Think HBR

Narelle McClelland

Narelle Ironman 1
What’s your current role and title?
My current role is General Manager of The Business Centre which is a NFP organisation that provides hands on assistance to support the growth and establishment of small business throughout the Hunter region. I have been in the role for 6 years and love it today just as much as I did 6 years ago.
Throughout your working life, what job have you enjoyed most?
My main motivators in any role are, variety, a challenge and the team that I work with. Having said that, I would have to say that my current role gives me the greatest job satisfaction I have experienced so far throughout my career.
Not only does it tick my motivator boxes, but it also allows me to give back to the Business Community and help others in business.
In business or personally who or what do you find inspiring?
It is the power of self belief that makes for true champions and our ability to deal with adversity or barriers that we all face from day to day and I am inspired by others with a positive can do attitude in life.
 People like Kurt Fernley, Richard Branson, Nelson Mandela, and Chrissie Wellington my favourite champion Iron Woman. A little closer to home I have found the words of Lisa Messenger, a very successful business women who owns and publishes the “Renegade Collective” a must read magazine, very inspiring.
 I keep these words on my noticeboard to read daily to keep me on track especially when I am having a bad day. “Don’t forget to think BIG, push boundaries, fail fast, challenge the status quo, disrupt, love deeply and remember that we can always be better tomorrow than we are today. Anything is possible”
What advice would you give someone following in your professional shoes?
I started my career as a Commerce Trainee with BHP whist studying Accounting at Newcastle University. I have held numerous positions since, I established and ran the first two Boost Juice Bars in Newcastle, as well as some property development along the way.
My problem was always in staying with a job for more than 2 years. As soon as I knew the role the challenge was gone.
As I look back on my career I can see that Accountancy was a great skill to have but not something I would ever choose to do again.
So my advice to anyone starting out is to go for something you love, something you are passionate about, don’t go for something because you think job prospects are better or someone has convinced you to pursue. Be true to your heart and find something you love because this will ensure your success as we all shine when we are doing what we love most.
When you’re not at work, where can we find you?
Swimming, running or riding. I love competing in triathlons and training with my husband and buddies at TriNova.
I am married with 2 children who have left home to study at University and this gives me the time to train for my favourite event which is the Triathlon Ironman distance.
How would you like to see our region develop over the next decade?
I would love to see our region prosper in the face of the mining and manufacturing downturn through diversification and a focus on building our tourism industry and support for Innovation and Entrepreneurship especially in regards to our Creative Industries and digital media sectors. Small business is the backbone of our economic growth. 96% of all businesses in NSW are a small business and half of us work for one.
Tell us something that most people wouldn’t know about you.
I qualified and competed in the Ironman World championships in Hawaii in 2013.
I have now successfully completed 3 Ironman races and will be competing next year in Germany at Challenge Roth. I seek adventure when taking annual leave and a few years ago I climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa and reached the summit with my husband and two children which was no mean feat especially for a 14 amd 16 year old and a great family holiday.
Do you e-book or real book? And what are you reading at the moment?
Call me old fashioned but I am a real book reader. At the moment I am reading “IronWar” which is the true story of the rivalry between two of the greatest Triathlon Ironman competitors, Dave Scott and Mark Allen.
With my love of Triathlon Ironman events I found this book truly inspirational and a great tale of what is possible when you have high levels of self belief, a high pain threshold and focus with a level of intensity that you will let nothing stop you from achieving your goals. It is a great read even for those not interested in triathlons.