Paul Darley is the Chairman, President, and CEO of W.S. Darley & Co. Under his leadership, sales have grown over 2,000%. Paul’s firm was founded in 1908, and he is the third generation in his family to run the business. Paul highlights the important principles needed to sustain a multi-generational business, leadership lessons he’s learned, and how to empower employees with family in play.
[3:15] Paul shares how his grandfather built the flagship family business.
[7:10] Paul took over the family business in 1997 and now has six children (fourth-generation) actively involved in the business.
[8:30] Paul understood he could not fill his father’s shoes, a man who had been in the business for over 50 years, but he had to develop his own leadership style as his father transitioned out of the business.
[10:15] The third generation is generally known as the cursed generation, and often businesses fail during this period. However, Paul prevailed and managed to grow it by 2,000%.
[13:10] Paul regularly engages the younger members of the family.
[14:00] Despite it being a family-run business, Paul makes sure everyone within the company has a fair chance to advance in their careers.
[18:15] When you want to keep a legacy business alive, you have to think bigger, and adapt to the changing times.
[18:50] Innovation is one of the company’s core values.
[21:15] Paul has a military veteran program in place at his company and explains how they actively seek out diversity.
[27:50] Paul highlights the importance of giving feedback to his staff.
[30:25] It’s important to showcase to every employee that you can ‘skip’ the chain of command and talk to Paul and his executive leadership. This is something veterans aren’t always used to.
[38:40] Good salespeople have a high level of emotional intelligence.
[40:30] When Paul studied successful CEOs, he observed that a large number of them had a solid family home life. They put others first.
[41:40] Early in Paul’s journey, he did not have balance as a leader. Over time, he’s learned to prioritize business and family on even ground. It takes time to get it down right.
[43:40] Listener challenge: When you get home from work, take 90 seconds to be fully present with your family first before moving on to tasks.