BQ meets family distribution company MD, Neil Rushworth to discuss past and future ambitions
Describe your role in no more than 100 words.
I am Managing Director of the business so my job is to lead and inspire the management team. In a family business such as ours, it is also important to ensure that the values and ethics of the business are upheld - ultimately that is why our clients use Expect.
I also carry out all sales activity of the company which is quite unique for a business of our size but it is important for me that we convey the passion for what we do.
What is it the company does?
Put simply we offer palletised distribution and warehousing services but it is much more than that. We offer bespoke solutions to logistical requirements, that is our niche in the industry
Where did you start your career?
It’s a family business so my career has been within Expect but I started off at the bottom and learnt every part of the business before starting to take a managerial role. Life is harder in a family business in some ways, you always have to prove your worth in the early years
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far.
Worked my way up after joining Expect in 1989, becoming Operations Director after 6 years and finally Managing Director in 2013
What do you believe makes a great leader?
In a business like ours, it is leading by example but at the same time allowing your management team to do the job they are paid to do. Also taking full responsibility if an error occurs, as well as the accolades when you achieve great things
What has been the biggest challenge in your current position?
The biggest challenge in most businesses is to get the right people around you in the right positions. Everything else slots into place once you have that structure. It is worth spending time recruiting the best people available who you will rely on every day
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
I don’t, I learn to live with it. It is all part of being a company owner. If I didn’t thrive on the pressure I would choose to do something else!
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Like most kids, I wanted to be a footballer and play for Liverpool FC. When reality kicked in I then wanted to be a journalist. Not quite sure how I ended up in logistics, it really wasn’t that high up my list but I wouldn’t change it now.
Any pet hates in the workplace?
People who underachieve because they don’t put the effort in. I am a firm believer that comfort zones are for average employees. It also annoys me when people who make the same mistake twice. We all make mistakes but the trick is to learn from them and continually improve.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
I like to be certain of where we are going as a business and we are single-minded about the service we provide our clients. This is the secret to our success and if we do our job then the company will continue to grow. We have no desire to take over the world of transport- we are all about quality - growth follows from that.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Be confident in your own ability, but listen and absorb knowledge - you should learn something new every day. Be prepared to take calculated risks - not all your decisions will come off but people who play safe very rarely end up at the very top.
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