What is your current role within the company?
As the current CEO for Lifelink, a social enterprise and charity in the third sector, it’s my responsibility to lead and inspire the team to continually strive to be the best that we can be, to encourage staff to reach their potential, embrace change and look at new way of delivering services that challenge the norm. I hold a role that is heavily involved in strategic/business and financial planning activities to support the growth, development and sustainability of the organisation.
What is your background prior to working for this company/setting up your company?
I’ve worked in a social enterprise and charity environment for almost 20 years, a sector that I absolutely love. Prior to taking up my first CEO role at Lifelink, I’ve held senior management roles in a number of national and local organisations in Scotland, including Carers Scotland and Routes to Work South. I also have extensive private sector experience, including that of National Training Manager (UK) for a leading innovator in the UK heating industry.
Previous roles also include a UK wide role in the private sector where I led and developed the expansion of the training enterprise throughout the UK.
A fellow member of the Chartered Management Institute, I have a passion and thirst for learning and CPD and achieved an MBA in 2002 at Glasgow Caledonian University. I’m committed to personal development and over recent years have attended a wide range of management and leadership development programmes. Most recently, I complete and achieved an NLP Practitioners certificate and have just embarked on a Diploma in Coaching and Mentoring.
Like others, a lot of what I do and how I think has been shaped by my family and life experiences. Many who know me say I’m also defined by my passion for making a difference and thirst for learning and development, I’m also known for loving a challenge! I think I have the best job in the world.
What makes your company and/or your role stand out?
People (our staff, partners, stakeholders and clients) are at the heart of all that we do and we strive to be recognised as a business that is: Professional, Inclusive, Supportive, Innovative and acts with Integrity.
We empower people to ‘do more’. This doesn’t mean that we need to do more things, but that the work we do empowers people to do more of what they care about – get stuff done, have fun, communicate and accomplish great things. Many companies aspire to change the world. We here at Lifelink aspire to change people’s lives which supports our Vision that people are healthier and happier wherever they live, work or learn.
We believe the route to a successful business starts with investment in people and their wellbeing. We aim to foster a workplace that is functional, flexible to people’s needs and a place which fosters a collective spirit through a sense of community. We are passionate about developing our people as far as they want to go and we see this as a critical part of our strategy to keep our people at the heart of what we do.
What is your area of expertise / inspiration?
Key areas of expertise definitely lie in business development/business growth and change management.
On the softer people side of things through coaching and mentoring, I love helping people find their passion and purpose, helping them find what truly makes them happy, to be the very best that they can be and to achieve their dreams whatever they may be.
I have been inspired through my working career by strong role models who over the years took the time to nurture, coach, support and at times, pushed me out of my comfort zone. For that, I will always be eternally grateful as it those role models who have helped shape me to become the CEO and leader I am today
What are your plans for the future?
We have a dream of delivering a school based counselling service in every secondary school in Scotland. In the meantime, we are working on growth and expansion plans into other Health Board and Local Authority areas to lead leading Lifelink through the next exciting phase of its growth. We are embracing the opportunities that digital bring us to enhance our services, to reach more people in need and ultimately, design and deliver innovative services that help people to be healthier and happier wherever they live, work or learn.
What inspires or motivates you?
I’m at my most motivated when faced with unforeseen or even expected challenges and overcoming them, finding a solution that best fits the situation or task in hand. I see a good challenge as an opportunity!
Working in an environment that makes a real difference to people’s lives gets me up and out of bed in the morning. I’ve always loved the jobs I’ve held, been really passionate about the ‘cause’ wither that be carers, unemployment, mental health and if I’m honest it hasn’t felt like work at all.