Jeff Shute is a director at Shaw Gidley, and has broad experience in all aspects of corporate insolvency and reconstruction, across a range of industries.
He is an inclusive leader, who looks to generate motivation in his team, whilst providing a clear direction.
Jeff believes that to be effective leaders need to actively listen to their followers and ensure they modify their leadership style to suit individuals.
For a snapshot of our audiovisual interview with Jeff, please view the above video.
TO READ THE EDITED INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE SEE BELOW.
- What is you leadership style?
Some people, including my family and friends, think I may have a bit of an authoritarian style of leadership. I tend to think I lead by example.
I love including my team members in the decision-making process. I think this generates motivation and a clear direction.
In saying that typically in the insolvency industry you come across a lot of different personalities. In terms of providing succinct, clear advice, I think it’s appropriate to adopt different leadership styles to cater for those individual personalities.
- What is one mistake you witness leaders making more frequently than others?
I think there are two common mistakes ‚Äì the first is that leaders aren’t actively listening to their team members. I think by effectively listening you interpret the real underlying issue and you’re able to adopt and implement a clear action plan as a result.
The second mistake I think leaders commonly make is that they don’t adjust their leadership style to the individual team members’ personality. As a result that can create disharmony. Typically it results in a dysfunctional organisation and it leads to miscommunication and ultimately it impacts on the businesses profitability and productivity.
- What is one action or task you ensure you incorporate into your diary each week?
I try to get home from work early at least once a week to spend time with my four kids. Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen.
One thing I do habitually is spend the first hour of every week making workflow plans for myself and my staff. I find this helps achieve weekly goals and assist with productivity and overall it provides a sense of achievement.
- What do you believe makes business in the Hunter unique?
I think it’s the people of the Hunter. I’ve spent some time in Sydney and business is normally transacted down there on a different scale. It’s fast paced economy, decisions are made instantaneously. I think in Newcastle the strength of individual relationships in the business community really are unique. Talk about a few degrees of separation, in Newcastle I think’s probably one, at best.
In the insolvency industry our client base is through the relationships we have with our customers. Without these we wouldn’t be in business.
- What local businessperson do you find inspiring?
This is an easy one. Without a doubt it’s my two current partners ‚Äì James (Shaw) and Paul (Gidley). They’ve had the biggest influence on my career so far.
People who know James and Paul understand that they’re two totally different characters. Their personalities are like ying and yang. What I’ve learnt is that the personality difference actually creates a very profitable business. You get to view different sides of the table, you get to understand different peoples ways of thinking and decision making skills.
That in turn has led me to be able to develop my own leadership style by picking and choosing from those two different traits. In turn I am now instilling those styles on my own staff.