I’ve always had this idea that rich men were arrogant and that people in power were mean.
It’s a vicious stereotype, I know, but it’s one I’ve never been able to fault.
At ActivePipe, I work for two exceedingly wealthy men.
I’m talking co-owners of a multi-million dollar tech company and forefathers of their own separate, but successful businesses. They have boats and cars and beach houses on the waterfront, and their idea of an engagement present is a holiday to the Maldives.
Despite all their riches, these men are two of the most genuine, down to earth and generous human beings I have ever met.
They rock up to work in jeans and a tee, they drink instant coffee and they unclog blocked toilets. They put on an apron to cook steak sandwiches and they collect coffee mugs to start the dishwasher at the end of every day.
Ashley and Gavan are human leaders who prove you don’t have to be a corporate robot to lead a team and I think the world has a lot to learn from them.
Here are a few things they do right:
They are completely self-made:
These boys didn’t get the job because their dad handed it down to them. They both came from middle class families, worked their assess off and took massive risks to get where they are. Learning their hustle is inspiring; it demands our respect.
They give everyone a chance:
Their background changes their recruitment style. They don’t look at CVs, they look at work ethic and enthusiasm and someone who will take a bullet for their team. Our crew is made up of doctors and drop kicks and it’s that diversity that makes us so unique.
They get to know their staff members:
These men know each of their staff members like they know their own children. They know what motivates them, what they enjoy doing on the weekend and where they see themselves in five year’s time. They can tell when they’re stressed and will do everything they can to take a load off.
They don’t use KPIs:
In a world where people are numbers and ROI is paramount, these men delete KPIs from their business model. They believe that getting the culture right creates an obligation to perform because people are emotionally invested in the company and genuinely want it to succeed.
They spoil us:
Whether it’s free lunch on Friday, going to an escape room or knocking back a few beers in the courtyard, Ash and Gav always give their staff something to look forward to.
They give credit where it is due:
I will never forget the day I got my first article published in Elite Agent Magazine. Ash sent an email around to all staff congratulating me for my achievement. The gesture was small but it meant the world to me.
In that moment I realised that leadership isn’t about belittling your team, it’s about empowering them.
Leaders who yell, threaten and govern with fear are the ones their team want to overturn. Those who care, contribute and inspire are those their team want to champion.
Be kind; you’re going to get a hell of a lot more out of a team who love you than a team who hate you.
Keep killing it,