What was your first job, and how was it?
If I skip all the paper rounds and bar work in too wide a variety of establishments then my first “proper job” was back at the start of my 23-year career with Xerox as a debt collector. Much of the role was fairly standard stuff but a few times a month you were out on the streets collecting money from either poor payers or big payers! My team covered the production print market, a very entrepreneurial space which involved dealing with some of the industry's liveliest characters who certainly taught me a thing or two!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Take informed risks, don’t be afraid of failure, but failure is only accepted once!
If you could step into the shoes of one businessperson for the day, who would it be and why?
There is a well-known corporate case study about Anne Mulchay, the former CEO of Xerox back in the early 2000s. She was made CEO when the business, with a market valuation of billions, and in excess of 100,000 employees, had run out of cash! She had days to generate cash to pay the bills and keep the business going. Going into her first day she must have known she would become one of the most famous CEOs in the world either for one of the greatest turnarounds, or shortest tenure! It would be great to be in her shoes for that first day, to see what I would do (after I got my Starbucks on the way in!).
In three words or less, how do you define success?
A happy family.
How do you motivate yourself and your staff?
I’m a fairly simple person and try not to overthink things, and can probably be accused of sometimes not thinking at all! However, I do believe that if I have the right people, with the right capabilities, doing the right job, then the rest is down to my attitude and my behaviour. Do what you say, be open, be honest, be structured, and be interested in people, and they will want to do their best for you. If I have a team operating within these principles, then that’s motivation enough.
How do you relax?
What would be your ideal job and why?
I genuinely love the variety that a commercial role like mine gives you. My other passions, Welsh rugby, and the huge variety of experiences you can gain working and living near London. So what’s my ideal job? Commercial Director of the Welsh Rugby Union, being based in the south east of England. I don’t think there is any need to dust off my CV.
What are your aspirations for the future of Elavon?
Elavon has so much that’s good going on now it is sometimes hard to see the future beyond the next six months. What’s going to be exciting is seeing our digital capability build quickly, and the way we engage with partners and how they engage with us get simplified. That combined with what we do so well today will make us an even more relevant partner in more markets and sectors. My vision is that we are a major player in every sector of the European market – and with the investments we are making, that’s a realistic vision.
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