Eliot Lincoln, Managing Director, BDO Greenlight
What makes you spring out of bed in the morning?
I am a morning person, so don’t tend to have too many issues getting up. There’s always something that needs to be done and interesting things on the horizon, so the sooner you’re out of bed, the better.
What does your normal day look like?
Alarm at 6:10am, get running kit on. Wake up my two daughters, Jaimee (12) and Jessica (8) and organise breakfast with them.
Run to work, around 5.5km, get a shower at work. Usually behind my desk before 8am.
Usually I have a mountain of emails to wade through, but I try to get out to meet our clients and prospective clients most days. Either a business meeting over lunch or eat behind my desk. Meetings with my team at BDO Greenlight or with the Chamber of Commerce team, our membership or meetings with politicians or civil servants from the States of Jersey.
Get out of work usually around 7pm, run home (sometimes the long way, depends on energy levels), get kids to bed, read them each a few pages of Harry Potter, dinner, a bit of TV then bed around 10pm.
How did you get to where you are today?
Hard work and effort. Doing what I can to be a fair and conscientious person. Learning from mistakes.
What couldn’t you live your life without?
My family and my running. I also like to unwind by playing Xbox occasionally when my time allows!
Which outsiders (professional services, investors, mentors, family etc.) have been most important to the success of your business?
There have been so many individuals that I have learned from along my way.
In terms of business mentors, I have learned a lot from authors such as John Kotter, Simon Sinek, Keith Ferazzi, Stephen Covey – I am a voracious reader – though I listen to many of my books whilst I’m moving between meetings or running.
Locally there have been lots of people I have learned from during my time in Jersey. Gary Bowles, Peter Funk, Wendy Lambert, Andrew Wicks, Matthew Robins, Kristina Le Feuvre, Nigel Le Quesne, Wendy Holley, Matthew Corbin, Richard Rolfe, Graeme Smith to name but a few – Everyone has their own style and it’s fascinating to see how those people who are successful in their field get things done. I have my own style, but I’m open to learning new ways to be effective.
Running a professional services firm is not easy. We solve our clients’ problems and generally we are faced with significant and challenging issues to deal with. To think that a single approach or process will work in all cases is simply foolish. I like to imagine solutions to problems like a toolbox with lots of tools to use. Not every tool can do every job and the skill is in choosing the right tool at the right time to achieve the result you need. This is what I instil in my team and why we place such a high value on personal interaction and training.
But most of all, business success comes from the people you engage to work with you. The success of BDO Greenlight is due to the hard work, dedication and effort of those that work with and around me. We are on a journey together and we have a shared passion for excellence.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Dealing with people within a business that have a different set of priorities to you can be difficult. At the end of the day, a commercial business is there to make money and deliver profit to its shareholders. But there is a good way to do business and a bad way. Doing business with long term vision and objectives makes you do things differently than with short term drive for the bottom line. Building a business in a jurisdiction like ours must be done carefully and consciously as the business community is small and has a long memory.
What advice would you give to your younger self before embarking on your business journey?
I think it’s about staying true to your fundamental beliefs. Business has got to be profitable, but it’s also important to have fun doing it. Build and nurture relationships with good people and spend a little time as possible with those that do not align to the way you want to do business.
Twitter: Eliot Lincoln