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Home » ‘I’m always finding my purpose’: 22 years on from building Boost, Janine Allis shares 4 key lessons

‘I’m always finding my purpose’: 22 years on from building Boost, Janine Allis shares 4 key lessons

by News Desk

As part of a special feature this IWD in partnership with YPO, Women’s Agenda is profiling leaders of impact across business. Here, one of Australia’s most prominent business leader, Janine Allis shares her key leadership lessons.

Launching today, Allis is also featured in our eMagazine with snapshots of 50 impressive leaders building a more inclusive, sustainable and equal world.

eMagazine cover

Janine Allis has never followed a singular goal.

In business and life, she is always moving, always learning and always seeking out a new adventure: “Look, I’m still trying to work out what I want to be when I grow up”, she laughingly admits.

But, Allis’s fixture as one of the faces of Australian business success can’t be underplayed. As an entrepreneur, she has travelled the world, grown The Boost Juice brand internationally to 13 countries and won more awards than she can likely shake a stick at.

Add to that the fact that Allis remains a part owner of Boost’s parent company Retail Zoo, which also umbrellas Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill and Cibo Espresso, as well as her regular TV and media appearances, and it’s fair to say that she isn’t showing signs of slowing down.

In fact, 22 years on from launching Boost as a tenacious 32-year-old mum of three, Allis’s passion and zest for life and business is palpable.

Below she shares four key lessons that have shaped her formidable leadership.

Janine Allis, founder of Boost Juice and among Australia’s most respected business women.

Honesty really is the best policy

Allis talks about the power of honesty in a completely honest way. She advises business leaders to be frank but compassionate, and explains how this approach effectively benefits all parties.

Reliving the experience of the first time she had to fire someone, Allis says her fear of making the employee feel bad, stopped her from explaining to them clearly, the circumstances and reasons behind their dismissal.

“I was so indecisive and I told them how amazing they were, but this wasn’t working. And I’m sure they left completely confused– not sure whether they had a promotion or they were fired”, she says.

Now, Allis leads with direct feedback, taking the time to listen and support where she’s able.

“I think I’ve found that my leadership style has changed to be… always empathetic because we’re dealing with people and people never want to do the wrong thing… but also being honest. I think that I’ve always had a high-performance view, and I’d like to think that I’m a good listener,” she says.

You’re not the star of the show

Being a good listener leads into collaboration– a trait that Allis hinges much of her success upon. “I’ve never felt like people work for me,” she says simply, “people work with me”.

“I’m not just this person at the top going ‘right, I have all the answers and I know where to go, this’s what we’re doing’. It’s definitely collaborative”.

“I always feel like we’ve got a mountain to tackle or a battle to fight, and I’ve got my team that collectively we work forward. And just because they work with me it doesn’t mean that I’m ultimately the person who makes the call. I genuinely want to hear their views, because I do believe that if we’re in it together, then, as being in it together, I’m sure that everyone’s combined input will make it a better outcome”.

Find your purpose around every corner

Purpose is key, but purpose is multifaceted and ever-changing, says Allis. Your purpose today may not be what it is tomorrow. What you value and care about will change over the seasons of your life.

“I’ve got four kids and my purpose when they were little, was to keep them alive, happy and fed”, she says. “And then as they’re older, my purpose is to be there to support them as a mentor in life”.

“With business, my purpose is to create a really good, ethical business, and then help people on the way as people helped me on my journey. So, I think purpose comes in so many different forms”.

Also working as an ambassador with UNHCR and Sea Shepherd, Allis says she’s now at the point where “I’m sort of spreading myself a little bit wider because I’m not in the weeds of a business”.

“I’m really wanting to be the best version of myself”.

Try to compartmentalise

While Allis sees considerable upsides to the new normal of working flexibly, she also notes the importance of keeping home as a “sanctuary”.

Reminiscing on the first two years of her own business journey in which she too worked from home, Allis recalls walking past the hall and begrudging the office space she was confined to during the day.

“I begrudged it”, she says. “I felt I couldn’t get away from it. And so, while I can see the benefits of being in an era where we work from home, I think we just need to be careful of it, and make sure we do have that separation needed to grow, and say: ‘Phew, I’m no longer at work’”

“You’re going to be the best version of yourself for work and for life if you do have time away from it.”

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