Consultant spotlight: Andrew Gillespie


16 March 2018


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Q&A with Andrew Gillespie

1. What motivates you?

Helping people to see the world differently: to accept other viewpoints and revaluate their own perspectives, to overcome their fears and concerns to be the best they can be, and to solve problems which are difficult to crack.

2. How do you handle pressure?

Badly sometimes as I suffer from some quite complex mental health challenges, although people wouldn’t always recognise it. When I handle it badly, I tend to stick to the task and get it ‘over the line’ before collapsing in a heap. In the long-term I need support from people around me, things to look forward to and to take regular ‘breaks’.

3. What will change most about the world of work in the next few years?

The connectedness of people. I see a huge shift in the dissolving of the ‘work-life balance’. People’s work and personal lives are becoming more intertwined and work is becoming increasingly more attached to people’s identities.

4. What’s your defining career moment so far?

Learning to become a coach. Knowing that I can have conversations with people which focus on the whole person and break down the inhibitions people have in talking about themselves at work.

5. What book, film or tv show has really changed the way you thought about something?

‘Getting to Yes’ by Fisher & Ury – Focus on the problem, not the person, in times of conflict. By detaching people’s behaviours from their identity or intent, you can bring about change without hurting the individual’s identity.

6. What’s your favourite sport to business lesson or story?

Not sure it counts but I’m immensely proud of the work we’ve done with one of our sporting clients. I’m not sure how much credit we give ourselves for the way they’ve changed but a recent visit made me feel so proud when I heard the quality of conversation in the washup at an assessment centre.

7. What makes you proud?

Being noticed for doing something different, adding unique value or solving tough problems. Also, seeing people working together in a constructive, coherent and honest fashion.

8. What makes you angry?

Disrespect, injustice and people not listening or caring. I HATE seeing people have their dignity robbed or ignored.

9. Which leader do you most admire most and why?

I don’t admire that many – I see most leaders as ‘just people with ordinary needs, in slightly less ordinary circumstances’. The one I do is Churchill, or at least the legend that surrounds him. That really was a case of cometh the hour, cometh the man. But his courage, ingenuity and conviction was incredible (or at least, all accounts I have seen and read of him show him to be so).

10.What are your best and worst characteristics?

Best – caring, kind, well-intended. Worst – sloppy, forgetful and sometimes selfish.

11. What would you like to learn and why?

How to be more courageous in tackling and challenging the wrongs I see.

12. If you could choose anybody, who would you be for a day?

Someone who lives a basic life in a remote and poor part of the world

13. Who would you like to invite for a dinner party, living or dead?

My best friends and family

14. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

‘It’s OK not to be OK’ – it it’s good enough for Jessie J, it’s good enough for me!

15. What would your motto be (if you haven’t already got one)?

You are an extraordinary person

16. What personal value would you never compromise?

Respect and freedom – I can’t split the two. They need to be balanced very finely!

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