10QUESTIONS

10QUESTIONS with Laura Parkinson

Danny Green

Published by Danny Green,
PR and Communications Manager at Freshfield

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.

Laura Parkinson, director at Ogee Consulting, has over 20 years experience working with organisations at a strategic level to deliver a combination of business strategy and development activity.

1. How do you like to start your working day?

I like to start my working day by spending a bit of quality time with my daughter before I drop her off at school, after which I make a very large cup of tea, sit down at my desk and start work.

2. How has the pandemic changed your working life?

The pandemic changed my working life for the better, in many ways.

The main benefit I have seen is being able to work from home more, unsurprisingly; and therefore being able to balance the juggling act that is bringing up a 10 year old single-handed and running my own consultancy business.

It also changed my working life in that, during the rebuilding of my business after the first lockdown, I made myself a promise that I would only work with clients I like who treat me well.

And that is something I did successfully and have been able to maintain. I am very lucky to have such a great bunch of clients and an array of good and varied work to do for them.

3. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“Surround yourself with those who lift you higher”.

This is my mantra in life and I try to live up to it both at work and home. Hence only working with clients I like who treat me well.

4. Where and how do you come up with your best ideas?

I am fortunate enough to live in the Delamere Forest and my best ideas are always conceived when I am out amongst the trees, walking in nature, with the sky and the birds and plenty of head space.

5. What does leadership mean to you?

For me leadership is all about building a tribe, inspiring and empowering others, staying focused on strategy and the long-term objectives and striving to do your best by your team and your clients or customers.

6. Which current or historical business figure do you most admire and why?

This is a tricky question, there are so many! I am particularly inspired by all the strong women both current and historical, many of whom have inspired me on my journey through life and business.

But if I have to pick one person it probably has to be Simon Sinek, I am a huge fan. His work has inspired much of the leadership and management training I deliver and I frequently use him as a source of reference.

What I love most about him is his ability to distill complex and ground-breaking theories into something that everybody can understand. I love his positivity too.

7. What is your most trusted source of news?

I have to say, I am not a great consumer of the various news media that are out there. But I would say my most trusted source of news is the clients that I work with.

They enable me to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s going on out there, know exactly what their business needs and help them to strategise accordingly.

I love hearing day to day insights from people at the coalface.

8. What is your favourite brand and why?

Gosh, this is a difficult question to answer! I am the original shopaholic and since branding is an area of specialism for me, I like to get into the detail when I am looking at a brand.

Picking my favourite brand is a bit like asking me to pick my favourite child. Admittedly I only have one child, but you get the point.

I have so many brands that I think of as being my favourites. St Bert’s is my favourite clothing brand, Hotel Chocolat is my favourite chocolate brand, Marks & Spencer’s is my favourite food brand, my favourite car brand has to be Porsche, Teapigs take the title for tea brand.

If I can pick only one brand though, it has to be Apple, building a tribe is something they do better than anyone else, innovation, creativity and evolution at it’s finest plus their products keep the wheels turning on my life which has to move at 100mph all the time.

I also love brands that are based in the UK and produce quality products that I can rely on, reliability is absolutely at the heart of all good brands and something that puts a smile on my face!

9. What’s the most recent new skill you have learnt?

There are probably other skills I’ve learned more recently but the biggest new skill that I have learned over the last couple of years is paddle boarding. It’s my happy place, it’s where I go to reset. It gives me great thinking time.

I love being in nature, I love being in water and I love the feeling of empowerment as you sail across beautiful waters. Plus I’m a lot fitter than I used to be!

10. We all use them… what management jargon phrase do you use the most?

I think I probably use “touch base” the most, having spent a large part of my career in very large corporate environments, management jargon is inevitable.

Plus, I am one of those people who picks up phrases. But so much of the work that I do involves staying in touch with people, communication is absolutely at the heart of what I do and a massive part of the work that I do for my clients.

“Touching base” is a great phrase, it’s a good summary of checking in, something I value hugely.

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