CEOs, Founders, Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Haggai Alon, Founder & CEO of Security Matters

August 21, 2019

Haggai Alon is the Founder and CEO of ASX listed brand protection and authentication company, Security Matters, which is focused on becoming the global record for physical goods through its unique technology for asset tracking.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your background and career?

I grew up in rural Israel, within a community that was centred around agricultural and started working on the farms from a very early age. I loved this as it means I grew up outside and really got to have a childhood.

However, once I was old enough, I made a run for the city to find a job that challenged my mind and developed my skills. I always had a keen mind for business and commerce so decided to go full steam ahead with that plan. I’m one of the lucky ones as it worked out in my favour.

2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?

I am the Founder and CEO of ASX listed blockchain and brand-protection company Security Matters Ltd.

I am responsible for ensuring that the company grows, makes money and delivers on the strategy is has laid out. This means I actively manage our position and sentiment within the financial markets.

I spend a lot of time on the phone to clients and sitting with the senior management and business development team.

3) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I get up very early, around 5am because we are listed in Australia it is important that we have as many overlapping ‘awake’ hours as possible. I find it most conducive to getting things done.

I firstly check my overnight emails, take the children to school then head into the office. I spend the rest of the day in meetings, on the phone or answering questions.

4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you prioritise your workload?

My experience has taught me that it is essential you hire good people with the right skills and experience, enabling them to hit the ground running. This also means you can delegate time consuming and/or important tasks and you’ll trust it will be delivered correctly and on time.

I also have a working ‘to do’ list that never seems to get any shorter but allows me to see exactly what I have to do. This means I can priorities and reprioritise my workload as it comes in.

5) In between your job, life and all your other responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?

I am a very active person and make sure that I do some kind of sport, activity or exercise every day. This might be running home from the office or playing tennis in the garden with the kids.

My kids keep me very balanced, they’re still young and really don’t care for “boring business” things. They just want to have fun and they’re very good at dragging me along.

6) What are some of the things you do to take time out and recharge?

During the winter I go hiking a lot as I’m lucky to have multiple walking trails not too far from home. During the summer we spend most weekends at the beach.

7) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?

Probably the best habit I’ve picked up is to be patient and listen because you speak. I operate at 100miles per hour every day, but others don’t so I have learnt to be flexible and adapt to other people’s styles and pace of working.

I’ve also learnt to trust more. I trust people to do what they said they would.

8) Are there any books you’ve read that have helped you with work-life balance?

Just after we started Security Matters, I read Mastering Change – Introduction to Organizational Therapy by Ichak Adizes. This is a great book and prepares you for what to expect and how to handle change in business.

9) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

I save time by calling people or meeting them face to face. I find this the quickest and easiest way to get things done and puts the responsibility on them to come back with a response.

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