Describe your role in no more than 100 words.
I manage and grow our client relationships by working closely with our clients to help them grow and maintain their customer base. I mentor our management team and work closely with my team to develop staff engagement initiatives. There’s a huge variety and all manner of weird and wonderful people facing challenges on a daily basis.
What is it the company does?
We are a BPO (business process outsourcing) provider who work with a number of well-known brands in a variety of sectors including utilities, telecoms and business services. We work closely together to grow and retain their customer base, while ensuring exceptional levels of service and compliance. We treat our people exceptionally well and are proud to have industry leading staff retention levels.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I left school at 16 with just two GCSE’s in PE and Art. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do and I ended up in the building trade as a labourer for five years. Eventually I got fed up of working in bad weather and decided to try my hand at sales.
After several knock backs I got an opportunity at a well-known North East outsourcer selling utilities and I discovered I was actually quite good at it. I progressed pretty quickly to operations manager level. I soon worked out that if you had licence to treat people well you would get better results, so I decided to have a crack at it with a couple of other people who shared my frustration. We started and grew our business from 13 people and one client to over 200 with three clients within nine months and the rest, as they say, is history.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
I think it’s important to recognise what motivates your team and to understand what rubs people up the wrong way too. The best piece of advice I ever received is, contrary to popular belief, you can’t treat all employees equally - everyone is different and responds differently to different styles of leadership. I’m a firm believer that you should always back your people, never point the finger, and take responsibility for the big decisions.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Inside our walls we know we are different and that we have set ourselves apart from the competition, getting that out into the big wide world is challenging, but we are getting there.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
With a three-year-old and a six-year-old, I can’t take problems home with me, I'm not allowed to! Outside of work I like to play golf when I can, I go to the gym to de-stress and I’m a big reader of autobiographies – normally sports people.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A golfer or a footballer, but was never good enough to do either, although with a bit of practice I could still make the seniors’ tour!
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?
The diet and lifestyle of some of the under 30’s these days leaves a lot to be desired. We’re on a bit of a health mission at Inspired Outsourcing right now which certainly has its detractors. We run ‘stop the pop’ days where our staff must only drink water, stop smoking initiatives, nutrition awareness courses and encourage our staff to join a subsidised boot camp.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
Right where we are now – in a great city, employing great people, offering a great service to amazing clients and having a great time doing it. Continuing to grow organically without compromising our principles.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Stick to your principles over profit. The rewards will come eventually. Never shy away from the difficult decisions or conversations. The worst decision is one that is never made at all.