It takes great leadership to build great teams. Successfully managing a group of employees requires a keen understanding of strengths and weaknesses. Jillian Bolger asks six business leaders how they get everyone to bring their A-game to work.
Anna Scally, Partner Specialising in Tax, KPMG
Joining KPMG as a junior out of UCD, Anna Scally made partner there in 2004. Heading up a team that advises Irish and international companies on tax matters, she leads KPMG Ireland’s Technology, Media and Telecoms practice, and their FinTech practice.
HOW DO YOU MOTIVATE TEAM MEMBERS?
You need to invest time in people to understand what makes them tick, what excites them, and how to get the best out of them. I work in such a dynamic environment that, thankfully, it isn’t difficult to motivate people. The variety of clients and range of projects tends to attract self-motivated people.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN YOUR TEAMMATES?
I don’t tend to babysit people – our teams are pretty diverse, so people tend to figure each other out fairly quickly and easily. My role is to make sure that people play to their strengths, develop areas that might need more focus, and ensure that people get opportunities as early in their careers as possible.
WHAT ARE YOUR KEY VALUES, AS A LEADER/MANAGER?
Don’t ask someone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself.
HOW IMPORTANT IS TEAM FEEDBACK?
Team feedback is important, but it needs to be combined with individual feedback, coaching and continuous learning. We put a real emphasis on those issues – we have a business school with a range of training opportunities, and we combine it with briefings and updates so everyone knows what the issues are for our clients, how we’re doing, and where our priorities lie.
WHAT’S YOUR WORK WARDROBE?
I wear suits in Ireland, either a trouser suit or tailored dress with jacket. I have a lot of LK Bennett dresses and always wear heels. I find women in the US tech sector rarely wear suits, so I favour dresses when working there.