Meet Mark Bilton, Chair of Prological's Advisory Board

Mark Bilton is an international award-winning strategist, CEO Mentor and Managing Director of Thought Patrol, a leadership advisory group.

He has over 20 years’ CEO experience and has led six companies through transformational change including Gloria Jean’s Coffees, where he was responsible for overseeing 40 countries as Group Managing Director.

In 2019, Mark joined Prological as Chair of its Advisory Board. We caught up with Mark to ask him a few questions about this role as well as his varied and impressive career.

1. What do you enjoy most about working with Prological?

I love the authenticity, the expertise and the potential. They are a super smart team and are genuine experts in what they do. Listening to some of the stories that Peter Jones, Managing Director shares about how he’s genuinely made a difference to some of the largest businesses in Australia and New Zealand is really impressive.

2. What is the proudest moment in your career?

Two things come to mind here.

One was the turnaround of Gloria Jeans Coffees. People were telling me it was mission impossible but after 18 months we managed to make the average franchisee partner 25 per cent better off – it was extraordinary. I was really touched by some of their stories and to be able to bring that amount of change so quickly – no one was more surprised than I was.

Secondly, I’m also part of a leadership organisation called YPO, a global leadership community of extraordinary chief executives and in 2011 I was awarded the Global Best of the Best award for my work with the Forum groups. I was really honoured to receive this award in front of 3,500 CEOS in Denver, USA.

3. Who inspires you?

For me, Jesus is the ultimate leadership story. If you put the religious connotations aside and consider that a bloke who spent three years with 12 followers more than 2,000 years ago has the influence and following he does now – it’s pretty amazing. He’s arguably the most impactful leader of all time.

4. What are you passionate about?

As I came up through the ranks not knowing anything about leadership and found myself in a leadership position, I had a massive learning curve. Amid this, I saw a lot of great leaders who genuinely care about their people, but at the same time I saw a lot of leaders who don’t.

Because of this, I’m passionate about good leaders and humanising the workplace. I think we need to reframe leadership and create workplaces where people feel valued, where they are genuinely honoured and respected. We spend more time at work than anywhere else, it doesn’t have to be a bad place!

5. Name one thing on your bucket list

As I’m a bit of a motoring enthusiast I’d have to say I would love to do a Super Car tour of Europe. Driving through Italy, Germany and Switzerland in an insanely powerful car!


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