typical-24
Human Resources

Typical 24: Simon Leech, Validis

 

26-10-2015-simon-leech-validis
  Name:
Simon Leech

  Job Title: CEO

  Company: Validis

  Location: London, UK

  Years’ Experience: 16 years

 

1.              What time do you reach the office each day?

It really depends on the day. Most of the time I’ll have an early meeting which means I’ll get into the office about 10:30. But if there are no meetings, I’m in by 9am.

2.              Is your job varied?

Absolutely, that’s why I enjoy it so much. While from a size perspective you might refer to Validis as an SME, we think like a larger company. This means I get to be both hands on with the team and with our clients, and also get to initiate some big and exciting projects.

3.              Is your job creative?

Not from a hands on perspective, but to have any kind of vision I think you have to be able to think both strategically and creatively.

4.              What do you spend the majority of your time doing?

I’d say most of my time is spent in meetings, both internal and external. A lot of our clients are large global corps so I spend a lot of time travelling and we’ve just opened an office in Austin so I’m over there quite a lot at the moment. It’s a great city so I don’t mind!

5.              Do you personalise your desk?

No, not in any way actually.

6.              Would you describe yourself as creative?

Probably not in the traditional sense of the word. But I like to get involved with any advertising and brand work we do and I always get a strong gut feeling when presented with any kind of creative proposal or work. Either it works or it doesn’t, and I know that instinctively.

7.              Do you have any quirky daily rituals?

Every morning I choose a pair of cufflinks according to my mood or how I want the day to go. My Father bought me my first pair when I was 18 and I’ve collected them ever since. I think I’ve got over 100 pairs now so sometimes the selection process takes a while…

8.              Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?

Always with colleagues. My job and the company as a whole is very collaborative. It has to be and that’s why it can also be really fun.

9.              How many hours on average do you work a day?

Too many. That’s what my wife would say anyway.

10.          Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?

I’m always on email! Infinite hours on email. More so since we opened the office in Austin as I need to make sure I’m available to speak to the guys over there. Calls and meetings are probably split 60/40.

11.          Do you use social media much for work?

No. I’m not even on LinkedIn. I’m told by my PR team I should be though…

12.          What do you enjoy most about your work?

Seeing the difference our software can make to a business and knowing all the hard work my team have put into making it happen.

13.          What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?

I don’t listen to any. If I did I’d start singing and then I’d lose a lot of staff I imagine.

14.          What do you do for lunch?

I’m often at briefings or with clients for lunch. Otherwise I’ll go and grab a sandwich from a really great Mediterranean café near our office in Waterloo. Failing that, as often happens, I don’t eat but luckily we have a snack table in the office so I’ll gorge on monkey nuts.

15.          Do you socialise with work colleagues?

Absolutely. We often have work gatherings and, sounds obvious, but it’s important to me that I know everyone and what is happening in their lives outside of work. Not just because I’m nosey but because it would be rubbish working with people every day and only knowing them on a professional level.

16.          Are there any tasks throughout your career you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?

Coding. I have whiz coders to do that for me now, much better than I ever could.

17.          What is your last task of your day?

I earth my phone so it’s ready for the next day.

18.          How do you like to relax after work?

I love boxing. A couple of hours with my trainer after work is the best way for me to unwind.

19.          Do you keep checking email throughout the evening?

Please refer to answer to question 10.

20.          Do you take work projects home with you?

I don’t take any actual work home, but I save problems in my head until I get home and try and tackle them there. The change in environment seems to help me figure things out.

21.          What would you say to your 20 year old self?

Absolutely nothing. The 20 year-old me wouldn’t listen so it would be a waste of time.

22.          If you could try out any job for a day, what would it be?

I’ve always been fascinated by Stonemasonry. I’d love to give it a go!

23.          What device did you use to answer these questions?

Laptop.

24.          Do you use your own personal device for work?

No, our business is in financial data which means we have to adhere to strict security guidelines.

