Thank you to the 1646 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading 7 Questions with
helps you in your leadership.
Name: Juliet Davenport
Title: Founder and Author
Founder of the energy pioneer Good Energy Group, and climate entrepreneur, I am now a non-exec Director for various organisations working on climate and climate related solutions.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
When a company with a core purpose is going from start up phase to a growth stage, hiring senior staff is really tricky, you need the capability and experience, but you also need to keep to the core purpose of the company
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I found myself with a purpose but no where to go. I became passionate about doing something related to climate change in my early 20's, but no industry really existed that I could use my skills. So I took another degree and did various interships to build my capability, and eventually met a green VC who had a similar vision, of bringing renewable power to the people. Literally.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Now that I advise various organisations, I obviously have various meetings and boards booked in advance. I then work through every company that I work with checking in and seeing what I need to accomplish that day - from approvals through to checking in with a CEO. I also work on my book, which means various presentations and events where I talk about my future visions for green business and a wider green energy system.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
That great leaders are authentic. I work with multiple leaders, and again and again where a leader brings their whole self to work, rather than just a hologram of what they want to project, then they can truly start to lead.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Radical Candor (US spell) by Kim Scott. It was a book that reminded me that I could be myself at work, and not just someone I thought I ought to be.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Be curious and passionate about what you want to work on. Sometimes I see young leaders just trying to be a entrepreneur for the sake of being one. I would advise them to see it as a tool for something bigger.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Again and again I come across situations where we accept the status quo and think its alright. Diversity is one of these issues. I recently was talking about a senior hire into a business I work with. The CEO was struggling to get a diverse short list, and the investor suggested it didn't matter "as long as we get the best person for the job". I pointed out that if you don't have a diverse list, how can you get the best person for the job, it means that the process or the agency has ensured that you have a diverse list in front of you. Diversity is not a "nice to have". It is a core capability within an organsiation, to be able to think in a diverse way as an organisation, minimises risk, maximises opportunity, and is generally is a more fun environment t work in!