2015 Leadership for the Future Finalists

Wendy Hyett, Wales CRC with Rita Singh, The Wales We Want

Leadership for the Future sponsored by the Wales We Want

The shortlistclick on a name to read their personal “Leadership Story”

Paola Dyboski-Bryant – Bubbler in Chief, Dr Zigs Extraordinary Bubbles
Wendy Hyett – Women’s Pathfinder Project Manager, Wales Community Rehabilitation Company (winner)
Mike Thomas – Quality & Training Officer, Monwel Ltd


Paola Dyboski-Bryant

Bubbler in Chief, Dr Zigs Extraordinary Bubbles

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

I was born and brought up in Italy and started selling bracelets I made on the passeggiata from the age 6.  I’ve always worked for myself and always enjoyed a challenge and an adventure.  I’ve had an exciting and varied background as a sailor, a lighting technician, working in Marine Conservation and have been active on human rights and environmental issues.  All of this has come together to allow me to create a very unique and dynamic business totally underpinned by strong ethical and environmental values which have made Dr Zigs the wonderful business it is today.

What have been the main highlights and challenges since taking up your leadership role with Dr Zigs?

The highlights have been many – I suppose that filling Trafalgar Square with bubbles, travelling to India to take part in the world’s first International Bubble Carnival, and hearing that our toys had finally made it into one of the big refugee camps in Libya stand out most.  Challenges?  Lots! That’s what makes running this business so interesting and fun.  There is always a lot to learn, especially as we approach a period of more rapid growth.  The biggest challenges are probably balancing out parenthood whilst leading a team of 30 crew, but I love every minute.

What have been the most helpful things you have learnt from these highlights and challenges?

To keep going and to live up to our motto – ‘Changing the world one bubble at a time’

What do you think is the biggest issue facing leaders in Wales in 2015?

As a leader in North Wales I’m very much aware of the North South divide, we have little and difficult access to Cardiff, still the heart of Welsh economy and decision making.  Leading a business in a generation beginning to feel the effects of climate change demands a reactive and restorative leadership approach.

Which other leaders in Wales do you admire and why?

I admire many of the entrepreneurs that I meet, especially those who have created something from nothing in our beautiful but very rural economy here.  One person who has inspired me recently has been Peter Davies who has masterfully headed up The Wales We Want consultation for the Future Generations Bill.

What is one word that sums up leadership for you?

Vision

 


Wendy Hyett

Women’s Pathfinder Project Manager, Wales Community Rehabilitation Company

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

I knew Probation was the right job for me to make a difference and my early work in a multi agency team embedded my commitment to working collaboratively. My belief in the work we are doing is what I think makes me a good leader. After having my little girl I am particularly committed to the women’s agenda. Many of the women we work with have faced traumatic issues from a young age and I now appreciate the importance of giving people who haven’t yet had one the chance to live positive lives and am committed to leading this work.

What have been the main highlights and challenges since taking up your leadership role with Wales CRC?

The main highlights for me have been:

  • Working with such a wide range of committed and talented partners
  • Seeing the Pathfinder promotional DVD we put together with service user views – it was very powerful and gave me a renewed energy to lead the project

The main challenges have been:

  • Leading change in a time of great change to the landscape
  • Balancing partners enthusiasm to drive the project forward with ongoing commitment to ensuring everything we develop is mindful of being evidence based

What have been the most helpful things you have learnt from these highlights and challenges?

That the commitment is there from partners to do the right thing and driver forward positive practice in a challenging area of work and that with leadership and coordination of that commitment you can achieve important work even during challenging times.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing leaders in Wales in 2015?

The biggest challenge for leaders across the board I think it to step away from the safety of the status quo and really lead innovation and change which always comes with risk but is key to shifting the way we work in a way that makes a difference to people.

Which other leaders in Wales do you admire and why?

I admire our Chief Executive Liz Rijnenberg who I have worked closely with for many years on different projects. What I admire most is her unwavering commitment and compassion. She is a strong leader but still a very genuine person which is what I hope to achieve in the future.

What is one word that sums up leadership for you?

Inspirational

Wendy currently works within the Integrated Offender Management (IOM) Delivery Team which is a multi agency team, leading on the Women’s Pathfinder. Her role is to work with and on behalf of key partners including Prisons, Probation, Police, Welsh Government and the third sector in developing system wide approach to the way in which we work with women in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) in Wales. Some of the work she is leading at the moment includes the delivery of a whole system approach pilot in Cardiff, which includes a Diversion Scheme diverting women away from the CJS which is about to be launched in four new sites across Wales in 2015.


Mike Thomas

Quality & Training Officer, Monwel Ltd

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

Through my life experiences I have met much focused, driven individuals who have empowered me into positive thinking.

I am a strong communicator, I communicate with my team almost constantly.  People like to know what’s going on, and where they are.

My leadership style is democratic, I include one or more employees in the decision making process, I believe in ownership and empowering individuals.

The way I lead my team has a massive impact on team members’ spirit and state of mind. My behaviour as a production team leader will determine the behaviour of my people, and that will   impact positively on individual’s attitude to the customers and business.

What have been the main highlights and challenges since taking up your leadership role with Monwel?

Highlights – Creating a team spirit, heading projects that have included various team members, knowing our destination and achieving our goals through planning and organisation.

Elevating individuals thinking, into new modern manufacturing methods and techniques, challenging behaviours getting the best out of people.

Creating operational systems that allow us to produce products on-time-in-full to our customers, in a manner that is safe and to the high quality standard expected by our customers.

Challenges – Changing some individual attitudes to work, and the business, changing mind-set from a can’t-do negative approach to a positive can-do, creating confidence within individuals and higher self-esteem.

What have been the most helpful things you have learnt from these highlights and challenges?

Listen to others. Even though I am the team leader and I make the decisions, I will always ask people what their opinion is.

Take in others suggestions. When someone gives me an idea, I work on it with them.

Include everyone. I always try to include as many individuals as possible.

Encourage my team. You have to encourage your team mates and show them that the task is possible, even if difficult; Show them the positive results of their work.

Pay attention to morale. I set the positive spirit; I make the goals clear, and show how the job is feasible and possible.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing leaders in Wales in 2015?

Continuing to maintain cost competitive in business

Leaders must know what their business is good at, and follow up on this through applying the applicable approach to elevate their business and market share.

Low cost strategies are effective, where companies manage to produce a product or service at the lowest possible price point to stay competitive.

Which other leaders in Wales do you admire and why?

My biggest influence has been Leslie Barr Managing Director Monwel Ltd

She is a results driven, self-motivated and resourceful managing director with a proven ability to develop and strengthen management teams in order to maximise company profitability and efficiency.

Possessing excellent communication skills and able to establish sustainable and profitable relationships with customers, suppliers and stakeholders across the world.

What is one word that sums up leadership for you?

Direction

Mike’s responsibilities are all training within the business both internal and external ensuring all employees have an updated Personal Development Plan, also including Quality; Mike is responsible for the implementation, maintaining auditing and monitoring of our quality system.

Disclaimer: All details included in these leadership stories have been provided by the finalists themselves.  All information has been accepted in good faith.  Any references to individuals or circumstances have been relayed in the finalist’s own words and have not been verified by the Leading Wales Awards Directors or its Consortium.  Any views expressed are those of the individuals concerned and are not necessarily the views of the Leading Wales Awards Directors or Consortium members.


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