Human Resources

C-suite career advice: Peter Dickinson, Greentree

Peter Dickinson

 Company: Greentree

 Job Title: CEO, Greentree International

 Location: Auckland, New Zealand

What was the most valuable piece of career advice that you received?
“In business the most critical thing will be who you partner with.”  You don’t have to agree on everything but you need to work with people who share your values and beliefs.

What was the worst piece of business advice that you received?
The biggest clanger, espoused or implied by many in business: “People are simply resources”. The reality is people are never simple and treat them as a commodity at your peril.

And from a relative who was at retirement age but still on the board of several large companies. He was adamant that I shouldn’t go down the computer path because it was “a fad that wasn’t going to last”.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the tech industry?
Watch out for the old guys. When I started in the tech industry there were no old guys, now there is some good grey matter under the grey hair and you should leverage off that for all it’s worth (before shoving them out of the way).

What tips would you give to someone aiming for a c-level position?
As above; find a couple of great mentors and work them hard.

Are you particularly proud of any career advice that you’ve given or the career route/development of anyone you’ve mentored?
Not specifically advice but an action I’ve taken that’s really hard to do - telling someone good to leave because you don’t have an opportunity to support their next career step. It takes courage but has some surprisingly positive long-term paybacks.


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