Never be afraid to ask for help; no one expects you to be the finished article and people make mistakes. This advice came from my first manager at Abbey National and I have carried it through to today.
Always be honest with people, whether they are people you work with or your clients. It may not always be what they want to hear but in the long run can be very beneficial to your relationship. I think this comes with maturity – the 18-year-old me would never have spoken up if something wasn’t right or just.
Sometimes you get so engrossed with the day-to-day running of your business you don’t see what is coming down the line. Surround yourself with people you trust and whose opinion you value. Being the one in charge can be lonely at times.
Learn from your mistakes – don’t repeat them.
Share your experience with others. Some of the best conversations I have had are with successful business people who are willing to tell you how they got to where they are – warts and all. It is not all plain sailing in business and sometimes just hearing from those who have succeeded is inspirational to those going through the journey now.
The North East business community is really collaborative and we should be proud to work within it. There are some great people out there who are willing to spend time with you talking through issues and getting you to think of things you may not have thought of.
Let people know that you have their back and that you trust them to do a really good job for you. Also give them time out of work to do the things that make it a little bit fun. Santander really encourages staff to go out into the community and help, whether it is spending time in schools speaking to the children or digging a garden for a charity. It is amazing how doing something different for the day really bonds the team.