When Mark asked a few of us to participate in the weekly blogs so you can get a bit of a feel about the people behind this business I thought – what a brilliant idea! After all, we are not just in the business of building villages, but more so in the business of building communities. And communities are made up of people. So this is the theme I thought I would base some of my blogs around:- Our people – our head office staff, our village staff, our residents. The “who” behind the Oak Tree brand in the hope that this will help you learn more about us, feel more at ease with us, and maybe, one day, join us at Oak Tree if it feels like the place for you.
As one of Oak Tree’s longest standing employees I’ve had the great pleasure in seeing this business grow from a conceptual idea into the reality. And in turn I’ve had the chance to get to know our Directors well and have witnessed, first hand, their passion and all of the blood, sweat and tears that has gone into making Oak Tree what it is today.
I think it would be fair to say that Mark, Marco and Franco, our Directors, are not your typical conservative executives. All three are extremely driven, dedicated and focused people – yet there is a casualness to them and a realness that filters from the top down into every facet of our business to the villages themselves. Their leadership style is “do as I do not as I say.” You may be familiar with the television program “Undercover Boss” where high-end CEO’s of major corporations go under cover as average employees in their own companies to learn what takes place at ground level – to understand procedures, policies and experience first-hand the consequences of the big decisions they, as CEO’s, make whilst sitting around the large boardroom tables in sky rise buildings with views of the river drinking freshly ground cups of coffee. During many episodes it is revealed that these CEO’s actually struggle with what takes place further down the chain. They see challenges they never knew existed, they see good ideas never uncovered, they learn, they watch and they admire and at the end of it all they take their learnings back with them with a new found compassion and understanding of how things actually work in the real world and they implement the necessary changes to make the business better…stronger.
Whilst we do make an excellent cup of coffee (I’ll give us that!) there are no sky rise head office buildings overlooking the Brisbane river here at Oak Tree. Our offices are modest, open planned and to be frank – often a little empty. This is because our Directors, and many of our staff for that matter follow the “do as I do” leadership style, and spend a large majority of their time out on the field learning, watching, assisting, speaking to our residents and getting to know what really matters – keeping it real, keeping our fingers on the pulse, keeping connected so that we can ensure that the Oak Tree way of life continues to work and resonate with the real life people that actually choose to live in our villages.
Real – is very much who Mark, Marco and Franco are. All of our residents over time have had the chance to meet our Directors, chat with them, get to know them and I’m adamant they would agree with me they are down to earth men who understand we are in the “people” business and that they have a responsibility to uphold to ensure our residents’ happiness and wellbeing. And watching them work all these years, I can tell you from experience, they take this responsibility extremely seriously.
So if you are ever thinking of a move to Oak Tree, rest assured the people behind this brand will work very hard to support you, however we can, so you can enjoy your retirement years.
See you next week!
PS….do I win a prize for the longest Oak Tree blog yet?!!