10QUESTIONS with Babs Murphy
Our 10QUESTIONS feature asks members of the Freshfield community ten questions about their working life. Featuring client partners, colleagues and FF friends, our guests share some personal stories, views and fresh words of wisdom.
Babs Murphy is the CEO of North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, with over 40 years’ experience in developing and implementing strategic plans and leading a team.
1. How do you like to start your working day?
By taking a few minutes to create a to-do list, prioritise the top three tasks in order of importance. This simple practice helps me clear my mind and establish a focused mindset for the day ahead.
By writing down my tasks, I am able to visually see what needs to be accomplished and it gives me a sense of purpose and direction. Additionally, being able to cross off completed tasks from my list provides a great sense of satisfaction and motivates me to keep progressing.
2. How has the pandemic changed your working life?
It has not significantly changed my routine or productivity I have always advocated agile working and utilise the best in technology.
While the pandemic certainly presented challenges, we were to maximise productivity and maintain a consistent work routine, while testing our working infrastructure.
3. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Consider whether a purchase is an investment or simply a cost. This perspective has greatly influenced my decision-making process when it comes to finances and purchases.
By evaluating whether something will provide long-term value and be beneficial for my personal or professional growth, I am able to make informed choices.
If I perceive something as just a cost that does not bring any substantial return, it is better to forego the purchase and allocate resources toward more meaningful investments.
4. Where and how do you come up with your best ideas?
My best ideas often come to me during quiet moments. Sometimes in the middle of the night. I find that my mind is less cluttered with distractions and I can delve deeper into my thoughts.
With fewer interruptions, I am able to fully focus on brainstorming and developing innovative ideas. The peacefulness of the night allows me to explore different perspectives and consider various possibilities.
It is during these moments of solitude that true creativity flourishes.
5. What does leadership mean to you?
For me, leadership is much more than just fulfilling management duties. It encompasses a distinct set of qualities that inspire and motivate others towards a common goal.
While managers primarily focus on resource management and organisational tasks, true leadership requires a deeper level of influence. It involves the ability to connect with individuals on a personal level, foster trust and cooperation, and ignite a sense of purpose within the team.
Effective leaders possess the skills to rally people together, encouraging them to believe in and work tirelessly towards achieving a shared objective.
6. Which current or historical business figure do you most admire and why?
There are many but Elon Musk stands out as someone I greatly respect. Throughout his successful career, he has consistently defied sceptics and naysayers.
His relentless determination and unwavering commitment to his goals have allowed him to push boundaries and make ground-breaking advancements in industries such as electric vehicles and space exploration.
Musk’s actions speak volumes about his ability to deliver results and his unyielding pursuit of progress and innovation. He serves as a true inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders.
7. What is your most trusted source of news?
My go-to source is the British Chambers of Commerce. They provide direct access to essential information and offer valuable insights that go beyond basic media headlines.
Their recommendations and analysis are based on extensive research and consultations with industry experts, ensuring that I receive accurate and up-to-date information relevant to the business world.
I highly value their expertise and consider them as a dependable resource for staying informed and making informed decisions.
8. What is your favourite brand and why?
It has always been Prada. I am drawn to their products due to the exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail in each design. The brand consistently manages to strike a perfect balance between timeless elegance and contemporary flair.
Whether it is clothing, footwear, or accessories, Prada always exudes a sense of sophistication and originality. Their products not only make a fashion statement but also embody a sense of luxury and exclusivity.
9. What’s the most recent new skill you have learnt?
Over the past 12 months, I have gained a deeper understanding of how technology advancements can significantly benefit businesses.
This encompasses redefining traditional business models, optimising operational processes, and enhancing customer engagement through digital platforms.
By embracing these technological advancements and leveraging their potential, businesses can stay ahead of their competition and deliver better experiences to their customers.
This skill has allowed me to become more adaptive and versatile in navigating the evolving business landscape.
10. We all use them… what management jargon phrase do you use the most?
‘Let’s hit the ground running’. This expression conveys the sense of urgency and proactive mindset that I strive to instill within my team.
It encapsulates the idea of starting a project or initiative with full force and taking immediate action to achieve desired outcomes.
It emphasises the importance of being proactive and taking initiative instead of waiting for things to happen passively. This phrase serves as a motivational reminder to tackle challenges head-on and strive for excellence from the very beginning.