We put ten quickfire topical questions to Windsor Telecom CEO Pete Tomlinson. Here’s what he fired from the hip...
Strategically, what did you learn from lockdown?
I used to love watching Challenge Anneka as a kid, seeing them build something that would normally take months or years, but in days. Lockdown taught us all that the same is possible in any business – that you can successfully deliver massive change, not in months or years, but literally in days.
In today’s world, how would you define the new type of leader?
There isn’t any such thing as traditional versus new leadership. After all, human nature hasn’t changed. There is however good and bad leadership, and thankfully I do see that more and more business leaders are realising that being there for and with their teams really matters.
In what ways has the pandemic changed your thinking?
The pandemic hasn’t changed our thinking or direction one bit. Everything that made sense before, about how people want to live and work or the importance of tech enabling that, just makes ten times more sense now.
What have been the main changes in your business over the past two years?
We’ve continued to build new products and grow our team, our customers and our revenues in what is a great market. Now, coming out the other side of the pandemic, our business hasn’t materially changed.
What are your current priorities?
Talent is at the heart of any successful business, so right now our top priority is growing our team with great people who share our values.
Have you found inspiration in some unexpected places during the past two years?
We saw some brilliant examples of businesses adapting to adversity and keep trading. I loved it when our local farm shop and café turned over their land to a huge outdoor area with bars, food vans and DJs so everyone could dance around their socially distanced picnic tables.
What trends in the market interest you most?
My passion has always been around making technology easy and enjoyable and I see more and more people, from customers to the big tech vendors, taking that to heart which is awesome to see.
Following the pandemic, do you feel the Windsor Telecom team is better equipped to push towards the next level?
I do think the importance and profile of comms and tech during the pandemic has given a lot of the team a deeper appreciation of how the services we provide can change peoples’ lives for the better, and enable them to enjoy work and life, which I see spurring them on.
Did your business grow during the pandemic?
We did keep growing during the pandemic, though there were clearly impacts on customer projects and the pace of change, so we weren’t entirely immune to some of the trading pressures others have faced.
Are you a better director post-pandemic?
That’s not for me to answer. For sure I learnt a lot, but life is always about learning.