Dare to DREAM


On Friday evening I had the privilege of attending and speaking at the 10 year anniversary of Brunton Engineering. I first met Derek  and his team in 2009 when an accountant referred us saying they were a young business doing great stuff, with dreams to grow.

Derek’s willingness to grow, learn and invest in his team is inspiring.

Reflecting back over the years, I decided to speak on the power of a DREAM, how I had seen it unfold and what I had learnt being a part of it.

Determination, drive and, on many days an unrelenting doggedness, need to underpin a dream. Derek & Kathleen have weathered many storms and, as with all businesses, seen some great high points and many forgettable lows. The focus on their dream, to build a reputable company that delivers the highest quality, has kept them going through it all. Complimenting this is a deep desire to build a team of people with common values and work ethic.

Resilience & resourcefulness as you face the risks are an integral part of turning a dream into a reality. I remember the team taking on a tricky grain silo job other companies were not prepared to do and persevering until they had succeeded. This willingness to “Find a way or make a way” has carved a reputation and market niche that only comes through resilience and belief that there is always a better way.

Energy levels need to be kept high. Social events, fun activities (like the motorised toilet) and an annual creative project to capture people’s attention at field days have all been part of the excitement of work. At a personal level team members look after their health through regular gym sessions. Personal interests outside of work are encouraged and Derek has built (from scratch) and driven 4WD competitively over the years, even winning the national championship. It is easier to keep a dream alive if you keep work exciting while still expecting and not compromising on exacting precision and work ethic.

Attitude and willingness to aim high is crucial. I remember Derek hiring Steve for his attitude. A few months later, Derek, Kathleen and I spent many evening interviewing people for the key production manager role. We met a lot of good people before Dave, who with his knowledge and willingness was the obvious right choice. The focus was on cultural fit as well as skill level. Derek wanted people who would challenge him and bring something to the team, in the same way that Steve had done. Dreams require people of action.

Measuring yourself and your progress against what matters is important. One’s reputation, focus on customers and team and finding the balance between work and family – all these things matter. Dreams give us a destination. The part that really matters is the route and the journey we choose to get there. As Derek & Kathleen and their team have grown, year on year, they have made a difference and impact the lives of many people. I have been privileged to have been part of that journey and look forward to their continued growth and success in the years to come.

Congratulations to Brunton Engineering and the entire team on a great ten years!