Full Name (for the record)
Liz Barbaro Sant
First things first. What is your PURPOSE?
to look after my family and my team, to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate
How does your day job fit into that? How do you describe what you do?
Protection of my team and our clients – We stand between our clients and their threats. We’ve been privileged to play a role in securing our clients families, homes, and businesses.
You run a family business that has grown substantially in the second generation. How does this relate to your purpose?
Together with my brother & father, we are responsible for our employees and need to ensure they are secure in their jobs. This will allow them to fill their own and their families needs.
In my view you are an Ultimate Performer, particularly in your ability to retain a balance between the ‘family’ and the ’business’ in a family business. Can you describe your leadership ’style’?
To lead a balanced life, you need to bring together all of its constituent elements—work, family, community, and friends—so that you can be the same person in each environment. Also, you have probably heard the phrase, “It’s not personal, it’s business.” Well, in a family business, it is always personal. Separating your emotions from the business is not an easy task.
I don’t think I have one style, I think it depends on the matter at hand and what the end goal is. Sometimes, I coach, sometimes I’m democratic but sometimes I’m authoritative.
Is ‘good enough’ ever OK in your book?
Good is the enemy of the great. In life when you don’t aim for great you can only expect good results and from there it is easy to slip into average.
What are the three things you think are important for all aspiring leaders to focus on?
Leadership emerges from life stories. Consciously and subconsciously, you need to constantly test yourself through real-world experiences and reframing life stories to understand who you are at core. Don’t expect anyone to hand you a development plan. You need to take responsibility for developing yourself. Finally, communicate, communicate, communicate and listen & read between lines
Do you compromise (e.g. work-life balance, for example) or maximise? Does what you do in your free time impact your work, and vice versa?
There is no nirvana, the struggle is constant, as the trade-offs don’t get any easier as you get older. Leading is high-stress work. There is no way to avoid stress when you are responsible for people, organizations, outcomes, and managing the constant uncertainties of the environment. The higher you go, the greater your freedom to control your destiny but also the higher the degree of stress. The question is not whether you can avoid stress but how you can control it to maintain your own sense of equilibrium.
You are a fellow trustee with me at Empower, a social enterprise that creates jobs and raises awareness about employment of disabled persons. What does this mean to you? Why is it so important?
For me its about the disabled persons being able to integrate where they can learn new things and experience new adventures. We encourage them as much as possible and avoid pity for them, this is the worst thing you can do.
They don’t need our pity they need love and encouragement and employers who can believe in them. With a job to do they feel important.
Parting words of wisdom?
Stay hungry, stay humble & treat people with utmost respect.
Thank you Liz. I am sure your words will inspire many to look at their own purpose and find ways to converge these with their business goals. Alberta Group Ltd will continue to be a business I admire. Nathan