One-On-One: Shelley Cox
One on One with Shelly Cox
This week’s blog and others coming will give an insight on some people that I have either provided services to or worked alongside. We will get an insight into their thinking during COVID-19, but also some information on leadership traits and some ‘lessons learnt’.
This week’s guest is Shelley Cox. I first came across Shelley when she ran the Strategy Practice at Davanti and I was supplying talent to her and the wider Davanti team.
Since then Shelley has held senior roles with AMP where she was the Head of Customer Retention and Head of Adviser Distribution & Distribution Strategy. Currently Shelley is with a Rocketship business called Montoux as their Chief Customer Officer where she has moved to the UK. Montoux has a unique decision science platform for life insurers and is having massive growth.
What was your first job after school / university, and did you love it or loath it (feel free to elaborate on why you loved or loathed it)?
Business Analyst at Counties Power. I wouldn't say I loved it but it was a great start in terms of establishing strong career foundations - commercial acumen, stakeholder management, running projects, solving business problems, communication etc. This role was a springboard for my second job where I was a Business Analyst for Peace Software which gave me the opportunity to live and work in North America - a dream job for someone in their early 20's!
From what you’ve observed what traits have your best managers had? The leaders (and yes my choice of the word leadership over management is deliberate) who have had the greatest impact on my career have had the following traits:
They believe in me
They provide constructive challenge
They have my back
They provide autonomy with support when I need it
They are committed to my growth and success
These are traits I try to emulate and bring into my own leadership practices. Leadership is a privilege not a right and as leaders we must take this responsibility seriously as we have a significant impact on the lives of those we lead.
What are the top two “lessons learnt” from your work life? I actually have 3.......
It's ok to make mistakes provided you take accountability and learn from the experience - growth involves making mistakes, if you're not making mistakes you're probably not growing.
Slow down to speed up. This is the ability to pause, refocus, reframe and ultimately move forward with more intention and pace. In the 21st century we can often be overwhelmed with doing lots of "stuff" - the most effective people are very good at identifying what matters most and being deliberate with how they use their energy (which is a finite resource!).
Make time to rest, relax and recharge. It is impossible (and no one is an exception) to sprint 100% of the time - without rest, burnout is inevitable. We must be deliberate in making the time to rest, relax and recharge as part of our daily (i.e. micro breaks), weekly (e.g. yoga class, massage, social time) and longer term (i.e. holidays, retreats, sabbaticals) routines.
The question that threw you most during one of your job interviews? Shock admission - I've never had a formal job interview as every role I've held has been through referrals or my network..........
What’s been your mantra or approach to deal with the year ‘2020’ given the impact COVID-19 has had?
I find myself constantly referring back to the following quote:
"Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible."
Thanks to Shelley for the time and great answers! You can connect with Shelley on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shelley-cox-7154837/