Bradley Wilson is a proud Novocastrian by birth, who after travelling, studying and working interstate for 15 years came home to start AOK Health.
An exercise scientist by training Bradley combined over 30 years practicing martial arts to develop a unique philosophy of combining skill acquisition and balance control as a basic for effective injury rehabilitation and improved sports performance.
Bradley has built a worldwide reputation for the quality and functionality of his mediBalls, with his exercise ball design used throughout the world by elite athletes and clinics.
He believes workplace leadership is about being adaptable to your team and there is no rule of thumb for effective leadership.
For a snapshot of our audiovisual interview with Bradley, please view the above video.
TO READ THE EDITED INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE SEE BELOW.
- Starting a business from scratch has likely seen your leadership style evolve, what changes do you believe have occurred?
Leadership involves the people you’re working with. So there is no rule of thumb for leadership because you have to modify to your team. Quite often the skills of your team will dictate how you want to lead them. So the idea is to try and get the best out of the capacity of your team members, rather than trying to generate some sort of fashionable leadership model.
- What leadership style do you have?
I think encouraging, but I like to lead by upskilling my team, so they can make decisions for themselves. The important thing is that they feel confident that you’ll trust their decisions. It’s up to you to make sure you give them the right skills, right knowledge and the intellectual property they require to do their job.
- How do you encourage creative thinking and leadership within your organisation?
We set lots of KPIs for our team and the idea from that is to give them some goals to try and reach. It is also to teach them how to reach goals and how to set goals. And then they use whatever creative means required to get there.
My job, because I’m the specialist, is to simplify the message. Then let the staff think about how they can best relate it to our customers.
- What is one mistake you witness leaders making more frequently than others?
Assuming something that’s not there. So this is about your expectations for somebody’s performance as a leader, or for your business. You assume something has been done, but it hasn’t or someone has enough information to make the right decision and you haven’t provided it.
Quite often if you’re busy, it’s the little things slip by. Leadership can sometimes be exasperating for your staff.
I don’t think there are any major faults I see in my peers in business. Usually it’s the pressure of decision making and timing that influence those things. Quite often it’s the smaller things that make a bigger impact with your team. It’s really being aware of those small things and making sure that the basics are done right. Then they’ll have confidence to move on from there. If you’re always thinking big picture you can get yourself into trouble.
- What is one action or task you ensure you incorporate into your diary each week?
For me personally it’s about looking to where we’ve got to go to. It’s the message I try to have in my mind clearly, that I need to be able then provide as a framework for my team. Sometimes that changes. So every week I try to make sure that I do that.
Personally, everyday I try to exercise and involve myself with our products and our customers. It’s really keeping that vision and keeping it simple ‚Äì it doesn’t have to be rocket science. Making it clear and concise. If I can pass that on to my team I’ve done a great job for that week. The times I let myself down and I let the team down are the times that I don’t do that. I’m a great believer in that management starts at the top and that’s why leadership is such an important part of business. It’s about providing inspiration for your team to move forward.
- What local businessperson do you find inspiring?
Someone I have had a lot to do with for the last 12 years or so is Kyle Loades. Kyle and I were on the board of the Hunter Business Chamber for eight years together. He started his business in that time (Auto Advantage) and I have seen him progress that business through to be a very successful business model enterprise. He has also gone on to become the President of the NRMA, as well as his other non-business roles.
That success has required great leadership skills, good discipline and to be able to simply plan and keep the goals for his team.