LIGHTS THE WAY
As a child, Andrew Smyth wanted to be a builder. Today, he is the General Manager of Sales at Pierlite. Andrew fulfilled his dream of becoming a builder early on in his career and now he spends his workdays far from the construction site. As part of Pierlite’s executive team, Andrew is responsible for managing around 100 employees in various departments, and he absolutely loves it.
Andrew has a strong background in sales and management, bringing an extensive variety of relevant skills and knowledge to Pierlite. With practical experience developing sales and marketing strategies, Andrew has applied his talents for tactical planning to lead Pierlite to success. Andrew understands the nuances in business strategy and is an expert at navigating his knowledge of sales, the market, customers, technology, and metrics to efficiently provide relevant business solutions. It doesn’t stop there; Andrew takes a holistic approach to his sales and marketing strategies by utilising sales forecasting, data analytics, cost management, and goal setting. Through this approach, Andrew produces refined strategic campaigns that deliver tangible results.
In addition to leading sales strategies, Andrew also specialises in sales process development. This involves undertaking client research to identify their needs and providing innovative, applicable solutions for each client’s unique situation. By constantly reinventing and improving Pierlite’s sales process, Andrew ensures that his team can work effectively and meaningfully to provide clients with exceptional results. It’s this dedication to advancement and innovation that establishes Andrew as a formidable leader in the workplace.
Andrew leads his colleagues with attentiveness and care, and this allows his team to flourish. This is evident through his strong emphasis on communication, transparency, and openness, which enables him to productively align large teams. For Andrew, team alignment is a critical aspect of a strong workplace culture as everyone can work towards the same vision and goals in a cooperative manner. Andrew’s team can attest for his strong management skills, which involves problem solving, managing team morale, technical training, and creating an encouraging work culture.
Selling the overarching vision and spirit
Since joining Pierlite as a Sales Manager, Andrew’s skills and potential were quickly realised by the company. This included his talent for identifying market opportunities through segmentation and developing sales strategies based on an inch wide, mile deep philosophy. He was promoted to Regional General Manager Victoria and Tasmania, and then to General Manager Sales, where he currently thrives.
How did Andrew delve into sales and management from carpentry? As a carpenter, Andrew’s flair for sales was apparent through his success in selling the overarching vision and spirit of his company and projects – something he did every day on the job. His talent for sales was soon recognised by significant construction companies around Australia, and that was when, at age 37, he made the switch from building to sales management roles.
After acquiring an extensive amount of experience in various sales and management roles, Andrew looked for a company that closely aligned with his values and would allow him to make a positive difference. He didn’t need to look further than Pierlite. From day one of joining Pierlite, something that stood out to Andrew was how Pierlite continually strives to incorporate values of authenticity, trust, transparency, courage, and kindness within every corner of the company’s everyday operations. Andrew embodies these values in both his professional life and in his personal philosophy, so it’s no wonder that he fits into Pierlite like a light bulb fits in its socket.
Authenticity, transparency and kindness
“Authenticity is everything to me,” says Andrew. “It’s the same with transparency and kindness – they go hand-in-hand with authenticity. Whether I’m speaking to the CEO or a new intern, I treat them with the same authenticity and kindness. Someone’s title should never dictate their worth.”
With years of experience in building, sales and management roles, Andrew’s seen it all. “There are so many workplaces out there that really integrate a top-down hierarchy,” says Andrew. “One problem with this is that it stunts growth and opportunity. In these hierarchies, we’re less likely to learn from each other or share honest, constructive feedback.”
Pierlite’s executive team focuses on a more horizontal leadership style. By encouraging vulnerability and kindness between every employee, Pierlite can focus on its vision of “empowering our people, our customers and our community to make a positive difference for a brighter future.” This is what Andrew loves about working with Pierlite, as he is passionate about empowering people through growth, support, and kindness.
Just recently, Andrew spent two hours welcoming, mentoring, and guiding the newest sales team members. “They were just blown away by this!” explains Andrew. “It’s crazy that there aren’t many companies or managers out there with similar initiatives. The meeting was an opportunity for the new employees to share their goals, their dreams for the future, and to discuss what they could bring to Pierlite. They were comfortable in being honest and transparent, even in their first week. That’s what Pierlite is all about.”
Individual and collective empowerment
It’s clear that Andrew’s leadership style focuses on individual and collective empowerment, with emphasis on building personal and genuine connections, as well as practical and tangible mentorship.
As Andrew would quickly realise upon joining Pierlite in 2017, there is no shortage of growth and training initiatives at Pierlite. From internal training programs to a Pierlite university platform in the works, Pierlite constantly strives to empower its community through educational resources and support systems. “When we offer these training resources to our team, some of them are surprised at the support,” says Andrew. “I’ve had sales employees who, in their 10 years of sales experience elsewhere, have never had any sort of company training like they do at Pierlite.”
