Q&A with Kate Hughes
1. What’s your favourite way to answer the question ‘what do you do?’
I work with companies to create communications, leadership development programmes and cultures that help their people love what they do and improve performance.
2. What is your approach to finding a work-life balance?
This is a tricky one. As a consultant, we travel a fair bit. As a single parent, the travelling bit is hard. I have amazing support from my mum when I need to travel, and I have amazing support from Lane4 when I need to say no to travel. And I’m never made to feel bad for saying no. This helps me to balance it out without feeling guilty about home or work.
3. Describe in three words what makes a good leader
Credibility, reliability and vulnerability.
4. If you could remote-work from any country in the world, where would it be?
Somewhere tropical with an ocean nearby because I love the sound of the birds and the ocean.
5. Which culture, philosophy, or way of life - that is different to yours - do you most admire?
Anything that isn’t as materialistic as the one we live in. At home we’ve made small changes; buying less, using less plastic and recycling everything we possibly can. We’re the first generation to see the damage we’re doing to the world and the only ones who can slow it down or stop it.
6. What, or who, was your biggest inspiration when choosing your career route?
I fell into communications rather than choosing it. I’ve always been a writer and a talker and always found it relatively easy to engage with people. About 15 years ago I became interested in coaching and actively started looking at how I could incorporate that into my career. So I’m not sure who I’d choose as my biggest inspiration from back then. But more recently over the last few years, I was introduced to the work of Brené Brown and fell a little bit in love with what she does and all she stands for. I refer to her work a lot when I’m prepping my own work.
7. Which area of your consulting work do you find the most interesting, and why?
Culture change. Working with leaders who know the difference a great culture makes for their employees and business performance and understand that it’s something to be lived and breathed, not written in an email for people to read and then forgotten about, is an inspiring and exciting thing to be a part of.
8. What are the top 3 personal skills that leaders need to possess, or develop, to lead their organisation into the future?
Emotional intelligence, self-awareness, integrity
9. If you could go back in time and give your 16-year-old self-advice, what would it be?
There’s going to be (several) times when it feels like everything is falling apart. It’s not. It’s actually all falling together. Trust the process.
10. If you were stranded on a desert island and were only allowed three items, what would they be and why?
Can I class my daughter as an item? If so, I’d take Frankie – because she’s hilarious, loving and a wonderful little person who is great company, a knife so we could forage for food and get into coconuts, and UNO to entertain ourselves when we’d had enough of star-gazing, exploring the amazing scenery and swimming in the crystal blue waters.
11. What’s the number one thing you want to accomplish during your time on Earth?
Raise the little one as best I can to leave her a legacy she is proud of.