Human on the Inside with Rollie’s Vince Lebon


5 min read

We’re big believers in the power of human skills. But don’t just take our word for it – the evidence for excellence powered by human (‘soft’) skills is everywhere! In this engaging, ever-enlightening series, we speak with industry leaders, innovators and game-changers to learn a little about their personal career journeys, and how human-led strategies, philosophies and cultures are proving a force for good in their working worlds …

Welcome Vince, and thanks for stepping into the #SuccessIsHuman Spotlight!
You’re the Founder & CEO of Rollie, but you’re also a fierce designer and collaborator. In 1 sentence (ok, we’ll give you 3), what do these roles entail?

My role is to help create a culture and environment where people are able and willing to do their best work. Ultimately providing my team and collaborators a clear direction of where we are heading as a brand and how they fit into that vision and ensure it is aligned in their personal goals and expectations.

Your career has involved a particular focus on designing products for exceptional comfort and functionality, but with seriously good looks too. How does this work speak to your personal purpose and what drives you as an individual?

I have been so focused on our customers and building community since I started the brand, that I struggled to see where my personal purpose fit into the picture for some time. I am driven by building and empowering community, however recently we dug deep into the brand values and instilled our brand philosophy to reimagine the comfort category, and that excites me and gives me great focus and purpose.

Tell us a little about your personal education pathway/s – what led you to where you are now? How closely do your formal qualifications match your current career?

I fell into footwear design after completing an Advanced Diploma of Electronic Design and Interactive Media at Victorian University. As a young kid, I had a love for sneakers from a very young age, so it felt like a very natural progression when the opportunity presented itself. I since had lots of on-the-job training in my early days, and then followed that up with formal training at International Footwear academies like Pensole, Slem and bespoke shoemaker Andrew McDonald.

If you could share one piece of career advice to your 21 year old self it would be …

Just create the work that drives you, and you know you’re capable of. Don’t wait for an opportunity or expect people to understand your capabilities. It’s cliché, but being a great designer is not a destination, it’s truly a journey, a process, a burning desire for mastery.

Maximising the potential of individuals, communities and businesses through the power of human skills is the reason Maxme exists. Can you tell us a little about the role and / or value of human skills in your workplace right now?

Human skills are everything. It’s the main differentiator if a business succeeds or if it will remain a small business or sole trader business. It takes people to build big businesses, communities and better individuals.

Self Awareness sets the critical foundation for all Maxme learning experiences. With that said … what’s your strongest trait / personal super power?

My personal super power is collaboration. The ability to simplify, refine, amplify and communicate a common goal.

And on the flip side, what’s one human / ‘soft’ skill you’ve had to really work on improving over the course of your career

Communication is the biggest soft skill I’ve had to work on over the years. As you get exposed to new circles of influencers and stakeholders, the way you communicate needs to change to meet expectations whilst continuing to uphold your values and integrity.

If you could share one piece of career advice with recent Uni graduates or candidates keen to work at a company like Rollie, what would it be?

Ensure your values are aligned with our company values, as this is where you will be the happiest and also have the right environment to create work that you’re proud of that comes naturally.

You’ve been granted approval to add one University graduate to your team, but have 100 applicants, all with outstanding academic results. How do you find your perfect candidate – what are you looking for?

At the shortlisting stage I am looking for stability/consistency, personality, and a great attention to detail. Someone that can clearly communicate their focus on results always stands out.

In the words of John Dewey, “education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.”
What’s next on your #learning agenda?

I genuinely feel that I’m always learning, however, I recently joined a business advisory group where we met once a month; this has been a great opportunity to learn from several business owners and business leaders.