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7 Questions with Richard Burton
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7 Questions with Richard Burton
Name: Richard Burton
Current title: Director, Commercial Sales & Marketing
Current organisation: IC24
Wearer of many hats - entrepreneurial, resourceful and collaborative leader with a positive attitude. Enjoys the challenge of operating within complex and ambiguous situations and working with diverse cross-functional multidisciplinary teams.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Communicating a strategy in a way that genuinely motivates people at different levels and within diverse activities across the organisation.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
My journey has taken me across a range of industries and sizes of organisation, from start-ups and small advertising agencies through to Barclays Bank and leading energy group EDF - and I am now Commercial Director of gold standard social enterprise healthcare provider IC24. This has given me a diverse range of fascinating experiences and I have been fortunate to work with many fantastic colleagues across countries and cultures. The 'golden thread' of consistency throughout my career has been my mission to add value to strategic development and transformation to improve business performance and the experience of stakeholders .... so it is this that has enabled me to take up these roles within and working alongside fascinating enterprises.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I plan out a loose framework of my days, but am pretty flexible in how things play out in reality. One of the areas that I need to improve is taking breaks during the day, as well as incorporate exercise into my routine - and the intensity of work during the COVID pandemic has really illustrated the need to do this
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
The COVID environment has illustrated once again that leaders need to embrace new ways of working and that a culture of trust and compassion is imperative
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?
The classic In Search of Excellence has influenced my career with its focus on quality at every stage from vision right through to daily delivery
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
The objective in large enterprises is to create more leaders at all levels. As such, it is important that there is a clear model for leadership based on organisational values
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
During my time with energy company EDF there was a growing recognition of the importance of 'fuel poverty' and the CEO at the time made the decision to give a special deal to anyone who was in fuel poverty. This was despite the initiative being expensive and at a time when margins in the industry were very slim and at times negative. To me this showed real leadership based on principle - it set an example of doing the right thing. This was also noticed by regulators who eventually required all UK energy companies to follow suit.