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You Want Group’s Iris Du wins Managing Director of the Year

Life coach and leadership strategist Iris Du has made You Want Group a champion in the leadership coaching and holistic improvement sector.

Leadership strategist, human behaviour expert and You Want Group Founder Iris Du is The CEO Magazine’s Managing Director of the Year for 2022.

You Want Group was established to bring out the best in people and help them get what they want out of their personal lives and professional careers. By equipping clients with the skills and strategies to find, create, develop and attract, You Want Group enhances businesses and enriches lives.

The story of You Want Group began when Du arrived in Australia from Hong Kong. Alone in a foreign country, she struggled financially and emotionally. This trajectory hit a low in 2012 when Du found herself deeply in debt, divorced and at the lowest point in her life.

But like all good redemption tales, Du’s story has a happy ending. Fuelling her drive to survive during these dark times was a deep-seated desire to help people. Unable to live the life she wanted, Du’s existence became aspirational. As her leadership career continued, she turned her adversities into opportunities and drew on her own story of overcoming struggle to help others.

You Want Group

Improving lives

In 2016 Du and her partner, Thai Ngo, co-founded You Want Group. “We started with a single idea: to help people with their careers,” she says. “From that point, we’ve expanded into a service to help people live the life they want. Our work changes people and workplaces because we help improve happiness and the quality of relationships.”

A master neuro-linguistic programming practitioner and award-winning strategist with 18 years of leadership experience, Du has turned You Want Group from a small startup into a force for good in the business community. She’s hit the Amazon bestseller list with her book Great Leadership Starts With You: Be the Leader You Want To Be, and now she’s been named Managing Director of the Year at this year’s Executive of the Year Awards.

“We started with a single idea: to help people with their careers.”

Over the past 12 months, You Want Group has undergone a thorough rebranding to improve its messaging and reach, and the results have been dramatic. “Before 2021, 90 per cent of our clients were B2C,” Du says. “Since rebranding we’ve shifted our focus to B2B, where we saw a gap in the space.”

The adversity of the COVID-19 pandemic became another opportunity for Du as the company pivoted to where it could be even more effective. “As a result, we went from working with a handful of businesses with up to A$10 million in revenue to a client portfolio with a revenue of more than A$6.3 billion.”

The other immediate effect of the change was a boost in You Want Group’s revenue. “It’s increased by 600 per cent,” Du reveals. “That’s such a vindication of our investments in staff and resources to deliver on our promises.”

You Want Group

Leading by example

And that promise remains inherent in You Want Group’s strong company culture. Du sets an example from the top, and the entire business reflects her belief in empowerment and positivity. “Clearly defining our mission statement and company values allows us to strengthen our purpose,” she stresses. “That results in increased productivity and profitability and allows us to attract more clients.”

It’s also standard practice at You Want Group to give the team a taste of its own medicine. “In addition to team building and wellbeing sessions, we bring in industry experts and coaches to train the team regularly,” Du says.

“When you come to You Want Group, you’re at the beginning of a journey, and we’re with you all the way.”

“The You Want Group team lives by five core values: identify and attract opportunities; learn, implement and transform; focus on solutions, not problems; celebrate all wins, big or small; and always be professional and personable. They help us make the decisions that benefit the company and keep our clients happy.”

The leadership coaching market has become a crowded place since Du founded You Want Group, but by leading by example, she’s in charge of a team that stands a cut above. “We’re a one-stop shop,” she says. “We want people to be able to live the life they want to live, and we do that by transforming ideas, mindsets and behaviours. We guide them moving forward.

“When you come to You Want Group, you’re at the beginning of a journey, and we’re with you all the way.”

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