01. Rise early or work late?
This varies depending on the time zone. Having spent much of my career with a global remit, I learned to adapt. Working in one time zone has been a relief but I believe that most roles require flexibility.
02. Training preferences: on the job or formal?
I value both. Formal training is good at promoting best practice and on the job is great for helping people find pragmatic solutions. But I would support on the job that exposes you to reality.
03. What’s your management style?
I lean towards ‘coaching’. I want the team to operate with autonomy and my contribution can be coaching them through difficult situations. We have teams of different seniority and a tailored managerial style is required to get the most out of them.
04. Does delegation come easy?
A perpetual challenge. Everyone rolls their sleeves up. But this should not take away the drive to delegate.
05. Who do you rely on the most?
My family and my wife. In the office, I rely on a broad team. They might have varying levels experience but they are all committed. None of us would enjoy success without the support from the teams that are not part of our direct reporting lines. These groups should never be underestimated.
06. Boardroom or restaurant?
They are linked. Building the relationships over dinner is crucial to building trust. Consistently ‘delivering the goods’ allows you to build that relationship in the restaurant.
07. What technology would you never be without?
I have surprised myself but I cannot see myself giving up my iPhone now. The sheer number of useful apps is incredible.
08. Are you an FD for life?
While I enjoy it greatly, I do not want an FD/CFO role to be my last. We are now in a position to drive the business but I still do not believe it is a substitute for being the business leader.
09. What keeps you awake at night?
Competitors. There are very smart people out there looking to encroach on my markets and constantly innovating to stay ahead.
10. Your advice for aspiring FDs?
Do not only look for the role that you believe will take you to the next step. Seek out the industry and roles that you will enjoy – but do not let the pursuit of progression put you into roles that you cannot enjoy.