INTHEBLACK December 2020 - Magazine - Page 62
F E AT U R E
// C O M P L E M E N TA RY S K I L L S
“Other sports have
helped me connect
partners in the
firm, while I was
still in my junior
BERNARD POON FCPA,
EY HONG KONG
Right: Bernard Poon FCPA
with his Ironman award
HEALTHY BODY, HEALTHY CAREER
Johnny Lam CPA, 45, partner at
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Hong Kong,
organises fitness classes at his workplace and boxes
with workmates at the gym.
He also leads the PwC team in the annual 10km
fundraising run organised by CPA Australia for breast
cancer research, manages the PwC football team and
coaches the Hong Kong Football Club under-15s.
However, back in 1999, Lam had a very different
hobby – one that, despite being thoroughly enjoyable,
led him down the wrong path.
Lam had started a website where foodies could post
restaurant reviews, and he reviewed many eateries
himself. By 2010, his weight ballooned and he was
suffering long periods of back and knee pain.
Lam decided it was time for a major change and
a hobby that was more beneficial to his health.
“I was approaching 38, and some of my good friends
had already died,” Lam says. “My children were quite
young, and I wanted to be a responsible parent.”
Lam now belongs to a gym, where he has a personal
trainer, and where he boxes, runs, swims or does yoga
six hours a week. His weight is under control and
he has “cut the fat” out of his work schedule, too.
62 ITB December 2020
“Exercise has also helped with my organisational
skills,” he says.
“Before I started exercising, I used to get very
stressed, but now I am more optimistic about
everything,” Lam says.
While training the body has long been recognised as
effective, training the mind has been underestimated as
a tool for transforming work practices, says Melbournebased Tom Quinlan CPA, director of Quinlan
Consulting and Quinlan Marketing, and commercial
director of human resources firm EQ People.
In 2008, Quinlan was working for a top 100 ASX
company, when he decided he wanted more time for
his family and for his other passion, surfing.
He left his job as business stream leader and
devoted his energy to building his own accounting
and bookkeeping practice, later adding marketing,
training, HR and advisory service divisions.
In 2014, as the chair of the Monash MBA
Alumni Advisory Committee, Quinlan organised
a presentation on mindfulness and gained
validation around a methodology that he had
This wasn’t yogi-style contemplation, but a very
pragmatic attitude to mindfulness.
“For me, it’s around being fully engaged with what
you should focus on,” Quinlan says.
“It’s using our cognitive abilities to push ourselves
and get away from purely transactional thinking to
Quinlan credits mindfulness and a very different
lens for his business as being behind his company’s
early adoption of flexible working – Quinlan
Consulting has no fixed office address.
He now surfs and works everywhere, from
Torquay to Malibu and Byron Bay, sometimes
holding meetings on the beach.
A different mindset has led Nada Matijevic CPA to
her current role as founder and CEO of Elevate Me,
a Melbourne-based business that helps “professionals
and leaders to reignite their inner fire and confidently
chart their own more fulfilling path to peak
performance and success”.
As a student, the career development and transition
consultant specialised in applied economics and
organisational behaviour, but, graduating in a
“for me, [mindfulness is] around
being fully engaged with what
you should focus on. It’s using
our cognitive abilities to push
ourselves and get away from
purely transactional thinking
to strategic thinking.”
TOM QUINLAN CPA, QUINLAN CONSULTING
recession, decided to stick with “straight” accounting
as her career path.
“Along the way, I realised I could make a greater
impact through leadership roles and developing
people,” says Matijevic, 58, whose working life
included nine years in the assurance and advisory
business services division of EY.
“Technical skills are no longer enough for seniorlevel career professionals,” she says. “Leaders need
Matijevic is a strong advocate of getting out of
your comfort zone – she constantly challenges herself
with online learning – and considers herself to have a
“It’s through self-evolution that we can elevate
and empower ourselves and help shape the future we
want,” Matijevic says.
Above: Tom Quinlan CPA
enjoys surfing and
meetings while at the beach.
intheblack.com December 2020 63