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!