How I Succeeded: WeWork's Balder Tol

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How I Succeeded is a regular series on Lifehacker where we ask business leaders for the secrets and tactics behind their success. Today: Balder Tol, general manager at WeWork Australia & New Zealand.

Current gig: General Manager Australia & New Zealand, WeWork

Current location: Sydney, NSW

Current mobile device: iPhone X

Current computer: Apple MacBook Air. It’s light, easy to travel with.

One word that best describes how you work: Collaborative

What apps/software/tools can't you live without?

WhatsApp, Slack, Looker, Tableau and the G- suite programs because it lets me work with the team on shared docs in real time.

What social network do you find the most useful?

I’m not a big social media user — for me, real-life interactions are far more valuable than online connections. Saying that I do like the networking aspects of LinedIn, especially for business.

What were the most important lessons you learned while growing your business?

Growing a business of any scale is a marathon, not a sprint, so I’ve learnt that being an authentic leader and taking care of myself is essential in order to be able to take care of my team.

What has been the most surprising part of your business journey?

How powerful a clearly-defined mission statement can be to align a local team. It’s incredible to be a part of a global company with a distinctly local playbook.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?

Heart-centred leadership. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I care deeply about the success of our customers and the well-being of our people. Leading with Courage, Compassion and Connection are all heart-centred values that I believe create the conditions for our people to thrive and our customers to succeed.

What's your sleep routine like?

With a three-year-old boy and a six week old daughter, sleep can sometimes feel like a luxury but I’m lucky that I can fall asleep easily.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?

Being a relentless optimist.


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