Aircraft procedure— Sydney


Despite over 30 years in Australia’s public health sector, Greg Rochford experienced some turbulence when he became CEO of the country’s iconic Royal Flying Doctor Service. One year on, he’s gaining altitude.

Greg Rochford, RFDS, Royal Flying Doctor Service, Aircraft

Greg Rochford prepared to take the controls of Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service (rfds) in 2011 armed with 31 years of public-health experience and a laundry list of fresh ideas on how to better provide healthcare to some of the industrialised world’s most isolated communities. Yet on taking the job he immediately set out to find out more by flying to some of Australia’s most remote outposts: Cape York in the far north, Broken Hill’s mines and the rugged Kimberleys in Western Australia.

This diligent start at the helm of one of Australia’s…

  1. What time do you like to be at your desk?
    It varies quite a bit but I like to get in by 09.00. If there’s excess work I tend to find it better to do it in the evening when it’s settled and quieter.
  2. Do you think tough decisions are best taken by one person?
    Managerial ones yes, but they should be properly understood by as many as possible.
  3. What is the best way to prepare for leadership: an MBA or out in the field?
    Leadership attributes shine out in the field.
  4. Do you want to be liked or respected?
    Respected, but you can’t be unless a reasonable number of your stakeholders like you as well. You’re going to disenfranchise some element of your stakeholder group from time to time.
  5. What does your support team look like?
    It’s unusual because it’s a very small office but I think my support team is always heavily occupied by experts in the relevant disciplines.
  6. What technology do you take on a trip?
    I’m sort of married to my iPad, I’m afraid.
  7. Run in the morning?
  8. Wine with lunch?
    I used to a lot… I think as a CEO the answer’s always been no, apart from that rare special occasion. Also, at my age, you get sleepy.
  9. Do you socialise with your team after work?
  10. What is your key management advice?
    Make sure you’re surrounded by the best experts.

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