To motivate my team, openness with people is crucial, as is trust, and having a bit of fun. We spend more time with our Elavon colleagues than we do with our families/friends so you need to have a bit of fun and a laugh occasionally.
1.What was your first job, and how was it?
Got to be my Saturday job! I sold walking boots at a shop in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. It sounds boring but we actually had lots of celebrities come in; I sold a pair to the Noel Gallagher’s then-wife Meg Mathews whilst a very bored Noel hovered around, to television presenter Fern Britton, golfer Nick Faldo and even members of the Royal Family. Oh the glamour!
2. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?
Moving across from Ireland to England when I was 12 and surviving the English education system. It was a massive culture shock and difficult. Being an Irishman in England in what was then a very unwelcoming political atmosphere hardened me up as an individual. It’s probably made me what I am today.
3. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
‘Fail to prepare. Prepare to fail.’ As the great Roy Keane once said at the 2002 World Cup. I take this into all walks of life and particularly love planning holiday vacations for myself and others.
4. If you could step into the shoes of one businessperson for the day, who would it be and why?
Elon Musk. The aspiration, the innovation, the expanse of the types of industries and businesses he’s in is amazing. How can you fail to have an interesting day when you’re involved in such different projects? It blows my mind. And I think he’s a bit wired, and I’m a little bit wired too so I’d probably be alright!
5. In three words or less, how do you define success?
Exciting, purposeful, developmental.
6. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?
I am always looking for ways that I can do things better and deliver the results. I get motivation from spending time with people who know a lot more than I do and I love a good discussion with contrasting views/opinions. To motivate my team, openness with people is crucial, as is trust, and having a bit of fun. We spend more time with our Elavon colleagues than we do with our families/friends so you need to have a bit of fun and a laugh occasionally.
7. How do you relax?
I like to exercise and am a dedicated podcast listener whilst I jog. Given my time is so short I enjoy the ability to keep fit and learn at the same time. Also, there is nothing like a good sofa boxset too!
8. What would be your ideal job and why?
I would love to be a football agent. The combination of football, access to players, managers with commercial negotiation thrown in - would be my absolute dream job.
9. What are your aspirations for the future of Elavon?
I want to see us play more aggressively, to build our distribution and grow as a business organically but also inorganically through M&A activity. We need to stick our chest out; we have a great story but we just haven’t been telling enough people about it. The next few years will be really exciting in Elavon. We all need to individually ensure that we develop our skills and experience in order to still stay relevant.
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