January 6, 2022

Connect with… Nicola

Happy New Year everyone! Just before the festive break we welcomed a new member of the team – Nicola, our new Client & Marketing Executive.  So what better way to start the year than with one of our get-to-know-you interviews?

Hi Nicola! Let’s start with an easy one, what's your role at Connect Three and what do you do?

I am a Client & Marketing Executive. In a nutshell I’m here to help grow Connect Three through client relations, marketing and internal comms. My role will be very varied, and I expect I’ll be doing something different every week!

I have no doubt that will be true!  What was it about Connect Three that made you interested in joining the team?

I have always placed huge importance on authenticity and not bending my values. As a marketer, it’s my job to tell a story, educate and win people over. How would I sell something I don’t fully believe in?

The first time I met Colin and the team, I knew that my values were completely aligned with Connect Three and I was so excited to get involved. Connect Three’s B Corp status, business values and the team are all examples of how they’re putting their values into action.

That is so good to hear.  We’re so glad you joined!  Can I ask, what are you reading right now?

I am a HUGE Jodi Picoult fan, so I am actually between two of her books right now - The book of two ways & Wish you were here. I love the way she deals with really intense topics and always gives a few viewpoints.

Amazing, we love a book recommendation.  Next question - which business leader would you like to have a cup of tea with?

I would love to sit down with Whitney Wolfe Herd, the youngest self-made woman in history to become a billionaire! After founding dating app Tinder at 23, she was forced to leave the company after being a victim of sexual harassment. At 25, she founded Bumble – a company now worth over 14 billion dollars.

Good choice! Final question, if you could only give one piece of advice to people starting out on their career reading this, what would it be?

After being made redundant during the pandemic I really struggled to get back into the job market. I felt like I had been knocked back to the start and endless job applications with no-replies is really tough! Throughout my career I’ve learnt that knowing your own identity, values and purpose are the most important thing you can do. For me, this also meant I didn’t want to join a company that didn’t or wouldn’t meet them. After a long time of searching and waiting, I finally met Connect Three and it wasn’t just by chance.

I did a great mini exercise (thanks to Hannah Miller, the founder of Sidekick) when I was stuck and I would advise anybody just starting out, or confused about where to go next, to do it too by answering the following questions: Who am I? What are your passions? What do other people love in me? What frustrates me? What are my values? What do you want to be remembered for?

Love it – thanks Nicola, we’re so happy you joined the team!

December 2, 2021

Connect with…Gregor!

It’s that time again, another new face for me to introduce you to – everyone, say hello to Gregor!

Hi Gregor, welcome to the team. Tell us what your role is at Connect Three and what you do.

I’m the Learning Coordinator, my role is split between coordinating the learning projects, research and delivery of those projects and supporting business development.

Amazing! We’re so glad you’re here. I know you haven’t been with us long, but what has been your favourite moment in Connect Three so far?

Does finding out that our Chief Explorer was gluten-free like me count? It means there’s always snacks in the office, and beers at the parties that I can have!

Haha! I’ll let you have that one. I know like a lot of the team you are a big reader, so what are you reading right now?

Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking’ by Susan Cain. As a very extroverted person it’s interesting to hear more from an introverted perspective.

Lovely, I like a good book recommendation. Next up - which business leader would you like to have a cup of tea with?

Yvon Chouinard – founder of Patagonia: I think all businesses should be led with his mindset.

Oh, great choice! OK, finally, if you could only give one piece of advice to people starting out on their career reading this, what would it be?

Take time to decide who you want to be and where you want to go. If you’re willing to spend 2 hours planning a week-long holiday then, by the same ratio, you should spend 6 months of working hours planning your career. I got this from 80,000hours.org and it completely makes sense to me!

Thank you so much for your time today Gregor – I’m sure we’ll be hearing from you on the blog again soon!

October 19, 2021

Connect with…Ajeya

Our team is growing so time for another round of interviews! First on the (virtual) hot seat is Ajeya...

Hello Ajeya, and welcome to the team! Let's start with a nice easy one to warm us up - what's your role at Connect Three and what do you do?

I work as the Finance Assistant. My job includes invoicing, preparation of financial accounts, cash and liquidity management, planning, forecasting, and managing financials

What was it about Connect Three that made you interested in joining the team?

The environment that is performance oriented and at the same time welcoming and accommodating.

That's great to hear, let's get a little more personal - what are you reading right now?

I am currently reading 2 books simultaneously. The first one is called Barbarians At The Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, and the second one is called The Woman in the Window.

And the question I ask everyone - which business leader would you like to have a cup of tea with?

