Rebel GM of Retail Tom Leak discusses why patience, strong relationships and continued personal development have been integral to his career.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I originally studied accounting at university, however, took some time off and started up a direct sales business with some friends, and instantly fell in love with sales!
I went on to study retail and while attending a course, applied for a full-time furniture salesperson at Freedom Furniture, and this was the first step in my retail career.
What were the biggest challenges in the early days of your career?
Developing patience was a big one.
I was keen to work my way through the organisation and get promoted quickly.
There were limited opportunities, so I ended up moving to different parts of the country, to take those limited chances when they came along.
What is one piece of business advice you’ve been given that sticks with you today?
In a business sense, treating people right, and valuing every relationship is a standout.
No matter if it’s team, partners, customers, having a people first culture is something I was taught very early on and has remained my foundation throughout.
On a more personal note, someone once said to me ‘when you’re green, you’re growing, and when you’re ripe, you’re rotting.’
I really like this one as it's an important trait to make sure you’re always learning, and seeking out new thoughts, ideas, and opportunities.
What project stands out as a highlight in your career?
The Rebel Customer Experience store openings would have to be the one.
It was so amazing to work with the team creating such an interactive and immersive shopping experience across all touch points.
Seeing customers engaging, playing, and genuinely having fun enjoying the shopping experience is such a joy to be a part of.