A high emotional intelligence (EQ) is more beneficial than a high IQ and lies at the heart of business success according to Paul Dean, director of Lockwood Tauranga (Oceanside Homes Limited).
“Your IQ gets you through school but your EQ gets you through life,” says Paul. “Using your EQ in business creates smart business relationships and financial profit over fickle handshakes and a quick dollar.”
Paul has successfully paved his way through what appeared to be a bleak future as a college dropout to an educated and highly respected Tauranga businessman.
“Your intelligence quotient doesn’t change but your ability to use both your emotions and cognitive skills in life can improve, if you choose to,” says Paul.
Born and raised in Waihi and the youngest of four siblings, Paul did not shy away from overcoming his earlier educational obstacles. Instead, as a young adult he worked diligently to develop his EQ and business acumen during an unexpected yet successful sales and marketing career.
“Entering into sales started by accident," he says. "I was hired as a trainee sales representative for a multinational organisation and eventually promoted to regional sales manager; I became fascinated by sales and marketing and still remember the buzz of my first $100 sale, $10,000 sale, $100k sale and my first $1M sale.
“I spent the following 15 years in corporate sales environments where I took it upon myself to glean as much learnings as possible, with a view to specialising in marketing.
These organisations had large marketing departments and even larger budgets so it was a fantastic learning experience. I was also able to observe how the best performers exhibited the highest EQ, which proved insightful for me,” says Paul.
Nearing the age of 40 the business-savvy marketer became bored and irritated by the corporate environment and office politics. So, he tried his hand at export-import distribution.
“I dabbled in importing and exporting distribution for a few years and at one point had seven agents working for me distributing products throughout New Zealand. But it was a costly financial exercise as I never made any money from it.
On the upside, it was a significant eye opener for me into small business operations and I had a great time travelling around,” says Paul.
With distribution behind him, in the 1990s he took the plunge into contracting as a sales and marketing consultant to small and medium sized enterprises. This was mostly by referral through government business development offices, and quintessential of that era.
A humble man and highly professional, Paul remains tight-lipped about who his clients have been but he has consulted to businesses turning over $1M to $10M. He also took a rural based start-up business from nil to $2M turnover within only two years.
On many occasions, Paul’s consulting role involved physically working in the troubled business, to address issues, put sales and marketing systems in place and to generate sales.
“During this time, it became apparent that in many instances it was not necessarily solely a sales or marketing issue that confronted me. Rather, bottlenecks and restrictions in other parts of the business were causing the real issue; like lack of systems, human resource issues, short-sighted planning, budgeting and financial issues, production supply and delivery problems. Because of this, over the years I naturally evolved into a general small to medium (SME) advisory as opposed to specialist sales/marketing consulting,” surmises Paul.
While continuing with his consulting business, Dean Consulting Limited, Paul seized an opportunity to join the Lockwood Homes franchise network - by purchasing the franchise for the Western Bay of Plenty region in 2011 - and established Oceanside Homes Limited.
He experienced immediate success with Lockwood by taking out the ‘Rookie of the Year’ award in his first year. He went on to win multiple coveted Lockwood awards in the years to follow.
In addition, Paul received recognition in the Master Builders Awards after only two years in business.
“We took out the Master Builders regional award for interior design and won the overall regional Bronze award. It was pretty special to be recognised by Master Builders so early on in my Lockwood business. I felt honoured again when I was awarded the Sustainable Homes Regional Award 2016,” Paul says.
As director of Lockwood Tauranga and with his sales and marketing background in tow, Paul says it is important to him to only promote a premium product.
“As a group housing company, Lockwood provides a superior product, which cannot be matched in the market place today. I identified the synergy between Lockwood’s values and my own.
Lockwood is family-owned and is a well-respected iconic Kiwi brand that has withstood the test of time. Lockwood also places emphasis on sustainability, which is important to me.
All our homes are built from plantation grown renewable forests and we encourage or incorporate sustainable practice in all homes we design and build.
But, what I love most about my job is seeing the joy on our customers' faces when we hand over the keys to their new Lockwood home,” says Paul.
Paul says one of the great pleasures resulting from his diverse business background is that (for the last 10 years) he has been doing voluntary work for Business Mentors New Zealand.