Andrew’s colleagues are swift to praise his strong interpersonal skills that likely stemmed from his passion for people. His leadership style evidently flourishes on building human connections through showcasing vulnerability and encouraging authenticity and kindness amongst his team. When working with Andrew, it seems that his charisma and enthusiasm for people is the first thing that people notice. However, Andrew’s plethora of professional abilities and achievements are a formidable force that should not be overlooked.
Success through trust and courage
Being an effective General Manager of Sales requires a lot of skill and knowledge, but Pierlite chose Andrew for a reason. With his extensive career experience and education, it’s no wonder that Andrew is an expert at all things related to sales and management. From market segmentation and market mapping, to leading cross-departmental collaboration and managing project executions, Andrew has both the hard skills and soft skills needed to lead his teams to success.
Even as a new employee, Andrew was quick to identify areas that could be improved; he was responsible for Pierlite’s new and improved sales process that incorporates modern accounting software and customer relationship management (CRM) systems that streamlines sales procedures and reduces conflicts. By reinventing a system that was not being used to its fullest potential, Andrew’s enhanced CRM system set up clear accountabilities that boosted the efficiency of the sales process. This new system became a business-wide success and was also implemented across Pierlite’s international branches.
“When I first joined the Pierlite team as a sales manager, I probably didn’t have the authority to tell higher-ups that their system should be upgraded, or that I wanted to change processes through these exact measures,” says Andrew. “But that’s exactly the difference between Pierlite and other companies – even as a newbie, the executive team listened to my feedback and actually took my ideas seriously. It’s that sort of trust and courage that really drives a company to success, which is why I always seek feedback and new perspectives from my team, no matter what their work title happens to be.”
Andrew’s values of education and growth arise from his constant desire to learn from the people around him and listen to what everyone has to say. However, for Andrew, the learning doesn’t stop there. Andrew actively seeks educational opportunities that will help him advance and find new ways to positively impact his team. He’s completed education and training programs such as a Diploma of Human Resources at the Australian Training College, Finance for Non-Finance Managers at the Australian Institute of Management, a Leadership Development Program at Melbourne Business School, and a Business Mentor Course at Business Sight, to name a few.
Even now, as an established and successful General Manager of Sales at Pierlite, Andrew is still pursuing self-improvement by undertaking another leadership training program through LEAD Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program (LMCLP). After recognising Andrew’s achievements, Gisborne and Community Bendigo Bank awarded Andrew with a scholarship to complete the LMCLP. It takes dedication and genuine passion to be as committed to growth as Andrew is. While being a husband and a father of four, Andrew still makes time on the weekends to participate in these educational courses to become the best leader he can.
Whether Andrew is managing a team of five, 15 or 50, he applies the same philosophy of kindness, authenticity, and support to encourage his team to continually advance together. “Management gives you the opportunity to see the best in people and bring out their full potential,” says Andrew. “I love empowering people more than I ever imagined I would. It fulfils me to be able to make a difference and have positive influences on people to help them succeed.”
Leading people to success
Andrew is passionate about leading people to success, and not just in the workplace. He dedicates his free time to volunteering at his local Scouts organisation as a Group Leader at Riddells Creek Scout Group, District Commissioner of Macedon Ranges, and Region Commissioner within Scouts Victoria. As a volunteer, Andrew is involved in leading over 3000 youth members and 500 adult members of the Scouts in his region.
Just recently, Andrew was recognised for his achievements by the global Scouting community and was presented with the prestigious Scouts Adult Recognition Award. As Macedon Ranges District Commissioner, Andrew was chosen to receive the award from a pool of over 51 million Scouting members, in recognition of his numerous achievements and triumphs he has shared with the Scouts community over the years. “I just want to make sure there are great opportunities for the kids in the community, and a rewarding way I can do that is by volunteering at Scouts,” says Andrew.
Real connections for collective change
Regardless of what environment Andrew is in or who he is with, he is always ready to offer his support and expertise. “I believe it’s important to stay relevant by continually connecting with people and understanding a range of different experiences and perspectives,” says Andrew. “It’s my favourite part of the job – being able to form real connections with people and collectively change this world for the better.”
Andrew’s core values of authenticity, transparency and kindness are the secret to his and his team’s success. By bringing his optimistic energy into his business endeavours, Andrew turns setbacks into opportunities, doubt into confidence, and dreams into reality. It’s this type of energy that has allowed Pierlite to constantly redefine what’s possible and continually reinvent the blueprint of the company’s identity. By incessantly seeking new horizons, Pierlite can adapt and grow as the world transforms and as people’s needs change. Under Andrew’s hearts-in leadership, he is empowering a team to make a positive difference for a brighter future.