David N.

Understanding what success means to you

During his 9 years with the Leadership Academy David N. went from employee, to shareholder and then to selling his successful business. Key to making that journey with confidence was the time spent learning what was important to him and so what true success looked like.

David began his career as an insurance broker in Paddington, working his way into management. When he joined the Leadership Academy he was first to admit that he had little experience in actually running a business: “However, that initial period took me through huge changes and allowed me to upskill with everything I needed to know,” he said.

In that period David increased profits by a factor of 4 but when his business partner decided to leave he was also ready to make a decision on whether to sell or arrange an MBO.

Understanding what he wanted to achieve and working with the support of his peer group, or “the board you couldn’t afford” as David calls his Academy peer group, he decided to sell consolidated his learning by setting goals and being held accountable, particularly at 6-monthly Academy retreats.

“The biggest thing the Academy gave me was my confidence,” he said. “I had a group of people around me made up of business owners and leaders, all with different skill sets. I learned business skills from speakers in the morning and in the afternoons the board meetings would develop me as a person.”

This holistic development of both business skills and personal awareness is fundamental to how the Leadership Academy works. “The Academy makes you realise how ambitious you really are and that success looks different for different people. The Academy helps you unlock your potential, whatever it is. It helped me to understand what was important to me and that success was no good if it made you unhappy.”

During his time with the Leadership Academy David realised a five-fold increase in his share value and has put all his energies into a new business. But, more importantly for him, the team he built 25 years ago is still with him and they also benefited from the sale and share in the subsequent growth driven by David’s personal vision of success.