Consultant Spotlight: Andrew Gillespie
1. What’s your favourite way to answer the question ‘what do you do?’
I still haven’t figured this one out to be honest! Sometimes I just say, ‘management consultant’ and that usually that puts people off asking more questions!
2. What is your approach to finding a work-life balance?
My most recent one is to try not to take work home with me. If I need to stay late to finish off, fine – but I try really hard not to open the laptop again before bed – it gets my mind going again and stops me getting to sleep. Also, I’ve just been on a 10-week sabbatical so feel like I’ve got plenty in the tank at the moment!
3. Describe in three words what makes a good leader.
Authenticity, Care, Vision.
4. If you could remote-work from any country in the world, where would it be?
Costa Rica – I had a wonderful holiday there a few years ago surrounded by wildlife, and the people there are lovely.
5. Which culture, philosophy, or way of life – that is different to yours – do you most admire?
Costa Rica again. They have a real focus on wellbeing: they measure Gross National Happiness; don’t have an army; and have the highest percentage of the country protected by national parks in the world!
6. Who was your favourite teacher, role model or mentor when growing-up?
My Chemistry teacher Mrs. Renton. We really didn’t get on well at first but once we understood each other, she just let me be me and I’ve remembered that ever since.
7. What, or who, was your biggest inspiration when choosing your career route?
A psychologist called Jill Summers who I did an internship with. She showed so much belief in my abilities and it made me just want to do more of it.
8. Which area of your consulting work do you find the most interesting, and why?
Culture change is fascinating. I love the mechanics and subtlety of how you get an organisation to change its culture and there is just so much to learn.
9. What are the top 3 personal skills that leaders need to possess, or develop, to lead their organisation into the future?
Communication of a clear and compelling vision (it was always thus!)
Not so much of a ‘skill’ but I think a big focus on sustainability is going to be very important in the future. Not just environmental issues but even how we understand economics and how businesses are set up, in a world that demands not just financial success any more but a real and genuine contribution to the economy, society, environment and so on. Jostling a range of priorities and stakeholders under increased scrutiny by the public will be vital.
10. If you could go back in time and give your 16-year-old-self advice, what would it be?
Don’t worry, it’ll be OK.
11. If you were stranded on a desert island and were only allowed three items, what would they be and why?
A pilot, an aircraft and plenty of fuel.
12. What’s the number one thing you want to accomplish during your time on Earth?
If I can help to make the world a bit more of a fair and just place, that’ll do.