Growing up in a State house, the son of a solo mother and a largely absent father, Ben Bartlett’s childhood had its fair share of challenges. And, his early life was punctuated with family dysfunction, financial struggles, schoolyard fights, and poor school grades where he barely scraped through School Certificate and failed his first attempt at University Entrance.
However, Ben’s mindset began to change for the better in 1981 when he was introduced to the teachings of the late Paul J. Meyer, the world’s largest-selling personal development author (US $3 billion dollars in sales), and a world authority on goal setting and personal motivation. Ben listened to Paul J. Meyer’s cassette tapes and studied his courses, and Meyer sparked his interest in human potential and performance.
Since then, Ben has built a successful background that combines business and marketing strategy, high performance sport, church/community leadership, and family success. This background is underpinned with an education that includes a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) with an “A” average from the University of Waikato. And, it builds upon Ben’s passion for research and writing about strategy, high performance, work-life leadership and business/personal development.
As a business and marketing strategist Ben has worked more than 25 years developing strategies that have helped to grow multi-million dollar businesses, products and brands, assisted struggling firms to overcome competitive difficulties, turned around under-performing teams, and helped to improve team culture and relationships.
Ben has worked with some of the country’s top business leaders, corporates and small firms including Tower, AdvisorGroup, National Bank, Marley, Honda NZ, Diners Club, Fresh to Go, Red Cross, SC Johnson and ING. His work has featured at industry conferences in New Zealand and Australia, and has even been subject to legal action being taken against others who have stolen his ideas, concepts and plans.
Ben is a pioneer in the field of design thinking and visual strategic planning, a process that uses visual tools and creativity to aid analysis, planning, decision-making and goal setting. Worldwide, design thinking and visual planning has grown rapidly in the last ten years, is taught at leading universities such as Harvard, and practiced at global corporates including Google and PepsiCo.
As a church and community leader Ben has headed organisations as large as 300 people, with expertise in leading teams spanning a diverse range of ethnic, socio-economic, family, religious and occupational backgrounds. Also, since the mid-90s Ben has been a sports/fitness coach, scout leader and life skills mentor – working mainly on a volunteer basis with youth. And, during this time he has produced championship-winning sports teams in rugby, cricket and touch rugby, assisted youth in transforming their health and fitness levels, and helped them to work hard towards achieving personal and team goals.
A masters athlete with a longtime interest in health and fitness, Ben competes at national level in the sport of touch rugby and is a former New Zealand touch representative. Plus, he has competed in running events from 5k to the marathon, and strength events (His best lifts are 160kg squat, 170 kg deadlift, and 97kg bench press at a bodyweight of 65kg). Ben can still perform with the high school seniors he coaches – some of whom are national representatives – in standardised fitness tests, and is fitter than most men half his age.
With regards to family, Ben has been married for 30 years, has three sons, and enjoys supporting his sons in their sporting, academic and career pursuits. Together, Ben and his wife enjoy watching sports such as rugby and cricket, and playing badminton.