Lessons from the C-suite: Rob Jupp

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So have we got this right - the CEO of this small outfit says he does not understand why HR/People Development is combined in other firms ? But his wife is the person response for "People ...


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The experience and skillset of an HRD can be a little narrow

I started out…

I come from an entrepreneurial family where they all run their own small businesses, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that I’ve followed the same path.

I spent five years post-graduation working in a corporate and that gave me a self-belief that I had the ability to make it on my own. At 27 I decided to take the plunge and started my first of many businesses.

I knew this was the right career path for me when…

I found that having control over your own destiny is addictive. You can work as hard or not as you see fit and genuinely have the opportunity to positively influence your, your family’s and your co-workers’ lives. To see and be surrounded by success is as much of a drug to me now as it was when I first started out.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned along the way…

Firstly, it’s not always the case that people say what they really mean. As a business leader you have to be an expert in decoding the reality from the rhetoric and understanding what could be influencing this communication.

The second lesson is to not sit on difficult or bad news. The more you do this the more you’re likely to overthink it, and then there’s a stronger chance you’ll deal with it in an unproductive way.

My proudest achievement…

The Brightstar Group being awarded first place in the 2019 Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies To Work For list. Professionally that is going to be near impossible to match.

My biggest mistake…

I make mistakes daily but I never consider them negative experiences. Every day I share a quote with many of my key workers: “If you don’t make mistakes, you don’t make anything.”

My biggest inspiration…

Is my people development director, Clare Jupp, who also happens to be my wife of almost 25 years and the mother of our two teenage sons. She is a massive driver and champion of our people-centric culture, as well as my best friend.

Keeping me awake at night right now…

I care passionately about each and every one of my co-workers and the level of pastoral support I try and give them will occasionally make me wake up and start to piece together unfinished business in the night.

The uncertainty caused by Brexit is still a significant cause for concern. If people feel nervous about their future they are less likely to want to buy property, move house or invest in businesses.

The biggest challenge for organisations over the next five years will be…

The general global economic uncertainty in an increasingly volatile world. Many of the challenges and threats you simply can’t plan for.

I need my HR director to…

William Lloyd runs the HR function and Clare runs the people development function. I genuinely don’t understand why some organisations combine these often-conflicting roles. Will keeps the company and our employees on the right side of employment and contractual law issues, but also allows us to be fair and equal in the way we behave.

It annoys me when HR…

States something obvious to me that I really should know.

More HRDs would become CEO if…

I think the natural role of an HRD is often undervalued and isn’t always seen as positive or progressive. The other thing is that the experience and skillset of an HRD can be a little narrow. It’s crucial HRDs take every opportunity to increase their skillset and knowledge base.

What I’m reading right now…

Me: Elton John Official Autobiography.

My top leadership tip…

Never forget that you are always likely to be centre stage. Bad days have to be minimised and your leadership will set the scene for the culture in your business – be it good or bad.

Rob Jupp is group CEO of The Brightstar Group

This piece appeared in the January 2020 print issue. Subscribe today to have all our latest articles delivered right to your desk

Comments

So have we got this right - the CEO of this small outfit says he does not understand why HR/People Development is combined in other firms ? But his wife is the person response for "People Development" in his organisation and sits on the Leadership team at the Director level but the person who is responsible for HR is not and reports into the Operations Director. He suggests that the role of HRD being "often undervalued" but clearly it is undervalued in his own organisation. Is there not a case of conflict of interest and nepotism at best here ?


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