Michelle Gabauer is Director of People & Operations at siteoffice.mobi.

Recently, she was interviewed for a ‘Leader of Leaders’ series in LeadershipHQ Magazine, where she described her management style and discussed why she loves doing what she does.

“I look forward to seeing our team grow and for the business to conquer even more.”

Read Michelle’s full ‘Leader of Leaders’ interview in LeadershipHQ Magazine.

1. What do you love best about what you do?

I love the diversity of my role. I have been lucky enough to experience many industries and different sized companies including the not for profit sector, building, hospitality, call centres and ofcourse my current role in the technology space for the construction industry. Being the Director of People and Operations in a startup company is both challenging and hugely rewarding.

2. What’s your purpose – your WHY?

Nothing can describe my WHY more than my family, I have a young son and daughter and a wonderful husband that give me my purpose. I work hard so that I can have goals and accomplishments in life but to also show my kids that if you work hard you can succeed.

I love the quote ‘Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there’ by Will Rogers.

3. How would you describe your Leadership Style?

I would describe my leadership style as laissez-faire. I have always tried to create a culture where I will support my team and with that support comes a loyalty from employees. I work on the basis that ‘life happens’ and sometimes things happen outside of work that cannot be helped, if you support and are flexible with an employee through those times then their hard work and loyalty is shown in their work.
I put 100% effort in all I do and as a leader I expect my team to follow. Leading by example would be the easiest way to explain my Leadership style.

4. What does Leadership mean to you?

Leadership to me is acknowledging the fact that employees are people. They have good days, bad days and downright crazy days. Leadership is about understanding employees needs and wants and getting the most out of them based on their goals and aspirations.
Throughout my career I have worked in many industries and dealt with employees who are purely there for the pay cheque and others whose world revolves around their career. Being a leader in HR means ensuring that the managers that I partner with don’t forget that employees are people first.

5. Why does Leadership matter?

I believe that leadership matters because it is normal for people to go through peaks and troughs in life. We need leadership when we are at our highest so we can continue to achieve, but we also need leadership when we are at our lowest to pull us back up and light the path again. People are the biggest asset a company can have, I simply love when I hear an employee talking about their company with respect and admiration, this only comes about from good leadership.

6. Key achievements and successes – any come to mind?

Currently being a part of a business that is going to improve the construction industry would have to be one of my main achievements. Our company Madake has built siteoffice.mobi which is the most intuitive and simple construction management software packages on the market. Helping this business and product grow from a simple idea to what it is now has been nothing short of a huge achievement.
A success for me has been to go through the transition of being a career driven HR professional, to a mum, then to a career driven HR professional mum… Juggling 2 young children with a husband who works away and a business is a challenge every single day, but one that I not only love but plan to continue.

7. Who has made a difference in your career?

I have had so many people who have influenced my career. I have had managers who simply tread on me until I have felt defeated and managers who completely inspire me and have made me believe in myself and my abilities. I have always forced myself to learn from each one of them.

I have also had some amazing colleagues that have turned into friends which has been important. Enjoying your team and feeling happy when arriving at work is fundamental in achieving success.

8. What are your strengths and unique talents?

After years of interviewing people and asking what their strengths are, you would think I could answer this question easier… I would have to say a strength of mine is that I am realistic. It is a skill I have gained over the years; I always ensure that I internally control my excitement or panic when a situation arises. Unique talents…does the ability to eat a whole packet of Tim Tams in one sitting count?

9. What does the future hold for you?

I am so excited about the next stage that siteoffice.mobi is entering. I am going to continue to put in my all into this business and ensure that it grows from strength to strength.

10. Key Learning in your Career

Respect everyones role in a company. We have all heard the story from 1962 when John F. Kennedy noticed a janitor carrying a broom and he interrupted his tour to walk over and say, ‘Hi, I’m Jack Kennedy. What are you doing?’ The janitor responded ‘Well, Mr. President, I’m helping put a man on the moon.’ I have only ever gained from getting to know and learning more about every level in an organisation.

11. What would you say to your younger self?

Even though it feels like it sometimes, none of your hard work is for nothing. The skills, friends and experience that you are gaining will be invaluable. Remember that it is ok to take a holiday every now and then and never stop learning.