Graham’s triumph speaks volumes of his leadership style
Rockingham-based Hearing Biz hearing rehabilitation specialist Graham Weir talks to JACQUI O’LEARY about leadership from within and creating a harmonious workplace.
Q: What does leadership mean to you?
A: To my mind, the best leadership style is to hire the best people you can find and give them the freedom to use their own initiative to develop best practice solutions within clearly defined professional boundaries, and then treat them as professional colleagues, not just employees.
Q: How has your leadership style changed over time?
A: It hasn’t changed much beyond the above basic principles. Customers judge businesses by the attitude of the people who work there. The role of leadership is to create the best possible environment that will bring out the best in staff and customers alike. Leaders must listen and be prepared to innovate, not dictate.
Q: Which business leader do you most admire?
A: Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of leadership in any enterprise. Since He had to instruct those who may have been enthusiastic but didn’t fully understand His mission, He perfectly exercised the leadership wisdom that was from above. “First pure, then peaceable, gentle, (and) easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17)
Q: What’s the best advice you were ever given?
A: Listen. Be humble. Don’t arrogantly assume you have all the answers.
Q: What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?
A: Keep focused on your core business.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in business?
A: Marketing. In a competitive environment, the most difficult task is to create the right message and get a good response rate.
Q: What has been the most important moment of your career?
A: Going back into private practice again. There is nothing like the freedom (and the challenges) of working for yourself.
Q: Which technology can you not live without?
A: High-technology hearing aids. With severe hearing loss myself since the age of eight, I simply could not have made the career advances I have without my hearing aid.
Q: How do you relax?
A: Walking, swimming and spending time with our grandchildren.
Q: What do you hope Rockingham will be like in five years time?
A: Rockingham’s waterfront area has a lot of potential for further development of residential and recreational areas. There is so much industry here I would think a large international resort with a good-sized convention facility on the waterfront (preferably not high-rise) would serve to attract more business leaders and innovators to focus on Rockingham. Also, a think-tank needs to be formed to work out innovative ways to tackle increased crime.
Q: What can be done to promote local business sector growth?
A: What about a business incubator linked with an innovative range of council incentives to encourage businesses to locate here? For example, some landlords offer rent-free periods as an incentive. Why not offer rate-free periods and subsidised establishment costs to encourage more industries to base here, and then market that message in innovative ways?
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