Local Bundaberg business identities (from left) Greg Bath, Peter Byrne, Michael Dempsey and Wayne Tomkins line up to find out once and for all if height is a measure of success.
Local Bundaberg business identities (from left) Greg Bath, Peter Byrne, Michael Dempsey and Wayne Tomkins line up to find out once and for all if height is a measure of success. Mike Knott and Max Fleet

Analysis of CEOs tells tall story

WHEN it comes to career success, evidence has shown many high-flyers are head and shoulders above their peers — but local movers and shakers are undecided whether height is a true measure of success.

A study of Fortune 500 company chief executive officers found nearly 60% were taller than 183cm (six feet), compared to only 14.5% of the total population.

While nearly a third of the business heavyweights stretch out the tape measure to 188cm (6ft 2in), the general rate is a mere 3.9%.

At 180cm (5ft 11in), Ross Gray Motor City general manager Neil Weston fell just short of acceptance into the 6ft club, but has risen through the ranks to take the helm of one of Bundaberg's biggest auto traders.

Mr Weston maintains when it comes to the cut-throat world of business, it is not the size of the dog that counts, but rather the size of the fight in the dog.

“If you're willing to get in there and put in the hard work, I don't think a person's height really comes into it,” he said.

“It's your drive and determination that counts, not the number on your driver's licence.”

Bundaberg Regional Council CEO Peter Byrne stands 188cm (6ft 2in) tall, but said he claimed the local authority's top job through good old-fashioned hard work and elbow grease.

“I started with council 38 years ago and I very much doubt my stature had anything to do with my appointment as CEO,” Mr Byrne said.

“I think a desire to work to better yourself is the key to success.”

NewsMail general manager Wayne Tomkins, who falls just shy of the magic mark at 182cm, believes career success came about not from height, but from “a mixture of hard work, determination and a bit of good luck”.

Bucking the trend was REIQ Bundaberg chairman Michael Dempsey, who believes tall people have a natural advantage over the vertically challenged in the boardroom.

“I think people tend to take taller people more seriously,” he said.

“Taller people tend to get noticed a bit more often and have a strong physical presence, which can help in their career progression.”

At 185cm (6ft 1in) Mr Dempsey is no towering timber but is glad he broke the 6ft mark.

“I think tall people tend to be a bit more confident than shorter people and that can go a long way,” he said.



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