David is a reliable, practical advice dispenser with a brain you can pick, who cuts through red tape (with a safety blade of course) while continuing his biggest passion as a wine cork collector.
He helps businesses simplify their risk management efforts and is a Health and Safety adviser who speaks technical-jargon in plain English.
He also works as a Chartered Health and Safety practitioner and knows that being Health and Safety compliant is extremely good for business, which means, adding value and productivity in the workplace.
He has 20+ Years focused technical risk management expertise from working within the Construction Industry and the built environment.
He was the Construction Health and Safety adviser for Channel 4 and their production of “Rome wasn’t built in a day” – CDM Adviser to NBC Universal for the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) ensuring the “Olympic Games” ran just like clockwork.
David, Welcome to the Leadership interview
How do you start your day?
I’m an early riser. I enjoy the silence with the sound of the morning chorus while I read the latest new feeds over coffee and fruit, I find this helps my mind unwind and stay focused before I start the day.
What was your first job and what is the worst job you have ever done?
My first real job was in Construction as an apprentice Carpenter and Joiner. I don’t think I’ve had a job that I would consider my worst as they have all been valuable in their own way.
What advice would you give to others about furthering their careers?
People make their own path in life they are accountable for their own success in whatever they chose to do. It’s one’s own responsibility to recognise the capabilities that can give you the edge in your career – the right way, no one will do that for you. In life it’s important to ensure that the cake is fully baked before you put the icing on. I live by this.
Who inspires you and why?
I’m inspired by any person who has a successful career that started from the ground up with nothing, by that I mean, anyone who had very little in early life, had no help but has a talent to reach their goals by following their passion and dedication towards their personal success.
Do you think a talent to lead is nature or nurture?
Both. To lead is a practical skill that needs feeding with industry knowledge, experience and dedication. Leadership is in peoples DNA something that can develop with the right mindset and personal traits for achievement.
How can a leader fail? Do you have a personal example?
A leader can fail if they step back and take their eye of the ball however, the key is to understanding how something could fail and manage it before things go wrong, this kind of attitude can help shape people as a leader.
I didn’t do that well at school – an 80’s education had its moments, so one could say that was my first and last fail point in my career.
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Think my greatest strength is having the ability to adapt to challenging situations and to put things into priority boxes, this combined with lateral thinking helps me to work smart.
My weakness is probably I juggle too many balls, all at the same time, but I’m yet to drop one.
What do you find most challenging about being a leader?
I think the most challenging parts of being a leader is trying to keep one step ahead of the curve, always thinking of innovative ways to improve situations in the workplace environment for colleagues and clients. There will always be urgent / important tasks. A challenge for a leader is to stay focused when they arise.
What are you most proud of?
To be honest, I’m proud of myself. My own career development and industry makes me tick. I love reading and digesting literature that I can share and help others, surprising really after leaving school with few exams.
What’s your biggest self-indulgence?
Buying a house in Spain and drinking Spanish Wine. I try and get over there as often as I can so I can relax and drink Rioja among all the other grape varieties.
Mind over Matter Consultancy works with world leaders in their fields running Extreme Corporate Away Days for high performers, as well as Executive Education and Team Development programmes.
These range from kidnap/hostage scenarios, Grand Prix, SAS, Tivoli roller coaster crash, dance and RNLI immersive experiences.
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