With 30 years of experience at board level, Jane Williams has worked for a host of global organisations, including Fujitsu, Mars and PwC. The founder of People Innovation, a specialist in business and employee transformation, shares insights that have made her a better leader.
Listen and you’ll learn what the problem is. That valuable advice was given to me early in my career. A problem can often be something happening under the surface.
Find profit in what you do. I started out at the John Lewis Partnership. As a young manager there, I was trained in good retailing discipline. The important things to consider were your staff first and then your customers.
Be a role model on the shop floor. When employees see how you look after customers it becomes a virtuous circle. Take that on board and it travels with you throughout your career.
Learn from others. In the first 15 years of my career I focused on my colleagues – what they knew, the way they worked and how they kept their skills current. This way I came to understand the bedrock of how effective people operate.
I am a Chartered Director. I wanted to make the transition to board level and felt the route to go with my experience was to become a non-exec. The qualification rounded off my skills and acted
as a flag to say: “I stepped out to take this intensive course.”
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For more information about the Chartered Director qualification, visit iod.com/chartered-director