The non-profit organisation helps SMEs unable to afford professional fees in addressing issues holding their business back.
“It’s a fun thing to do and I really enjoy helping these people when I have the time. I’ve also made some fantastic friends through doing this work.”
A Tauranga resident for 33 years, Paul has mentored almost 30 local businesses across multiple industries. He spends a few hours or up to 12 months with business owners depending on their specific needs and issues, and identifies issues quickly due to his many years in business and consulting.
“I came across a situation where I was mentoring a business owner who had really unhappy staff and he didn’t know why. It transpired that the manager was feeling so stressed he was constantly agitated with his staff mostly for error rates. So, I helped the manager identify and understand that he was the problem, not the staff.
The solution was for him to employ a 2IC and delegate responsibility. When he followed through, the company culture and staff began to thrive and error rates were minimised,” says Paul.
Paul teaches business owners how to develop EQ competency in business by learning to trust their intuition, being resilient, flexible and implementing coping and stress management strategies.
Paul teaches business owners how to develop EQ competency in business by learning to trust their intuition, being resilient, flexible and implementing coping and stress management strategies. He says it is vital for leaders to display integrity and authenticity.
As part of a national organisation called Advantage Business, Paul helped business owners run high-performance companies while still enjoying time to live life outside of the business world. Paul became their first regional business advisor outside of Auckland.
“I joined Advantage Business in 2003 and left in 2011 but still maintain a small advisory client base; they are people I have worked with for a decade and still appreciate my inputs,” he says. After three years of part-time study Paul also gained business advisory accreditation.
Nurturing 41 years of marriage to teenage sweetheart Jenny and investing in relationships with his three sons Hamish, Isaac, Jesse and their families, is at the core of Paul’s business success.
Hamish is married and is a computer engineer at Stratus Blue in Tauranga, Isaac lives in Papamoa where he and his partner Dibs have their own construction business Sentinel Home Tauranga. Youngest son, Jesse, is single and works as a software engineer at Metaswitch in Wellington.
A doting father, Paul revels in having had the time to spend with Jesse during his primary school years while working from home as a consultant.
“It was a very special time in my life and very, very cool!” he exclaims. “Even now, when I’m not working I love spending time with my beautiful wife and family. I’m lucky that two of my three sons live in the Bay and there is nothing I like more than shooting the breeze with them over a beer and barbie on a Sunday afternoon,” he says.
“Business is like a marriage or being a father. To be successful, you must give more than you expect to get back. You need to be responsive to other people’s needs. You really can’t have one without the other – you may have high IQ but low EQ.
In the end, it is possible to learn business acumen and be a sharp business person. But without a developing EQ you will likely end up being extremely wealthy, yet void of healthy business and personal relationships. It’s a satisfying feeling to look back over my life so far with a holistic sense of achievement in business and family life.”
Outside of work, Paul supports the Papamoa Lifesaving Club in whatever way he can such as fundraising initiatives, time allowing.
“We live practically next door. Thankfully I’ve never had to take advantage of their services, but being a beachy kind of guy I do have a strong affinity with the job these volunteers do in protecting our family, friends and tourists who use our beaches. After school, they looked after my kids as they were growing up enjoying the surf and I really appreciate their efforts in looking after the safety of all beach users,” he says.
Time for toys
Paul totes himself as a typical bloke who loves his big boy’s toys.
“I hate to admit it, but I am quite competitive. When the kids were young we did a lot of fishing and boating but cars and motorsport are my passion. I have a serious bit of muscle tucked away in a shed that I bring out on fine days for fun.”
Paul’s latest personal challenge was realised recently when he entered his refurbished 1999 Subaru WRX STi Type R into the Targa Rally Tour across Hawkes Bay, which he has owned since new.
“I wanted to convert my Subaru into a tarmac car so I could enter rally tours and tarmac club days. Only 18 of this model arrived in New Zealand during 1999, so they are of special interest to me and many other ‘Subby’ fans."
One of the attractive elements of the Targa Tour for Paul is that it focuses on raising money for many different organisations, from the local rugby club to the schools, ambulance service, the list goes on.
There's no doubting that Paul Dean has created a big life for himself. A big life that he shares with others.
It seems that business success may very well lie in learning the art of considering the heart along with the head.