Once you find a career that you enjoy, and that challenges you but still allows you to have a full and satisfying home life, that's success in my book.
1.What was your first job, and how was it?
My first full-time job was as a member of a classical girl band (the name of which shall forever remain a secret). We toured and got quite a lot of media coverage at the time, including a number of TV and radio slots in Ireland and the UK, which was terrific experience as an 18-year-old. My background in performance translated well into public speaking and presenting when I moved into the business world - so skills from all sorts of backgrounds can be transferable into other industries!
2. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?
Probably getting my Executive MBA. It was challenging but extremely rewarding, and I met some amazing people from all sorts of different backgrounds and industries, who are and will continue to be an amazing support structure for years to come.
3. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Many years back, I remember asking someone in a senior leadership role how he managed the progression from positions in which he had always had a mentor to suddenly being responsible for everything himself, with nobody to guide him. He told me that he never lost his mentors, they just worked alongside him now as part of his team. He knew he couldn’t do everything perfectly himself and so surrounded himself with a team that helped to support and advise him. That advice has always stuck with me.
4. If you could step into the shoes of one businessperson for the day, who would it be and why?
James Dyson. I find him absolutely fascinating. He revolutionised an industry that was stagnant and so associated with one brand that most Irish households refer to their vacuum cleaner as a “hoover”. He developed an innovative, progressive product and focused on optimising the user experience from both a product and a customer service perspective. He continues to push boundaries by moving into entirely new sectors and I’m very interested to see what he does next.
5. In three words or less, how do you define success?
Work life balance. By way of explanation - once you find a career that you enjoy, and that challenges you but still allows you to have a full and satisfying home life, that’s success in my book.
6. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?
Generally, enjoyment and job satisfaction are fairly universal requirements when it comes to motivation. However, it’s important as a manager to understand that these motivators may vary from individual to individual – it’s not a one size fits all approach. I try to develop relationships with my team that allow me to support their hierarchy of needs at an individual level, and this ensures that everyone within the team remains motivated, both individually and as a group.
7. How do you relax?
Music is still something that really helps me to switch off and relax, as well as spending time with family and friends. Oh, and retail therapy is always a winner - I consider myself quite an expert in that regard!
8. What would be your ideal job and why?
To be a singer/actress. I have always loved music and acting since I was a kid. Failing that, working as a sommelier could be fun – drinking good wine all day would be a very satisfactory way to spend my time.
9. What are your aspirations for the future of Elavon?
We are at an exciting stage of eCommerce growth at Elavon, with plenty of room for further development. I’d like to see us continue to build out innovative, market-leading solutions, become known as a progressive leader and leverage our excellent reputation to significantly grow our market share in the eCommerce space.
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