Manager & leadership tips inspired by Eir CEO Carolan Lennon

Quite often we give career advice to those moving up the ranks. Those just entering a sector, or keen to upskill and move up a level in their career. This advice is warranted and needed, but leaders need advice too.

Many companies now run mentorship programmes where younger members of staff mentor more senior staff. Reverse mentoring can give a fresh perspective to experienced professionals. Events and keynotes are another great way to continuously learn – no matter what stage of your career you are at.

This week I attended the Dublin Chamber Leader Series with Carolan Lennon, CEO of Eir. Carolan is an inspirational and charismatic leader, one of her lines from Eir which struck a chord was – ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ I think plenty of us can relate to that sentiment!

Carolan has had an impressive career in Eir and managed through some challenging times, the biggest examinership in state history and last years buy out from a French telecom company. Now they are out the other side and are in year 1 of their 4-year transformation journey.

These are 6 takeaways I found memorable and insightful and hope you do too.

1. Collaborative style builds trust

To achieve a collective goal teams and companies need to get aligned and trust each other.

You can’t do anything significant on your own. Success really is all about teamwork and being surrounded by good people, success breaths success.

2. Put your hand up and take risks

This one is particularly relevant to women. Women are traditionally less likely to put themselves forward for positions or challenges. Next time you are presented with an opportunity say yes and say what you want, let people know your ambitions. Through risk-taking and opportunities, you will learn and grow and get to where you need to be in your career.

3. How you handle disappointments says a lot about you

Move forward stronger and tougher. For me, working in recruitment for the last fifteen years, I have learned so much. Most importantly my career in Cpl has taught me the value of resilience, self-motivation and empathy. Having a positive attitude is key. You need to believe in yourself and be yourself.

4. Have a coach and mentor – look for feedback

No matter how successful you are you should ask and listen to feedback. Ask people you admire or who have skills you would like to acquire. These can be both hard skills or soft skills, such as emotional resilience or strong communication skills.

It’s important also to remember, if you ask for feedback you must genuinely listen and take action. How you react to feedback and how you carry yourself is vital. Being self-aware and gaining that feedback will benefit you personally and your career.

5. Participate in CSR to grow in a different way and gain perspective

Life these days is a constant rush and full of pressures. We are trying to do everything perfectly and give 110%. Immersing yourself in CSR initiatives when you can is a great way to keep you grounded and gain perspective.

This is something we take very seriously in Cpl. Aside from giving back to very worthy causes, you feel good about yourself and it is a great morale boost for your teams. Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disability, EPIC, Junior Achievement, Junior Entrepreneur Programme and Jobnet partnership are just some of the examples of our work.

6. Have a strong professional network

I am fortunate to be surrounded by some extraordinary people in Cpl. Our CEO Anne Heraty amazes me with the passion and energy she brings to our business every day. My MD Lisa Holt is a super mentor to me and believes in me which has pushed me out of my comfort zone on more than a few occasions. This has ultimately resulted in great learning and development opportunities for me.

From day one, Libby Kelly our Director of Technology has guided me through my career and is a huge support to me. Our team of recruiters in Technology are a high performing collaborative team and we regularly seek out advice and support from each other.

Professional and personal networks really are key to success and your wellbeing. Having family and friends that you can confide in, look for advice and support and a different perspective on situations is so important.

Through all the ups and downs your career will inevitably throw at you always strive to achieve a good work-life balance. Keeping a balance will level you and make your successes more enjoyable and your failures more manageable.

Of course, this isn’t something that can be done every day but on a whole, if you have quality time with your family, friends, kids and you are passionate about your work, you are doing well. Don’t be too hard on yourself or something will give.

Janet heads up our PMO recruitment team in Cpl and is with us 15 years. If you’re interested in learning more about the PMO sector, are looking to hire or are looking for a new job opportunity, get in touch: janet.smullen@cpl.ie