For a company that is based around increasing internet speeds, TrueSpeed Communications ironically operates a 55 beats per minute policy when it comes to work. CEO Evan Wienburg explains…
What does the company do?
TrueSpeed is a full fibre infrastructure provider and ISP that offers future-proofed broadband connectivity to households and businesses, initially in the South West of England.
Describe your role in no more than 100 words
As the CEO of TrueSpeed, I provide the strategic direction for the company and set the course for our planned infrastructure deployment and expansion, both in the short-term and over the next five to ten years.
I also work closely with our engineering and support teams to ensure that we are providing customers with the optimal experience as well as truly groundbreaking connectivity. Infrastructure is a complex business and requires continued focus to manage the myriad of external factors that affect and shape our plans.
I am continually involved with key strategic projects to ensure real clarity within the organisation.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I’m lucky to have had a varied and challenging career that has helped me endlessly in my role as CEO here at TrueSpeed. Working closely with my team and leading them through dangerous and uncomfortable situations during my time in the military has instilled a great sense of comradery in me that I’ve carried with me throughout my career.
My roles have always involved acute problem solving and intellectualising the best possible solution to a range of situations, while technology has also played a large part throughout my career.
I’ve been responsible for building and implementing technological projects for many years now, and this passion for technology spurred me into starting TrueSpeed, combining my love of problem solving and technology into a single role.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
Throughout my career I’ve been fortunate enough to work in a variety of different roles alongside some incredibly influential people, who truly embody the term ‘leader’.
I believe inspirational leaders are born with an innate quality that allows them to inspire, develop and motivate each and every person around them. Charismatic in everything they do, a true leader stands by their vision with a passion that takes every employee willingly on their journey to achieve what they set out to do.
Steadfast and unwavering, a great leader will make their vision a reality by demonstrating compassion to their staff, whilst thoughtfully and creatively pushing them to perform at their best ability.
Equally, it almost goes without saying but a great leader acknowledges and appreciates good work where it’s due, a fundamental part of keeping a team motivated and operating at an impressive level.
What has been the biggest challenge in your current position?
For me, I think the biggest challenge I’ve faced has been finding the correct people to join our evolving and dynamic team.
We’ve grown considerably in the short amount of time since we received our Aviva investment, so finding the correct personalities who are sharp, flexible and have an unwavering desire to achieve great things is a challenge in itself.
People are the heart and soul of a company so it’s a challenge worth taking on properly rather than rushing, to ensure the right team is on board.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
Inevitably, running a fast-paced business brings with it the occasional stressful situation – which I’m sure every CEO and MD can appreciate and relate to! So, to alleviate these situations, we have a motto at TrueSpeed where we like to do everything at 55 heartbeats per minute – it’s a great way to keep calm. Keeping a cool and level head is key to making good decisions and I encourage all my team to try and behave this way.
I’m a big believer in work/life balance so I make sure I spend as much time as possible with my wife and two children. I’m also an avid cricketer which is a great stress remedy, spending time with a different kind of team, keeping good company and the odd post-match debrief in the pub!
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I cannot remember wanting to do anything other than joining the RAF. I’ve had the most fascinating career and it’s the values and disciplines that I’ve learnt along the way that have led me to where I am now.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
I cannot abide dishonesty. I cherish honesty and my team knows this, so I encourage frank and open discussions as they always lead to better decisions and successful outcomes. I believe it’s important to be honest with yourself, to be able to look at what you do as a person without an ego and thus enable better decisions to be made.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
In the next three years, our goal is to pass 75,000 households and businesses within South West England, giving them access to future-proof, high-speed broadband. Of course, if there’s an opportunity to go faster, then we’ll look to take it. We’ve already passed more than 5,000 properties and by the end of the summer the number will have reached 12,000, including an additional 120 communities currently missing out on the digital revolution enabled by high-speed connectivity.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
My advice would be to surround yourself with a variety of mentors from whom you can learn. Business is an ever-changing environment so learning from other people’s experience and knowledge is a powerful tool. Also, definitely get yourself a great finance person – they’re essential for success.
What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?
However hard you think it’s going to be, it’s going to be harder!
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