Name: Troy Watkins
Organisation: Secrets of Society
I am a student studying business management in London. I started my business back in high school and am still working on it to this day.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Troy's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
What I found most challenging about being a leader is that people always expect you to be the most motivated person in the room. People tend to forget that some people can also have bad days and may feel burnt out. It is very difficult to keep everyone motivated when everyone is expecting you to perform.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I started my company with a partner. We both deal with controversy together and make the final decisions together. As a small business it is highly important that every part of the business feels highly motivated to work efficiently. This is where I saw the need for a leader and unintentionally took upon the role for the better of the company.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Since I am still a student at university, structuring my day really depends on the lectures I have that day. Some days I wake up and feel very motivated to work on my business. However, there are also times where I get up very early after a long night to go to lecture then come back home to start work late. I found that the most important part of "getting work done" is not the structure or time I allow myself, but instead doing what needs to be done no matter the time and condition.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
You can't always control everything. I had to very recently deal with some admin/paperwork issues. This is something that was unavoidable in my case. I wanted to solve this problem quickly, however I was very dependent on others in this situation and couldn't get it resolved in the time frame I wanted it to be solved in.
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?
Atomic Habits is one of my favourite books that I have read. The book is not really about leadership, however the concepts of "habits" can be used to manage people. Simple concepts like taking small steps every day, and moving towards a joint final goal can all be used to motivate employees. There are many more concepts in the book but I would highly suggest reading it yourself to get a better understanding.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Do the work, you have nothing to lose.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Not really a story, but everything first starts as an idea. It was the same with Secrets of Society. Just two friends with an idea. The whole concept that a simple idea can become so much bigger than a single company is amazing. Watching Secrets of Society grow is the most amazing thing in my eyes.