Quick-fire Q&A with Garry Reed

Garry Reed, MD of Evergreen Lifestyle Villages

Describe your leadership style
I am firm but fair. I believe that as you drive your team and constantly demand the best from them so you should also invest time to recognize them and reward them. Engaging on a social level has also taught me a lot about my team members and what makes them tick.

Your top tip to beat procrastination
To-do lists. Start the week with clear objectives on what you want to achieve, list them in priority order. Do the most difficult ones first. Similarly, on a daily basis set your tasks out for the day and ensure the most important ones are on top, this way if for some reason you don’t get to it all the important work is completed. This also works well in my personal life to prioritize family matters, kids events, medical checkups etc.

Favorite getaway destination?
It is almost impossible for me to choose one. I love the beach but equally enjoy the bush. As much as I enjoy a quiet holiday with the family in a remote location where we can swim, braai and chill out, I also love hustle and bustle of big cities like Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, London, Paris and Las Vegas.

Who or what inspires you?
I have been lucky to have had some great mentors in my career, many of which I still engage with regularly. My late father was a huge inspiration in my life. He encouraged me to follow my dreams. He taught me the importance of believing in myself and never giving up. Seeing people succeed that you mentored and assisted in some way during their career is one of life’s great rewards. I also draw inspiration from my kids, they surprise me daily and have taught me to look at life from different angles.

Your one wish for South Africa?
I really wish that people would take some time to learn all the different cultures in the country. We are so lucky to have such diversity, yet we live very insular lives. This will build a much better understanding and tolerance for each other and will bring us closer as a nation.

If you could have any 3 people over for dinner, who would they be and what would you serve?
Elvis Presley, Bruce Lee and Barack Obama – We will for serve have a traditional South African braai.

What five pieces of advice would you give to aspiring young business starters?

  • Life isn’t fair – the sooner you understand and accept this the sooner you will be able to move forward
  • Planning, planning, planning – I am a firm believer that any business success comes from 90% planning and 10% execution
  • Always have a plan B – this is something my dad taught me from a young age. There are multiple ways to achieve your goal
  • Reflect often – there is so much time and effort spent on forward thinking that we forget to look back and see how our journey has unfolded. We can learn from the past in order to make the future better.
  • Never give up – “Tough times don’t last, tough people do” No matter how hard life gets there is always a solution. Success is always on the horizon. “The only place where you will find success before work is in the dictionary”

  • What is the one thing most people don’t know about you?
    I am absolutely petrified of heights.

    What would you do with an extra hour in your day?
    Spend it outdoors with my children. Either at Clifton 4th Beach, Table Mountain Hiking or playing soccer in the park.