What I’ve learnt: Hugh Welch

September 11, 2017

Hugh Welch is a senior partner at Muckle LLP, having joined the firm as an assistant solicitor in 1985

Primarily a corporate lawyer, he is also involved in promoting the firm and setting its business strategy.

A keen marathon and ultra-runner, Hugh has participated in races around the world. Earlier this year he completed Table Mountain and Chapman’s Peak in Cape Town. Hugh also has responsibility for the development of the corporate social responsibility work of the firm and helped to establish Muckle Runners

‘Success is a journey not a destination.’ I like motivational quotes and this one always appeal to me. My Christian faith is also at the heart of everything I do and I hope it guides my thinking and my decision making.

You don’t need to be ruthless to succeed in business but you do need to be clear about your objectives and pursue them. I see businesses that are run by people with a huge variety of skills and qualities but the things they all possess are focus and determination.

Recognise that it’s a team effort. The success of Muckle is not down to me or the other partners. Yes, we set the strategy and vision but at the end of the day our success is attributable to everyone in the firm and the hard work, commitment and energy that they bring to looking after our clients.

Don’t duck difficult decisions. Problems never go away if you don’t tackle them. They simply fester and gradually get worse. Occasionally, decisions at Muckle have to be taken that may seem harsh to some individuals but need to be taken for the benefit of the

firm as a whole. They are the hardest decisions to make but nothing is gained by avoiding them.

Don’t be put off when things go wrong or be disappointed by those things that don’t work out. Starting a business is always challenging because of the lack of financial security and the pressure of not knowing what’s round the corner. Stay determined.

A growing business needs direction. It is often easy to think that there may be better work to be won elsewhere but easy wins are very rare and too much diversification can be counterproductive.

Leadership is often nothing more than setting a good example and giving people the freedom to do their jobs to the best of their ability. I firmly believe that the vast majority of people come to work wanting to contribute fully and to do a great job. It is up to us as partners at Muckle to allow that to develop.

Create a good environment for employees. Being open and honest and making sure that everyone knows that their contributions are valued and appreciated.

Offering fitness activities for staff will ultimately help your business. I work better when I’m running and feel fit and healthy. The development of Muckle Runners has been a huge success for the firm. It enables people from across the firm to take part in a joint activity. That breaks down barriers and keeps us all fit. Anything outside work which a group of people can enjoy together can only benefit the overall team spirit.

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