Bar manager looks to provide stability

As general group manager of The Whistling Kite, PK Tavern and The Chase, David Tiley has a head for business but doesn’t take himself too seriously.

Whistling Kite, PK Tavern and The Chase group general manager David Tiley talks to JACQUI O’LEARY about the challenges and rewards of running three businesses.

Q: What does leadership mean to you?

A: Effective leaders need firstly to be able to provide stability in the workplace and from this spring board — motivate, be market responsive, develop, innovate, plan, build relationships/teams and ultimately deliver results.

Q: How has your leadership style changed over time?

A: I once read an article titled “Stop telling your employees what to do” which involved trusting the skills and experience of the professional and it still resonates with me to this day. At that stage in my career, my success had been built around what “I” had accomplished and in turn I was tired, stressed and felt the pressures of the world upon my shoulders. Now I focus more upon describing the outcome and letting a skilled professional determine how best to get there. Describe the outcome you are trying to achieve, be clear on the requirements and preserve the autonomy. If the worker needs help, they will ask.

Q: Which business leader

do you most admire?

A: Richard Branson (Virgin) for his ability to be innovative and take calculated risks. Steve Jobs (Apple) for his ability to always question can it be done better despite the success of the product. Robert Kiyosaki (author) for the notion of not conforming to social means of success.

Q: What’s the best advice you were ever given?

A: My grandad on his death bed told us as kids to always face life with a straight bat. At the time as a 17-year-old I struggled to see past the cricket meaning. Over the years, I came to realise it was about being honest, owning your mistakes, facing the fallout, and ultimately learning and growing from them.

Q: What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?

A: Don’t waste your time etching out a career in the Eastern States of Australia. Move to WA, there are no gaming machines and pubs don’t close at 3am only to open three hours later.

Q: What has been the most important moment of your career?

A: Without a doubt my decision to leave the corporate-owned hospitality sector in favour for working with a family owned business. A close second was when Whistling Kite was awarded the 2011 Perth’s Best Pub title. It had been a long and hard first year involving 140-hour weeks and as a team we felt like we had finally made it.

Q: Which technology can you not live without?

A: Both at work and home it is probably my iPhone. Anything that can do everything from keeping me in-touch and organised, entertaining both my three and nine year olds, to capturing life’s important moments is technology that you can’t live without.

Q: How do you relax?

A: The key to relaxation is not to be stressed. Thankfully I work in an industry which provides relaxation so we try not to take ourselves too seriously. When I am not at work, like all WA people I like to seek out lifestyle options with my family and friends — be it spending a day on the boat or just enjoying all the wonderful things our State has to offer.

Q: What do you hope Rockingham will be like in five years’ time?

A: I hope that Rockingham continues to expand and thrive as it has over the past decade. Hopefully the further expansion will bring with it growth to our existing transport infrastructure along with other industry, reducing the need to travel back to Perth.

Q: What can be done to promote local business sector growth?

A: From a population standpoint we are thriving, especially in the areas in and around Baldivis. I truly believe that corporate Australia has taken note of the explosion and there are chain-style retail stores moving rapidly into the area. Once people stop having to travel outside of the area for work, shopping and education, the business sector will thrive.

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