Launching performHR in 2008, Lyndell Fogarty has developed a business model that is challenging the way HR can be done. Working with businesses locally and nationally, her team deliver an end-to-end HR solution that businesses have often learnt to live without.
Lyndell is a great advocate of outsourcing what you’re not good at or passionate about to ensure that, as a leader, you focus on your strengths.
She accredits surrounding herself with the best people in their field for enabling her to achieve the results she has.
- What path led to your current role?
My current role is something that I didn’t actually set out to do. I had a great idea in my lounge room seven years ago with children running around and I thought yeah, let’s give it a go and not really understanding what I was creating.
I have a background in HR and I have worked with a lot of different companies, mainly in corporate and mainly Sydney, and just felt that there was something that we could build to offer to the mid-tier market.
- How has starting your own business changed you as a leader?
I have had to put everything that I was teaching in my HR ‘day job’ into action. There is nothing like taking theory and actually applying it, it’s completely different and I believe having to practise what I have always taught has made me a better leader because I have got a greater appreciation of the challenges that we face every day and there is no book that can teach you everything that you need to know.
Probably one of the other things that I have learnt in this journey is that you need to be open to what it is that you are not great at and be willing to develop that or surround yourself with people that are good at that.
- What tricks do you have to manage your priorities and your time?
I have a great support crew and being a working mum and building a business you don’t switch off‚ it is not a 9 – 5. First of all you’ve got to have a great husband that you can ‘tame’ and delegate to really effectively and still stay married, that’s really helpful, and outsource what you don’t enjoy doing. Outsource the cleaning up, outsource the ironing, I find that if I can have home running fairly effectively but still having fun I can focus at work.
In relation to managing my time at work I have got a good team who know that I am better when I am out of their way and allowing them to get on with the day to day operations and I get out to play to my strengths.
- What is one mistake you witness leaders frequently making?
Believing they have to do it all.
With the businesses that we work with, generally we are working with the founder or one of the founders. They start their business because they are really good at doing something and as they get more successful they get more people, they get more clients, they can still years later be thinking that have to do everything as if they were just starting the business.
They don’t remove things from their plate, that they are half good at a lot of things as opposed to realising that if they stuck with the core reason they started the business and drove that, and surrounded themselves and supplemented with people that are good at other aspects they will achieve far more.
- What local businessperson do you find inspiring?
I get inspired most day, I have the privilege of getting to know a lot of different businesses and a lot of different business owners. There are a couple that stand out for me. I have a deep affection and admiration for Neville Sawyer, one of the founders of Ampcontrol and that is borne out of his willingness to share and be vulnerable around all the lessons he learnt over his many, many years of building what is an amazing organisation.
Then there is a diverse range of other people that I really, really admire – people like Samantha Alford who is doing some great, innovative business ideas that she is getting off the ground here in Newcastle.
In terms of the Hunter, we’ve got a greenfield site to make a difference, we’ve got great talent and as a region we’ve realised that we have got to look at things differently and we are willing to nurture that talent and I think we’ll see some amazing businesses come through in the next few years because we are willing to think differently and challenge the norm and break out of that coal mentality, that coal paradigm.
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