I had the pleasure of speaking with Andrew Barnes, Founder of Perpetual Guardian. Andrew introduced the four-day work week at Perpetual Guardian, as it was the “right thing” to do. As a leader Andrew believes in listening to his instincts rather than being driven by numbers.Here are the key leadership and life lessons that I learnt from our conversation:
1. Leadership is about trust. It’s about your people knowing that you have their back. When you care about their interests you’ll have a more engaged and productive workforce.
2. Success is about fulfilling your own expectations rather than the expectations of others. As you grow your expectations and goals keep shifting too.
3. Intuition over numbers! People use numbers to justify their decisions. The problem with numbers is that you’re always making decisions based on the past. As a leader you have to overcome the notion that numbers are needed to back your decisions. Instead, go with your gut feeling, trust your instinct and do what feels right!
4. Walk the talk and do as you say. Focus your efforts on communicating clear messages with your staff. Ensure that everyone is on the same page. It goes without saying that as a leader, it’s important for you to follow through and walk your own talk. Leading by example helps build trust within an organisation.
5. I asked Andrew for any advice or final thoughts. His advice was to take action and start working on your dreams. His only regret in life was that he didn’t start his entrepreneurial journey sooner. Action is everything — by taking action today you’ll be one step closer to achieving your dreams. Failing to launch or act will only open yourself up to a bigger risk of failure.
As a leader the five lessons above can help you connect with your staff and increase productivity. Check out the four-day week to find out more about Andrew’s initiative and the positive impact it had on staff engagement, wellbeing, work life balance and overall job performance.