Dale Carnegie is a global training company - operating in 90 countries - that helps people take command of their work and changes their lives. The Bay of Plenty Waikato office work with around 100 companies a year - from small business through to companies with several hundred employees - providing key staff with the professional development they need to step up and be more effective in their roles. Michael Shaw is the managing director of Dale Carnegie Bay of Plenty Waikato, working alongside his wife Andrea (pictured above right) who is the training director. We asked Michael a few questions.

How do you help business owners through the RBP programme?

The RBP programme gives businesses the confidence to invest in professional development of key staff. Staff join our public programmes and work on improvement projects that add significant value and return on investment. The projects are many and varied. One example is a line manager who designed and implemented a staff onboarding and training process that has increased productivity and retention of new staff. As they see key staff step up, owners understand how continued investment in their people is essential for the health and growth of their business.

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges NZ business owners will face this year?

I believe people are always the biggest challenge and greatest opportunity. If you are skilled at recruiting, retaining, training, managing and leading, then even in tough times you will get through. Other challenges such as inflation and supply issues can be managed.

What’s your most popular course and why?

Definitely Effective Communications & Human Relations. More than 3,500 people in the BOP Waikato region have completed this course. It has been run since the 1960’s in Hamilton, with many business leaders of the past graduating from the programme (such as the late Brian & Peggy Perry).

What or who inspires you?

The people in our programmes! They are all doing amazing work with raising families, moving forward in their careers and businesses. An example is Cheryl Lewis (nee McGregor) who researched, wrote and launched the initial Bay of Connections regional strategy, now has two children and established #3 Limited Essential Skincare & Deodorant. My wife who is far more talented and courageous than I am. Selwyn Cook and Chris Bowman who have championed the employment of intellectually disabled people (these people add so much to a culture). Charles Upham VC who hated bullies with a passion. Kiwi, Harold Gillies who pioneered plastic surgery in World War I, saving men from being social outcasts. Also, today I have a new hero - Campbell Johnstone - for his courage in coming out. There are many more!

What three things can’t you live without?

Coffee is my addiction of choice, cricket – the Black Caps are awesome and my girls (wife and daughter who are pictured with me above).

Best book, tv show or podcast you’ve enjoyed recently?

I have just finished reading Take Command - a new book just released written by our CEO Joe Hart and Dale Carnegie’s grandson Michael Crom. This really is a special book for anyone who wants a successful career and life. Very relevant for life today.

Favourite holiday destination?

The Bay of Islands – the bays, bush, and history and of course the local people who know the connections going back generations (my wife’s from up that way).

What would you bring to a bbq?

IPA, Salt & Vinegar chips, and a Blunt umbrella (so I can supervise the BBQing).