You Don’t Need Bosses, You Need Coaches

–with special guest Garry Ridge

Episode Summary

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.

Episode Notes

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


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.



[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.”


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Chris Roebuck
Chris Roebuck
Chris Roebuck is a speaker, advisor and executive coach who has a unique approach that helps leaders, teams, and organisations reach their full potential and be successful in just three steps. This is proven to add investor value, deliver better customer service, build the brand externally, develop innovation and entrepreneurial thinking, optimise risk and boost the bottom line by 10% + at no cost. Chris unique experience as a leader in the military, business, government and as a Hon Visiting Professor of Transformational Leadership has enabled him to develop this innovative, entrepreneurial and highly effective new approach for leaders and organisations to achieve success: I CARE Leadership. It’s simply about you being the leader people always give their best for empowered by authentic and inspirational servant leadership. Chris shows how building on leaders current knowledge via simple, practical day to day actions can immediately deliver real improvements at all levels; individual, team, and organisation. One organisation who implemented it increased the number of staff happy to recommend it as “a great place to work” to friends or family in 2 years from 40% to 82%, an exceptional change, and increased revenue by 40%. When Global Head of Leadership at UBS, 70,000 staff & 100 countries, his team helped the bank transform organisational performance to increase profitability by 235%, market capitalisation by 50% and win awards. This is now a Harvard Case Study. Chris experience spans many sectors and geographies; from having held senior roles in UBS, HSBC, KPMG & London Underground to advising legal firms and construction, from the UK National Health Service of 1.4m staff and UK Government to the Red Cross in Myanmar, from Investment banks in London to Middle East Telecoms, from the Chinese Space Programme to retail in USA and many more. Chris has been quoted as a business leadership expert globally in the Harvard Business Review China, FT, Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, New York Times, Business Week, Time Magazine, Washington Post, Times of India, Straits & Gulf Times and many other titles. He has been interviewed on TV over 350 on leadership and business issues on BBC, CNN, Bloomberg, and other channels and his books have been translated into 11 languages. Chris has been recognised as one of the Most Influential HR Thinkers regularly since 2011 by the HR profession.

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