DARREN Hayes has a passion for sales, as his successful career in telecommunications, insurance and even hardware sales attests. In the two years he has been general manager WA of Vodafone, the business has grown by 300 per cent. This rapid growth has taken careful planning and management to ensure operations continue to run smoothly despite the influx of new businesses into the market. Throughout his career, Mr Hayes has focused on results and relied heavily on his entrepreneurial skills to grow every business he has been a part of. Team leadership is a vital part of his current role and crucial to the success of the business. As general manager, he chooses to empower his team to make decisions and reach their full potential, while offering guidance and direction when necessary. Mr Hayes’ biggest career lesson came when he sold his profitable Mitre 10 hardware store business. He had bought the store with a partner at age 22 with an ambition to run his own business. It became too much and he sold too quickly, realising months later his decision had been made in haste. This lesson has stayed with him and has shaped one of the key attributes he takes to his role within Vodafone – an in-depth understanding of the importance of being part of a team. “I know now you need to hire dependable passionate people, learn to trust and delegate and look at the big picture,” he said. Mr Hayes’ goal at Vodafone is to encourage Western Australians to go “completely mobile” and offer them the flexible lifestyle that technology can bring at an affordable cost. He is a member of the Young Entrepreneur Association and the not-for-profit Vodafone Australia Foundation.
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