About Bruce – Trusted Business Coach
I am the son of two small business owners who were pretty much technicians.
My Dad owned a sawmill and my Mum was a nurse and owned a florist shop. Dad thought all boys should have a trade (it was a long time ago, remember), so my direction was pretty much set. After getting all the relevant trade certificates I joined a company close to home that manufactured components for the automotive sector and began life as an electrician.
This was in the years of the Button Plan (named after Senator John Button) for the auto industry.
The plan started in 1985 and was supposed to make us globally competitive, although it really just set us on the race to the (price) bottom and eventually to the demise of the whole local automotive sector. However, as far as I was concerned it created a path to the top of a corporate model for me, and exposed me to both the national and international business market. I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and worked whatever hours were needed to rise to the top.
For nearly 20 years, I ‘rode the lightning’ before working out that dying young had no upside other than the fact my family would get to claim the insurance. Since my wife assured me that she preferred having me around to collecting the insurance, I looked for a way to reduce my working hours to something more civilised so that I could actually enjoy my lifestyle and relationships.
During those years, I designed systems and processes that improved both efficiency and profitability (the two don’t always go hand in hand), and was increasingly the go-to-guy in our company when divisions needed to be transformed from unprofitable to profitable, or when the company was planning to sell off divisions and wanted to increase the value so they could attract higher offers.
In most cases, I more than doubled the profitability of the division I was managing, as well as streamlining processes so that everyone’s life became more enjoyable as well as more productive. In some cases, where the division was sold off the acquiring company was so impressed with the systems in place that they applied them to the original business.
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