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FD Q&A: Elliott Adams, LivingSocial

01. Rise early or work late?

Working in a fast-growth, multinational technology company, it’s very often both. By preference, though, I am more of an early bird. Thinking clearly comes more naturally early in the day. 

02. Training preferences: on the job or formal?

While formal training can prove invaluable for keeping abreast of industry developments, legislation changes and specific areas of expertise, I am a great believer in real life experience. Learning on the job teaches you much more than expertise in your field; it hones your professional radar, teaches cause and effect, and shapes your professional outlook.

03. What’s your management style?

‘Collaborative’ is the word that springs to mind. Working closely with my team to define and implement solutions together is a cornerstone of my management style and I actively look to empower my team to drive their areas of responsibility forward.

04. Does delegation come easy?

In any FD role, the key to success is having a talented, driven team to work with. Empowering my team to take on additional responsibilities and delegating key tasks means I can focus on the strategic direction of the department and the business.

05. Who do you rely on the most?

My whole team are a delight to work with, but I do tend to rely heavily on my financial controller, who plays a key role in the department.

06. Boardroom or restaurant?

Both – I am a great believer that good preparation in the restaurant means no surprises in the boardroom.

07. What technology would you never be without?

My iPhone – and apps – at last count I had about 150 apps. And I use them all.

08. Are you an FD for life?

Not necessarily – being an FD is a great training ground for general management.

09. What keeps you awake at night?

Builders. We are having an extension built, and we never know what the next day will bring.

10. Your advice for aspiring FDs?

Plan your career path with care – choose each step along your path deliberately: the type of organisation, scope of role and industry. And, above all, enjoy it!

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