What you learn from others in tough times

A leader’s role in tough times is really put to the test. These are some of the key things you can adopt or avoid if you find the going a bit tough.

Topic – The best and worst of tough times

Mentor – Milton Rendell

  • Who wants to be on the bus?
  • Measuring success on more than results
  • Adaptability is key

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Kevin:   Sometimes in the tough times, you learn a lot about yourself, which what we’re learning about in our conversations this week with Milton Rendell from Western Australia, who’s been through a really tough time. And it continues, as we learned yesterday too. Even though the market shows signs of turning around, it’s still tough, and you know, you sort of go in one direction, Milton, don’t you? Like you’re going full steam ahead and then all of a sudden you’ve got to make that change. How did you work that through with your team? What did you learn about the people on your team?

Milton Randell:   Well mate, it’s a, I found out who wants to be on the bus and who doesn’t want to be on the bus pretty quickly, as you could have picked.

Kevin:   Did they come to you?

Milton Randell:   Yeah look, I’ve got a pretty good team. Sadly we’re a smaller team than we were probably two years ago, but we’re still a good sized business, we’re still large in terms of Western Australian companies. But that’s not how you measure your success, you measure your success in two parts. One is through, obviously, the financial part and the second part is through your culture, and our culture’s pretty well maintained. Our staff is still very open with me and they still discuss things, but opinions of how you should run your business, and opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one. And sadly, that sort of pops up within your business and you have to deal with that, and I’ve had to deal with that accordingly.

Milton Randell:   But like I said, either they want to be on the bus or not on the bus,  and I’ve actually said that to my staff right up front. Either you’re going to come on this journey, or you’re going to jump off the bus. If you’re not prepared to be committed, I don’t want you to stay. I’d rather you go and not waste the time of the others.

Kevin:   Yeah, one of the big dangers in all of this is lip-service, isn’t it? Like, “Yeah no, Milton, I’m with you, I’m on the bus.” And then you turn around and you don’t show the signs. Have you, you know, you don’t put the actions in place. Have you had to face that?

Milton Randell:   Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely, and what happens also in, particularly in a different market, you have to be far more versatile, far more fluid in your business. You have to be ..

Kevin:   What do you mean by that mate? Can you explain that a bit more?

Milton Randell:   Adaptability. You know, your ability to adapt to different situations. I’ll give you an example, I had a chat to one of our guys today about our language within the office and how we speak to each other. I believe that there’s two types of customers, the internal and external. Internal is staff, how we treat each other. We shouldn’t treat each other differently to the way we treat the public, and one of the guys was asked to do something, and his answer wasn’t right, it was offensive, and all he had to say was “happy to help, and I’ve just got a little bit on, but I’ll be able to help you.” That’s all he needed to say, but he went a different path.

Milton Randell:   This is about the fluidness, fluidness in the way we speak to each to each other, fluid in the way that we’ve had to help each other. We have to, fluid adapts to whatever environment it’s in. If you put water into a container, it adapts to that environment. We have to, as a business, be the same. We also have to be that as a salesperson or whatever position we fill. Mate, change is thrust upon us whether we want it or not. We actually have no choice in life, and today, we’re outside our comfort zone, and you know what, that’s where all the fun is, outside your comfort zone, you’ve just got to realise it.

Kevin:   Good stuff. Great talking to you mate. I want to talk about habits tomorrow. Changing habits, changing outcomes. Milton Randell will join us then. Thanks mate.

Milton Randell:   All right Mate.


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