Son Carries Family Legacy Forward With New Business Ideas Gained From QUT MBA

Mark Richardson is hardwired into the DNA of his company, A-Team Earthmoving.

The company was founded by his father in 1988 and after school Mark would be found helping out in the workshop.

Since then, he’s been everything: a bobcat operator, truck driver, excavator operator, and more.

And when the time came for the business to pass from one generation to the next, Mark turned to an MBA at QUT to ensure future success of the company and as Managing Director.

“My role became more about working on the business rather than in the business,” Mark said.

“It became about leading people, creating a culture, and implementing strategies.

“I had a lot of ideas, but what I didn’t have was the confidence to implement them.

“I wanted to upgrade my toolkit and resources to be able to bring the best of myself when I assumed the responsibility for our family business and its people.”

One of the most important things Mark learnt as part of the QUT MBA was how to manage risk and identify opportunity, which has allowed him to propel the business forward.

“A lot of people are scared of taking risks when there are a lot of unknowns involved,” he said.

“An MBA helps you to quantify and understand the risks you’re taking when you want to grow a business or take different strategies.

“The MBA allows you to see the business world properly, see potential, and identify risks and opportunities.

“From strategic management skills to leadership coaching, the QUT MBA has been life-altering for me, and given me a lot more confidence and skill in ascertaining and grappling with problems.”

Mark said the QUT MBA also exposed him to a broad range of new ideas amongst his fellow students.

“You’re surrounded by high performers, and they push you to greater heights,” he said.

“You don’t just go to a class with them and go home. You engage with your peers about what is happening in their business, and you can really bounce your ideas around.

“The best part for me is attending the workshops and the collaborative style that the MBA is delivered in.

“You get an enormous amount of feedback that you can’t find anywhere else, and you gain an entire network of contacts who help you along the way.”

Mark said the succession had been a success and the future of A-Team Earthmoving and its 25 staff, which still includes his mum and dad, was “rock solid”.

His primary responsibilities these days include the business’ strategy, capital allocation, risk management, customers and employee relations, and company culture.

“I want to build great businesses and organisations where people have the opportunity to be their best selves and do their best work,” he said.

“I would like people to find value, purpose, and genuinely enjoy coming to work every day.

“The QUT MBA has provided me with a whole new toolkit and range of ways to assist me in managing our business.”

Mark also credits his mum and dad for teaching him a lot about overcoming professional adversity.

“They persevered through a lot of tumultuous times over the years,” he said.

“It rained for three weeks straight when they started, and it nearly broke them straight away as an earthmoving business.

“They’ve been faced with their problems, but they’ve always been very sensible and good at working through them and never letting anything keep them down.”

Mark said the QUT MBA had been a “life-changing” experience.

“I am not the same person I was prior to starting the course and I believe if you want to challenge yourself to be your best in the workplace and life, I strongly suggest you do a QUT MBA,” he said.

The next QUT MBA program begins in March 2022. Visit the QUT Business School website for more information.

Doug Estwick
Doug is an author for MBA News and Fixed Income News Australia. Doug has been a media and communications professional for more than 10 years, including working as an editor for News Corp's Quest Newspaper group.