Before our lives underwent significant change because of COVID-19, I had the pleasure of catching up with Philip Gardner, a successful and well-known businessman in Newcastle. Phil, as CEO of the Wests Group and Newcastle Knights, has (and continues to) achieve quite a lot. We touched on subjects like the power of listening, the importance of remaining humble and getting out of your “bubble”.

Phil’s top tips for you include:

  • Working in different industries opens you up to different thinking. You need to get out of your “bubble” to progress yourself and your business;
  • At the end of the day, arrogance is the great killer in relationships, whether it’s arrogance in people you’re working with or your own arrogance. As a leader, if you can be humble and listen more than you talk you’ve got a great chance to lead people well. If you’re a micromanager you can’t run the organisation – you have to let people grow and be open to change;
  • Listening is the most underrated skill that leaders need and is as important to do at home with your family too;
  • Genuinely care about your staff, their futures and the transitioning of their careers, even at the base level you need to make sure your team is receiving training. Always invest in staff to make the experience better – for your team, for your customers and for themselves; and
  • There is nobody that has been successful that hasn’t regularly failed and applied their learnings to improving.
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