This Podcast seeks to answer one simple question. 

How do you build a business that people feel compelled to talk about?

Paul Scurrah - CEO of Pacfic National  

How do you get your team to feel as passionately about your business as you do? So they become the front-line in spreading the word?

Today on the Remarkable Project, I am honoured to bring you a conversation with the CEO of Pacific National - Paul Scurrah. Paul was the CEO of Virgin Australia when the pandemic hit and before that was the CEO at Queensland Rail and also had Non-executive Director roles at the Queensland Suns, AWH and Australia Post.


Paul Scurrah is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific National, a role he was appointed to earlier this year. As Australia’s largest private rail freight company, Pacific National are integral in keeping Australia’s economy moving, and have been supporting the country’s supply chain since 1855.

In this episode of The Remarkable Project Paul talks about why acting authentically in line with your values, and communicating on a personal, human level, are both key to mobilising people towards positive sentiment and a shared purpose.  He also shines a light on why the way an organisation deals with complications or crises can be even more important than how it behaves when all is well and good.

Takeaway points:

  • When people feel heard, appreciated, rewarded and secure, they are able to grow. As a leader, be generous with time, be respectful on a human level and offer support on an individual basis, not just a group one.
  • By communicating with people with transparency, timeliness and real leadership, a sense of trust can bring calmness and consideration to even the most critical of situations. Uncertainty is a massive anxiety driver, and it’s well known that an uninformed wait feels longer than an informed one, even if you don’t have much to share.
  • As a leader you have to be the living, breathing embodiment of your purpose and intent, so that your people can believe in it, and you.
  • The closer you can be to the frontline of people delivering the customer experience, to hear them, to empower them, the more likely you are to make decisions that will be embraced by those staff and customers themselves.
  • Effectively articulating value, and personalising it at every turn, means a race to the bottom in terms of cost doesn’t have to be inevitable. There are intangible elements that people are willing to pay more for, including human touch, quality of service, consistency and “feel-good” factor.
  • The optimum way to build deep trust is how you respond to problems or issues and make them ‘right’. Because customers are more engaged with you through that process than when everything goes to plan, there is a real chance to show them that you have their back.

Remarkable Quotes:

[05:09] “…the way I like to run companies is to be very clear about the culture statement, about the direction, the vision, the purpose, the priorities and the values and behaviours, and they should be designed to work in the best of times and the worst of times.”

[06:15] “…I want to be the boss that I wish I had…would I work for me?”

[15:10] “…people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Resources Mentioned:

The Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore [1999] More Information Here >> 

Get connected with Paul:

Learn more about Paul and connect with him via LinkedIn

Take a closer look at Pacific National here

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