In the world of luxury car aficionados, Grant Barling is living the dream in the fast lane.
With more than 30 years of automotive corporate and retail experience, the newly appointed General Manager for Maserati Australia and New Zealand has a wealth of experience in leading companies to new heights.
Starting his career at Toyota Australia, Grant spent 12 years working his way up the ladder before moving on to Lexus Australia, where he spent more than a decade honing his leadership skills.
But it was during a jump back to Toyota where the businessman experienced one of his career highlights. Leading the Toyota Australia development and implementation of robust processes, Grant was able to capture and transfer sales and marketing knowledge to secure business continuity post consolidation from Sydney to Melbourne.
"This project was recognised as the largest business knowledge transition for an Australian company and successfully ensured a seamless transition of operations with minimal business disruption and no impact to customers or dealers," Grant tells The CEO Magazine.
After a senior role at Audi Australia, the passionate and driven executive is now taking his rich experience to the top levels of Maserati – and he’s dedicated to ensuring an exceptional customer experience across all 10 luxury dealerships in Australia and New Zealand.
Lauded as being a responsible and trustworthy leader who finds it important to continually innovate, it’s his lived experiences that Grant will be sharing as one of the esteemed judges of The CEO Magazine’s Executive of the Year Awards.
For the first time in a decade, the judges will be tasked with crowning not one but three CEOs of the Year.
"When the world has been feeling lost, leadership has become critical to realign businesses into the new future, fundamentally very different from the past," Grant says. "With the pressing demands on leaders, transforming companies has required them to lead in new ways, harnessing technology and rethinking the impossible."
And this sense of rethinking the impossible is front of mind for the luxury automotive executive.
"The bravest thing I’ve ever done was an ocean swim race in massive swell at Maroubra – scary!" he recalls.
Whether Grant is unwinding with his family at the beach, stretching every morning or meeting Buddhist monks in Kyoto, Japan, the luxury automotive executive makes room for wellness to allow for his driven business ambition to shine in the office.
By fostering an inclusive environment through diversity, showing compassion and being open, Grant’s approach to business is very much reflective of the wise words from Michelangelo.
"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it," he shares.
It’s a quality the seasoned manager will no doubt be looking for during the 2021 judging process.
Discover all the finalists for the 2021 Executive of the Year Awards and celebrate the winners at The Star, Sydney, during the black-tie gala dinner on 24 February 2022. Vaccination requirement to be confirmed.