– Words by Chloe Sjuberg Photographs by Lia Crowe
Gord Hayes has been the General Manager/General Manager of Kelowna BMW/MINI for 13 years, and has worked in the automotive industry since 1994. Over the years, he says, he has been dedicated to building successful teams and driving investment in their personal life. hit.
By his late twenties, Gord was living in Calgary, running his own auditing business, doing personal training with clients, and competing in bodybuilding competitions. However, he wasn’t particularly happy with this career path, so his girlfriend (and now wife) Kim suggested he consider a change.
“She asked me what I really liked to do, what was my passion? I remembered how much I enjoyed buying and selling cars when I was young in high school and then later too.
He got his first job in the automotive industry at Hyatt Saturn/Saab/GM in Calgary, then moved to Summit Saturn/Saab as a sales manager. From there he became a partner in select Edmonton dealerships and in 2006 moved to Kelowna to run a Saturn dealership. When Saturn disbanded, he was offered the opportunity to run the BMW franchise, and he’s been there ever since.
Gord says the secret to Kelowna BMW’s success is developing a winning culture across all departments and helping people achieve their goals by “doing the right thing for their customers and for the business.”
He adds, “Surrounding myself with winners is a formula for success that I’ve lived by for years.”
He uses a hockey analogy to describe how Kelowna’s BMW/MINI business model extends the capabilities of his team members, as if they were players on a winning NHL team in a playoff series. He says it’s so gratifying to watch the new team members get back to their personal game, as if they’re going from the third row to the front row, and then score in overtime in a crucial game!
When he’s not busy coaching his team, Gord enjoys staying fit and healthy and spending time outdoors. He and Kim enjoy boating, golf, beach walks with their dogs Charley and Kierra, “and just being outdoors with friends and family, living the beautiful Okanagan lifestyle, which often includes a glass of wine or two at one of our favorite wineries.”
And as a lifelong car enthusiast with the BMW range at his fingertips, what does Gord like to drive?
During the snowiest months, his preference is for the BMW X5 or X6, with winter tires, of course. During the summer months he enjoys driving a BMW 850 convertible.
“It’s also nice to drive M products every now and then, like an M4 or an M5, just to shake the webs a bit.”
The 7 Sins
What shoes would you like to walk in?
I like to think I’m comfortable walking in my own shoes first and foremost. I’ve seen the “grass is greener” metaphor happen in real time, often proving that the grass on the other side isn’t what you thought it would be. You can adjust your speed better in your own shoes, pick up the pace, and just walk in those shoes you thought were better than the ones you already wear.
What is one food you might eat over and over again?
I love to cook, but what I enjoy the most is the food that others have prepared with love. Food and parties seem to go hand in hand with our family. My wife Kim cooks the most amazing ribs and rice – although it’s hard to decide if this or her rack of lamb tops the chart – but either way they keep me coming back for more.
You are given 1 million dollars that you must spend
selfishly. What would you spend it on?
A bigger boat, a faster sports car or a down payment on a tropical paradise on a beach somewhere special.
The black beasts?
People who procrastinate and delay others because they can’t make simple decisions, and people who get angry with others over things beyond their control, such as with restaurant servers or ticket agents of plane. The people in line behind you are now forced to wait, just so you can vent your frustrations. Really?!
Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?
Spending the day doing nothing always feels better on a big boat, a tropical beach or, if those things aren’t on the day’s agenda, hanging out by the pool in the sun.
What is the one thing you are secretly proud of?
Seeing my “investment in people” pay off real dividends gives me a real sense of self-esteem. Taking the risk of hiring someone who exceeds both your expectations and theirs, and seeing them thrive to their full potential, is an amazing feeling that never gets old. And, when you get a call or email years later from someone thanking you for taking the risk with them, it’s an incredible feeling.
What makes your heart beat faster?
When I see a good idea that leads to solid execution, which exceeds initial expectations and then excludes any risk taken. I like to call it “WIN!” or create a “WIN-WIN”.
Story reprinted with kind permission from Boulevard Magazine, a publication of Black Press Media
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