Eleven years after joining One, Wayne took on the title of MD of this communications agency. He looks after a 40-strong team, likes to chop wood, and believes in honesty.
What is it the company does?
One is an integrated communications agency. Originally founded in 1973 as an advertising company, the business has grown to provide a full service marketing offering across four key areas – PR, social, brand and digital – working with firms across the UK and in Europe.
Describe your role in no more than 100 words
Responsible for day-to-day running of the agency, I get involved with everything from new business pitches to client reviews and everything in-between. With a 40-strong team to look after, I work closely with the heads of department to keep abreast of activity going through the teams and the wellbeing of the workforce. With a seat on the board of directors, I monitor and report on business performance and also participate in company-wide brainstorms in order to share anything relevant from my 28 years in the industry.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I started my career at the world-renowned McCann Erickson then went on to hold senior roles at a number of agencies before starting out on my own in 2000 with Silversmith Ltd. I joined One in May 2002 as deputy MD/business development director and assumed the MD role in December 2013.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
Someone who listens, has a vision and is willing and informed to make difficult decisions. Good leaders should be visible to their workforce and not hide away in their ivory towers barking orders. They should always be prepared to roll their sleeves up and muck in when the going gets tough.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Integrating an agency management solution to digitise workflow and processes. The platform manages everything from resource planning, project management, expenses and time sheets to a full CRM system and even a social collaboration tool. As with any major infrastructure change there is inevitably disruption and a certain amount of resistance. However, we spent a great deal of time presenting the system and its benefits to the teams and explained how every employee would interact and input at various stages of a project.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
I’m a keen gardener, so that always helps, but if I’ve had a particularly bad day, I find chopping wood for my log burner to be very therapeutic!
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I really wanted to be a tennis player and win Wimbledon! I was a big fan of Björn Borg.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
I’m not a fan of people eating at their desks, not because of concerns over housekeeping, but because I’m a true believer in people taking time away from their workspace to have a break and recharge their batteries for the afternoon ahead. We’ve created a designated area for people to eat their lunch and provide plenty of equipment for them to prepare their food.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
Having formally introduced a content offering to our services, this is definitely an area we want to concentrate on. As lines between PR, social and digital continue to blur, content is central to each of these disciplines, so we expect growth in this area.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and take (informed) risks. Learn from other people’s experiences and ensure that you believe in something enough to see it through.
What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?
Rather than something that someone has told me, I’d say the most important thing I’ve learnt is honesty is the best policy. This is the case across all relationships – staff, customers and suppliers as it breeds respect and confidence.
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