Name: Darren King
Darren King is Chief Executive Officer of ROOMNET – a venture focussed on delivering Apple based in-room entertainment solutions to the hotel industry.
His proven track record in taking a new company and successfully leading it through sustainable and organic growth is best demonstrated by the achievements of Square Group Ltd, where Darren spent 22 years building the business from zero to £26m revenue, at its peak.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Darren's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Keeping my business partner focussed on his action items & team communications and not wondering off to pick up the new shiny penny that grabs his interest!
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Even at school I was never good enough to be in the A team for sports, but I managed to captain the B team! I always had the ability to to bring people together that had common interests and was the guy who organised nights out and holidays with friends. Becoming a business leader happened by default, as I started both of my businesses!
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Up around 6am to make the morning coffee for me and my wife, then breakfast for my youngest child (she's 10). Checking my Slack messages (from my team) and my emails whilst the kettle is boiling and when I'm enjoying that first coffee of the day. Assuming that I don't have client calls (AsiaPac region), I'll normally be sat my desk around 6.45 for around 45mins, if I'm not on my Peleton for a morning ride (normally around 45 mins - 2-3 tomes/week). Then off to get ready, drop kids at school and then at my desk again at 9am. Normally grab a coffee around 11ish, lunch around 12.30 (enough time to make a sandwich and consume it - 15mins or so max), then back at my desk. I have break for coffee around 3.30 when my wife gets back with the kids, then back to my desk normally until around 7pm, sometimes later. Dinner, followed by some TV, family chat... and of course checking my emails/slack/whatsapp! Normally stop checking work communications around 9.30 and am normally in bed by 10.30ish.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Make sure I find regular/structured time with the team, preferably face to face at times. Even just a quick call for 15 minutes, is highly valued by them. This is separate from the twice weekly team call that we hold.
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?
I don't read much, but I enjoyed 'The Travellers Gift' by Andy Andrews. It made me stop and think about some of things that matter and gave me a boost, when I was having a little self doubt and frustration with my business partner.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Challenge the norm and believe in yourself. Don't give up when it gets tough...you're probably about to break through!
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
We had always longed to win the MacWorld awards. Every year we went to the awards with our some of our team and we would always be nominated, but never win it. Finally we won it, but I was out of the country on business. The team FaceTime called me when they were on stage receiving the award... not just one of my managers, but the entire table of 10 staff were on the podium, jumping for joy. It was a truly amazing experience for them and for me to be invited to be a part of it!