Having enough money in life is really important but after that it rapidly diminishes and then it becomes a negative. The past 10 years of my life have been divesting. I’ve made my life simpler, getting rid of stuff and turning up for people and experiences and turning down stuff. I drive a car that is 12 years old.
Sam Stubbs, founder and managing director of Simplicity

The due diligence you do on the people you'll be working with is the most important piece of due diligence you can do. Because no matter how glamorous the role or how big the pay packet, if you don't like, trust and respect the people around you, it's going to be almost impossible.
Joan Withers, Warehouse Group chair

I'm a curious kind of personality. I quickly became interested in business, leadership and how you create a competitive advantage. Probably earlier than most people, I was focused on getting into some form of business. I didn’t have a view on whether it was going to be banking, or travel, or media; that just evolved through circumstances. I was never one of those people to have a 50-page career plan.
Cam Wallace, chief executive officer, MediaWorks

I love being the chair of Spark. Why wouldn’t you? It’s such a cool company, with a cool CEO. So, I’ll probably wait till they kick me out.
Justine Smyth, chair and non-executive director, Spark

My biggest achievement is surviving. I never thought I’d start a business, I’ve never thought of myself as a businessman. These ideas of entrepreneur or innovator, those are words I can’t spell, but they are labels that come from outside. My path has been doing things that look interesting to me.
Sir Ian Taylor, founder and managing director, Animation Research

In a personal sense my biggest success is being a good friend and a good family member. I feel really proud of that. Being close to family is something that keeps things real. I get an enormous amount of energy and support from them and it's really important to me.
Raelene Castle, CEO, Sport NZ

Having a seven-year-old helps me balance life and work. You have no choice. He doesn’t care what board meeting or what meeting I may have down in Wellington. As far as he’s concerned, he’s number one in the world and that changes things. I get my mind out of work very quickly when he’s around.
Miles Hurrell, chief executive officer, Fonterra

I work hard and socialise hard, and network when I can. On a Friday, you’ll see me heading up north to our farm in Paparoa. It’s a total change of lifestyle. We have an Angus beef farm and are on a journey towards regenerative agriculture.
Deborah Pead, founder and majority owner, Pead PR

New Zealand has an abhorrent stoic culture of “harden up” and there are a lot of celebrities and sports stars making a big difference by taking away the stigma of mental health and saying it really is OK to not be OK and to reach out for help, particularly with men. A good thing to come out of covid is how we support each other.
Mark Aue, CEO, 2degrees

Women rarely ever say no, that’s the problem. So, I have a little list of ways to say no by my phone. I just need the phrases to say.
Marisa Fong, Madison Group co-founder and investor