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Building culture and performance during fast growth

Episode – Three

Redefining peak performance

featuring Rob Nankervis with Stephen Ellich

In Episode Three of the Propelling Performance Podcast, Rob and CEO and Managing Director of UCS Group, Stephen Ellich discuss Stephen’s journey from corporate leadership to management of high growth, family-owned business, UCS.

Stephen shares his journey of leadership; how he has created exceptional engagement, insights into motivating and leading high performance teams, as well as reflections on the company’s performance and success during the COVID pandemic.

“When you get into an organisation the size and nature of UCS, everything’s connected. It’s a very personal, relationship, one that is about building on their trust. Even down to the first-year apprentice who called me to discuss his concerns about relocating from Bendigo to Geelong. It made me sit and pause to think out how cool the culture is when the apprentice can ring up the CEO and talk about his concerns and trepidations about making a first move out of home.” – Stephen Ellich

“The concept of a high performance team for me is four words – clarity, alignment, focus, and purpose. A leader has to trust their team, but a leader must provide the clarity, alignment, focus and purpose of the team.

Once that’s done, the job of the leader is to get out of the way and empower the people to execute the plan. A leader is there to create the right environment and put the right players in place.” – Stephen Ellich

Listen to discover:

  • Leadership differences between the ‘helicopter perspective’ of a corporate environment to the personal culture in a family owned, founder/owner business
  • Finding balance in a working partnership with founder/owners and a private equity company
  • Joining a founder/owner business as an external CEO
  • Scaling at speed and managing fast growth in a family owned business
  • How the Scaling Up approach has enabled engagement, success and growth at UCS
  • Why clarity, alignment, focus and purpose are key
  • Building and empowering high-performance teams
  • Stephen’s lessons from the COVID pandemic – always be prepared; listen to knowledgeable people; manage cash well; over communicate, but only from one source of truth; the critical importance of an IT Roadmap Investment; don’t waste a good crisis; be kind.

Take Action

Stephen’s advice to founder/owner leaders right now…

  • Rather than be overwhelmed and challenged by COVID, it’s time to take back the initiative. Ask yourself and your people – what are the opportunities that COVID is presenting to stop waste, innovate processes and pivot into new growth segments?
  • Your organisation’s culture starts at the top and is felt by everybody inside and outside your business. Leaders – how you driving alignment of your company culture to your values, brand promise and purpose?