Sales Director – ANZ
From recording an EP at the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee to leading a legendary sales organization in Sydney, Adrian talks about joining the Groupon family and the little CEO who keeps him grounded.
What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?
Working for a company with a great culture (or energy as I like to refer to it) was extremely important to me. Throughout the recruitment process I knew that Groupon was different and as soon as I started, I quickly realized just how special the energy within Groupon was. Not only is it a dynamic, fast-paced environment where the people are experts in their business, everyone supports each other like a family so they can be the best they can be. I feel fortunate to have been accepted into the Groupon family.
What’s the best advice you were ever given?
I’ve received lots of great advice over the years but one that has stayed with me is to “Be yourself because everyone else is taken!” I love this because, like everyone, there are times that you doubt yourself—be it in your working environment or everyday life. For me, it’s about trusting who I am and backing myself. Doesn’t mean you will always be right, but at least you’ve been true to yourself and done it your way.
What are the most important qualities in a teammate for your organisation?
Trust and respect! If you know that you can trust the person next to you—both to support you when you need as well as provide honest feedback when required—that breeds a healthy environment. Respect is also critical. If you are able to respect everyone in your organisation, irrespective of their role or title, people feel valued and part of the family and overall goal. If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself!
What’s an unusual job you’ve had in the past? How did it shape you into the person you are today?
Not so much unusual but more a defining moment. Growing up, I’d regularly help out in our family business for some pocket money whether that be sweeping the loading dock, cleaning out the bins, doing the filing or any other odd job that I could manage.
On one occasion I didn’t feel like going in to help out and chose to stay home instead. I remember my dad coming home and handing me a payslip envelope (as was the case then). Thinking I was still getting some pocket money, I was disappointed when I opened it and there was only a photocopy of a $20 and $10 note inside!
An early life lesson about work ethic and the value of hard work. My dad certainly got his message across!
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I’m not the only recording artist in my family (I say that with a grin on my face!). I’ve actually recorded a 4 track EP at the “Birth Place of Rock ’n Roll”: the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis. Now, whilst I didn’t go on to be as famous as the likes of Elvis, Johnny Cash, and B.B. King who all recorded in the same studio, at least we had a go! I know some people might think this is a joke given my recent karaoke performance, but I can confirm it’s true!
What have you done when you’ve encountered setbacks in your career?
One of my philosophies in life and in business is to use every situation, be it positive or negative, as a learning experience. One of the things I do is set some regular time aside to reflect on either a period or a specific situation. When you suffer any setback, it’s often easy to point the finger and pass the blame. The more difficult option is to take a deep breath, remove the emotion, and look at what you’ve done to contribute to the situation. Having this approach allows me to take the learnings and apply new actions, only this time with a new mindset.
Who or what inspires you?
My little girl Chloe—or my CEO, as I like to call her—is undoubtedly my inspiration. I recently heard someone describe the feeling they felt after just having their child, saying, “It was like opening up a new chamber in my heart.” I don’t think I could describe it any better! My little CEO is a strong, caring, thoughtful, fun-loving person who comes from a place of love. She is an old soul and is wise beyond her years with the most special inquisitive nature. Simply being around her puts life into perspective and inspires me to be the best version of myself, every day!
Join my team!
You probably have a life outside Groupon; what are you up to when you’re not at work?
Outside of my family, my one true passion is golf. My father put a club in my and my younger brother’s hands when we were three and five, respectively. Ever since then, golf has been a major part of our lives and something that still connects us to this day. The golf course is a place where I feel most at peace. Having said that, being a very competitive person, it’s also very frustrating, so I’m always reminding myself how lucky I am it’s not my day job. I’d be a very poor man if it was!
I also love to collect vinyl. Being a big fan of my 60’s and 70’s soul and funk music, some of my most treasured albums are from that era. A great Friday night for me these days is chilling out with a glass of red wine and listening to some of Bill Withers or Donny Hathaway. I’m probably showing my age here, I know!
Describe your leadership style.
My leadership style is very much through empowerment. For me, it’s about ensuring everyone knows their roles and responsibilities and clearly understands what success looks like. My role then is to support and guide my team to achieve both their personal and professional goals, whilst ensuring we remain accountable along the way. I also thinks it’s critical to celebrate your success. Who doesn’t love a little reward and recognition!
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?
I would be an F1 race car driver! I’ve always enjoyed fast cars and the thrill of going fast. Being behind the wheel of such a powerful machine without any restrictions would be awesome! The fact they also get to travel the world to some of the most amazing places full of all the glitz and glamour is also a bonus! Or maybe that’s just my inner fantasy of living a “rock star” lifestyle coming out!
Describe your job in 10 words or less.
Support the team to be the best they can be
What’s your favorite local business?
Frankie’s Pizza: live music and great pizzas. The perfect combination!