Jon Chin almost needs no introduction in the Hunter. He retired as Secretary Manager of Hexham Bowling Club in July 2016 after serving in the role for 24 years.
Along with Ossie the Mossie, his metallic partner in crime who sits outside the club, Jon and his team defied critics who said the Club couldn’t exist because of its geographic isolation and very small local community.
People marvel at where Jon finds his time and energy. As well as running the Club, he has been heavily involved in the Clubs industry, serving for 19 years as Clubs NSW Hunter Delegate. He also supports White Ribbon, Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation, Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, HYMC and Little Wings.
- What makes a good leader?
I think there are so many common characteristics of good leaders.
Probably things like the ability to see into the future, the ability to make decisions and also have the courage when they make the wrong decisions to correct themselves.
They have to be efficient in managing the staff and have the ability to motivate their staff to be part of the team because for me I am of the belief that no single person can run a business or organisation successfully – he or she has to depend on a team and a good leader is able to do that – to make sure that all are travelling along the same direction, that they are rowing in the same direction to have the success that they are looking for.
- How would you describe your leadership style?
Well, as I said earlier, I believe that we have to rely on a team. My management style really is built around that.I am one who believes in not so much in having a team of champions but a champion team. To do that I’ve got to make sure that I have got the right people with the right skills to work with me and to do that I need to have the ability to communicate with them so that we are all on the same page.
Working in the club/hospitality industry it is so important for us to have a team that is able to welcome visitors and I have been very fortunate where I have been working for the last 24 years at the Hexham Bowling Club to have terrific staff who are so good at doing that and that is the reason for our success.
- What are some of the key issues facing the Clubs’ industry?
I think by and large the bigger clubs are doing quite well.It is the smaller clubs, and usually they’re the bowling clubs, and recently even the golf clubs are suffering a little bit so let’s be honest, the economy is not doing all that well, consumer confidence is at a very low ebb.With the smaller clubs it is so difficult for them to get the right people to come on board and that is the issue because they are really trying to regurgitate what they have been doing in the past years and it is no surprise that they are not getting the results.Unfortunately, many of these small clubs will fall by the wayside in the next 5 – 10 years.
- What’s a good thing about doing business in the Hunter?
I think Newcastle is a small big city. We have proven ourselves to be resilient.
The demise of the steel industry created new diversity of businesses.
We survived the earthquake and we’ve got people here who have got the talents.
When we are doing business in Newcastle we don’t have to rely on the need to import things here. We are able to create this kind of a business supporting each other which is really something that spells so much success for our region.
- Which local leaders inspire you?
We have got quite a lot of very good leaders in our region. I think we’re so blessed. For me working with the not-for-profit organisations I see so many of these talented leaders there and it may surprise you to know that I have got two that I would like to mention, and they are both ladies.
One is Kay Sharp – she is the Chair of the Hunter Youth Mental Collaborative as well as being an Executive Director of the Hunter Valley Training Company. She has the ability to get her team to work together. There’s no personal agendas, it is for the benefit of the organisations.
The other is young Grace McLean. Here is a lady that created this organisation known as NFP Connect and she is there helping people who are working in the not-for-profit organisations to improve their skills, and to marry the not for profit organisations with the business organisations and is such an inspiration.
Talking about the Hunter Youth Mental Collaborative, I was rather saddened this morning to hear of the passing of Professor Trevor Waring. He himself is such an inspiring leader, not only a great academic but a wonderful human being.