I joined Hanson Wade when I was 25, only 3 years into my career. At that point I had a choice between Hanson Wade, who were yet to run an event, and an established player with worldwide offices and a two decade plus history. I chose Hanson Wade because the idea of being part of something new was exciting. In the back of my mind I hoped there would be real opportunity from being part of an ambitious, growing company.
Nine years and a lot of history later that hope has turned into a career that has changed my life. That I was able to move from Marketing Manager to CEO in just 5 years, at only age 29, was down to the culture of the business. While I am proud of my track record, without the principals laid out by the founders there is no chance I would have been able to have the career I have had. For that reason safeguarding those principles as CEO is the reason I come to work.
I think three things really made the difference to me then, and to us as a business now.
First is a commitment to ambition and growth. Both personal and for the business. If we do a great job then our customers reward us with loyalty. That leads to growth and that leads to opportunities for everyone.
Second is a commitment to meritocracy. We believe that it is the quality of your ideas that matter, not your age, rank or background. We value experience, but it is only the quality of ideas and execution that matters. We work every day to create an environment of positive intellectual challenge so we robustly find the right solutions as we grow.
Third is a commitment to training and development. Fast growth and transparent culture must be allied with outstanding internal and external support for people to succeed. From our review process, to our career paths and our compensation schemes we are set up to help people progress their professional lives.
All three of those commitments are challenging to uphold and we work every day to push each as far as we can. By getting those right we create a unique culture. One in which each person, regardless of when they join us, can strive to reach their potential. It changed my life. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the careers built on the back of the hard work we do together.