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7 Questions with Ryll Burgin-Doyle
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Ryll Burgin-Doyle
Name: Ryll Burgin-Doyle
Current title: Co-Founder
Current organisation: 90Degrees Global, MVP1 Ventures, Masterdojo
Ryll Burgin-Doyle is an author, keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and proven 29-year veteran business and brand strategist for 7 & 8 figure businesses. She built and exited her first business in her early twenties, worked as a key brand strategist for $400M to $1Bn companies in the dot com, financial services, biotech, professional services and manufacturing sectors increasing sales and profits by 300%. She created her own non-profit, stepUP Foundation, and grew that to 3 countries making a difference with 19,000 at-risk teens. She’s been a Franchisor, Telstra Business Woman of the Year Finalist, listed in Smart Companies Top 50 Female Entrepreneurs, and CEO of a $100M business leading 200+ team. She even launched a sustainably farmed milk! And her passion? SME’s and business growth - seeing Business Owners get what they want. Ryll has literally worked with thousands and grown every kind of business imaginable from start-up to exit. She is passionate about helping businesses and entrepreneurs design their strategy for growth and exit.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
As the CEO of a $100M enterprise in the construction industry, the most challenging piece was the 24/7 nature of the business. With tight deadlines, challenging sites and a team of often young on site tradespeople being ever vigilant about safety, compliance and delivering on time and on budget in a very tight margin business were the greatest challenges in my experience. Once we actively set about transforming the environment, the people, the team, the structure it became far easier to fulfil on every project and to manage that level of revenue, profits and team.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Given I had been growing my own or other people's enterprises for years, the Founder had approached me to work on his 10-year strategy and plan. Over 2-days we developed a plan to take the business from approximately $4M or $5M in revenue to an estimated $65M in 10-years. That was achieved in 8 years and $100M in 10 years, at which point the Founder begain head hunting me to step in as CEO.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
It was a big role with lots of moving parts. My day would typically start with checking communications - emails, texts, calls. Preparing my family and myself for the day ahead. Heading into HQ and from there, in my experience it was about communication, communication and more communication. Meetings, responses, cultural work, strategic discussions. My day would typically end late at night!
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
In trying times, your team need much more personal and emotional support - even if they don't communicate that - via more leeway in their role, flexibility in their hours, self-determination with support to get the actual job done.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
For me, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee has always impacted me. Of course, I know that's not a traditional leadership book however, it speaks to me from that perspective. Atticus leads his family, his children, his community - even when at odds with the majority - and does what is not the easiest but what is right in his mind to fulfil his commitments and values, of course, all set in the context that is the environment of that culture at that moment in time. That's all true for me as a leader - inside the context and culture we are dealing with at the time we are leading significant enterprises (or even smaller ones!) e.g. pre Covid or post (sort of!) Covid that context and culture requires a different way of being as the leader, different strategy, different tactics, different execution across roles and division. Leadership is very often not about knowing the right thing to do, it is about doing it. It's also about developing people so they too are stepping up as leaders. You see Atticus do that too ...
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
For me the definition of leadership is to empower great leaders - empower others to lead around you. To build capacity you have to drive and develop leadership skills in the people at every level in the business. My mantra is "everyone leads" within an organisation and then there is the one on one work required of the designated leaders to lead their people from that perspective while fulfilling goals and KPI's to keep the enterprise moving forward.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
I wouldn't say there is one meaningful story ... Rather a complete and full sense that it is all about the people - the people within the business, the people partnering the business, the customers and clients of that business and the impact of that business on the people in the community whether that's an industry community or a local, regional or national community. If your eye is on the people - their experience, the culture, the development and most importantly how the business - and you as the leader - add value to every level or group of people in and surrounding that business, that will bring meaning and success.