Shaping a team is the most fulfilling aspect of business

03/12/20214 Minutes

I see parallels with the spirit in team sports

As a TV Producer at an indie production company, I always had an itch to do my own thing. After working on multiple series for the BBC and Channel 4, one option was to set up my own broadcast production company. But as the interest and potential for online video grew, I took the plunge and decided to concentrate on this space when I set up Stepping Stone Media in 2010.

Long before working from home became the norm, an initial challenge was that my first month running the business coincided with the men’s football World Cup. There were three matches a day to potentially distract me – but thankfully, my urgency to make things work triumphed.

I’ve shaped the business around areas I’m passionate about. We’ve filmed with some of the UK’s best chefs, visited vineyards around the world and worked with the England cricket team in Melbourne, Cape Town and Mumbai.

My love for the work means I’m keen to remain hands on, producing and directing some content myself. That said, my role has also evolved into management and strategy. I thrive on this combination: the more variety I have in my working life, the more productive I am.

Some creatives don’t naturally see themselves as business people. However, I have found the process of founding and growing a business an incredibly creative process in itself.

A big part of that creative satisfaction comes from building a team. I’ve always been a people person and knew that this would be important, but shaping a team has by far been the most fulfilling aspect of running my own business.

It’s vital that everyone in our team is brilliant at what they do, but it’s equally important they are the right types of character to fit into the team and communicate with clients. I see parallels with the spirit in team sports, of which I’m a huge fan, and also with the brigades in the very best restaurant kitchens. I take great inspiration from leaders in both of these areas.

Every business is different but, for us, our people are the key to our continued growth and to our success. My advice would be to surround yourself with talented people who are also the type of people you can enjoy sharing the successes with along the way.

Last year, as it was for so many, was about survival – the sectors we work, which include travel and hospitality, were hit very hard by the pandemic. I’m delighted that we managed to keep our entire team in place, and as our clients look forward, we’ve been able to expand the team further this year.

As long as we continue to place a priority on the brilliant people I’m fortunate enough to work with, the future is looking very bright.

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