Peter Hubbard of Anthony Collins Solicitors
Peter Hubbard, a senior partner at Birmingham's Anthony Collins Solicitors, shares with us his top tips for aspiring business leaders and gives us a brief insight into his career so far...
What is it the company does?
Whilst we are primarily a law firm, we are stuffed full of people who are looking to use their skills to improve people’s lives, the communities they live in and wider society. We do this through our work for private individuals as well as the charity, not for profit and public sector. There are also numerous social businesses we advise who appreciate the value of professional advisors genuinely interested in achieving their mission.
What does your role involve?
As senior partner, my job is to lead the firm and create an environment that allows our people to flourish. For us, this means equipping employees to follow their passion and improve society whilst ensuring we all aim in the same general direction – quite a challenge sometimes! I am also lucky enough to work with some major housing associations and charities on strategic matters to help deliver their vision.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
As a law student, I gave social welfare advice and understood how lives could be improved with help and support. On my 21st birthday, I was offered a training contract at Anthony Collins Solicitors, and our wider social purpose has kept me ever since. My aim over the years has been to find somebody who could do my job better than me and give it to them, so I could move onto something else. I‘ve done that a number of times now having worked through about five different roles, mainly advising housing associations and local authorities.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
Humility and resilience. Leaders can make a big difference by making space for others. The less I think about myself, and the more I think of others, then the more space and attention they have to flourish.
At the same time, leaders get a lot of stick, and so I find I need to be resilient enough to listen to criticism, reflect on it and work out how I should change.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Holding true to our purpose of transforming communities and society whilst ensuring we instil the usual commercial disciplines of running a multi-million-pound business.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
Having small children for a few years and enjoying being with them certainly helped – now I rely more on racketball and having one or two trusted people I can confide in.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A fireman – something to do with rescuing people…
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
I find it frustrating when individuals are not prepared to talk about the real issues affecting them – as long as feedback is delivered in a way that is truthful, necessary and kind then we shouldn’t be scared of it. I try to put this into practice, and I expect it back.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
Anthony Collins Solicitors will be a nationally leading advisor in the voluntary and public sectors with the credibility of advising private individuals, especially where they engage with these sectors.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Make sure you believe in what you are doing – it makes the world of difference!
What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?
Working for a purpose actually makes good business sense – you’d be surprised by how many people are looking for a purpose in their (working) lives and when they find it, the enthusiasm and commitment are unparalleled.