Think of a business you admire that is run jointly by a man and a woman. Got one? Chances
are that you’re finding it hard to think of one. And that’s because they are a very rare beast
– there are many great businesses led by men, and many great businesses led by women,
but a successful business with joint leadership from a male/female team, that is another
Linzi and Darren’s joint male/female leadership of The Business of Brand Group sets it apart
from most other businesses. It’s a model that that has been replicated with great success in
BoB Australia, led by Sarah Skeats and Tim Dwyer.
Sarah and Tim are both driven by building businesses, but, like Linzi and Darren, each
addresses growth from a different angle.
Sarah’s background is in brand and marketing, with her corporate career culminating in
being appointed head of brand and marketing at Big Four Australian bank, NAB. Tim was
running Shirlaws Australia, coaching businesses to growth through a very numbers-focussed
approach. “We could see that we had complementary approaches”, explains Tim, “which
gives you the potential for massive synergy, and for ‘positive conflict’, opening your eyes to
new approaches to solving a problem”.
“When you come from a brand perspective, like I do”, says Sarah, “you risk missing the
commercial foundations. A strong brand can grow a business quickly, but without the
foundations, it can fall over. Tim’s business perspective provides the solid foundation that
allows growth without collapse”.
Sarah and Tim deliver all the BoB School workshops together, with Tim leading the product
and channel sessions and Sarah running the brand and sales days. It’s an approach that has
had great success helping Australian businesses. “We’ve helped close to one hundred clients
so far” says Sarah. “They are now growing their businesses, winning awards, and expanding
internationally.” “After Bob school”, add Tim, “our clients see the bigger picture, the bigger
play and the opportunity for strategic growth”.
One of the biggest thrills for Sarah and Tim is seeing the transformation that takes place in
their students “They fall in love with their businesses all over again”, says Sarah,” they gain
such clarity of vision, direction and opportunity.”
Alongside the synergy created by Sarah and Tim, there is a special magic in the workshops
from the relationships built between participants. “Each school has had people who find
they can do business together”, says Tim. “It’s because when purpose is really clear, and
participants are positive and ready for growth, referrals, and even joint ventures, happen”.
Sarah and Tim are each very clear about their own purpose: “I want to be known for helping
to shift industries”, says Sarah. “I am particularly passionate about the education industry.
We know that children all learn differently, yet schools still ram them all through a ‘one size
fits all’ system. I would love to help children to identify their personal brands and
understand and value what makes them different. The impact I’d love to leave on the world
is getting children to accept themselves.”
“Putting that into a business context,” she continues, “my ‘superpower’ is to help people
understand their ‘why’ – to help them connect their business and personal brands. I have
helped 40-year veterans of business make that link for the very first time, and people get
very emotional in our workshops when that lightbulb goes on. Adults, like children, value
the permission to be themselves. We must celebrate our uniqueness, or no-one shines.
Tim describes his purpose as to enliven the entrepreneur. “If I can inspire and help
businesses, they can change the way things are done. Business owners solve problems in
their market and industry – and when we solve problems in industry, we can solve global
problems. These layers of problem solving drive the industry shifts at a global level. If I can
help entrepreneurs to solve internal issues, then they can resolve client problems. Once the
client problems are solved, they can address market and industry issues and ultimately
global issues. Each link is impacted by the others, and my driving passion is to help
entrepreneurs be a part of that chain”.
Both agree that the magic of the ‘him and her’ is their skills and also the masculine and
feminine energies they bring to the business and their clients.
Through BoB Australia, Sarah and Tim want to help create modern businesses – businesses
that will really make a difference to the world’s future. They recognise that the future is not
exclusively male nor exclusively female but the powerful combination of both.