Ben Franics founded Gymshark, a leading gym wear brand when he was still in his teens. The company is now worth over $1.5 billion.
In the early days, his nickname was:
One employee described him as "erratic, hot-headed, arrogant and a poor manager”.
He had opinions on everything and wasn’t afraid to share them.
He felt that it was his job to tell people what to do. It was his company.
But as Gymshark became successful, Ben learned an important lesson.
To lead at scale. it's your questions, not answers that drive success.
“Another thing that has had a big impact on me is always asking questions, I genuinely believe that you can learn something new from every single individual you meet. So if you are inquisitive and ask them why they do certain things if you try to be educated on an area where they are far more knowledgeable than you are that can make a massive massive difference."
This was a big shift for Ben.
Learning to ask questions. Accepting that he couldn't be the expert in everything. He needed to trust the team to deliver.
This challenge is not reserved for billionaires.
Every leader faces this as they become more successful.
This is where a coaching leadership style helps.
You become an expert in questions, not answers.
You learn how to listen, and not assume you know best.
You build self-awareness to know when to offer advice, and when to hold it back.
You become a multiplier, not a bottleneck.
I learned this story from Stephen Bartlett's Diary of a CEO