1. What’s your favourite way to answer the question ‘what do you do?’
If I explain my job to my nearly 6 year old daughter I say I help people and the places those people work to learn and get better.
2. What is your approach to finding a work-life balance?
I feel very fortunate to have found a really close link between what motivates me and what’s ultimately meaningful to me as a person, and being able to fulfill these things in my career. Clearly, that doesn’t mean there aren’t tough times where work can bleed into home life. Ultimately though, the underlying closeness between who I am, what I value and what I do in work means I’m able to reinforce benefits of work to home and vice versa.
3. Describe in three words what makes a good leader.
Vision / Support / Challenge.
4. If you could remote-work from any country in the world, where would it be?
I don’t have a specific place in mind, but I would love to be near water and close to nature to be able to do different activities such as skiing or hiking in the mountains. Bits of New Zealand / Canada appeal to me because of the big landscapes.
5. Which culture, philosophy, or way of life - that is different to yours - do you most admire?
I’m curious about the Japanese culture and some of the traditions and rituals which they have – I would love to find out what is different and work out how it came to be.
6. Who was your favourite teacher, role model or mentor when growing-up?
What stands out for me is when people have backed me, put time and effort into me and given me an opportunity. They supported (and stretched) me to push myself forward to achieve ambitions I’ve had.
7. What, or who, was your biggest inspiration when choosing your career route?
Two things really accelerated my career choices. I had a brilliant university lecturer (who was also an independent consultant) who delivered one of the modules of my Management Studies degree. In hindsight, I can recognise now how the content and style he taught with weren’t a million miles away from aspects of the work Lane4 does. During and immediately post university I was also fortunate to spend some time rowing at high-level which gave me insight into performance that I wanted to find a way of accessing and staying connected to in my work. I actually stumbled over Lane4 by pure chance and yet it offered the perfect place to marry all of the elements.
8. Which area of your consulting work do you find the most interesting, and why?
I think I can get different things from different things we do: working 1:1 with someone, designing a programme, leading delivery of a cohort within a programme etc. I find all of those things interesting for different reasons, but there is always a common route back to people and seeing impact. If there wasn’t the ability for me to interact with the learners or see impact in the consulting work I do, I would struggle.
9. What are the top 3 personal skills that leaders need to possess, or develop, to lead their organisation into the future?
Staying ‘human’ in the digital age: this can be characterised by emotional intelligence elements such as self awareness, self-regulation, social awareness and influencing others.
Dealing with paradoxes – being able to do ‘both and' thinking, for example focusing on current and future performance.
Adaptability - To me, this means being able to stay on top of the rate and pace of change. It also means not closing off to the complexity of the future, and being able to stay curious enough about it to proactively face into it.
10. If you could go back in time and give your 16-year-old self-advice, what would it be?
Keep backing yourself. And be comfortable in your own skin.
11. If you were stranded on a desert island and were only allowed three items, what would they be and why?
Whatever will get me off the island! If I had to be stranded, I would want to be stranded with my family, a home and an unlimited supply of learning materials across a range of genres (music / sport / literature / science etc).
12. What’s the number one thing you want to accomplish during your time on Earth?
To be the best husband, Dad, son, brother I can.