Apr 6, 2021
We are delighted to be speaking to Ron Lovett today! Ron is a fascinating entrepreneur! He built a unique security company in Canada and then sold it. He has also written some books, and he has been on various boards and involved in different projects.
We are sure you are going to enjoy hearing our intriguing conversation and Ron’s inspiring stories today!
Ron Lovett’s bio:
Ron Lovett is an Atlantic Canadian entrepreneur who successfully scaled his Halifax-based guard security company to over 3,000 staff across Canada. Ron’s leadership hallmarks of relentless learning, disrupting stale industries, fast action, and transforming staff into passionate stakeholders inspired his first book, Outrageous Empowerment, in 2018.
He sold his security company to the largest provider in the USA at a 24X multiple. He now focuses on his rapidly expanding, multi-family residential portfolio through Vida Living, whose purpose is to revolutionize workforce housing across North America and plans to reach 10,000 units by 2027.
Ron is a globally sought-after professional speaker and thought-leader in organizational culture. He hosts an award-winning podcast and will be releasing his next book and a Master Class called Scaling Culture in Spring 2021.
He also helps clients solve people and culture challenges directly through his other company, Connolly Owens.
Over the years, Ron has been recognized with many awards for the success of Source Security & Investigations and his leadership within the region. Those include:
BDC Young Entrepreneur Award, (x5) Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEO Award, Junior Chamber International Outstanding Young Person Award, and the Remy Martin Bold Five under 35. People are usually stunned to find out Ron is only 41.
Ron feels that entrepreneurship has always been in his blood. As a child, he was always very curious and wanting to make his own way. From a very early age, he was starting micro-small businesses, making decisions, and taking jobs that were more variable compensation.
How Ron Lovett started his company, Source Security & Investigations Inc
Ron Lovett has a background in martial arts. When he was nineteen, he got hired to work the door at a few nightclubs in Halifax, Nova Scotia. There, he built a name for himself. Later, while traveling in North Columbia, he read a book about a gangster who made money from renting his gangster friends to nightclub security companies in London. Ron understood the business model, so based on that, he returned to Halifax to start a nightclub security company. He registered the company as Source Security.
He started the company with two high school friends on the security team. He had many other friends, and he hired lots of them as the company grew, and the company grew very quickly.
Ron Lovett separates friends and business
Ron Lovett made it clear to his friends that when they were at work, they were at work. He was happy to hang out with them over weekends and have beers with them after work, but he made it very clear that their working relationship was not the same as their personal relationship.
The Rolling Stones
Ron got asked to do the security at a Rolling Stones concert with an audience of 85,000 people. He agreed to do it, even though he had no idea how he would manage. He needed 380 security people, but he had only about 45 employees at the time. It was a challenge, but he managed to recruit enough people. On the day before the concert, only sixty people turned up in the busses that Ron had hired to get everyone he had hired to the venue. Ron thought it was all over for him. The next day, however, most of the other people he had hired drove themselves to the venue. So they pulled it off! Nobody died that day, and the concert went off well.
Becoming the authority
After pulling off the Rolling Stones concert, Source Security became the authority. They became known to understand everything about running the security at large concerts, and they had a unique ability to solve any problem in the present moment, which is very hard to do.
Give people back their brains
Ron became obsessive about two things when he was at rock bottom and lost a million dollars in 2011. They were to give people their brains back and build systems and processes to allow people to have autonomy, make decisions, and build culture in an industry that lacked culture.
Ron felt that it was vital to create community for his employees.
Ron Lovett’s move towards autonomy
Ron Lovett was looking for a way to systemize autonomy without using any command and control. Also, to give people their brains back and get them to use them. Rather than having policies in place, he created a framework of three questions. He always asks the people in his company those questions to empower them when they make critical decisions. Those questions are:
Is it the right thing for the customer?
Is it the right thing for our business based on our purpose of changing the industry? And our values?
Are you willing to be accountable?
Coaching in real-time and scaling
That decision-making process allowed Ron to coach his employees in real-time, in the present moment. It also helped to remove the bureaucracy and allowed him to simplify things as he scaled the business.
Holding people back
People get held back from their potential if they do not get coached and celebrated in real-time.
You build a great business by challenging everything.
Find a purpose that will give you goose-bumps. That purpose should, at least, make someone curious.
Ron Lovett’s thoughts on leaders
Ron Lovett believes that the best leaders today don’t solve problems. They ask the right questions and let the organizations answer them.
As entrepreneurs, you need to ask questions that drive you to be objective about what you have created.
Ron is writing his second book. It’s called Scaling Culture. It is about how to build and sustain a resilient, high-performing organization. He also has a Master Class that can get taken online that will launch with the book.
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Outrageous Empowerment: The Incredible Story of Giving Employees Their Brains Back
Drive by Daniel Pink