The importance of values and leadership in building a business

Prior to acquiring the business, Nick, my husband and Director of Dann Event Hire, was self-employed and I was working in a corporate job. At the time, we traded as Dann Party Hire and were a small business with eight staff based out of an overcrowded warehouse in the suburbs of Melbourne. Together we discovered how crucial similar values and a varied leadership style is in building an empire.

Parallel values

We were clear from the outset that to execute this lofty vision, we would need to build a team of like-minded professionals. Sharing our vision during the recruitment phase, the people we recruited were not necessarily the most experienced but had something more important to us – workplace values.

Having a varied leadership style

The way Nick and I were raised has certainly helped shape our leadership style. We both come from Italian migrant families. We saw our parents work tirelessly to build successful businesses, and we saw the power of working collaboratively and supportively to achieve results. From the outset, we created a “family-like” work culture underpinned by core values: strong work ethic, dependability, motivation to grow and learn, adaptability, positivity, honesty and integrity.

As a husband and wife team, we have always respected each other’s unique contributions to the business and our different leadership styles. Nick is an inventor, creative and solutions driven. Within the events industry, he is known as a pioneer and expert in his field both within Australia and overseas. He has set the pace for the industry offering intelligent insights and opinions. He recognises trends before they emerge and applies that insight to achieve real business results. Fostering a collaborative culture within our workplace, Nick has been able to inspire and influence others to help bring his ideas to life.

My passion is people. I bond with them first as a human being. I am unapologetic about being an empathetic leader. Empathy can be perceived as a “soft skill.” However, empathy is a critical quality in effective leadership. It’s a neutral data gathering tool, it enables you to scope out people’s perspectives and feelings and you can either purposefully ignore them or make more effective business decisions. It enables you to understand the human environment within the business landscape and therefore make better predictions, craft better tactics, communicate more clearly and inspire loyalty amongst your staff.

Our different but complementary leadership styles coupled with a great working culture of shared values and a reputation for “creating the unimagined” is what has seen us experience exponential growth year on year.

Today, Dann Event Hire has two premises covering 20,000 sqm of products and staff of over 100 fabulous individuals working across sales and creative to warehouse and delivery. We work on thousands of events annually from Australia’s most recognised hallmark events such as the Australian Open, Formula 1 Grand Prix, Melbourne Cup Carnival to corporate and private events as well.

In 2018, we were delighted to be named the Telstra Victorian Business of the Year in the Medium and Making Waves category. The recognition and expert advice we received has been invaluable and the award has opened up doors to an exclusive network of businesses and opportunities.

What’s your vision and do you have the right people around you to make it happen?

Francesca Pavone, Director, Dann Event Hire and 2018 Telstra Victorian Medium & Making Waves Award winner

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