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Posted October 9th, 2017 by Jasmine Lui
We are really excited that our managing director, Dale Lui has made the shortlist for ‘#GODO Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the 2017 NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards.
You may know our wider team thanks to their expertise in sport, leisure, retail and architecture, however how much do you know about our MD? As part of a mini-series we want to share more about Dale and in turn, LK2’s story.
Q: Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
Dale: Becoming an entrepreneur came partly from circumstance, after being made redundant at Benoy, I created my own company – Dale Lui Architectural Designs – luckily, I had already built up a portfolio of private work in my spare time.
I am a really driven person and happily work long days to meet deadlines and provide a great service – what really makes me tick is finding cracks and problems, then identifying and applying solutions to them. That’s partly what makes our business great; a lot of our clients aren’t even aware of potential problems and weaknesses until we present them with a constructive and helpful suggestion, which is something I am really proud of.
Q: What makes LK2 unique?
Dale: LK2 is recognised as a market leading architecture firm with chartered architects and business advisors specialising in using sport and leisure as a vehicle to work on a variety of projects including mixed use developments, residential, retail and urban regeneration schemes.
We actively engage and work alongside a number of national architects. If there’s an area of work we come into and we don’t have the specialism or experience already, we’re happy to partner with others to deliver the project.
I think this collaborative approach makes us unique; instead of pitting ourselves against other businesses, we work with them to share our skill-sets. Great examples of this include our recent work with both 4 global, Gleeds and Lead 8 - two of which are consultancies that offer services similar to our own.
Q: What’s your approach to managing a team?
Dale: I try to always lead by example; this is crucial in my opinion as I want employees to see how passionate I am about what we do – it’s truly infectious, and it works! One of the most touching moments for me as LK2’s founder was during the recession; one day I went into the office on the weekend, we were very stressed and working really hard and trying to accelerate works to help both clients and our cashflow – I expected to find the office empty, but all of my team were at their desks working to meet deadlines. What struck me about this was that everyone cared just as much as me about the firm’s success and this was a testament to our team’s passion and drive.
I’ve always wanted to be a boss that I wished I’d had.