Member Spotlight #3 – Louise Lonergan
What does leadership mean to you and how do you define it?
Leadership is being the captain of the ship, you need to know where you’re headed and the best course there. However, to get there in the best condition and enjoy the journey you need to have trustworthy and dedicated crewmates. I have a great team – people who are hard-working but also fun to work with.
What is the most important lesson you have learned, from your personal or business life?
I think having grit and resilience are traits that can’t be bought. If you get up every day with a can-do attitude I think you have already won. People think perfection, I think other options and back doors. Everything is achievable if you are determined enough.
Is there someone who has had a major impact on you as a leader?
I have had so many amazing mentors over the years, sometimes it’s for the ideas you can’t see or the possible opportunities, but it’s also sometimes someone that believes in you and helps you move forward. There are so many amazing women trailblazers that I have met and I hope to inspire others as they have inspired me.
Have you experienced failure? If so, what did you learn?
If you are an entrepreneur this is a common enough phenomenon. I have definitely had imposter syndrome for many years. However, we went through the recession and if I could get through that with a luxury gift business then I can get through anything. Keep showing up and always try and get better at what you do.
Who do you admire in the business world and why?
How long have I got. Margot Slattery for her work with diversity, Louise Phelan for her huge appetite for amazing jobs with huge staff and pressure, Petra Wetzel for her strength and courage and of course my mother who raised three entrepreneurs and gave us the confidence to try.
What advice would you offer to new or aspiring board directors?
Do the Diploma in Corporate Governance as it will give you a great baseline. Hone in on your USP, bring your experience to the table and network your way into your ideal job. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and say what you want.
If you were able to run one company, apart from your own business, which would you choose and why?
I am hoping to start a not-for-profit retreat for parents of sick children in 2022, it’s going to be some learning curve but I would love to help these poor couples out and give them a bit of respite. All help will be gratefully received. This is the first time I have said this publicly so watch this space.
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