After being made redundant in 2009, after 20 years of service in RBS, Andy Fell turned around his fortunes and has since enjoyed the best years of his life. Andy, who is a long-standing Impact client, believes that there is opportunity in everything and that sometimes you just have to look a little harder. Having now relocated to Australia where he is fulfilling a rewarding role as General Manager of Westpac Premium Bank, Andy shares his top tips for success in this short blog post.
By Andy Fell, GM Westpac Premium Bank
Clarity of purpose
Sir Isaac Newton once said “All I have is clarity.’’ True success in life originates from your purpose or your ‘why’. It excites, energises and inspires you to take consistent action. Having this clarity of purpose enables you to create goals centred on what really matters to you. The stronger your ‘why’ the more likely you are to overcome obstacles & setbacks and essentially keep moving forward towards the achievement of these goals. Write out and refine your goals, share them publicly (and as often as possible) and constantly revisit them. Clarity enables you to visualize more clearly and to see your ‘desired future state.’ Decide what you want, commit to it and then get going. You achieve nothing without action!
Notice your shadow
Leaders cast long shadows. Those shadows need to be positive, “can do” and (in most cases) customer driven. I believe we are role models for our business - we set the tone, the pace and the direction. With the right attitude anything is possible. A great leader can inspire others to take action and to strive to achieve new personal bests. Culture eats strategy for breakfast and lunch…so you need to set the direction, check understanding and then get out of the way. A vibrant, positive, successful culture is an empowering one. Be genuine and true to yourself.
Be a great coach
Be the wind beneath people’s wings and help them to soar to new heights. I was once taught that ‘the greatest gift you can give your people is your time.’ This matters. Work out the root cause of success and encourage people to use their strengths on a daily basis. Build confidence and self-belief by finding reasons to praise and celebrate and by catching people doing something right. Again personal bests create confidence as people are focused on their own continuous improvement.
Always keep learning
In this fast moving world we all need to stay relevant. Learning matters. Learn from the champions within your industry, your peers and colleagues and from the world’s best. Balance formal and informal learning. I regularly have ‘appointments with Mozart’ - which is my time for me. This gives me time to focus on my own development. Factor learning into your routines - I regularly listen to an audio download whilst on the Sydney ferry to work. As an aside, I start everyday by saying to myself “I have more than enough time” - this ensures I stay in my ideal performance state, I am relaxed but I also focus and prioritise around my goals, including my learning.
Invest in relationships
Relationships are the foundation of everything. My grandfather was an amazing man who taught me that you always do people a good turn. He started life working as a stable boy and then as a servant in a big country house. Service and relationships were ingrained within him. He treated everyone in the same way - gentle, kind and giving. He also passed on the old Indian proverb:
‘I had no shoes and complained, until I met a man with no feet.’ I try to follow my grandfather’s example. I wake up everyday and say ‘today will be a fantastic day’. I look for the good in everyone and the opportunity in everything. I have a choice and I am determined to make the most of it, each and everyday.