Case Study of a True Child Care Leadership Journey with Gary Peirce

This week, Kris talks with another international guest, Gary Peirce, who is the owner of Hopes & Dreams Nursery in the Isle of Man, a tiny island between Ireland and the UK. Gary gets opens up and gets vulnerable on what it’s really like to run the school together as a husband and wife duo, with his wife Laura leading the charge on the school curriculum. Gary also talks about the mindset change that occurred as he grew from being an owner to a leader and the detailed story of amazing core value development that has happened within their business. Finally, Gary and Kris talk about the tangible positive results that occur when your team feels supported, aligned, and appreciated even during a challenging time.

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Here Are the Key Takeaways From This Episode:

  • Gary and his wife Laura own Hopes & Dreams Nursery, located on an island called the Isle of Man, which is the size of a small town. They have six settings on the Island, and since the island is self-governing, they can adapt their curriculum and even include extra cool opportunities such as outdoor exploration and nature-based learning.
  • With five kids, Gary has got himself a very own real-life version of the Brady Bunch.
  • Hopes & Dreams Nursery has very strong core values, and their mission is to inspire the youth to become the best citizens they can be in the island community for generations to come.
  • No matter what their role or rank, everyone at Hopes & Dreams takes their job seriously and understands how fundamentally important they are in the organization. It is also up to everyone to lead the best they can in their individual roles.
  • Gary took his team all the way to Las Vegas, where he set up a field trip to Zappos to show them what great management and culture looked like.
  • You can look at your failures as a stepping stone to success, and Gary is very vulnerable and open about how he turned his mindset around while transitioning from an owner to a leader.
  • Gary took his core values and launched them into his culture by creating a workbook that could provide congruence across the team. As a testament to his great leadership, his team voluntarily took a pay cut during the pandemic to save money.
  • Gary and Laura are constantly pushing themselves and their team to discover ways to make learning fun and effective. 

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