What I’ve learnt: Kevin Carr

November 30, 2017

A chartered director and a chartered engineer, Kevin Carr began his career with Go North East as an electrical engineering apprentice and after working his way up the organisation, became its youngest general manager in 1992. Ten years later, Kevin was made managing director of the region’s largest bus operator, which boasts a fleet of nearly 700 vehicles and more than 2000 team members

Communicate, communicate, communicate. I learnt this early on in my career when I started in a managerial position with Go North East and I sat in on discussions with team members and trade union representatives, when sensitive issues like wages were being discussed. Communicating effectively and accurately with people – be them team members, customers or stakeholders – is vital for business success.

Share the good and the bad. I value transparency within the workplace and work closely with my senior management team, with no hidden agenda. By having an open-door policy everyone knows I’m approachable and that they can have an honest discussion with me. As time has passed, our business has become much more complex, so this has never been more important.

Lead by example. Show you are part of the team by putting your heart and soul into the business and treat people how you would like to be treated.

Be flexible and agile to your business and customers’ needs and don’t be afraid of change. 

Empower staff and ensure they feel trusted to do their job. People are your most important assets.

Learn from your mistakes. Acknowledge when something goes wrong and use that learning to inform your next step. Lots of successful businesses make mistakes – the key is to recognise what went wrong and learn from it.

Don’t rest on your laurels. Looking for new opportunities, diversification and continuous improvement are important for any company that doesn’t want to stagnate.

Take the time to analyse your organisation’s strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities and use that analysis to inform your business strategy. 

Be decisive and don’t over-labour decisions as things won’t get done. That’s particularly true in a large organisation like Go North East with a workforce of over 2000 team members and 180,000 people using our services daily.

Never stop learning. Take the time to listen and understand what other businesses are doing and use their best practice examples to influence your choices.

Enjoy what you do. So much time is spent at work so make sure you have a little bit of fun along the way.

Go North East

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