Innovative leaders believe in constant learning. They learn through a variety of ways. They are filled with great insights that allow them to make smart business decisions that count.
One such innovative leader is Leigh Rust, who is passionate about constant learning and someone who likes to take calculated decisions and make them count. Leigh is the Co-founder and Director of Safetyline Jalousie – an Australian louver window manufacturer. Leigh established the company alongside his brother Nathan in 2010 after they spent 10 years working at their father’s manufacturing business Vergola.
Drawing Inspiration From Great People and Authors
Leigh has certainly drawn a lot of inspiration from his father and uncle over the years. Growing up, having both of these figures in his life be in business certainly had a big impact on him and the path he chose.
Outside his immediate circle, Leigh is also inspired by business leaders including Mark Bouris and Sir Richard Branson. As someone who’s passionate about fitness and mindset, Leigh also draws inspiration from David Goggins and “Jocko” Willink who are both US Navy SEAL veterans and authors.
Leigh is passionate about personal development and constant learning, so he loves to read. A couple of books he has recently read which he highly recommends are The Art of Resilience by Ross Edgley, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park and Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl.
Working Towards Shared Objectives
In Leigh’s position at Safetyline Jalousie he is involved in overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company, including finding and pursuing new business opportunities and working on new product launches.
One thing that’s always been at the core of the company is a commitment to manufacturing its products locally to keep jobs onshore and help to stimulate the economy.
Safetyline Jalousie is also committed to pursuing greater sustainability in the industry, and it believes that the long-term, environmental impact of a product should always be considered.
The company is currently in the process of establishing a group – Suppliers Declare – to connect those in the manufacturing industry and work towards shared sustainability objectives.
Creating Culture and High Morale
Fostering a positive workplace culture is at the heart of Safetyline’s organization, as Leigh thinks it should be for all businesses. Some of Safetyline’s staff have been with it the company since it was first established over 10 years ago, which Leigh thinks is a great testament to the culture that’s interwoven in the company.
Safetyline views its staff as family and friends, and when they are bringing new people onto the team, Leigh believes that attitude and work ethic trumps technical skills, as working with people who are motivated and love what they do is great for the morale of a company.
Operating on Schedule Without any Delays
Leigh mentions that the pandemic certainly reinforced the importance of local manufacturing with flaws in international supply chains showing and there being a growing need to support the local economy.
It’s great to now see more companies moving their manufacturing on-shore as a result of the pandemic and Safetyline is proud to be a company that’s supported this from the start. Manufacturing its products locally during the pandemic also meant that Safetyline was able to operate on schedule without any delays, which was great for its business and customers.
Covid also highlighted the importance of being adaptable in business. As you never know what’s going to be thrown at you in business, being able to pivot quickly is so important. Safetyline was able to come out of last year in a period of growth and expansion which has given it great confidence moving forward.
Meeting and Exceeding Standards Consistently
One of the biggest technological advancements of louvre windows has been the development of its SmartAir System. These sophisticated systems allow buildings to breathe with morning and night purge cycles, creating better indoor environments – with not only better air quality but also the inclusion of more natural light.
The standards Safetyline work within in Australia are some of the highest in the world. Its systems not only meet these, but they also transcend them in nearly every class. By careful scrutinization of test data, carried out by third party authorities, the benchmark for Safetyline is not just meeting key performance metrics, but exceeding them by continually looking to improve what it does.
The product’s incredible sealing capabilities, which remove human interaction, and the efficiency in which it can be installed are facets that add to the already great triple bottom line benefits gained through using Safetyline Jalousie.
Leigh is personally very proud seeing Safetyline’s louvre windows being installed in places they haven’t previously, namely because it has surpassed the criteria for these buildings and infrastructures with such great conviction.
Providing Sustainable and Quality Air Solutions
Safetyline is passionate about supporting sustainability in the manufacturing industry and is continually working towards this in its business.
If Leigh was to make a change in the industry it would be to have more people consider a product’s long-term environmental impact when they make a purchase, rather than making purchasing decisions based on cost alone.
As a company that’s committed to providing sustainable, quality air solutions for the built environment, Safetyline Jalousie has recently launched a new product which uses a cleaner, low-carbon aluminium that reduces the carbon footprint per kg of aluminium to 4.0 – less than a quarter of the global average.
Choosing Inspiring People and Collaborating
Leigh’s advice for anyone looking to pursue a leadership position in manufacturing is to establish a strong network of connections in the industry – something that will allow you to be on the lookout for any opportunities for collaboration.
He says, “When you’re entering a leadership position, backing yourself and your skills is so important, as is surrounding yourself with people who inspire you.
I’d also recommend that you consider what initiatives or groups you can join, either as an individual, or on behalf of the business, which are in line with your values. For instance, we’ve recently joined the Living Future Institute which connects people working in the built environment industry across the country.”
As one last point of advice, he asserts that, “You should make sure you are on the right side of sustainability.”