10QUESTIONS with Jane Cole
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.
Jane Cole is managing director of Blackpool Transport and has over 30 years’ experience working in the transport industry.
1. How do you like to start your working day?
Walking my three dogs – and having that first cup of coffee!
2. How has the pandemic changed your working life?
Working in transport, we kept the region moving throughout Covid, and since then have made the company more productive and agile. Transport users have naturally changed their travel patterns since the pandemic, so I have ensured that we remodel and plan our services to meet the new demand.
My working life is now spent more in the region, as previously I would travel extensively for face-to-face meetings. Having the blend of online meetings and being present when necessary has certainly given me more time to improve my work-life balance.
3. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
If you are offered a career opportunity you desperately want, seize it with both hands and learn the intricacies along the way.
4. Where and how do you come up with your best ideas?
When I am running, or in a thinking environment with my brilliant leadership team.
5. What does leadership mean to you?
It means leading beyond yourself through people. I always have my eye focused on the vision for the next thirty years. That means ensuring that the people around me are developed and encouraged to continually improve their ability to stay relevant and successful in their field.
6. Which current or historical business figure do you most admire and why?
Queen Elizabeth II. She had a deep sense of civic duty and demonstrated inter-faith emotional intelligence in a kind and positive manner. She was patron of more than 600 organisations and charities and it is estimated she raised over £1.4 billion during her reign. She was also a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and animal lover. I admire her ability to stay strong and committed to her role during some very turbulent times.
7. What is your most trusted source of news?
The grapevine! Although the information may not always be correct, it gives you the ability to sense check and do something before things escalate.
8. What is your favourite brand and why?
Lindor – I am a huge chocolate fan and it gives me the ability to indulge in my secret pleasure when nobody is watching (I never share!).
9. What’s the most recent new skill you have learnt?
Lying on an acupressure mat and meditating. It is so relaxing – once you get through the pain barrier.
10. We all use them… what management jargon phrase do you use the most?
‘What are the known knowns and what do you know to be true’ – we have just been completing the 2023/24 budget!