Today show co-host Lisa Wilkinson reveals secrets of success
YESTERDAY was a significant day for Lisa Wilkinson.
It was her seven-year anniversary as co-host of the Nine Network's Today show, and the Sydneysider had bravely ventured into enemy territory on State of Origin day.
Lisa was in town as the special keynote speaker on day one of the Sunshine Coast Business Expo.
Having spent her honeymoon and yearly holidays here, Lisa said our backyard was "special country".
"If you could put it in a bottle, you would make an absolute fortune," she told the crowd of 220.
Lisa told of her rise in the media industry - first as editor of Dolly magazine at the age of 21 and then being hand-picked by Kerry Packer to edit Cleo.
There, she ditched the infamous centrefolds but replaced them with the 50 Most Eligible Bachelors list.
She told of giving a 14-year-old redhead with corkscrew curls her first magazine cover. That girl would later marry Keith Urban.
Lisa's story contained many lessons for business: the importance of finding a passion, doing the jobs others don't want to do, jumping in at the deep end, and grasping opportunities as they come your way.
"Despite more than three decades in the media, I've never had any formally recognised media training," she said.
"People would always ask me where I got my uni degree. The answer is: I don't have one.
"I decided this job (at Dolly) was going to be a classic case of sink or swim.
"I realised I knew my strengths and weaknesses better than anybody else and I wasn't going to give those naysayers the satisfaction of seeing me fail.
"What I lacked in formal training and longevity I would make up for in sheer hard work, gut instinct and determination.
"I made sure my staff were included in the changes I was making. I encouraged think tanks, I networked, I listened, and most importantly, I surrounded myself with the most talented people I could find.
"I don't get this whole competition thing that sometimes exists in business. I want the best people around me."
As a working mother of three, Lisa said she hated the term "having it all". "It is a complete misnomer invented by former US Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown in the early '70s," she said.