A founder’s journey to leadership beyond fear
When it comes to personal and professional growth, pivotal moments come from the least expected sources. For one entrepreneur, Chris Farnworth – co-founder at Blendsmiths, the catalyst for his leadership approach emerged from an unlikely figure – an old boss whose leadership style was anything but inspiring.
Reflecting on his journey in the first of our Unstoppable Stories, Chris shares his experience of working in finance under a manager who led with an iron fist and a constant undercurrent of fear.
A rigid approach involved breaking down targets into an intricate level of detail – from yearly targets down to monthly, weekly and hourly. While this method might have benefitted his employer, it came at a cost. Chris completely switched off.
An oppressive atmosphere created by micromanagement and an absence of personal connection left a lasting impact. Chris admits that while he performed well within these strict parameters, the motivation and excitement for his work were notably absent.
Negative experiences, though formative, served as a stark reminder of how leadership rooted in fear can stifle creativity and enthusiasm.
Fast forward to the present, and Chris has chosen a different path as a leader within the hot drinks brand, Blendsmiths. Rejecting the notion of leadership through fear, he has co-created a company centred around collaboration, creativity, and equality. Every team member at Blendsmiths has a say, and everyone works towards a shared purpose with passion and commitment.
The contrast between the past and the present serves as a testament to Chris’ commitment to leading with authenticity. Rather than replicating the intimidating leadership style he experienced, alongside co-Founder Ryan Moore, he’s embraced a people-and—passion-centric approach.
The Blendsmiths story will inspire leaders who are themselves aspiring to create positive, empowering work environments that bring out the best in their teams.
Watch our interview with Chris and Ryan, Co-Founders of Blendsmiths, in the first in a limited three-part series, Unstoppable Stories.
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