John Lynch is a truly amazing individual, a leader and a passionate advocate for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). In his time as CEO of RFDS Central Operations, I had the privilege of working closely with John. Not only did I witness his leadership skills in action, the successful recruitment partnership between RFDS and SULLIVAN Consulting is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when two organisations with shared values and goals work together.
Meet John Lynch OAM
John has dedicated much of his career to the work of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Joining the organisation in 1986, he progressed to Chief Financial Officer of RFDS Central Operations in 1991, then took up the role of Chief Executive Officer for RFDS Central Operations in 2000, a leadership position he continued in for 18 years.
His outstanding contribution to the RFDS over more than 30 years has been recognised with the naming of a purpose-built aeromedical jet in his honour. He has also been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his services, an honour of which he is truly deserving. After retiring from his role with the RFDS, John has continued his work in the community and put his valuable experience to good use in roles such as Chairman of Foundation Broken Hill, Chairman of the Country Fire Service Foundation and a Board Member of the Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network.
I first met John in 2005 when we discussed the possibility of the RFDS engaging me on a recruitment assignment. In the 15 years since then, I have been delighted to partner with John on a number of recruitment assignments and I have always enjoyed working with him. He is easy to work with, communicates well and trusts your judgement.
When I think about what makes a successful leader, John stands out for his personable nature, his clear focus and determination, his sound business and financial knowledge, his diverse network and his humility. I personally have learnt many things from John over the past 15 years; treating people with respect and being yourself are the two that come to mind.
I also admire his storytelling abilities, his trusting and perfectionist nature along with his ability to build relationships. To me, these qualities have held John in good stead throughout his career and enable his continued effectiveness in making a difference in his chosen field and the broader community.
A successful recruitment partnership
As John’s impressive contribution to the RFDS shows, every organisation is only as good as its people. Having partnered successfully with John and the RFDS over some 13 years to recruit senior positions for the not-for-profit organisation demonstrates the effectiveness of a relational approach to recruiting, which is core to the SULLIVAN Consulting philosophy. This approach is one which, in my experience, many organisations with similar values appreciate and can benefit from.
Reflecting on his experience with SULLIVAN Consulting, John says, “From the onset of engagement, Andrew established an understanding of our business and a passion for the culture we have and has been the major player in the recruitment of our senior management positions at the Royal Flying Doctor Service Central Operations.”
Taking advantage of our fresh, digital recruitment strategies and our executive search capabilities, the RFDS has made strong appointments. John credits our work with presenting a shortlist of top talent and “allowing us [RFDS] a breadth of choice rather than a limited selection.” In addition, John says, “[Andrew’s] success rate and hence our stability and growth go hand in hand…”.
Seeing clients like the RFDS grow and succeed, and helping them source the right people to make that happen, is one of the highlights of my role as a recruiter. It also shows the positive outcomes that can be achieved when organisations with shared values work together and play to their individual strengths. For me, John’s leadership is an example of enabling people and businesses to do just that.