STRAIGHT TALK: WISDOM FROM THE GRAPEVINE

Written on the 14 January 2016 by Jenna Rathbone

STRAIGHT TALK: WISDOM FROM THE GRAPEVINE

TERRY Morris is the epitome of a serial entrepreneur, with business interests in everything from wine to pubs and motor sport.

Morris is the managing director of the Morris International Group of Companies - an organisation with a diverse portfolio with divisions including property, manufacturing, information technology, tourism, venture capital and direct marketing.

Best known on the Gold Coast for his establishment of Sirromet Wines, with vineyards located in the high altitude of Queensland's renowned Granite Belt region, Morris has grown the business to include 100 hectares under vine.

The journey started when Morris attended a dinner party with some of his friends in Victoria. He mentioned that he had tried a great wine from Queensland's Granite Belt to which his Victorian friends laughed and said 'there's no such thing as a great wine from Queensland'.

This was the spark that Terry needed to ignite his vision for Sirromet, and since then his winery has collected more than 1000 national and international wine awards since opening in 2000.

Speaking to Gold Coast Business News, Morris offers a drop of inspiration for young entrepreneurs looking at building an empire and discusses the highs and lows of his stellar career.

What have been some of your biggest professional achievements?

Having Sirromet Winery become a must visit attraction for not only local residents, but also an ever-growing number of interstate and international visitors.  Seeing Sirromet Wines win over 1000 national and international medals and awards for our range of Granite Belt Wines is another highlight.

What have been some of the biggest challenges of your career and how did you overcome these?

The misunderstanding by the general populace that Queensland's Granite Belt could not produce world-class wines.  This is being overcome by consistently over delivering in quality and value by continually entering national and international wine competitions and winning awards against the best in the world by always endeavouring to provide excellent service for all our patrons.  

Can you list your top three leadership strengths and explain how they assist in the running of a successful business?

  1. Never ask anyone to do something you would not do yourself.  This is really leadership by example and a wonderful pathway to building an exceptional team.  It reinforces our core value that people do not work for us they work with us.
  2. Recognise that people are your greatest asset by trying to understand that human capital is our best asset.  We can see who strives to excel and who is best suited for a particular role.  We always endeavour to have round pegs in round holes and square pegs in square holes.
  3. Trust everyone once.  This allows you to take off the shackles and allow people to excel.  If for some reason a failure occurs, analyse it and see if the cause of failure has been a breach of trust.  If it has not, and most times it is not, learn from the failure and move on.  If it has been a breach of trust the person moves on.

Do you have a business mantra?

When you delegate, you delegate completely.  Don't go around looking over shoulders.

What have been some of your biggest influences in business?

The book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  This taught me not to be afraid to have a big dream and helped me to understand the power of our subconscious mind.

Understanding that a dollar only has 100 cents and an hour only has 60 minutes, and time management is more important than money management.

What do you love most about living and working on the Gold Coast?

The glorious weather and our marvelous location are our greatest assets and, because of this, our city is becoming one of the most vibrant and physically rewarding places to enjoy all the facets of the days of our lives.

What is the Gold Coast lacking/missing?

The cruise ship terminal is an opportunity that should not be missed.  I think the blinkered view of the Greenies gets far too much credence.  I have had personal experience with their dishonest opposition to the cable car to Springbrook.  This is another unfortunate example of their muddled thinking.


Author: Jenna Rathbone
About: Jenna Rathbone is a Queensland-based journalist who writes on a range of issues including business and property affairs and social issues.
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