1. Rise early or work late?
Rise early. I have always been an early bird and up with the lark and I prefer to get into the office early and start to clear things before the rest of the world wakes up.
2. Training preferences: on the job or formal?
On the job. I believe it’s of great benefit if you can support and develop your team in their working environment. It is only through real life examples that staff get the required experience they need to grow and learn.
3. What’s your management style?
To ensure my team know what is expected of them and that they have the necessary tools to do the job. I make sure there is clear focus on achieving deadlines, but I don’t like to micro manage as it’s far more effective to empower staff to achieve their tasks.
4. Does delegation come easy?
Once you have understood the capabilities of your team, then delegation becomes significantly easier but it is always important to have checks and balances in place to ensure accuracy of the information.
5. Who do you rely on most?
I would normally have two key employees being my group financial accountant and operational financial controller. Both play a key role in helping me to build a successful finance team.
6. Boardroom or restaurant?
Boardroom – although we don’t really have a formal one as we tend to use the meeting rooms in our portfolio of 20 hotels across the UK. I normally have working lunches with the hotels or management team as we discuss current plans or review performance of the business.
7. What technology would you never be without?
My iPhone. It’s my direct link to what’s happening within the business and from it I can access my folders, contacts, emails and the outside world. It allows me manage what I need, wherever I am.
8. Are you an FD for life?
No, I have spent a considerable part of my career focused on commercial finance and growing businesses which may in the future require me to step away from the FD role to be more commercially hands on.
9. What keeps you awake at night?
Ensuring that I am ahead of what’s happening in the business and planning for the next few weeks. I always strive to be one step ahead in order to meet the business needs.
10. Critical advice to aspiring FDs?
Build a strong team with bench strength for unforeseen eventualities. While looking at the team, find the rising stars and empower them to reach their full potential as this will make your business stronger. But always ensure you have your checks and balances in place so you avoid any shocks and surprises.
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