Sustainability Is the Future Says Sydney’s Award-Winning Young Entrepreneur Leigh Rust
Leaders look up to other leaders and have appreciation for their work in taking the industry forward. Trusted by Australian entrepreneurs, stakeholders, and industry experts alike, Leigh Rust is the Co-Founder and Director of Safetyline Jalousie Louvre Windows, an Australian manufacturing business.
As a passionate advocate for locally made goods, he is the driving source behind the companies mission to improve the built environment and make communities healthier through high performance energy efficient and sustainable products. What motivated the driving force behind this movement to lead his business forward? Here are his thoughts on successful leadership.
Desire to Create Something Out of the Box
From a very young age, Leigh was exposed to the world of business and entrepreneurship through his father’s manufacturing company Vergola. After working for Vergola for ten years, he wanted to create something of his own alongside his brother Nathan. That is how Safetyline Jalousie started.
As the Co-Founder and Director, Leigh’s responsibilities include managing day-to-day operations, sourcing new business opportunities, and leading industry-related lobbying and advocacy efforts.
Open Door Leadership Style
“My leadership style is one that’s very ‘open door’ and collaborative,” said Leigh Rust when asked about his leadership style. He encourages his team to set their own objectives under his guidance. To Mr. Rust, fostering a great team environment is really important.
Hurdling Through Challenges as an Impactful Leader
Overtime, Leigh learnt the importance of operation from an innovation mindset, being adaptable and responding to changing conditions and regulations as they occurred. One of the examples that he cited was when the Australian government made changes to the National Construction Code (NCC); Safetyline was one of the market leaders in creating a product that met the requirements of the new law.
“As a leader, innovation has always been the key to what we do and I’m always looking at opportunities for growth. We’ve worked hard so that we’re not just regarded as a company that creates windows, but rather one that’s committed to creating better environments through our products – in turn leading to better health outcomes for the community due to the many benefits of well-ventilated buildings.”
The Leader’s Inspiration
Leigh Rust was inspired by many people across a range of industries and backgrounds, like Mark Bouris, Australia’s largest non-bank mortgage lender and Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin group. Leigh Rust said he is passionate about health and fitness and loves taking fitness challenges and inspiration from David Goggins, a retired Navy SEAL, world class ultra athlete and world record holder and Joko Willink, also a retired Navy SEAL officer, author, and podcaster,
Leading the Change in the Industry
Safetyline Jalousie strives to create better built environments through its products. Unlike traditional windows, their louvre windows allow for better ventilation and natural airflow. “With a commitment to sustainability, we’re working towards zero net emissions in our business. We’re also passionate about lobbying those in the construction industry about the importance of making outcome-driven decisions, not short-term, cost-driven ones. We find that people can often select products without considering quality, durability, and sustainability which is something we’re working to change in the industry”, says Mr. Rust.
Vital Attributes of a Successful Leader
“Resilience, drive, hard work, and discipline are key attributes I think leaders should possess”, says the leader himself. He also encourages to be on lookout for opportunities, especially through challenges, and never be complacent. According to him, one-way leaders can change lives for the better is by creating a legacy they can leave behind.
Leigh Rust’s Advice to Emerging Business Leaders
Those considering leadership roles or executive positions should work hard, constantly set out to learn more, and surround themselves with people who inspire them. “The importance of rolling up your sleeve and doing the hard yards can never be underestimated. Resilience is an essential quality to have as well – for me, this is something I’ve developed through my sporting endeavors and over a decade in the business”, says Leigh Rust.