Where did your personal inspiration, entrepreneurial/leadership purpose come from – what shaped your views?
It started with family background; beliefs and values based on equality, fairness, keeping perspective and respect. A mother who instilled a belief (despite having been happily married now for 51 years!) that you only ever have yourself – you need to know, like and feel good about yourself to truly relate to others
My leadership purpose came from coupling a strong belief in the potential and inherent goodness in others with my talent for being good ‘all-rounder’ in business. It has helped me lead, inspire and motivate others in their relationships, talents and confidence, and also have empathy/understanding of others’ perspectives on challenges and different problems.
I have been really lucky to work with fantastic leaders and role models who have been passionate advocates, have also valued strong relationships (and been committed to me) and people who are willing to take risks in business and with people.
At Weight Watchers, I found a ‘home’ for ten years, in a number of roles where I am helping others make a tangible difference to others’; their health, lifestyle and prospects and fostering thousands of women (and men) whose lives have changed for the long term through their weight loss success, who now have the confidence to help others lose weight and are impacting the lives of millions through their local, daily efforts to inspire, coach and support our customers in their weight loss.
More recently, with experience, I have been able to appreciate how lucky and impactful I am and what a contribution I can make in leaving a leadership legacy I believe in; helping others play to their strengths by supporting and inspiring them to take risks, achieve a vision and create wealth and new opportunities.
What’s the purpose of your organisation?
Weight Watchers; a mission to help more people lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way by adopting long term healthy habits and making sustainable healthier lifestyle choices.
In the future, I don’t yet know what my new organisation looks like; but I know it will make a difference in helping a future generation achieve their potential
What have been your critical lessons learnt along your entrepreneurial journey?
- My career has mostly been in large corporates and I have learnt so much I can offer. However, I have met the truly talented and inspiring entrepreneurs I have come across in my career, with vision and courage, have been those who have often stepped out of the safety of a wealthier environment – I have learnt most in my start up experiences. Good people and good ideas really flourish when there is no safety net!
- I have not planned my career; doing what feels right and taking on challenges that I feel passionate about has served me well!
- Always, always, always be yourself.
What are the characteristics that in your experience entrepreneurs require now and in the future?
Firstly, a good idea/ concept that someone needs/ values! I am just starting to learn about the Soc Ent space; I am flawed by the ideas, values and passion people are bringing to market, all wanting to make a difference and give back.
Beyond that, a clear sense of purpose, for example the work Ogunte tribal network does in bringing structure and ‘end game’ to entrepreneurs and investors is, I believe, the future of business and opportunity growth
Courage, an ability to continuously learn, the support of a strong network.
Confidence and literacy with a new way of communicating and building an audience.
What would be your 5 top tips for purposeful entrepreneurs?
- Have a big, ambitious vision.
- Keep learning and evolving the idea; but don’t dilute!
- Be open to critical and supportive input; bothmove ideas and business forward.
- Trust in others to foster ‘your baby’; it will grow and develop into a healthy adult if it’s more socialised.
- Never underestimate (or overestimate) the value you bring.