector.
  • Turning a dormant asset into a power station.
  • Using the KISS Principle in Choice Energy solutions with clients.
  • How Say-Do and I-Do-I-Am behaviours are used in the culture of the business.
  • Beating the issue of sick days in the company.
  • Paying for self-development of employees.
  • Hiring based on sales ability versus mind set adaptability.
  • The importance of the soft-sell versus a hard-sell for Choice Energy.
  • Using the “marginal gains” approach, borrowed from Team Sky, in the business.
  • How he managed a drop in productivity when he wasn’t in the office.
  • The importance of being active and healthy, so that he can perform at his best.
  • Why he didn’t bring on any investors or take out any business loans.
  • Making interviews fun for both the interviewer and interviewee.

Active CEO Wellness Tip

Ben and Craig talk about stimulating your creativity, intellect and memory through playing with puzzles on a regular basis. We can easily get absorbed in the daily requirements of work, and therefore neglect the importance of creativity and building our intellect.


“We have got a roof sitting above us and we can put a power station on it that can create power, effectively for free, once the hardware has been paid for.” Gaining an insight into Chris Dean, CEO of Choice Energy, on the active CEO Podcast.

“If you don’t invest in yourself, does that make you a bad investment?” Chris Dean on continual self-development, on the active CEO Podcast.


Resources Mentioned in this show:

Chris Dean LinkedIn

Choice Energy

Craig Johns LinkedIn

Ben Gathercole LinkedIn

Ben Gathercole Performance Coaching

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben’s best selling book link

Previous active CEO Podcast Episodes:

#12 – Kate Palmer (Sport Australia) – Changing the Game link
#11 – Tim Cosulich (Fratelli Cosulich Group) – Navigating the Global Family Business link
– 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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