Q&A with Melanie Wallinger
1. What motivates you?
At work - doing a good job, feeling like I have achieved something, and feeling like I have had an impact on other people. Out of work – spending time with the people I care about, working towards goals (whatever they may be), and a sense of adventure fueled by my many wild and wonderous travels!
2. How do you handle pressure?
Put things in perspective and break things down.
3. What will change most about the world of work in the next few years?
Technology (virtual reality etc) and changing expectations, leading to increased flexibility in how and where work is done.
4. What’s your defining career moment so far?
Winning the CIPD award with Jaguar Land Rover in 2014.
5. What book, film or tv show has really changed the way you thought about something?
The Theory of Everything (Steven Hawking) – putting life in perspective and inspiring me about the amazing things human beings can achieve when they put their mind to it.
6. What’s your favourite sport to business lesson or story?
Leadership lessons from my previous boss (multiple Olympic medalist in dressage), who provided the opportunity to one of his proteges to ride his horse to Olympic Gold (in 2012 and 2016). He could have taken the ride himself, but instead he created the opportunity for her.
7. What makes you proud?
When hard work pays off (mine or seeing others).
8. What makes you angry?
People being arrogant or unwilling to see others’ perspectives, poor customer service and people walking really slowly at the bottom of the tube escalator…!
9. Which leader do you most admire most and why?
My dad – for everything he has achieved through his drive and determination, and for being one of my biggest supporters in everything I have achieved.
10. What are your best and worst characteristics?
Dedication – probably one of my best and worst when over-played.
11. What would you like to learn and why?
I wish I could sing! It would make car journeys and karaoke nights so much better for the people with me!
12. Who would you like to invite for a dinner party, living or dead?
David Attenborough – I want to hear his amazing travel stories.
13. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
That failing is not about ‘not being able to do everything yourself’, but rather not asking for help or getting the right support in place.
14. What would your motto be (if you haven’t already got one)?
Try everything once!
15. What personal value would you never compromise?
Dependability – I always want to be someone that people can count on