Over the Christmas and New Year period, Director is profiling the winners of the IoD Director of The Year Awards. Today we meet Colin Macleod, chief executive, The Channel Islands Co-operative Society, who won the Large Company Director award.
Colin Macleod, The Channel Islands Co-operative Society
As chief executive of Jersey and Guernsey’s market-leading retail organisation, Colin Macleod has orchestrated its diversification into pharmacy and medical and spearheaded a transformation programme while ensuring its ongoing commercial success. Here, he talks milestones, challenge and inspiration…
What’s the secret of your success? Tenacity, curiosity, thoughtfulness, humour, humility and decisiveness.
What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it? Perhaps unusually, getting used to my absence of ambition. I have been lucky to reach the top job in my sector relatively young, and have little desire to relocate. This led me to rethink what was important and focus on legacy – earlier than most, I guess.
What was the most pivotal moment in your business life to date? Announcing the closure of a large but inefficient part of our business really made me search myself. Courage, compassion and poise aren’t learnt through success but all are key elements of a leadership toolkit. Triumph teaches far less than tragedy.
What’s the key to great leadership? Creating an environment that provides a sense of comfort to your team; being the secure base that offers a sense of protection, a source of energy and the inspiration to explore.
Where do you get your ideas from? Scanning the horizon and building knowledge; continuous renewal; questioning my own experience, and being willing to unlearn it if necessary. Ideas are born out of infusing the things you learn and your willingness to explore, take measured risks and fail.
What’s the key to building a great team? Bet on people not strategies. So attract, develop and retain a diverse group who take strong decisions.