Name: Simon Leech

Job Title: CEO

Company: Validis

Location: London, UK

Years’ Experience: 16 years

 

1.              What time do you reach the office each day?

It really depends on the day. Most of the time I’ll have an early meeting which means I’ll get into the office about 10:30. But if there are no meetings, I’m in by 9am.

2.              Is your job varied?

Absolutely, that’s why I enjoy it so much. While from a size perspective you might refer to Validis as an SME, we think like a larger company. This means I get to be both hands on with the team and with our clients, and also get to initiate some big and exciting projects.

3.              Is your job creative?

Not from a hands on perspective, but to have any kind of vision I think you have to be able to think both strategically and creatively.

4.              What do you spend the majority of your time doing?

I’d say most of my time is spent in meetings, both internal and external. A lot of our clients are large global corps so I spend a lot of time travelling and we’ve just opened an office in Austin so I’m over there quite a lot at the moment. It’s a great city so I don’t mind!

5.              Do you personalise your desk?

No, not in any way actually.

6.              Would you describe yourself as creative?

Probably not in the traditional sense of the word. But I like to get involved with any advertising and brand work we do and I always get a strong gut feeling when presented with any kind of creative proposal or work. Either it works or it doesn’t, and I know that instinctively.

7.              Do you have any quirky daily rituals?

Every morning I choose a pair of cufflinks according to my mood or how I want the day to go. My Father bought me my first pair when I was 18 and I’ve collected them ever since. I think I’ve got over 100 pairs now so sometimes the selection process takes a while…

8.              Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?

Always with colleagues. My job and the company as a whole is very collaborative. It has to be and that’s why it can also be really fun.

9.              How many hours on average do you work a day?

Too many. That’s what my wife would say anyway.

10.          Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?

I’m always on email! Infinite hours on email. More so since we opened the office in Austin as I need to make sure I’m available to speak to the guys over there. Calls and meetings are probably split 60/40.

11.          Do you use social media much for work?

No. I’m not even on LinkedIn. I’m told by my PR team I should be though…

12.          What do you enjoy most about your work?

Seeing the difference our software can make to a business and knowing all the hard work my team have put into making it happen.

13.          What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?

I don’t listen to any. If I did I’d start singing and then I’d lose a lot of staff I imagine.

14.          What do you do for lunch?

I’m often at briefings or with clients for lunch. Otherwise I’ll go and grab a sandwich from a really great Mediterranean café near our office in Waterloo. Failing that, as often happens, I don’t eat but luckily we have a snack table in the office so I’ll gorge on monkey nuts.

15.          Do you socialise with work colleagues?

Absolutely. We often have work gatherings and, sounds obvious, but it’s important to me that I know everyone and what is happening in their lives outside of work. Not just because I’m nosey but because it would be rubbish working with people every day and only knowing them on a professional level.

16.          Are there any tasks throughout your career you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?

Coding. I have whiz coders to do that for me now, much better than I ever could.

17.          What is your last task of your day?

I earth my phone so it’s ready for the next day.

18.          How do you like to relax after work?

I love boxing. A couple of hours with my trainer after work is the best way for me to unwind.

19.          Do you keep checking email throughout the evening?

Please refer to answer to question 10.

20.          Do you take work projects home with you?

I don’t take any actual work home, but I save problems in my head until I get home and try and tackle them there. The change in environment seems to help me figure things out.

21.          What would you say to your 20 year old self?

Absolutely nothing. The 20 year-old me wouldn’t listen so it would be a waste of time.

22.          If you could try out any job for a day, what would it be?

I’ve always been fascinated by Stonemasonry. I’d love to give it a go!

23.          What device did you use to answer these questions?

Laptop.

24.          Do you use your own personal device for work?

No, our business is in financial data which means we have to adhere to strict security guidelines.

PREVIOUS ARTICLE

« Meet Frank: A non-spam approach to customer relationships

NEXT ARTICLE

Emotion, graft and focus: Inside a tech IPO »
author_image
IDG Connect

IDG Connect tackles the tech stories that matter to you

  • Mail

Poll

Do you think your smartphone is making you a workaholic?