May 12, 2020
In this episode of my Authentic Leadership Podcast, I had a great time talking with Steve Plarre. He is a 4th generation baker and the current CEO of Ferguson Plarre Bakehouse. This family owned bakery business has a wonderful legacy that dates back to the 1880s.
As CEO & Director, Steve works closely with his brother Mike in a business that is still very much family owned & operated. With 75 stores and a large bakery that crafts over 100,000 cakes & savouries daily, Steve & his brother are intensely focused on making sure that the care and passion that helped make the family business what it is today isn’t lost in the wake of growth and scale.
Steve came to my attention after I saw his Corona-oke videos on social media. He started these videos during the Coronavirus lockdown to connect and engage with customers. Steve takes well-known songs and modifies the lyrics which he then sings and dances to. Some of my favourites include I want to bake free, We built this city on sausage rolls and Another one bites the crust. You can check them out alongside other examples on the Ferguson Plarre Bakehouse Facebook page.
When speaking with Steve, I discovered how these songs align perfectly with the company values of bringing happiness to people. With lockdown in place, the bakehouse lost its traditional means of bringing happiness to people via bakery treats in the form of a meat pie or vanilla slice. Consequently, he decided on the next best thing …a bit of karaoke. A great example of authentic leadership!
Listen to the podcast to find out why Steve started doing this, his thoughts on authentic leadership and some of the challenges, benefits and pressures of being CEO of a family business.
To listen to my podcasts, subscribe to my series on iTunes or access them via Soundcloud. I would also love to hear your suggestions for CEOs that live and breathe Authentic Leadership. Contact us if you have someone in mind that we can invite to be part of the Authentic Leadership Podcast.