Tags – Hands-Off Leadership

Harmeet Singh of Axies Digital had the pleasure of meeting Adrian Hobbs.

An authoritative figure, Adrian has been professionally active for the past 4 decades. He is currently the Executive Director of Workvine, an organisation that provides digital solutions for attracting, recruiting, engaging, and training employees.

With a portfolio of customers that includes big names like Capita and Costco, Adrian focuses mainly on making the life of small businesses easier.

But, there is more to his story than what meets the naked eye.

The Underlying Values

Adrian boasts about the people that have stuck with him for over 15 years.

But, this level of commitment of employees towards him is the result of a clearly defined thinking.

Adrian cites transparency and honesty as his underlying values. Simply, he cares about his employees and in return, the employees replicate the same behaviour towards him and the business.

In fact, Adrian takes the thinking here a step forward.

He sees his team as a family; a bond stronger than work and extending to the kind of love that creates long term success.

Then, in this family, he sees his role as the leader who brings people together. Adrian points that this togetherness-thinking translates into competitiveness and growth opportunities for businesses.

The Small Vs Big Stories

Adrian sees the notion of togetherness at the forefront of survival and success in business, even in the face of the most unfavourable circumstances.

Here, he gives the example of corner shops against Tesco’s superstores.

In an ideal state of business, Tesco would want to eliminate all corner shops. But, even with all the lack of resources, the corner shops are surviving.

Adrian thinks that corner shops are surviving because they have the advantage of providing more than physical products. These corner shops have a connection with the local people and they provide quality, whether it is in terms of product or relationships.

And, more importantly, it is the level of connectivity that makes the difference here.

Adrian takes this idea into Workvine.


Adrian figured out that small businesses have too much on their plates that stops them from scaling.

Therefore, if he could make the life of small business owners simpler, he will have a business in his hands.

And, he has picked the recruitment side to apply his thinking.

Agencies charge an arm and a leg for just getting a bum on the seat. But, in this digital age, there are a number of job boards that employers can easily access and use for their recruitment needs.

The next challenge then is the proper utilisation of the available platforms. Adrian suggest two main considerations:

  1. Too many options is a challenge in it’s own right. And, using these platforms effectively requires extended time and effort.
  2. Even after understanding the platforms themselves, the job is still to attract the right talent. Thus, instead of just posting jobs, there is a technical side of using the platforms effectively too.

Workvine does both these jobs for businesses. And, then supports their clients in the next stages of engagement and training too.

Simply, his process is based on directness of needs and solutions. And, he maintains a hands-off leadership style to get the results.

Hands-Off Leadership

Adrian has previously worked in traditional recruitment too.

But, instead of just passing his time, he focused on the changing needs of the market. And, this focus on change has allowed him to build and scale businesses over time.

From working with hundreds, if not thousands of businesses, over the last 40 years, Adrian describes good leadership as the compass to the destination.

Naturally, there will be some wavering. But, the best leaders have a direct approach. They do not divert too far from the business vision, keeping things in check.

Adrien gives a fantastic analogy of a business mission being like a moving bus. The individuals will get on and off at different points and have their own ideal stops. But, the bus must stay on course.

At a deeper level, the bus analogy has dimensions of leadership too.

The bus driver needs to keep an eye on the bigger vision and keep a hands-off approach to the destination of the individuals. Both sides just need to have confidence in each other to get the things done. And, you need the right people in place get this desired result.

If you would like to connect with Adrian Hobbs, you can check him on LinkedIn here.

And, to learn more, get in touch with us today.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]