A couple of months in I had the chance to impress who I call the ‘global gods’ – the senior figures in the parent company.
You may remember, I made the quarterly management meeting a monthly affair. I also managed to rebrand it as a ‘leadership meeting’.
Word came down that the ‘global gods’ would like to come along to the next gathering. They said they just wanted to observe, make it a fly-on-the-wall visit, but of course, once they were in the room it turned into a full business review lasting 12 hours.
The company chairman, who had been in the business a whole year, wanted an update on how we were performing. Bear in mind that the last time they’d taken the temperature like this was six months before I started. In fact, it was one of the reasons they hired me in the first place.
I was very conscious that I wanted to deliver a lot of essential information and insight. I burned the midnight oil for a week in advance, and it was cobbled together with elastic band and a piece of string – but it went really well.
I felt there was a breakthrough moment with the global CFO. He said to me after the meeting: “I really appreciate your support and effort to make this place work properly from a finance point of view.” This really resonated with me.