Andrew Beattie is a passionate business advisor, innovator and entrepreneur and is a great believer that we should all be on a path of continued improvement.
As well as being a Partner at PKF, he is a husband and a father of three, a confidante, a mentor, a networker, an investor, a sometimes lecturer, a public speaker and a mate to many.
Andrew is intent on reducing the number of small businesses that fail within their first three years (currently 70 per cent) and ensuring the survival of SMEs as the backbone of Australian business.
- What makes a good leader?
Good question. I think what makes a good leader comes down to understanding people. Some of the best leaders I’ve had have taken an interest, and not just a fly by interest, but a general, get to know you and what motivates you. I think also someone who is a good listener and someone who actually takes feedback, makes changes and applies them, and continually learns themselves. Someone who stops thinking they know it all. We should take the time out, so we can learn a lot of good stuff.
I think a good leader above all takes an interest in their people.
- What has shaped your leadership style?
Many things have shaped my leadership style, right back to my upbringing with my parents. I still think some of the fundamental rules – being a good leader, a good colleague, treating other people the way you want to be treated and stuff like that – start with your parents.
Some of the people I’ve worked with and some of the sporting teams I’ve been involved with – you learn quite a bit in those social or more relaxing environments.
I think a big one would be the mentors and the coaches that I’ve had.
- What motivates and drives you?
It’s probably a cliché I hear a lot of people saying – I like helping people. I don’t like using such a generic answer, but I do. I am a – my wife would say a bit of a weirdo – I’m a people watcher if you like. At airports, I hate shopping, but people intrigue me. I think a lot of things that we try to do, especially in business and dealing with a lot of SME business people, is just generally just wanting to see them achieve something. I guess from a business point of view, I genuinely love being in business. I love what business does for people and what the opportunity creates.
- What is unique about doing business in the Hunter?
I think the Hunter is quite a great testing ground and there’s so much diversity up here. And the businesses punch well above their weight. The innovation that we come across; it’s phenomenal. I think it is interesting, I’m not from here originally, so it’s quite procural, however that is changing a bit. I think a can-do attitude and some of the things we have achieved as a community makes it quite exciting. So, while it is a unique place, there can be a lot learned from what we have up here.
- Which local businessperson do you find inspiring?
I guess there’s quite a few. If I’m honest, too many to name. So, I guess I’ll probably get back to who I find inspiring who’s had the most impact on where I am today. The first one would be Terry Lawler, a Founding Partner from where we are. Terry had just a can-do attitude. Some of those things that made him good for the Hunter was that he was quite entrepreneurial, and he was quite ‘we can do it’ and help our people, not only clients, but people in our business. He probably left a fair impact on myself.
Then there is John Duncan, the previous owner of Sharp Electronics Group. He is a genuine man about giving back to the community and giving back to the families that the business had been impacting. He was about not just benefiting his employees, but also their families. It is quite a good insight.
I guess the third is very close to me, Neville Sawyer, one of the Founders of Amp Control. The innovation and the entrepreneurial investment spree he has brought to the Hunter is nothing short of admirable and deserves to be recognised.
All had an impact on me in different ways, and as I said there are so many you could name, but that is three in particular.