How I Succeeded is a regular series on Lifehacker where we ask business leaders for the secrets and tactics behind their success. Today: John Sullivan, CEO at Elabor8.
Current gig: CEO, Elabor8
Location: Melbourne, however I frequently travel to Sydney and Brisbane for work.
Current mobile device: iPhone 7
Current computer: MacBook Pro 13"
One word that best describes how you work: On
What apps/software/tools can't you live without?
All of the chat/conversation tools as I am always talking to someone;
Slack, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, iMessage, LinkedIn Messenger, and Google Hangouts
What social network do you find the most useful?
I use most of them regularly, however, I use different apps for different purposes. I like to use Twitter to research a topic, and to see what is posted on Twitter as it is current and therefore relevant; LinkedIn to research and understand people and companies who are in the business world I move within; Facebook to connect with family, friends, social groups and communities, although this is shifting for me to be less about family and friends and more to focus on just the social groups and communities; and Instagram to connect with family and friends.
What were the most important lessons you learned while growing your business?
For the last 12+ years, I have always held some form of transformation leadership role, and I have learnt that everything is about the people within a business. A business is not a living, breathing thing; it is a community of people! When people remark upon a great company, they are commenting on the collection of great people working under that company name. The people employed by a company will make or break everything. So when leading a company, you need to be maniacal in your pursuit of building a team of great people, because great people make great things happen.
What has been the most surprising part of your business journey?
It took me years to work out that leadership is about ensuring the right things happen, not about you doing the things to make things happen. The latter is how most people new to leadership work. Leadership is about the enablement of others, not about you individually taking action.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I have more endurance than others because I simply don't give in! If I am more resilient and more energetic than others, then I will get somewhere.
What's your sleep routine like?
Terrible, I sleep 4 hours a day most days of the week.
What advice would you offer to other businesses on how to succeed?
Never give up on getting the right people into your business.