5 minutes with: Brad O’Brien

5 minutes with Office Choice CEO Brad O'Brien.


What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? 

I was an apprentice electrician. I worked out fairly quickly that I was a little on the clumsy side and was not meant to be exposed to live electrical wires. I quickly headed back to school! 

What would be your best piece of advice to a colleague? 

Close the circle. By this I mean don’t leave people with issues pending or unresolved. Too many times issues are left open because it might be a little uncomfortable or confrontational to resolve. My advice is: deal with it, get it resolved and move on!

What’s your favourite office product? 

Scan mouse. Got to love it! Definitely an indicator of where the industry is heading product wise. There are many more of this type of product to come.

What’s your greatest strength? 

Resilience. It is a much-needed trait in the world of dealer groups!

What would you like to be doing in five years’ time? 

The plan is to have the business in a position that allows me time to get back into the golf scene. I haven’t played for over five years and when I last did I was terrible, and I mean really terrible at it. I need to get back on course and conquer my demons!

What is mankind’s greatest invention? 

The internet, an amazing tool that has changed the way all people behave. Can you imagine life without it and how big our encyclopaedia collection would have to be?

What do you like best about the OP industry? 

The passionate and dedicated people who genuinely love their business and the industry. As part of my introduction to Office Choice I have visited over 30 dealers across Australia and this theme has been common across the board.

What’s the best book you’ve read in the last 12 months? 

Dean Karnazes’ Ultra Marathon Man. I love my long-distance running and this guy is incredible. He pushes his mind and body to levels that are just inconceivable to mere mortals like me!

If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would do? 

Give a big chunk to charity. In particular, The Smith Family, an Australian Children’s charity helping disadvantaged kids gets the most out of life. The website is www.thesmithfamily.com.au

If you had to sing at a karaoke next weekend, which song would you choose and why?  

Paul Kelly’s How to Make Gravy. A quintessential Australian song by a great Aussie artist! It tells a story about an incarcerated father who is going to miss Christmas with his family.

If you could invite two famous people for dinner, who would they be and why? 

Elvis Presley – a music pioneer who has transcended generations, plus I loved his persona and music when he was at his best. A very sad ending, but I would love to get an insight into how it all went so wrong. Also, Jennifer Hawkins – if you don’t know her go to Google and then take a wild guess to why she is on the list… no, it’s not why you think. She is quite the businesswoman and has built a substantial investment portfolio. It is that knowledge that I would like to plug into.

What was your first full-time job?   

Menswear Sales Assistant, specialising in underwear. It was an interesting introduction to the world of retail!