I would like to have a cup of tea with Mr. Peter Lynch who is considered one of the greatest money managers of all time. This is because one of my key areas of interest is investment management.

Love it - and finally, if you could only give one piece of advice to people starting out on their career reading this, what would it be?

The advice that I’d give is to be proactively involved in networking with people belonging to the industry of your interest since the early career stage.

Thanks for your time Ajeya, it's great to have you on the team!

January 20, 2021

Connect with Fiona…

New year, time for a new interview. Next on the (virtual) hot seat is Fiona...

Hi Fiona, so let's start with a nice easy one to warm us up - what's your role at Connect Three and what do you do?

I’m really pleased to be one of our Consultant team at Connect Three. I love the variety within my role where I work with our clients to help them to be at their best. This could mean for me designing, developing and delivering leadership development workshops or coaching individuals in one-to-one programmes. In my coaching, I have most recently worked with executives and also with leaders who are at a cross-road in their career.

Whether I’m delivering face-to-face or more recently virtual programmes, my focus is on increasing insight, growth and performance and helping bosses to be even better bosses!

Excellent - so you've been with us a while and I'm sure you have lots of stories to tell, so what has been your favourite moment in Connect Three so far?

I love the relationships that I build with my clients and seeing and experiencing their growth while working together. It is a real privilege to be able to work with such a wide range of people in this way.

When I think of our Connect Three team, I am blown away by the energy, insight and talent of my amazing colleagues! And I really appreciate their creativity, optimism and kindness too.

One of my favourite moments as part of the Connect Three team was when we supported Social Bite by raising money and taking part in the world’s biggest simultaneous sleepout to support homelessness. It was so inspiring to hear Josh Littlejohn (co-founder of Social Bite) speak about how Social Bite came to be and how, almost by accident, it stumbled across its purpose of supporting homelessness in such a hugely practical and impactful way.

Love it! Thank you for that, so what are you reading right now?

I find reading at the moment a great way of focusing attention and opening doors to enter another world, especially at this time.

I’m reading two very different books at the moment….one is ‘The Graveyard Book’ by Neil Gaiman, a classical coming-of-age children’s fantasy novel which focuses on the perennial themes of love and friendship. This is the first time I have read one of Neil Gaiman’s books and it’s a very welcome Christmas present.

The other book I’m also reading at the moment is ‘The Promise that changes everything: I won’t interrupt you’ by Nancy Kline. I’ve read a couple of Nancy Kline’s other books and was intrigued when I heard of her most recent book that explores how interrupting reduces us, and reduces our thinking, our decisions and our relationships. I am curious about the impact of agreeing these three simple things that Nancy suggests: begin to give attention, remain interested in where each other’s thinking will move to next, and take turns at sharing the ‘stage’ equally.

These ideas are potentially world changing, and apply to professional, personal and political relationships.

I am a huge fan of both of these authors, so I am loving these choices.  Back to business now, which leader would you like to have a cup of tea with?

It would have to be Marcus Rashford! Marcus is an extremely talented, elite footballer who is at the top of his game with Manchester United and who has improved the lives of millions of people with his campaigning on food poverty, child poverty and free school meals in the UK.

As someone who benefited from free school meals, his earlier struggles have clearly impacted on his purpose and drive to give back to the community that had helped him to get to where he is today. The gratitude to and admiration for his mother as his role model is so humbling. Marcus started reading at the age of 17, and has also launched a literacy campaign for children whose families can’t afford to buy books. He has a passion to protect our most vulnerable children.

Marcus has wisdom and maturity beyond his years. He is a role model to us all, and the tone with which he engages is with eloquence, respect and integrity. Marcus values diplomacy, collaboration and teamwork.

I would love to have a chat with him about his motivation and passion behind his campaigning. We are so fortunate to have a leader like him in our midst.

What a great choice. Finally, if you could only give one piece of advice to the leaders and future leaders reading this, what would it be?

There are many paths and everyone’s path is different. Compete against yourself. Yes, there will be setbacks as well as great achievements. Always focus on the bigger picture and long-term view.

Believe in yourself!

 

Amazing Fiona, thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us.  There's one last spot until we complete our 'Connect with...' series - so keep your eyes peeled for the final chapter!

December 10, 2020

Connect with Jill

Next up in our Connect with' interview series is...me!  Jill, the person who does all the interviews.  Time for a taste of my own medicine...

What's your role at Connect Three and what do you do?
I run all things Marketing at Connect Three and offer marketing and digital training for clients through the Digital Boost, Business Gateway and LESL programmes.  No two days look the same and the guys keep me on my toes with new things to promote or teach pretty regularly!

