Making Time to Develop Your Leadership Skills is Good for Business | An Interview with Peter Vardy
In a recent article by the Scotsman, Peter Vardy, a successful British businessman and philanthropist, shares his key to success — a motivated staff. He believes that investing in developing the leadership skills of his staff contributes to the growth of his organization, and for the past 14 years, he has been a regular attendee of the Global Leadership Summit. Below are excerpts from the article. To read the entire article, click here.
[…] “We are better,” he says, without a hint of arrogance but simply the assuredness of a man who believes that doing the right thing is also good for business.
Unlike most car dealerships, Peter Vardy is closed on a Sunday, but not in deference to its founder’s Christian faith. The decision to go to six days a week was in response to a staff survey that raised concerns about work-life balance, and on making the switch seven years ago, car sales increased.
The company has a flexible work policy and recently Vardy set up a staff share scheme to hand over as much as 5 per cent of the equity in the next five years.
Vardy says happy and motivated staff are key to success in the modern market, where so much information about trade-in values and financing options are now available online. These days, dealers must rely more than ever on providing excellent service. “Everything is much more transparent now, and there are less cowboys out there,” Vardy says. “Now you actually have to do a good job. We have always tried to do that, so perhaps things are swinging our way.”
The group employs about 800 people in total across three divisions, with its network of 12 franchises representing Vauxhall, Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche, BMW and Mini generating the majority of turnover and revenues.
[…] But Vardy also has his own take on the world, which has been partly shaped by his participation for the past 14 years in the Global Leadership Summit run by the Willow Creek Association in Chicago. Originally developed to help church leaders sharpen their skills, speakers have included a large range of high-profile names from a variety of fields such as Bono, Carly Fiorina, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.
“I wouldn’t miss it,” says Vardy, who has taken groups of staff from his company to the annual event in August. “Everything moves so fast these days, you have got to try and make some time to develop your leadership skills.
“Probably the most important thing I have learned from it is that when a leader gets better, everybody wins. If you can upskill all the leaders in an organisation, then it can grow.”
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