Name some books/tutorials/speeches that had an effect on your career path.
Recently I took the Accelerated Certificate in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors, which reminded me of some concerns identified throughout my years in business, helped me gain an understanding of how the business world really works, and provided me with some useful grounding in legal and financial matters. I think people build their careers in very different ways, and my thinking is that if you continue to do what you feel is right for you and the people with whom you work, then your career will build itself. I have always tried to focus on doing what I’m doing as well as I can, and am always looking to learn new skills along the way.
Tell us more about yourself outside of work
I spent 25 years playing football. The reason I did that is not just that I love the game, which I do, but also because I loved being part of a group of people who are all focused on one thing. We were a very successful club, which helped of course; but no matter if we won or lost, we always played for each other and never gave up.
I think that has contributed a lot to my professional life. I think I am a great teammate to have. I will always make clear what I think about things, I am always willing to discuss my views and am prepared to change my mind and swing behind what the team agrees to do. I will spend extra time trying to make sure that people feel like they are part of the team. These traits have been sharpened by playing a team sport at a high level. I also apply these aspects of my personality to client relationships, so that clients can be certain that I have their best interests at heart, and that I will work hard to ensure that the task in hand has the right team in place.
Sport in general is a big part of my life; I cycle, run, hike, ski, play tennis and whatever else you can think of given half a chance. I also love reading novels, watch a lot of films and eat and drink well. I spend a lot of time with my wife and we both value our family very much, even if that has become a more challenging aspect of life to balance while living in the US.
What advice would you give yourself if you were starting work at Endava today?
My advice would be to focus on the job you have and to find a way to do that job in the best way you possibly can while respecting the roles and values of the people around you. Also be prepared to give and receive feedback, and always be interested in why decisions have been made – listen actively when things are explained (i.e. ask why, who, when, etc.). Try to look for the enjoyable aspects of a situation, rather than complain about the less enjoyable aspects – with the caveat that complaining and laughing together with your team can be the only enjoyable thing about some tasks. Last but not least, try to always speak up when you feel something is wrong, but never forget to show your approval when something is done exceptionally well.