What has been your favourite moment in Connect Three so far?
There have been a lot of understated lovely moments which spring to mind - kind messages from other people in the team when I help them out, or people checking in when I'm having a rough week, or 'send to all' compliments when I do things they like.  I've worked in marketing agencies for nearly 20 years and I can count on one hand the number of companies I've seen where the people support each other 'out loud' the way that these guys do.  Everyone gets involved - they all genuinely care about the company, how it's promoted, and I never have to chase for content.  If I ask them all to do something strange (like pass a pen across a screen and film it...) they all volunteer and get on with it!

What are you reading right now?
I am a self-confessed bibliophile, in fact before I got an Audible account I used to read actual paperbacks while walking…it led to plenty of comedic falls.  I have a stack of books on the go at any one time, and you can usually find them scattered round my house (much to my husband’s “delight”).  Right now I’m reading Carrie Fisher’s Princess Diarist, Peter May’s The Noble Path and Seth Godin’s The Practice.

Which business leader would you like to have a cuppa with?
I don’t know if he counts as a business leader, but it has to be Jon Favreau.  He has written, directed, and produced some of the best movies and series of the last 2 decades and I would love to find out how his brain works – how he sells the original ideas he has, and how he balances all the roles he works in.  It would be difficult to ask him the hard hitting questions though, as I would more likely act like a complete fan girl than a journalist…

If you could only give one piece of advice to the leaders and future leaders reading this, what would it be?
Plan, plan and then plan some more.  If you know what you want to achieve and why, it’s a lot easier to get there, and to get others on board to help you.

November 19, 2020

Connect with Laura

With so much uncertainty, distance and disconnection in the world right now, what better time for another chapter in our 'Connection Series'? Each post in the series shines the spotlight on the work of a member of the Connect Three team, and hopefully gives you a little insight into what we do, and how we can help you.

This week in the hot seat is the regal Laura Royal!

Morning Laura! As always, lovely to speak to you. Let's kick off with an easy one: what's your role at Connect Three and what do you do?

I am an Associate Organisational Development Consultant, it's one of those titles that sounds very fancy pants and often people say, 'well that sounds great…but what is it you actually do?!' I'm a person who helps businesses bring out the best in their people through training, coaching and development programmes. I genuinely get to do a lot of really fun things with people at the heart of it all.

That is a great description! So what has been your favourite moment in Connect Three so far?

Oooh, that’s a toughie as there are a lot of moments to choose from. I’d have to say though that it was the opportunity to design and lead the Scottish Enterprise backed Managing People for Growth and Essential Leadership programmes. They are both fabulous programmes and I loved every minute of designing them and even more the delivery of them to the many people that have successfully completed these industry leading programmes so far.

It's a brilliant achievement, and an amazing thing to be part of. Right, on a less serious note - what three things would you take with you to a desert island?

The three things I would need on a desert island would be my gorgeous Cockapoo Tillie, she’s so adorable, I’d need my favourite Spotify playlist as I couldn’t live without music – I’m always singing. And lastly, I’d need a large supply of tea bags and a kettle as I drink at least 12 cups of tea a day, sometimes more. I’m like a chain smoker but with tea drinking.

That is a fair ol' habit you have! So, which business leader would you like to have a cup of tea with?

I’d love to have a cuppa with Jacinda Ardern…what a power house she is…compassionate, collaborative, savvy, inclusive, human, empathetic, strong…I have so much admiration for her and I’d love to have a good old blether with her.

She's definitely a favourite in the Connect Three team. I know you are a big reader, what are you reading right now?

I've just finished reading, for the second time, Atomic Habits by James Clear. I often find that I'm soooo good at the discipline of my bad habits that I like to map across the strategy and replace the bad habits with good ones instead. I thoroughly recommend the book. I'm just about to begin reading A Mindfulness Guide for the Frzzled by Ruby Wax – I absolutely adore her work bringing Neuroscience (which I am a student of) and life experience together in her uniquely witty and humour filled style. I'm even more so looking forward to this one as it's all about finding stillness in the middle of chaos and I think we can all agree that we're slap bang in the middle of that at the minute.

Absolutely! OK, final question, if you could only give one piece of advice to the leaders and future leaders reading this, what would it be?
Look after your people, even more than you do already…it's so important. Put your people at the heart of everything you do. And lastly take breaks and get outdoors…I think we've forgotten how to do that at the minute as we are consistently at our machines in our home offices. Oh and this time, last one…tell people you care, a simple heartfelt and genuine thanks goes a very long way.

