Every day during the Christmas holidays we profile winners of the recent IoD Director of the Year Awards. Today it’s Tim Crowley, managing director of La Mare Vineyards, who won the SME Director award
‘Use 50 per cent head and 50 per cent heart’ – Tim Crowley, managing director, La Mare Vineyards
When Tim Crowley arrived at Jersey’s La Mare Vineyards two decades ago, the family-run visitor attraction turned over less than £200,000 a year. Today, the wine producer – which is now also a cider maker, distillery, food manufacturer and events venue – has a £2m turnover that’s expected to grow by £350,000 by the end of this year, despite a decline in tourism on the island. He shares his thoughts on effective leadership.
What’s your favourite piece of business advice? Hire great people and then get out of their way.
What do you consider the key to great leadership? Listening is number one for me.
How would you describe your own leadership style? I am the facilitator and co-ordinator of my team’s ideas and aspirations.
How are you approaching Brexit? It’s already having a negative impact on recruitment in tourism and hospitality. This is probably also the case in other industries. But opportunities for export are likely and we must be ready for them.
What advice would you offer for other leaders in a difficult commercial environment? Use 50 per cent head and 50 per cent heart. Don’t bury your head in the sand and imagine that problems will just go away. Most crucially, trust your gut feel.
Whom do you turn to for leadership advice? My wife. She is always brutally honest.
What are your plans for the business in 2018? I have an annual target to develop six new food or drink products and drop our three worst sellers. This keeps the offering fresh and our growth steady.
What the sponsor said:
“Hiscox is delighted to congratulate Tim Crowley on his exceptional achievements and on winning this coveted award. Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, but being an SME leader in today’s tough markets demands courage, ingenuity and a level head in the face of risk.
“We’re proud to be the preferred insurance partner to over 200,000 businesses in the UK – and, as an IoD member, you can save five per cent over the life of your policy with Hiscox.”
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