Tony Lawman of Lucketts Travel
Lucketts Travel managing director Tony Lawman catches up with BQ to talk all things coaches and leadership...
What is it the company does?
Lucketts Travel is an independent coach provider operating a fleet of 130 vehicles across central southern England. It remains a family-owned company, more than 90 years after its inception, and provides travel to businesses and individuals.
What does your role involve?
As the managing director my job is to translate my overall vision and strategy for the business into what needs to be done to achieve it.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I spent 23 years in the army, starting as a rifleman in the Royal Green Jackets before moving on to become an officer.
After the army I worked as a financial director for a couple of different companies, before coming to Lucketts to perform the same role. I was appointed as managing director at the end of last year.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
Knowing when to listen, never being afraid to question and not accepting the status quo.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
One of the great things about Lucketts is its history. It’s 91 years old and while we’re immensely proud of our heritage, it does present its own challenges. Creating the need for change in what is a long-established and successful business is difficult.
Ensuring staff are on board with our strategy and vision for the future has been key in overcoming that challenge. It’s helped us to prepare for the future and exploit the marketplace.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
Running gives me time to think and bust stress. Later this year I’m hoping to take part in the 50th Original Mountain Marathon, an extreme two-day mountain race.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be in the army, which I went on to do. It was when I was in the army that I realised I wanted to be a leader.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
I recognise that I can be impatient – it comes from my drive to succeed – so I’m challenged by those who are less driven. That said, my ambition tends to rub off on others so it’s not often that I encounter apathy.
Where do you see the company in five years?
We’re at the start of a hugely ambitious growth plan so in five years I expect us to have doubled in size, with operations right across the south.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
People are the key to success, so don’t underestimate the importance of hiring the best people. A good team can achieve anything so it’s about finding bright, driven people with a fire in their belly.