Love it - thank you so much for taking the time out of your schedule for us Laura, and I'll see you at virtual happy hour on Friday!

Look out for our next Connect with interview coming soon...

September 28, 2020

Connect with Susan

Next up in our Connection series, is our resident 'people' person - HR specialist, Susan Earle.

  • Hi Susan! Let's start with the basics, what's your role at Connect Three and what do you do?

I am the resident HR specialist at Connect Three and I also support some of the L&D activity. My role is diverse which I love and can be challenging at times which also makes it super rewarding. I tend to do most of the transactional HR support work with our clients and I also get involved with developing and creating best fit people practices for their businesses.

  • What moment in your time at Connect Three makes you the most proud to think about?

This may sound a bit soppy but every time I get together with the Team at Connect Three, I feel extremely proud to be part of it. Unfortunately we have not had the chance to get together face to face over the past 6 months but even on our monthly catch ups and updates in between, I always feel inspired and really proud and privileged to work with such a fantastic group of like-minded but at the same time, diverse group of professional people.

  • Awww, that's so nice! Can I ask, what are you reading right now?

Engage! by Karin and Sergio Volo. This is a book that I picked up pre-lockdown but then put down due to the demands of working from home with 2 small children but I really wish I had kept it going as the ethos is even more important now than ever before. I have always been a champion of the power of employee engagement – no matter how big or small your business is and this book lays out a simplified road map to help create a business that not only your customers but your staff love.

  • Brilliant, thanks for the recommendation! Back to business, which leader would you like to have a cup of tea with?

She isn’t exactly a business leader but is certainly a leadership figure – Michelle Obama. I watched ‘Becoming’ again recently and I just love how she can capture such a diverse audience due to what I believe to be her sincerity, empathy and ability to build trust amongst people. She is a very charismatic figure who has worked hard and kept focussed but grounded over the years, even as First Lady. She also has a great sense of humour and tons of humility which I think are particularly important traits to have in a leadership role as it helps to balance yourself and cope with the daily challenges faced in business.

  • That's a great choice. OK, finally, if you could only give one piece of advice to the leaders and future leaders reading this, what would it be?

Look after your people and the rest will look after itself.

Love it - thank you Susan! It's been a pleasure getting to know you a little better. Look out for our next 'Connect with' interview in a few weeks time.

August 17, 2020

Connect with David

You can't miss his happy smiling face on Connect Three social media, and with such a huge range of leaders and future leaders trained and coached by him, a lot of you will already have spoken with David - but how well do you know him? Next up in our Connection series, is David Garrick

  • Good morning David - let's start with an easy one, what's your role at Connect Three and what do you do?

I'm an independent consultant and mostly get involved with Leadership and Management Development, Organisation Development and 1:1 coaching.

  • Great, thanks! So what has been your favourite moment in Connect Three so far?

There have honestly been loads, but I've been involved in developing a lot of fairly new Managers from diverse backgrounds and some of their stories of how they've applied what they've learned, may have caused my chest to puff up on occasion!

  • And so it should, I've read those testimonials! A little off track now, but what three things would you take with you on a desert island?

I feel like we’ve all had a taste of that recently and I STILL haven’t picked up a guitar (as I would have hoped), so 1) Some way of listening to music 2) A digital camera with loads of memory and solar battery thing 3) A telescope.

  • Oh, I like your thinking! Back to business, which leader would you like to have a cup of tea with?

It would need to be someone from the Hospitality industry I think – there's few places to hide as a leader if you're running a restaurant. Let's go for Thomasina Miers who founded the Wahaca chain (I love Mexican food!)

  • That's a great choice. OK, finally, if you could only give one piece of advice to the leaders and future leaders reading this, what would it be?

Seek to actively understand both your strengths and your weaknesses, then work with people who are different and will challenge your thinking.

Love it love it love it - thank you David! Always a pleasure getting to know you a little better. Look out for our next 'Connect with' interview in a few weeks time.

August 6, 2020

Connect with Shona

Next up in our 'Connection Series' is our Client Development Director Shona:

  • Let's start with an introduction, what's your role at Connect Three and what do you do?

I've been an associate for nearly 2 years and last year this evolved into being our Client Development Director. In plain Scottish this means that I have responsibility to create and develop our key client relationships, explore and develop our commercial partnerships and work in partnership with our Head of Development to create relevant products and solutions for our evolving clients’ needs. I still love getting stuck into coaching, delivery and facilitation with clients especially when there is the opportunity to use psychometrics, the most recent one being the Insights Discovery Profile which I became accredited in while we were in lockdown.

