How Firebird Financial Services Went From 76th To 13th Largest Company in just two years
Updated: Aug 16
About Firebird BlueStar - Financial Advisory Services authorised by Sanlam
Grew Leadership Team by 850%.
Provide personal and business finance solutions across a range of products.
Won Business of The Year Award 2020.
Won Regional Competitions for the last three years in a row.
Problem: Miscommunication and Lacking Trust
“Our company was going through a significant change, where the company was quickly growing. The company’s growth introduced a new partner, a growing and diverse leadership team, and we were having some teething issues: communication was massively mishandled initially.”
In 2018, Jean-Pierre’s (JP) business began to grow and part of the plan to grow successfully included expanding the leadership team. At the time, the company ranked 75th out of all financial service businesses in South Africa, but with growth and change came challenges.
As the leadership team grew quickly, Firebird Bluestar didn’t have clearly defined roles, communication styles varied and contrasted and “there was minimal inherent trust in the early stages”. This left JP feeling that he and his leadership team were not all on the same page, they struggled to gel, and he found he couldn’t quite let go of a lot of the responsibilities and goals that he brought the leadership team in for.
“We are trying to ask different questions and structure a little more creatively because what we are trying to do in terms of the South African context and our industry is not standard.”
That’s when Conrad, JP’s new business partner, introduced Steven Levy - without whom, JP believes, that the necessary changes in relationships between himself and the leadership group became the cornerstone of Firebird Bluestar’s development. So worst-case scenario, if Steven Levy weren’t involved, there would have been no progress in the last three years.
Solution: Opening Communication through effective listening
JP had a large vision for his business but grappled with conveying that message to his new business partner and the leadership group. The lack of clear communication was not intentional - JP knew he needed help with two approaches:
Communication within the company starting with the leadership group
Steven integrated himself personally and professionally within Firebird Bluestar to better understand the issues taking place. He found that the new business partners shared the same goals, vision, and strategies but didn’t quite understand one another.
“Steven has a genuine interest in the individuals he's dealing with. So it's a very authentic process. With that authenticity, he analyses situations exceptionally deeply. He helped me understand that getting people to “buy into” the big picture keeps everyone on the same page.”
Over the last few years, Steven has worked with JP on various projects within the company - acting as a confidant, advisor, trainer, and a valuable ‘virtual’ team member.
Results: Award-Winning Growth
“Steven’s involvement created the baseline and the base structure for us to continue to grow.”
Because of the creative and effective way Steven helped JP develop and question the industry standards, Firebird Bluestar grew from the 75th biggest of its sort in South Africa to the 13th biggest.
As the business has grown, so has the opportunities to invest within itself, and now Firebird Bluestar is developing a more stable structure for continued growth and leadership. JP has also felt that the burden of shouldering the company has been lifted, giving him financial freedom, time freedom, flexibility, and significantly reduced stress.
“Steven provides a place for calmness. So when I am very stressed and talk with him, I feel better. He's almost a little bit of a business psychologist on the one side as well.”
If you're ready to begin your leadership journey and grow your business just like JP has, then get in touch and book your discovery call today!