Consultant Spotlight: Dexter Davies
1. What motivates you?
Being able to help people. Psychology as a domain has so much to offer but sometimes it can be quite inaccessible. I’m very lucky to spend my time helping organisations make use of all that psychology has to offer. From psychometrics to designing large-scale change programmes, it’s the human side of business that get’s me out of bed in the morning.
2. How do you handle pressure?
I’m fortunate to be low for trait neuroticism so I don’t tend to feel the anxious side of pressure too much! If I know I’m going into a busy period, I rely on the same advice my grandma would give me – eat healthily, get enough sleep and go for a walk.
3. What will change most about the world of work in the next few years?
I’m really interested to find out how emerging technologies like AI, block-chain and robotics continue to change the world of work and industry. The digital revolution started to break down the line between working lives and personal lives and I can only see that continuing. All this disruption places greater emphasis on the importance of continuous learning to adapt – that’s true for both individuals and organizations.
4. What’s your defining career moment so far?
Working with a Senior Leadership team that had lost their identity and momentum. They were all experts in their field and great people, but some pretty unhealthy habits and interpersonal difficulties had built up over time. The conversations needed to re-engage and align this group had a real edge to them so creating an environment in which that could take place and giving them the tool kit to do so was a great project.
5. What book, film or tv show has really changed the way you thought about something?
“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. Frankl was a psychiatrist that survived the holocaust and this book contains both a recount of his incredible experiences but also his meditations on the nature of human being. It’s a heavy hitting book.
6. What’s your favourite sport to business lesson or story?
Dedication beats talent every time.
7. What makes you proud?
It’s a bit left-field but I feel tremendous pride when thinking about the people I’m fortunate enough to call my friends. Many of them I’ve grown up with and seeing how they have each gone on to add value to the world in each of their unique ways is something I really cherish.
8. What makes you angry?
Day-to-day, very little. However, a lack of respect for others and intentional injustice would be my biggest triggers.
9. Which leader do you most admire most and why?
Acknowledging that I’m likely biased as a Tottenham fan, I think Mauricio Pochettino embodies a lot of the traits you would want in a leader. He’s passionate, has a strong work ethic, and seems to connect with the team on a personal level.
10. What are your best and worst characteristics?
I believe my best characteristic lies within my ability to be inclusive with others and help groups connect quickly. However, this can mean that I can be less competent at challenging people, which can lead to indecisiveness.
11. What would you like to learn and why?
I’d love to learn how to dance properly. At the moment, it’s just uncoordinated enthusiasm.
12. If you could choose anybody, who would you be for a day?
Someone from a completely different walk of life to me. Getting to experience a different culture as accepted part of the group would be amazing.
13. Who would you like to invite for a dinner party, living or dead?
Let’s go for a mix. I’d have the great clinical psychologists of the past like Jung and Freud. I’d also invite Stephen Fry and Dynamo for the entertainment. The Libertines and Artic Monkeys can supply music. I’d have the entire Spurs team. And I’d have my grandparents but when they were at my age.
14. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My mum always advised me “to do what you love, and doors will open”, which they have. My dad always advised me “to remember that some people walk in the rain, and others just get wet”, which I try and live by. And my first manager told me “to always write things down” as my memory wasn’t very good – that was the most practical!
15. What would your motto be (if you haven’t already got one)?
Audere est Facere, meaning “To Dare is To Do”