Meet the boss who wants to find lead­ers of the fu­ture

Guy Mun­noch is chair­man of the board at Leeds­based fi­nan­cial ser­vices provider, Hi­tachi Cap­i­tal UK

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS / NEWS -

A typ­i­cal day for me is dic­tated by the chronol­ogy of my week and the di­verse range of busi­nesses that I’m as­so­ci­ated with, mainly in a non-exec role.

Cur­rently, I hold se­nior roles on the board of four com­pa­nies, and per­son­ally run a fifth. Af­ter 21 years in the Bri­tish Army and an­other 21 in busi­ness, I have moved away from the day-to-day de­mands of chief ex­ec­u­tive roles to strate­gic, ad­vi­sory po­si­tions that tend to in­volve around 30 days a year in­volve­ment with each busi­ness.

Bal­anc­ing other roles is a good les­son for jug­gling com­pet­ing de­mands through­out the week.

To­day’s fo­cus is with Hi­tachi Cap­i­tal UK, a com­pany that is go­ing through a num­ber of ex­cit­ing changes.

We have just re­ported strong an­nual re­sults across our five di­vi­sions, and I’m buoyed by the com­pany’s growth in the 20 months since I joined. Hi­tachi Cap­i­tal UK has now shown nine years of con­sec­u­tive growth – a chal­lenge in it­self in such a test­ing and com­pet­i­tive sec­tor, and against a back­drop of general eco­nomic un­cer­tainty.

My role on the Hi­tachi Cap­i­tal UK board, to­gether with my board col­leagues, is to pro­vide strate­gic lead­er­ship, whilst en­sur­ing we have the ap­pro­pri­ate level of gov­er­nance and con­trol ar­range­ments in place to sup­port a grow­ing busi­ness like ours, op­er­at­ing in a highly reg­u­lated en­vi­ron­ment.

Ar­riv­ing at the com­pany of­fices, I have a packed agenda.

To­day, I’ll first be sit­ting down for a one-to-one catch up with Hi­tachi Cap­i­tal UK’s CEO, Robert Gor­don, be­fore re­ceiv­ing trad­ing up­dates and then set­ting the agenda for the forth­com­ing board meet­ing.

I’m a morn­ing per­son, so am keen to get started. A quick walk of the floor on ar­rival is an im­por­tant first step, to get to know peo­ple on a per­sonal level.

The role of the mod­ern chair­man is evolv­ing rapidly, and it is im­por­tant to know what is hap­pen­ing across the busi­ness.

The per­sonal touch is key for some­one in my po­si­tion, to bet­ter un­der­stand not just the lead­er­ship of the com­pa­nies I sup­port, but also the cul­ture of the busi­nesses from top to bottom. At Hi­tachi Cap­i­tal UK, we have an in­ter­est­ing cul­ture that is UK and Euro­pean­cen­tric, but also draws on the dy­namic of our Ja­panese par­ent com­pany.

It’s a very par­tic­u­lar way of do­ing things, an in­ter­est­ing bal­ance of pro­fes­sional and per­sonal; driven and re­spect­ful. Robert is a fig­ure­head for the com­pany and a real en­tre­pre­neur. This is a qual­ity I rate par­tic­u­larly highly, and I like to be­lieve that I bring a touch of that en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit to my role, too.

Robert and I have a mu­tual re­spect and our dis­cus­sions are al­ways open, for­ward think­ing and in­tel­lec­tual.

We start with some friendly up­dates and he’s al­ways keen to learn about my lat­est en­deav­our. Hav­ing al­ready com­pleted var­i­ous ul­tra-marathons, the lat­est last week­end in Bul­garia, my next per­sonal chal­lenge is to row across the At­lantic in aid of Blind Veter­ans, a char­ity pro­vid­ing in­cred­i­ble sup­port to ex-ser­vice­men and women. There are four of us and if our team, the An­cient Mariners, make it across the Pond, we’ll be the old­est team to do it by some con­sid­er­able dis­tance. It’s likely to be a tough two months but ris­ing to the chal­lenge and push­ing my­self out of my com­fort zone is the mantra by which I live.

With Robert, men­tor­ing and chal­leng­ing works both ways. We dis­cuss up­com­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for the com­pany, deal with some strate­gic de­ci­sions and I look to of­fer some of my own lead­er­ship ex­pe­ri­ence.

I know what a chal­leng­ing po­si­tion it can be. Although ev­ery­one has dif­fer­ent lead­er­ship styles, hav­ing a vi­sion and tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for ex­e­cut­ing it is hugely im­por­tant.

Next, it’s on to our ideas for the up­dated board rou­tine.

With Hi­tachi Cap­i­tal UK spread across seven lo­ca­tions, we have made the de­ci­sion to al­ter­nate the lo­ca­tion of board meet­ings to al­low for more ex­po­sure to the se­nior lead­er­ship across the var­i­ous dif­fer­ent busi­ness units.

Re­cently, we held a round ta­ble ses­sion with 40 of the top tal­ent within the com­pany and I hugely en­joy this part of my role.

This sort of ac­tiv­ity gives us fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­ni­ties to meet dif­fer­ent in­di­vid­u­als within teams.

It’s not just about vis­i­bil­ity, ex­po­sure works both ways and

I’m keen for us to know who the fu­ture lead­ers of our busi­ness are.

The per­sonal touch is key for some­one in my po­si­tion.

GUY MUN­NOCH:Chair­man of the board at Leeds-based Hi­tachi Cap­i­tal UK.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.