  • Wow, that's a lot of different responsibilities! Out of everything, what has been your favourite moment in Connect Three so far?

So far, I would choose designing and delivering a session on our Principally Women programme to help delegates create their personal vision board. Why this? It was an opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone, try something different and experiment with a story telling approach. I enjoyed demonstrating our values of be bold, be curious and be you…and the positive delegate feedback proved it paid off!

  • Amazing, so what are you reading right now?

Apart from when I’m on holiday I’m not the best at losing myself in books. When it comes to work related reading I tend to dip in and out of them and have a few on the go at any one time……currently there is The Science of Organisational Change, The Squiggly Career and Ikigai. I’m a bit of a magpie for articles and blogs that pop up through my LinkedIn network which spark my curiosity and only recently started to listen to podcasts… with so much out there I find recommendations from others a great starting point.

  • Well those are some great recommendations from you right there! So, who would be your dream person to coach?

My dream person to coach is anyone who has clarity about what they want to achieve from our coaching conversations, has the courage to show some vulnerability and is prepared to indulge my curiosity to create those lightbulb moments which cause them to take action. If I could choose my dream executive coach it would be Dawn Flockhart who introduced me to NLP and made sure every conversation helped me to discover a little bit more of the inner me. Sadly, Dawn is no longer with us and I often find myself reflecting on what she would ask me to change, do or learn.

  • And one last question for you Shona, if you could only give one piece of advice to the leaders and future leaders reading this, what would it be?

Follow your dreams, work hard and trust in yourself. Once I realised that true success comes from doing something that matters, playing to your strengths and surrounding yourself by equally amazing people then my leadership journey enabled me to achieve more than I had ever imagined possible…and continues to do so.

Brilliant, thank you! Look out for our next connection in a week or two 🙂

July 2, 2020

Connect with Craig

Next up in our 'Connection Series' is our finance wizard Craig MacMorran so let's find out who is the man behind the spreadsheets...

  • Let's start with an introduction, what's your role at Connect Three and what do you do?

Hi! I am the Finance Manager here at Connect Three, so my job is to make sure everything is finely tuned. Being an incredibly dynamic, fast growing organisation, it is important that we track and predict the internal and external environment for us to be able to make the most impactful investments and to be able to adapt and maintain efficient processes...I am also in charge of the music.

    1. Haha! Love it! Next up, what has been your favourite moment in Connect Three so far?

My favourite moment so far was our end of year meeting. During the year it can be really difficult to take the time to reflect on what we have achieved as we are all extremely busy and looking into what can we do next. It’s amazing to see what has changed since joining part time from university when my interview took place in what I can only describe as a construction site (What is now our lovely training room) up to this amazing team we have now.

      • Good choice it was a great day! Next question - what three things would you take with you on a desert island?

A good once a day Suntan lotion, a case of beer and a magic lamp for three more wishes.

      1. Always with the future planning Craig! So which business leader would you like to have a cup of tea with?

Sir Alex Ferguson (and not just because Barbs picked Klopp!). Being a long-suffering Manchester United fan, and after meeting the man himself twice, I decided to pick up his book ‘Leading’ a couple of years ago. After reading this book, I was amazed at the intricacy of his management style. It was clear that Sir Alex took great care and thought about anything he implemented and that he constantly took advice from others with his coaching style. One piece of advice that stuck came early in his career where his assistant manager at the time had told him that instead of running his training, he should sit back so that he can listen and observe.

‘It was the best thing I ever did. It didn't take away my control. My presence and ability to supervise were always there and what you can pick up by watching is incredibly valuable.’ Sir Alex Ferguson

After all, if the most decorated football manager in history says it’s the best thing he ever did, its maybe something we all should do from time to time.

        • Awesome. OK, last one - if you could only give one piece of advice to the leaders and future leaders reading this, what would it be?

If I could give one piece of advice to the leaders and future leaders reading this, it would be to challenge. Nothing is more disappointing when leaders accept the way things are done because that’s how they have always been done. The only way you grow and learn is to change the way you do things even if they do not lead you where you planned to be.

Fabulous Craig, thank you so much. Look out for our next 'Connect with' interview in a few weeks time.

CALL US
(+44) 0141 370 3339
EMAIL US
hello@connectthree.co.uk
FIND US
-
Glasgow, Hub & Training Academy
2nd Floor, Rogart Street Campus,
4 Rogart Street, Glasgow, G40 2AA
-
London, Scotland House, 58 Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0DS
FOLLOW US

Be the first to hear about our latest projects, career opportunities & what's been happening at Connect Three.