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Doing business with Revera CEO Gael Hargreaves

Doing business with Revera CEO Gael Hargreaves

Says ‘It is not what you said or what you did that people remember – it is how it made them feel’ - is the best piece of advice she has received.

Gael Hargreaves, CEO, ReveraWhere were you educated?

Tawa College, in Wellington, followed by Victoria University. In 2000, I obtained an MBA from the University of Western Sydney.

Where do you live?

In 2010, I shifted from Wellington to Auckland and I am loving it here.

Married? Kids?

I have four stepchildren. My eldest lives in Sydney and has three children of his own. Our other children live and work in Wellington – which makes me and my husband empty-nesters.

Interests outside work?

The gym and walking my pug keep me fit. I also love to read, go to the movies, travel and socialise. I enjoy following sports and am looking forward to this year’s Rugby World Cup. I am also learning how to be a good Wellington Phoenix and Kiwis League fan.

What are you reading at the moment?

Corpus Rios, by Chris Tipler. A different take on business strategy.

Professionally, who do you admire most?

David Moloney, my mentor and coach for many years. David was a high-ranking official in the SAS, who then became well known in business circles for his leadership in quality and continuous improvement. I worked with David for more than 10 years.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

‘It is not what you said or what you did that people remember – it is how it made them feel’. A great insight to communication and relationships I gleaned many years ago from a wise old owl.

A lesson you’ve never forgotten?

Collect the data. That was one of David Moloney’s favourite sayings. It’s about getting good information before you make decisions, rather than jumping in with only half the facts. It reflects David’s military background and highlights the importance of establishing the “what” rather than “who” in critical situations. It leads to finding root causes and more constructive opportunity assessment.

How long have you been working in IT?

I am not actually from the IT sector, but I have implemented IT systems and enhancements for over 30 years. This gives me the advantage of seeing IT from the client perspective and, in particular, being able to understand where IT adds business value, rather than just cost to the overall IT infrastructure.

What was your first job?

Working as an actuarial clerk within Norwich Union’s superannuation department. Those were the days of manual calculation and data entry.

What is the best thing about working with IT executives? The thing I like best about working with IT execs is when they plainly show where IT will simplify and speed up business processing. And I really like it when they deliver IT services (and costs) which are reliable and predictable.

What is the worst? The worst IT executives are the kind who have a solution looking for a problem, or the other kind, who constantly announce surprises in either costs, services or systems reliability.

What is your favourite networking situation?

The Trans-Tasman Business Circle.

What will you do when you retire?

When I retire, I’ll be through with overseas travel and will spend more time appreciating the good life here in New Zealand – fishing, gardening, and socialising. Though it would be nice to somehow keep a finger or two in business.

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