Q&A with Rob Rough
1. What’s your favourite way to answer the question ‘what do you do?’
I help people to live their best life. (Cheesy I know). And I write what I hope is interesting copy along the way.
2. What is your approach to finding a work-life balance?
Being clear on priorities, having a healthy dose of perspective and not being afraid to live in the moment.
3. Describe in three words what makes a good leader
Vision, humility, stamina
4. If you could remote-work from any country in the world, where would it be?
North America, because when work is done I would be able to watch NBA basketball without a time delay.
5. Which culture, philosophy, or way of life - that is different to yours - do you most admire?
Inuit oral history, it’s worth a google, there’s a lesson in storytelling there for all of us.
6. Who was your favourite teacher, role model or mentor when growing-up?
My Dad. He taught me to accept that talent, attributes, energies and motivations change over time and that’s nothing to be afraid of, but rather a way of preparing us for the next challenge. It’s important to always try and do the right thing because that will keep us company in the challenging times, we’ll be able to put our heads on the pillow at night knowing that we gave it a go and did things properly. Also to remember that there are always new things to try and new friends to make.
7. What, or who, was your biggest inspiration when choosing your career route?
I studied animation and was hugely inspired by John Lasseter, his approach to building the type of stories that make the hairs on your arms stand up… and then empowering a vast workforce to bring them to life is unique. There are lots of lessons to learn from his book – Creativity Inc, but for me it’s about collaborative thinking and building a world where abstract and engagement takes on a kind of beauty – and having a bit of fun along the way.
8. Which area of your consulting work do you find the most interesting, and why?
The relationships, without doubt this is all about the people. I believe the effect we have on each other is the most valuable currency there is.
9. What are the top personal skills that leaders need to possess, or develop, to lead their organisation into the future?
One of my words that make a great leader is stamina, this can fall into a number of categories, but my favourites are:
- Credibility - for me it’s all about effort over perfection, when you bring effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens and how change occurs.
- Resilience – leading is hard (obviously) if you want to make everybody happy don’t be a leader, sell ice cream.
- Embrace the journey, trust the process (bit clichéd) but one day it will just click, you’ll realise what is important and what isn’t… you’ll learn to care less about what you think of yourself and you’ll notice how far you’ve come, you’ll remember the times when everything was such a mess and you thought you’d never recover… and you’ll smile.
10. If you could go back in time and give your 16-year-old self advice, what would it be?
- You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love… don’t let your potential be trapped inside your fears.
- Be nice to your Mum and Dad and make the most of their advice.
- Don’t buy that car.
11. If you were stranded on a desert island and were only allowed three items, what would they be and why?
- Spotify – my days revolve around playlists, music has been a backdrop to so many events in my life, it unlocks memories, motivates and provides inspiration.
- Sun block – As a person of ‘Autumnal’ colourings I can’t go near a 100 watt lightbulb without some factor 50.
- Coffee – I usually find my personality at the bottom of a large double shot americano.
12. What’s the number one thing you want to accomplish during your time on Earth?
Be a great parent, husband and friend.