Describe your role in no more than 100 words.
As managing director, it’s my role to build and maintain an effective management team, providing strategic direction and leadership and being accountable to our US parent company for the short and long term performance of the UK business. One of my key priorities is to continue to grow the business by continually exceeding our customers’ expectations and consistently delivering high quality storage and accommodation products with exceptional levels of customer service.
What is it the company does?
Mobile Mini hires portable site accommodation and secure storage containers to thousands of customers across the UK, primarily in the construction industry, but also including retailers, manufacturers, hospitals, schools, utility companies, distributors, hotels and individual households. Our customers use our steel storage containers for securely storing tools, equipment, supplies, documents, excess stock and personal items. Our portable accommodation units provide convenient and cost effective temporary office, toilet and welfare facilities.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
After leaving university in 1991 I joined Price Waterhouse (as it then was, now PwC) as a trainee chartered accountant. After qualifying as a chartered accountant, I moved on to a variety of senior finance roles in paint distribution and IT services companies before joining Ravenstock MSG as financial controller in 2005. Following the merger of Ravenstock with Mobile Mini in 2008, I joined Mobile Mini as finance director for their European operations and then moved into my current role as managing director in 2014.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
To be a great leader, it’s essential that you have a clear vision which you share with your team and then empower them to help deliver it.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Strengthening the organisational capacity of the business, through investments in people, equipment and technology, so that we can build the platform for further and sustained growth in the future.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
I think the best way of minimising stress at work is to find a job that you love and to stay focussed on your goals. Having said that, we all have the odd bad day but getting home to two young children is usually the best way of getting over it (and perhaps, just very occasionally, the odd glass of Rioja!)
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A naval architect. Until I realised that the British shipbuilding industry in the 1980’s probably wasn’t a good place to build a long term career!
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?
People who won’t take responsibility, and in particular managers who want someone else to do their managing for them. There’s no easy solution to these pet hates, but recruiting the right people in the first place is important, as well as setting clear expectations and challenging those who don’t meet those expectations.
Where do you see the company in five years time?
In 5 years time I expect Mobile Mini to be bigger and more profitable, but just as importantly our vision is to be the leader in our industry – in customer service, product quality and employee engagement – and I expect us to have made significant progress towards this goal.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
It’s important to stay focussed on what you want to achieve – it’s easy to lose sight of the strategic goals in the day to day pressures of work. But also don’t forget that strategy alone is not enough – building the right team and executing on the strategy is critical. Above all, don’t lose sight of the importance of plain hard work!