Change has been a constant in my life from the age of 13, when I announced that I was going to go to Law School, to 21, when I got my law degree and then promptly changed my mind to work in Technology. A gap year assignment at a motor company, implementing its first fully automated ordering system had me hooked on being part of a team that were starting something that had never been seen before. As much as the staff saw the benefits of such a system, they were still unsure of how they would make the change, and so as much as my work was testing the system worked, I also had to guide the staff through the change to make sure it not only worked but that they saw it did.
I joined a global bank on their technology graduate program soon after and had a crash course in a highly focussed selection process. As someone who had barely used a computer, I was put into a data centre, keeping critical, regulated systems working overnight. Mistakes could not be made - it could cost the bank hundreds of thousands of pounds in penalties, It made me learn what was important and what to do about it – fast. I found I loved technology, particularly in a fast-moving industry such as the financial sector.
I had to think for myself and to challenge the status quo if there was a better way. I have worked my way through organisations, from providing trade floor support and market data support, to leading a team of over 20 people in a service delivery team, and assisting the IT COO in making their processes more efficient. After a decade of learning organisations at every level, I have been COO for Emerging Markets Technology, coordinated the centralisations of the Business Management process for all of Investment Bank IT, and have been Chief of Staff for a Group Managing Director responsible for global testing services, Enterprise Architecture and the Group CTO function. Through involvement and leadership in the COO offices of major Investment Banks, I gained experience and exposure to every level of the organisation – and I still think that most of the truly valuable data is held in the lower half of the hierarchy far more than the top. The problems that shock the leadership hardly ever shock anyone else, because they have seen it slowly come to fruition and much of their frustration, disillusionment and disengagement comes from not feeling that they have a voice.
I enjoyed motivating my teams, and helping them reach their potential as individuals and so in 2004 I qualified as a coach and began my coaching practice. Since then I have combined working in large corporations managing multi million pound budgets, multi million pound change programs and supporting major operational and structural strategy changes, with a passion for empowering the individual and helping them understand their value and contribution to the organisation.
My approach to my career has been simple – I will go for whatever I want and wait for someone to stop me, to tell me I can’t do it.
Lee was able to work with senior leaders to develop and implement a wide ranging diversity and inclusion agenda, where she specifically focused on the multi generational challenges. Lee ensured that she provided thoughtful challenge when necessary, ready to be honest and open in order to get the correct level of engagement.
Lee has an ability to navigate complicated and geographically diverse organisations, identifying the
relevant information and critical players. She is direct, but not confrontational. Lee is able to work out what needs to be done to address problems, and has the persistence to see recommendations and remediation activities through to conclusion.
Lee has an eye for detail and good process. She delivers effective, sustainable processes which ensure high quality governance in large scale organisations.
It is with great pleasure that I write this testimonial for Lee.
I worked with Lee for over 4 years in different capacities within the IB Technology Chief of staff office at Barclays. She has been instrumental in shaping the careers of a number of members of staff and was very influential in my progress through 2 corporate grades over this period.
As a senior member in the organisation, Lee was quick to recognise my efforts across various initiatives and highlight my contribution to senior management to raise visibility. Her philosophy on career management was to treat it like a good business case that is refined over a period of time. She ensured through timely and periodic colleague feedback that my management took note of my achievements and constantly made them aware of my overall progress to help set the platform for an in role promotion.
Lee functions as all the different kinds of mentors - the star, the coach, the network, the librarian and finally the teammate. She is passionate about talent development and is a great asset to any team, client or firm. She combines extensive commercial experience and intelligence and operates as a trusted advisor at the highest level.
Lee was a fantastic career coach. Her support and guidance through my career transition were invaluable. I was particularly impressed with her ability to think outside the box helping me to explore a variety of approaches in my job search. Her "can do" attitude, compassion, understanding and support were just the right mix to keep me going and optimistic. I would recommend Lee highly to anyone looking for assistance managing their career options and will certainly be enlisting her support and guidance when its time for my next move.