Interview with Mary

You could read the CV but too really find out what Mary thinks; here is how she responded to some questions about her life and business.

Why did you start up Top Women Top Jobs?

I have always had a huge interest in leadership and performance. I relish the challenge, opportunity and fun that you have when working with Directors and to take a focus on woman directors just seems natural. It was at this meeting that the seed was sown for Top Woman Top Jobs. I had a vision of how the training industry was changing and being re-invented. So the decision was easy, the need and opportunity was right there and I was passionate about what I can do to accelerate female leadership.

What is Top Women Top Jobs all about?

It is just as it says, Top woman Top jobs, our mission to fast track through personal development and business training high potential woman who want to sit on company boards. On a global stage we will provide online training and 1:1 Coaching to ensure more women achieve professional success.

What do you consider to be your greatest strength?

I tell it straight, honesty and integrity are very important. I really have no time for dishonesty or disloyalty. I have a strong aversion to the pretender and the amateur or professional manipulators. I expect and respect transparency.

What do you consider to be your greatest weakness?

I have tended to trust too quickly and this has cost me emotionally and financially both personally and professionally. I also am a bit of a perfectionist and have zero toleration for what I may perceive as laziness or mediocrity in others. My expectations can be too high of others and myself at times and so I often experience disappointment and frustration, usually both! I am also partial to a chocolate digestive. 

Who do you admire?

I admire loads of people. I see different things that I admire in different people. Intelligence in Einstein, Beauty in Elizabeth Taylor, Presence in Bill Clinton, Humour in Billy Connolly, Courage in Oprah Winfrey, Discipline in Martina Navratilova, and the list goes on....

Who is your favourite author?

Another list here but we could start with Napoleon Hill, Malcolm Gladwell and Daniel Pink. I often read 3 or 4 books at the same time. I read books like people drink tea so it depends on who the author is and what subject I am on at that time.

What traits do you most admire in people?

Confidence, a sense of humour and adventure and discipline. Mischief is good too!

What is the most important thing you expect from colleagues and staff?

Honesty and hard work. I cannot abide laziness or lies. I also like colleagues and staff to have an open mind, fixed mindsets bore me as those people often limit themselves.

Do you have a pet hate?

People who declare themselves “victims”. My rule is “I will help you if you help yourself”. I have zero tolerance for those people seeking out others to dump their problems on, remove themselves from any responsibility and create dependency. I will do everything in my power to help someone if I see that they are trying to help themselves or will begin to. I expect to be met half way on effort.

What do you do in your spare time?

This question makes me laugh, what is spare time! Maybe it would be better to ask what do I do to relax. As I am a very busy woman, I travel a lot and I love what I do so it’s not work really. But to answer the question I read books (management books so maybe that counts as work too!) I walk Presley, my gorgeous little welsh corgi and I walk or run at 7am on the mornings I am in the office all day. I also like gardening but mostly only do that in the spring and summer. When I can I love travelling to different places, I enjoy eating out and going to concerts. That’s about it really.

What do you think is your greatest achievement?

I don’t think I have achieved my greatest yet! I have some big goals set. One is finishing my book. But to date surviving cancer was good, starting my own business was good, surviving two divorces and now being very happy personally are pretty big achievements. Being a type A personality I have always struggled between professional and personal, finding the balance. I love what I do and would be considered a workaholic by others and this can create difficulties in relationships if you are not with a person who is secure and supportive. Thankfully my husband is both.

If you could teach young people one life lesson what would that be?

The principle of hard work. We are in real danger of having a generation of short cut merchants who expect instant gratification and will not know how to cope emotionally when they don’t get it! The media and advertising world feed the myth that you can have instant success and take short cuts. Adversity helps builds character and emotional strength.

If you could interview anyone alive or dead, who would you choose and why?

Easy, I would interview Oskar Schindler, I would ask him why he saved so many Jews during the holocaust, why as an opportunist who set out to profit from the war did he then decide to save the Jews at great personal risk. I am fascinated and curious about his motive, his courage, his risk-taking and his huge persuasiveness. From what I have read about him he failed many times in business but to many and especially the descendants of the 1200 Jews he saved, he is a legend. He did was what right and to me that’s leadership.

What is your favourite food?

It has to be Indian. I just love the hot spices, the colour and the variety of tastes. Bland food I find boring.

What is your favourite film?

Spartacus with Kirk Douglas and a close second is “one flew over the cuckoo nest” with Jack Nicholson. I love Spartacus for the bravery, the courage, the leadership and the loyalty. That moment where they all try to save their leader by claiming “I am Spartacus” very powerful.

I love One flew over the cuckoo nest for the insightfulness into personalities, how Jack Nicholson breaks the rules by taking the residents out for the day and of course the cruel twist at the end. I love surprises; I don’t have much time for “predictable” in story lines.

What is your favourite holiday destination?

I love travel it is one of my favourite things to do. If I had to choose a favourite it is Florida, Disneyworld and a close second is Las Vegas. I just love rollercoaster’s and the magic of it all. I also love New York, for the energy and it is just so American! But I have a list to visit so these could change. I have not been to Hawaii yet! A grass skirt and a garland will definitely be worn in the near future.