Hayley DennisLeader & Biz Owner
|Share With Us Your Story of How You Got Into Leadership||
Leadership has come naturally to me. I believe God blessed me at a young age with the gift of maturity and confidence.
I never really had friends my age, I always seemed to get along better with adults. Having the encouragement of older friends influenced the choices I made. Thankfully the people around me were good people, that motivated me to take on things that normal teenage girls wouldn’t.
In my very first job at Coles in the Deli at the age of 15, I was asked to be a second in charge for the juniors. This was unheard of, as up until this point only adults had been in this role. It meant that while the other juniors were on the floor slicing ham and serving customers, I was in a back office helping with rosters and pricing.
Then at 17, I was offered a full time role at a new Independent Music Store (yes back in the the day when you had to go to a shop and buy a CD). This was my jam, I love music, its in my blood. I loved going to work there everyday and with this role I was offered other opportunities like organising in store events, where artists would come and sing a few songs and sign autographs. My willingness to say yes and learn bought many wonderful opportunities, unfortunately though this didn’t last long as the store owner had ill health and had to close.
In my next role I moved from retail into administration, this was a little challenging, although I liked the hours and not having to work Saturdays, I wasn’t used to the quiet pace of an office. I started as the office junior assisting the branch administration manager, but was kind of bored with answering phones and filing. I approached them and asked if there was more that I could do, they were very accepting and excited that I was wanting to take on more. I started with smaller tasks, and slowly learnt more and more. Within a year from the day I started, I was offered the branch administration managers position. Here I was just over the age of 18, running an office for an international company.
I loved that job, and stayed in that position for a couple of years that was until I met my husband and relocated towns. I worked in a few smaller roles until our first daughter was born, then had the privilege of being a stay at home mum. I know I am very blessed to have been in that position, but I was craving more than The wiggles and going to the park. This is when I found myself volunteering for our local playgroups, Kindy’s, School P& C’s and Sporting Clubs.
I held every position you can think of from minor roles right up to President. Leading committees and meetings full of mums with toddlers was a whole new skill set I needed to learn. I learnt the art of fundraising, grants and the non for profit world.
Just be before we hit the age of 30, my husbands father approached us to buy out a part of his business. I knew instantly my husband would say yes as he hadn’t been happy in his role for a while. What a journey the last 11 years have been. We started in the honeymoon phase thinking we knew it all and it would be easy, to many times thinking we are done lets get out.
Working as a supervisor, and working as a manger for a business are so very different to owning a business.
Thankfully one thing I learnt from previous roles was the key to any successful business was its Leadership.
It took us a while to get there, but once we figured out that we needed to learn how to be effective business leaders and realising we didn’t know it all, our business and staff have tripled.
Leadership is not just for business though, I also believe in the importance of being a positive leader for my family (our four daughters), our church and our community. I love that from being a leader in our business, I have been blessed with other opportunities:
Leading in our church/life groups
Leading in our non for profit program “Think Again” helping teenagers with mental health at school
Leading amongst our peers with my Kingdom Couples group
Leading women in my Foundations group to rest, rest and reconnect to God
|If you could give a bit of advice to your younger Leader and/or Business Owner what would it be?||
Don’t over estimate what you can achieve in one year, and don’t under estimate what you can achieve in 10 years.
Always Pray first!!
|What Are You Three Favourite Things About Being A Leader...||
You get opportunities that don’t come with sitting on the sidelines.
Being surrounded by other leaders.
Ability to be part of things that are bigger than you, the things that you know are only possible with God.
|What Are You Three Favourite Things About Being A Business Owner...||
Flexibility – I am able to work around my daughters, I can go and watch them get an award on parade, or cross the finish line at cross country.
Control – My future is in my hands (and of course God’s)
Being able to Give – Being in business allows us the opportunity to give back, we are able to give our time, our knowledge and our finances to encourage others.
|What's your "Go To" Leadership Bible Verse & Why?||
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25
I love this verse because when I read it, it gives me strength, it gives me confidence, and it reminds me what a strong woman I am.
|What's Your "Go To" Business Bibles Verse & Why?||
They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. Psalm 1:3
This is the foundation Scripture for our company, every site that we go, every client that we see, I believe we have the opportunity to plant trees (we actually do as part of our business), hoping that we leave a positive Godly influence, hoping that each encounter bears fruit. Its also a reminder that when things aren’t going that great, that our leaves won’t wither and we will prosper.