Bobby Albert led the Albert Companies to unprecedented growth—and he did so during one of the most challenging economic periods of our lifetime. His unique leadership, coupled with an unending desire to learn, enabled this CEO and his team to grow revenues and profits by 500 percent between 2005 and 2011, the year he sold his business to a publicly-traded company.
Bobby is currently President of Values-Driven Leadership, LLC where he helps other leaders build inspiring workplace cultures. As an author of three books, he shares the principles and practices he used to grow his company from five employees to an organization of more than 150 team members.
Bobby’s insights on leadership, workplace culture, and employee engagement have been featured on popular media channels including Forbes, ESPN Radio, and Fox News Radio.
VALUES DRIVEN LEADERSHIP
Using a values-driven approach, Bobby created a unique and special workplace culture, and The Best 100 Companies to Work for in Texas awarded their coveted designation to the Albert team for two years running. As a serial entrepreneur, Bobby has started twelve different businesses, acquired nine others and brought this same, values driven approach to them all.
The approach? Value people, seek wisdom, embrace humility, and never stop learning.
Workplace culture is so critical because that’s what creates an environment that enables people to thrive and profits to soar.
When Bobby was 20 years old he’d just graduated and life was ‘pretty good’ when one evening, his father had a massive heart attack and as Bobby walked into the hospital, he saw the Dr. speaking with his mother saying “We just couldn’t save him”, changing Bobby’s life forever.
Thrust into taking over the family business, he quickly learned that his debt load was the same as the total annual revenue for the entire company but by the time the great recession of 2008-2009 hit, Bobby and his team had turned things around delivering 500% growth, while others faltered.
As a boy, he’d learned how to graft, working in the family moving business doing the jobs no one else wanted to do. This helped grow a level of respect that stayed with him as he grew older, ultimately helping build respect with those same team members he then had to manage and lead.
Dealing with the debt load, Bobby sold his car to pay down the money, hitching a ride with one of his employees for two years, so they could focus on growing the business (over 200% in one year) and improving profitability, all with the aim of paying bills and becoming a healthy business again.
Bobby recognizes that he had a great deal of help from the employees, as well as others around him to get him through those early days.
Bobby became a Christian in 1982 after realizing that he couldn’t earn his way into Heaven. This began a seismic change that reverberated through his life and business.
Within a few years, he noticed the addition of a daily quiet time began to make a big difference in the business as well as personally and before long, he launched something called the ‘Work as Worship’ ministry, providing support to his employees, customers and suppliers. It grew so big they added an extra HR person just to deal with the logistics of it all, so they could continue to serve well.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:17.
Striving for excellence doesn’t mean striving for perfection. Perfection isn’t attainable. Excellence is.
The culture he wanted to build was a that everyone worked towards a higher purpose, working for God and not Bobby as the ultimate leader. Even though some of the team didn’t believe what Bobby believed about God, everyone believed that working for excellence and looking beyond the leader of the company was helping them deliver growth and success. That said, Bobby always wanted to make sure that nobody felt pressured into staying in meetings etc. if they were uncomfortable with the faith based conversation.
Bobby’s success began to shine as they looked to buy other businesses and grow the footprint. He spent hours in the saddle of his bicycle, thinking and noodling to gain clarity in his mind. Although he credits a natural, God given talent to the clarity he saw, he also admits that not every gamble paid off, putting those experiences down to learning opportunities as he continued to take calculated risks and move forward.
When it’s all over, the one thing he’d like to be remembered by more than anything else is that he was a model Christian Businessman who encouraged leaders to live an integrated life, bringing faith into every aspect of it.
BRINGING THE FUN
His team cared about the development of people not just in relation to skills, but in relation to their entire person and makeup, offering onsite chaplain services to their team AND customers across the U.S. More than that, they developed wellness initiatives, moving contests (where they pitted teams against each other to test their skills!) and other fun programs that all contributed to making a great environment for people to work from.
Paid for gym memberships, paid for conference tickets and more were normal par for the course, going as far as free tickets to Christian concerts.
Happy Fridays = water gun fights when it was the quieter periods in the calendar which, combined with car smashing provided ever more creative ways to build engagement within the team and develop the culture they wanted. The silly prizes were just a bonus.
- Value people, seek wisdom, embrace humility, and never stop learning.
- The truth is that every day is sacred, and we shouldn’t separate Sunday from Monday.
- Always be ready, because you never know what life will throw your way.
- Culture is king, build and grow it at all costs.
- Business without faith is hollow, it takes both elements together to do something amazing.
- Be generous, help others, develop people.