Describe your role in no more than 100 words.
Managing director and enabler of a team of amazing, talented people. My role is to ensure that Dale Carnegie in the North of England continues to be one of the most respected brands in workforce development
What is it the company does?
Dale Carnegie transforms the performance of individuals, teams and organisations. Since our formation in 1912, over 9,000,000 people in over 90 countries have taken one of our programmes. Today our focus is on developing talent, increasing employee engagement and enabling change to happen at all levels in organisations. 104 years since we started, the Dale Carnegie approach and experience is still unique within the workforce development industry.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
For me, leadership is about the environment we create at work. As leaders we are responsible for the whole culture of the business and how well people are engaged. If the environment is not conducive to people giving their very best every day, then we are likely to see only mediocrity. The job of a leader is to energise, inspire and engage a group of people to do amazing things.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
I’m sure like many other MDs its giving enough time to many competing priorities. I’m a strong believer in nurturing the talent in our team and that takes time to do it well.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
One of Dale Carnegie’s best-selling books is ‘How to Stop Worrying and Start Living’ this contains 30 practical principles on how to deal with stress and pressure. I try to use what we teach others.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A PE teacher.
Any pet hates in the workplace?
It staggers me that we still hear examples of high profile business leaders for whom the unfair exploitation of their people is an apparently acceptable price to pay for financial success. How do they sleep at night?
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
Dale Carnegie in the North of England will continue to flourish. Over the last few years the business has doubled in size and will do so again in the next 5 years. In the meantime, the next generation of talented leaders are being developed to succeed in my footsteps before 5 years is up.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Make other people feel more important than you. We can’t be successful on our own and we need people who will commit to us and to the organisation we are building. Over the past few years loyalty has become harder to earn. If you treat people well, make them feel valued and important you will have a much greater chance of people giving their best for you.
Where did you start your career?
My first ever job was on the twilight shift at Fox’s Biscuits in Batley, putting the jam in jammy dodgers.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far.
Post university my first role was with a French freight forwarding company where I used my languages. I moved to Poole in Dorset with this company and eventually moved to Revlon where I managed the Export Marketing department. Joining Dale Carnegie was a risky choice but one that stretched and developed me. After 2 years I moved back to Yorkshire and in the past 20 years I’ve worked in sales, as a trainer, a sales manager and eventually heading up the northern England team.