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7 Questions on Leadership with Mark Wiggins

Name: Mark Wiggins

Title: CEO

Organisation: Hall Payne Lawyers

I worked in the Banking & Finance sector for over 26 years, and I began working in the legal industry after needing a lawyer to help me settle a business dispute, with a partner in a franchise banking operation.

My entire working career, which commenced at my parent’s service (petrol) station at age 15, has been about learning to engage with people from all walks of life.

Everyone is on their own personal journey, and every day of that journey will invariably be different to many others, and as such we need understand we cannot possibly hope to have one communication style and to develop your style to suit the circumstance.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Mark's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

The most challenging part of being a leader, or discovering yourself in a leadership position, is comprehending that every individual has there own story and journey that will impact on what their communication and learning style will be.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I don't believe I ever set out on a journey to become a leader. I carried out various roles I was employed to do and a colleague at some point mentioned they wish there were more leaders such as myself.

On reflection I understood why they made that comment and then wanted to learn more about what leadership is about. In particular I was drawn into leadership with the focus on "people" being of the utmost importance.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I have always been an early riser and am now in the practice of arriving at the office before say 6:30am, at which time I concentrate on completing jobs that require my sole attention, reading the daily newspapers, and in general preparing for the day to come.

Once staff begin to arrive at the office is when I then starting checking in with them individually, having conversations about home & family, and then stepping into my daily activities. I arrive home around 6:30pm where I sit down with my wife and we discuss each others days.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

We have recently reviewed our company values and behaviors, and a part of that was communicating with staff, what the expectations of each of those behaviors was. One of the values is "Accountability" and being able to easily explain the difference between accountability and responsibility and we are all accountable and responsible for what we achieve or don't achieve.

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?

Start with Why by Simon Sinek!

This book did not help me find my why, but it did cement with me why I do what I do, and that was an imperative part of who I am. For many years I had reconciled myself to being someone I thought I should be, and when I found my why, and then read Simons book, I felt a lot of parts of my puzzle clicked into place.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Learn what listening is truly about and then put that into practice, and continue to practice active listening.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

I employed a Marketing Coordinator who had never worked in my industry as I just knew they understood what I was wanting to achieve. We worked brilliantly together for 2 years, when she was offered her "dream" job and I encouraged her to accept the position.

This person whose family lived overseas, told me when they called their parents to inform them of the new role, their parents very first reaction was, "Well what about Mark." Clearly I had made an impression.

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