active CEO Podcast #37 Ellen Derrick Make Mistakes No Regrets

Ellen Derrick – National Executive Deloitte Australia

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Ellen Derrick about the importance of being grateful and serving others; her high performance mindset; working with leaders to deliver excellence at Deloitte Australia; and the value of scheduling energy rather than time.

We also delve into coping with her adopted mother passing away from Breast Cancer at the age of eleven; how her children fuel her to deliver better leadership; being open to mistakes and having no regrets; and why speaking on stage with her daughter Kate, who has Cystic Fibrosis, was one of the best days of her life.

Ellen Derrick

Ellen is an impressive Senior Executive who is a leader with a service
mentality, who has a bios for action and accountability.

Growing up in the USA she played a lot of sport, including tennis at
University before switching to squash, which she played at an international

She studied at Nardin Academy, has a BA Government Business at Colby
University and has completed an MBA Management from the Australian Graduate
School of Management, since moving to Australia.

Her impressive resume includes managerial roles for Accenture, IISM
Group, the Australian Federal Government Department of Innovation, Industry,
Science and Research, and is currently the National Leader Public Sector and
Public Policy and a member of the National Executive for Deloitte Australia.

Now living in Australia she is an affiliate member of Chartered
Accountants Australia and New Zealand, plays an active role in national
charitable foundations including Cystic Fybrosis Australia, and is a mentor for
the center of economic development of Australia and Institute of Public
Administration of Australia.

Ellen talks about:

  • Growing up in an Irish part of Buffalo, New York, USA.
  • The influence of her mother, who passed away from Breast Cancer, when she was eleven.
  • Her mum teaching her to be grateful, serve others, keep perspective and be optimistic.
  • Always being in a hurry, feeling time limited and always looking for the next thing.
  • Loving playing soccer and basketball for many years, before switching to tennis & squash.
  • Her love of history, English, writing and the systems of government.
  • Leading national public practice and public policy at Deloitte.
  • Working with the leaders to deliver excellence and having a lasting impact.
  • How we better our life expectancy.
  • Keeping her mind relaxed and calm, while leading a very diverse portfolio.
  • Are leaders born or made?
    Helping to find the confidence and courage to take big leaps.
  • How her team would describe her leadership style.
  • Coping with her early days at Deloitte, where she felt the effects of imposter syndrome.
  • Coming back from maternity leave, knowing she was a different human being.
  • Adjusting her life when she learnt her daughter has Cystic Fibrosis.
  • Her professional purpose and personal purpose converging every day.
  • The importance of scheduling her own time to free the mind and re-energise.
  • The impact of speaking on stage with her daughter Kate, for the first time in front of influential senior business leaders
  • What we truly need to do collectively in ensuring our sustainability and our prosperity?
  • Feeling energetic, positive and focused when she is in a peak state of mind.

CEO Wellness Tip                                                       

– It is our
role as leaders to be a steward and leave what we are looking after in a better
place for our future leaders. We need to ensure our stewardship continues to
build it up step-by-step so we leave a positive legacy for the next generation.


“How do you really seize opportunity from challenge and how do you keep
your perspective when things are truly hard.” Ellen Derrick speaking with her daughter Kate on
stage in front of influential business leaders, on the active CEO Podcast.

“We don’t always get it right, but we are perfectionists, we are the big four, it is our job to get it right, and it really hurts us when we don’t.” The challenge of leadership expectations with Ellen Derrick, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources mentioned in this show:

Ellen Derrick LinkedIn
Ellen Derrick Profile
Deloitte website
Cystic Fibrosis
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole Performance Coaching

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben Gathercole

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