John Winning on the importance of giving and being passionate about what you do

John Winning. Image: Supplied

I once read a quote that really resonated with me saying, “Giving back is among the most important and valuable things an entrepreneur can do. Period.”

I am responsible not only for the success of my business, the wellbeing of our employees and their families and our customers but also the community in which I live: the global community. I believe 2018 is a year for positive change, real change that goes beyond economics.

Very early in my life, my parents taught me the importance of giving and being passionate about what you do.

My dad, John Winning Snr, is an accomplished open boat skiff sailor with a string of World, Australian and Inter Dominion titles to his name. Woody, as my dad is referred to, is also known for his tireless contribution to charities, especially the Cancer Council, South Sydney PCYC and Rotary.

In 2016, Woody was made a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for his significant services to the community through fundraising and support for charitable organisations, and to sailing and horse sports. So as you can imagine, I have a lot to live up to.

In 2016, I took part in the most rewarding adventure of my life; climbing Mt Kilimanjaro alongside Professor Charlie Teo and his Million$Mission team to raise $1 million for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation. Summiting Kilimanjaro was certainly one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences and I’m so grateful that I could take part in helping fund such an important cause.

I am also very passionate about helping out the local community, so every Tuesday a group of 10 us of from the Winning Group Head Office cook food and hand it out to the homeless at the local park for the Birds of Passage charity. I’m also involved with the charities Extend Your Hand Program, The Cancer Council, Steptember and RUOK.

When Samsung offered me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in the Olympic Torch run as a Torch Bearer for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, I was truly honoured.

As part of it’s global sponsorship for their “Do What You Can’t” Campaign, Samsung selected four Australians that stand out as achievers and dreamers as they continue to defy barriers. Filled with excitement and honour of being chosen, I packed my bags and set off for South Korea.

Alongside Hayley Teasdale who bravely battles an autoimmune deficiency while studying and revolutionising the lives of others, Dikshya Rawal whose family apartment crumbled to the ground during the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, and David Dorsett-Lynn who set up and runs many community programs such as Build Up Zone and Nature Works, I was recognised for my proactive role in supporting Australian charity organisations and people in need through my personal life and business.

Running with the Olympic Flame really cemented my belief that passion is the true driver of compassion. Giving back is a lifetime commitment.

Through my work as CEO of the Winning Group, we really try to create positive change for our employees and customers each day. I often say that it doesn’t take much or cost a lot to make someone happy or their life easier, so why wouldn’t you?

I want to take this notion of positive change beyond business and encourage people to make a life out of making other people’s lives happier and easier.

Be in the business of passion.

* John Winning is CEO of the Winning Group and founder of Appliances Online

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