Full of personality and even more chock full of incredible experiences in life and business, Garry Ridge makes for a fascinating interview— one packed with insights and actionable advice to benefit someone in any field. Don’t miss this episode of Perspectives from the Top.
You Don’t Need Bosses, You Need Coaches (ft. Garry Ridge) CEO, entrepreneur, and optimist Garry Ridge gives his Perspectives
Happy people create happy families, happy families create happy communities, happy communities create happy countries, and happy countries create a happy world. And we need a happy world, and business is the force of good for that
Garry Ridge is CEO of WD-40, having joined in Australia in 1987. He became head of the company’s Asia and Australia efforts in 1994 and CEO in 1997. Since joining the company, he’s expanded the company globally and broadened the product range— all while building an organization that is still true to its founding values. Additionally, he’s written several books on leadership and is an Adjunct Professor of Leadership at San Diego University and an executive coach.
CORE TOPICS + DETAILS:
[5:54] – The Great Escape
A reframing of the Great Resignation
Garry speaks about the trend of people resigning from companies with cultures that don’t respect them. Now is the time for organizations to ask themselves: “Are people running from your culture or running to your culture?” The question will become increasingly poignant as Gen Z will soon make up over 40% of the working population.
[17:36] – Garry’s Four Ps
People, Purpose, Passion, and Products
You can have the best strategy in the world, but if the will of the people in the organization isn’t there, you’re going to fail. Meanwhile, you can have all the passion, but without a product that fulfills a real need or without a clear company purpose, you’ll also fail. Only when all of these elements are in harmony can a company have truly global success.
[27:29] – Am I Being the Person I Want to Be?
Don’t be the Soul-Sucking CEO
After an a-ha moment when Garry realized that he wasn’t living many of the principles he felt made great leaders. So he put a post-it note on his computer that read, “Am I being the person I want to be right now?” But he didn’t stop there. He made a list of what that person looked like, trait by trait. He still uses that list as a guide for his everyday behaviors and mindsets.
[35:27] – What’s in the Petri Dish?
Creating culture is about what’s there…and what’s not
As a child, Garry grew bacteria cultures in a petri dish. When toxins appeared, they had to be removed quickly or they would make the cultures go bad and fail to grow. In company culture, the goal is the same. You have to enhance what’s in there that you want to remain, and take out what shouldn’t be there as quickly and effectively as possible.
[41:49] – Taking “Mistake” from the Dictionary
Building scar tissue at WD-40
WD-40 as a company has removed the words ‘failure’ and ‘mistake’ from the corporate vocabulary. “We don’t make mistakes. We have learning moments, and learning moments are rich. A positive or negative outcome of any situation has to be openly and freely shared to benefit all people.”
- [1:08] History of WD-40
- [2:47] The One Minute Manager
- [4:20] The Earned Life
- [19:55] “The Soul-Sucking CEO”
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