Orphan to CEO: Ted Prince of Perth Leadership

If you were to ask Ted Prince what the lowest phase in his life was, he’d point to the very beginning. 

Abandoned on the streets of London when he was 4 years old, Ted moved around kids’ homes within England, and then Australia, until he was 18. He considers this to be one of his biggest advantages because, “when you start so low, you can only go up from there.” And that’s exactly what he did. 

After tackling Australia’s social security problem as the head of IT, Ted made quite the name for himself within the tech world. He moved to the United States to start a privately-owned software company in New York City, quickly being recruited to become the CEO of a public company in Boston that specialized in archiving software. 

“Running a public company is 1,000 times harder than running a private company.” 

All this leadership experience taught Ted a thing or two about simplifying the process of success. It largely begins (and ends) with an individual’s behavior and desires. 

“Do you want to be a CEO or not? If you want to be a CEO, that’s a very different kettle of fish — a very different trajectory — than if you don’t. If you don’t want to be a CEO, you don’t have to take responsibility. You can be footloose and fancy-free, but you have to do what you’re told the rest of your life.” 

Ted knew that being told what to do wasn’t his cup of tea, so he continued to find ideas that allowed him to be creative and in control. This brought him to leadership studies, using his background to advance the careers of others. 

This began when Ted wrote an article for MIT on the theory of predicting success based on individuals’ behavior. A book followed. After a lecture at Columbia University, Ted was asked where the test was to prove his theory. But Ted didn’t have a test, he just had his theory. 

Ted decided he either had to put up or shut up. He put up. 

“I’m very against theory. If you haven’t done it, you haven’t done it.” 

For the last 15 years, Perth Leadership has been doing tests with some of America’s largest corporations (the likes of Coca Cola and BMW) to assess their management’s success potential. The test Ted was questioned about has become clear and science-based on individuals’ behavior (not their job experience or how long they’ve been a CEO), that he can tell you whether or not a person fits into the 12% of people who will make money for their company. 

“Once you define value, it needs to be sustainable. If it’s not sustainable, it’s not value.” 

Ted practices what he preaches — in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Perth Leadership took a major hit. So, in true entrepreneurial fashion, Ted pivoted. He took the individual assessment and translated it into big-picture management assessments, creating a database that rates public companies based on their current management teams. 

“If you know it all now, you don’t have anything left to learn,” Ted says. He’ll continue learning, and encouraging others to do the same, for the long haul. 

Listen to the 135th episode of the WHOA GNV podcast to hear more about Ted Prince’s road to entrepreneurial success.

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