Dysfunctional upbringing enlightens path for leadership guru

By Stefan Dimitrof

A career spent working in the grocery industry has helped Tainui author Brett Ashley gather the material he needed to put together a book called The Key To Unlocking Your Potential, designed to help people harness the power of the mind.

He's also started a service called My Purpose to help people find their true calling and he's working with rangatahi to help them see the benefits of planning and goal-setting.

Originally starting as a butcher with Foodtown supermarkets and through his experiences working, Ashley found that he liked working with people, working in teams and working with customers.

“I learned many great things. I think that connection with people is the great one.”

He had grown up "tough" in a dysfunctional family in South Auckland during the 1960s, having to survive a physically and mentally abusive father.

'Change their environment'

“I was a dreamer and maybe I was dreaming of more positive things to come.”

Ashley said he turned the rough upbringing into a positive by wanting a better life for himself and his family from the one that he experienced and was able to build resilience because of the challenges he faced.

Ashley started with personal planning and goal setting as he found that people would give their best at work by helping them be their best in their personal life.

Later he wrote the book The Key to Unlocking Your Potential, after retiring in 2020, about his life story and his leadership lessons.

'Don’t let others influence who you are'

Ashley created a service called ‘My Purpose’ with the intention for people to create an environment where they could be at their best for themselves first and then to be at their best for other people

He teaches rangatahi that they can change their environment if they don’t like it at any time: “It’s up to you.”

“Use the mind to create a new belief and, if you are able to create that belief, you can take the actions to change your environment, I just want to give people more self-confidence so they are in control of that; don’t let others influence who you are”.