Read and listen to Dave’s story about finding purpose – first for himself, and then for countless businesses across the world – in this 16th Episode of the #AmplifyYourBusiness Podcast.
Length: 73 minutes
Dave is a leadership coach by trade – he lives to help people get in touch with their ‘why’. He’s worked internationally in coaching, training, banking and business management for several decades. In his own words, “I’m a guy who loves purpose.”
He’s also a father of three, and a soon-to-be author with a book coming out this quarter.
Raised in a family that valued security, Dave went through school and got a safe job in the finance and banking industry. His passion for leadership came from a mentor who saw leadership potential in him, and set him on a path to personal development and leadership coaching.
After 13 years in the banking industry, the dream of leadership couldn’t be contained any longer. He left his position and flew to Papua New Guinea to take on a position at a bank that needed leadership. His job was to “take the team from the 60’s to the 90’s” through business coaching and leadership.
After 14 months in Papua New Guinea, (More on his adventures there in a minute!) Dave moved back to his first home north of Toronto, Canada.
The goal? To start his own leadership business. The path? Not an easy one.
Dave had to sell his house in Australia to cover overheads he needed to work in an international coaching business. He had no community in Toronto besides two cousins. And he had two young children and a wife to support. “The move was not an easy sell to my wife,” Dave laughs.
From this seed, he built his leadership experience up over the next 10 years. During this time, he found his own ‘why’, and developed a selling process that saw him become the national sales leader. For more on his methods, skip to the section on How Dave Turns Businesses Around.
“Sometimes, life happens to you,” Dave remembers.
The global financial crisis hit Canada hard, and Dave lost a huge chunk of his business. He had also just remarried, and was settling into that new life.
With nothing but trouble on the horizon, Dave called his dad who lived in Western Australia, and asked him what he was doing about the Financial Crisis.
“What financial crisis?” his dad said. “It’s booming here!”
So once again, Dave picked up sticks and moved to WA in 2009. From there, he’s built a successful business and his life is better than ever.
On his first day in Papua New Guinea – just after he landed – one of executives at the bank that hired Dave pulled him aside and said:
“Dave, I know what they’ve hired you here to do. But let me tell you, you can’t teach these people anything. Two weeks after you’ve shown them something, they’ll go back to doing what they always did. So just do your job, have a good time, stay safe, take your money, go on your holidays and don’t worry about it.”
Dave quickly realised that this was the prevalent mentality amongst the training team. And he quickly rejected it.
Fourteen months later, Dave had created an incredible change in the company. How? By focusing on what motivated the staff he was training. By focusing on their ‘why’.
He reverse-engineered their goals: reminding them every day of how they needed to think and behave in order to achieve those goals. He calls it the ‘BEHAVE’ system: “Who do you need to be, in order to have what you want to have – and how would they Behave?”
15 years after Dave left, he heard from a bank employee in Papua New Guinea. She had been featured in an employee spotlight press release, and credited her success to the time she spent with Dave all those years ago.
“That’s what it’s all about for me.” Dave said.
Five years ago, Dave was asked to become GM of Apprentice and Traineeship Company ATC Midwest. It’s a 30-year old non-profit that was struggling even during boom times because it had become complacent from years of walk-in business.
At the rate it was going, the business wouldn’t have lasted another 2 years.
“This was my chance to get back in the trenches.” Dave thought. He took the gig.
Five years later, he’s turned the business around. How? By bringing the focus to purpose – to the why of the business.
Always Focus on Why You Do Business
Never Focus on How you Do Business
Care about Your Employees
“There I was, sitting on the floor of the bedroom my two kids shared. It was the middle of the night and they were both asleep. I thought to myself… Ok, I’ve got enough money to cover rent and bills for the next month – and that’s it.”
When Dave moved back to his home town north of Toronto, Canada to start his own career, he wasn’t successful at first. It had been a few months and he hadn’t yet sold a leadership training package.
“Then I thought, ‘What have I done to my family?’ I have to find a steady job, I have to give up coaching.”
Dave had the skills, but they weren’t transferring to sales and growth. He’d spent the last few months driving past the BMW’s and large houses of the CEO’s and company Presidents he was trying to sell to, watching them enviously through the windows of his ‘shitty Ford.’
“But then – what am I teaching my kids if I give up?” Dave thought. “I can’t quit! I need to ask more of myself! I need to change the way I’m doing things! This month is my time to make a change.”
From that moment, Dave’s life did change. He broke the sales system he’d been taught. He built a new one based on staying relaxed while selling. Then he made a sale. Then another, and another, and another. Within 12 months, he had become the sales leader for Canada.
This is where Dave’s BEHAVE system came from. “Who do I need to BE, in order to HAVE what I want to have – and how would they BEHAVE?”
This is what finding your ‘why’ can do. If you have a compelling reason, you can change who you are, and accomplish what you need to – no matter what that is.
Dave’s recommendation is simple: get more in touch with your purpose.
This valuable advice gets at the heart of what motivates us. The “Prophet of Purpose” aims to unlock the engine driving everything else. When you’re in touch with your purpose, you can make any change to behaviour, thinking or business that is necessary in order to achieve success.