December 11, 2020

Making Things Work: Sitting Down With Ian Gillespie

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Ian Gillespie is a CEO in the healthcare sector and a motivational force.


In a podcast he participated in for BML, Ian discusses how to activate businesses so that they can innovate and succeed within their market.


When speaking to Ian you get a sense of confidence without the cockiness, for someone with so many accolades, it is a refreshing start to our conversation.


When discussing his thoughts and views about steering businesses onto a successful path, the one thing that is clear throughout is three things: IQ, EQ, AQ.


IQ: Intelligence Quotient

EQ: Emotional Intelligence

AQ: Adversity Quotient or Resilience


Ian believes to be successful in any business, in any field you need to have all three. 


It is a balance really, of brains, pencil skills, crunching numbers and most of all being in touch with the people you work with and who work for you.


Being able to adapt to different people and their needs helps to fundamentally drive a business forward. It is ok to have some emotion in business to some degree.


You must also be aware of what people are looking for to get a sense of what they are about. 


Read body language and most importantly be ready to modify, this is what separates a strong leader from the pack.    


Ian spoke of his very early years of university where he himself was able to pick the uni of his choice, based on the fact that he had outstanding marks and qualifications.


While attending Manchester U, he learned very quickly that he may be smart but there were others who may be just a bit more knowledgeable and quick to boot. 


After a rude awakening, this changed his perspective and he realised he may have had a little imposter syndrome.  


Ian had learned that while it is important to be self-confident, it is equally important to be self-aware. 


This lesson moulded him as a person and he uses this type of thinking in whichever business he has been involved in since.


While speaking to Ian about other lessons he has carried with him in his career, Ian spoke about learning from others.


Be it another CEO or executive, absorb their words and wisdom, learn from their mistakes as well as your own. 


As a business leader you need to get out and meet people, from all aspects of your field to better understand the business thoroughly. 


Essentially by putting yourself out there and taking the time to meet and talk to people you learn from different experiences, this will help you grow as a leader. 


Ian also firmly believes that to be a good leader, you cannot be afraid of failure and trying

new things.


Whether it be a new strategy, tactic or takeover, trying new things in business and life sets you up to learn and grow. 


Ian discussed how many leaders worry about numbers and not much else. 


Yes numbers, analytics and dollar signs are extremely important, they are not the end all be all. 


Ian views these as a direction and guide, it is not everything in business to him.


It is about knowing all the parts of a business, people, and leading by example.


Towards the end of our conversation Ian gave some words of wisdom, he said, to do what you love or at least like.


Working in the health sector for years now Ian says, yes it is about money for some more than others, but it is more importantly about people. 


Helping people is the biggest reward at the end of the day.


Someone once asked Ian ‘why are so happy to go to work everyday’  


Ian answered, ‘Well cause I love it’


So as our conversation ends and you let the words sink in, you get the gist


  • Push yourself 
  • Do not be afraid to fail
  • Lead by example


Sounds like a considerable approach to success in any business.