How I did it: Chartered Director Jane Williams

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Jane Williams, Chartered Director

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

About author

Ryan Herman

Ryan Herman

Alongside his work for Director, Ryan has written for SportBusiness International, VICE Sports, Populous, Audi and Gallop Magazine and was previously editor of Sky Sports Magazine.

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