Case Studies

Youfoodz: Lance Giles

Since Lance Giles founded Youfoodz in 2012 the Brisbane based company has delivered more than 60 million ready-made meals to its home delivery, retail and corporate customers.

Lance began the company looking to make it easy for busy people to access fresh and healthy meals, snacks and drinks. Throughout his career in the ready-made meals industry, Lance has tackled manufacturing, marketing, sales, logistics, product development and in-depth financial challenges as he has grown and led all aspects of Youfoodz’ innovative business model.

After experiencing the highs and lows associated with growing and leading a business, Lance made the decision to invest in tailored executive coaching and training for his senior leadership team in early 2021. One of his objectives for the partnership was to establish a strong executive team that can drive the company cohesively forward without being heavily reliant on one individual, while also building and refreshing his own leadership style as the CEO.

His personal Executive Performance Partners’ Scorecard for Success is shaped around the transition to where he wants to be professionally and personally in coming years.

He said by getting to the core of what he wanted to achieve, Executive Performance Partners helped him focus on what really brings him enjoyment and satisfaction while becoming a more effective CEO for YouFoodz as they move into their new phase.

Our Scorecard for Success

The Youfoodz partnership with Executive Performance Partners started with training and development for each executive team member. Overall, Youfoodz was looking to improve their performance and see the benefits cascade down through the organisation.

Each executive worked with the team at Executive Performance Partners to map out their individual scorecard for success. Once each executive had set their objectives, they would have fortnightly coaching sessions and check-in phone calls.

For Lance, these meetings and calls have allowed him to dig deeper into his goals and better understand the motivations and psychology of situations and individuals he meets.

The true value of these sessions was underlined for Lance when, during a stressful, busy week, he went ahead with a scheduled meeting despite his initial instinct to cancel. Lance found taking some time away from his work to discuss the various challenges he was facing, and how he felt about them, removed a huge weight from his shoulders. He left the meeting with a range of tactics and solutions, as well as confidence he could solve each of the problems he faced.

It is this advice about how to manage difficult circumstances and the insight into why other people may react or respond to information differently that Lance considers to be a gamechanger. He has noted that he has more confidence in high-pressure meetings due to having someone to coach him through the psychology of the interactions and the different ways he can handle the situation.

He has also been working on his ability as a CEO to listen in meetings, rather than jumping to solutions. As the founder of the company, this is a challenge, but he has been working with his coach to be aware of the balance between sharing his experience and letting the team manage their areas of expertise.

Lance noted almost immediately a significant change across the organisation where team members became more self-aware on how they engaged with different individuals and communication styles. Not only has this resulted in minor friction points being resolved, but it has improved the way the executive team interacts as a group and has led to a more cohesive management style across the business.

Lance said for this to happen; the team had to practice what they preached, which was excellent training and development for the individual executives.

Lance is particularly impressed with how this coaching has flowed through the organisation to provide better leadership. He said he has seen more people openly talking about what they have learned and how they adapted situations to achieve the best outcome for Youfoodz. This has resulted in the establishment of a robust learning environment where team members feel empowered to share their experiences and discoveries so that everyone can improve.

Looking forward, he hopes that the partnership with Executive Performance Partners will help Youfoodz achieve its goals first and foremost, but also that the executives become an even more effective team with strategic plans in place to collectively run the company rather than being so heavily reliant on the CEO to be at the forefront.

Lance Says:

“I didn’t understand how valuable working with Executive Performance Partners would be. It’s very easy when you set goals just to go, “this is what I’m setting,” and it becomes really surface level. Dave took a bit of time to lift the layers off the onion, before getting to the core. Then when we started to set goals, it wasn’t just, “I want to achieve this with Youfoodz here”. It was, “what is going to make you proud at the right time?” and “what is going to make you happy and feel a sense of achievement?

“In those moments, when you feel like you’ve got everything on your shoulders, just having someone to go, “hey, look, here’s some ways that you can manage this. You will manage this.” Sometimes, you know the answer, but it’s just having the right person to extrapolate the right information.

“Dave adapts so well that he will turn a crap day into a good day, or he’ll make a good day, a great day.”

“If I was able to go back in time, I’d invest in this at the start of my business. Because it’s too easy not to invest in yourself. My advice to anyone else starting up a business, is that executive training or performance training really needs to be an item on your profit and loss from day 1. Work on that first, allow for it, because if you don’t, you can do well but if I had this back then, I would’ve done a hell of a lot better and I would have enjoyed the journey a lot more.”

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