New leadership embraces culture and promotes growth
The success of a business lies in the hands of those who lead and inspire their teams towards shared goals. We are privileged to provide a unique insight into the background and mindset of our recently appointed Managing Director, Nick Lankester, through a candid and insightful interview. Join us in uncovering the firsthand insights, strategies, and vision that will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in propelling our organisation towards new heights of achievement and excellence. This blog serves as a testament to the transformative power of good leadership and the invaluable perspective Nick brings to the forefront of our organisation.
“I’m Nick Lankester, the new Managing Director of Tugela People.”
Can you provide some details about your professional history?
“I started my career as an accountant back in 2005, having graduated from university with a degree in Economics. After becoming a Qualified Accountant with CIMA in 2008, I was fortunate to be able to pursue opportunities at a senior level across finance, commercial and managerial roles within the construction industry. I have found my finance training and background to be a great bedrock to my more entrepreneurial and commercial side, which is what has ultimately led me to joining Tugela People in the capacity of Managing Director”.
What Inspired you to join Tugela People?
“I was initially introduced to Tugela People in March 2021 via a University of Leeds Business School Non Executive Director (NED) training course. The programme's biggest draw was the chance to assume a six-month volunteer placement as a NED with a real SME. Having browsed the list of organisations that were available, Tugela People immediately stood out. Firstly, a clear and positive organisational culture was in place, led by its values, which are proudly displayed on our website. These values struck a chord with me, and having now spent two and a half years in and around Tugela People, I can attest that these values are truly embraced by all, not just marketing speak! Secondly, I have always had a keen interest in technology as an enabler, so the chance to join a company offering services for best-in-breed cloud-based HR and Payroll software was of genuine interest.
Following my successful NED placement, I was invited to join the company in a more formal capacity as a Non Executive Director. I really enjoyed the challenge of learning a new industry, understanding the opportunities and challenges of service providers, and advising the board and management team on a wide range of topics. Most importantly, though, I found the culture to be first-class and developed great relationships within the business.
A few months later, when I decided to take my next career step, I was offered the opportunity to join the company permanently as Managing Director. I eagerly embraced the chance to lead Tugela People into its next growth phase and build on the superb business and culture already established. So far, it has exceeded my expectations – we have a fantastic team in place and many exciting plans.”
What has been your experience in your role thus far?
“It’s early days but I was fortunate that my time as a NED meant I knew a great deal about the company and its people before taking the role, so there haven’t been too many surprises!
I have been extremely grateful for the warm reception everyone in the business has given me and how quick they have been to help me understand more about the industry, our clients, our services, our people and our partners.
Likewise, our key partners have also been very welcoming, and keen to share their plans for how we can grow together. I feel fortunate to join a company with such solid foundations and excellent relationships in place.
I’ve no doubt that I have much to learn about the HRIS industry but feel very well supported by all around me.”
What are your future plans for Tugela People?
“Tugela People and Sage People have been longstanding partners for twelve years, so continuing to strengthen this relationship is key to delivering quality services to our clients. We are always exploring ways to build on and strengthen this collaborative relationship as we continue along our growth path.
Beyond our core Sage People HRIS implementation and managed services, I would like us to broaden our portfolio further to support our clients with additional solutions and services. We already offer a range of excellent complementary services, including TalentLMS for e-learning and Deputy for Time and Attendance, which we would like to continue to build upon. Additionally, we will also be expanding our payroll services. Watch this space for more information!
Ultimately, our aim is to provide our existing and prospective clients with an all-encompassing range of integrated services to support their HR and Payroll teams, using best-in-breed cloud-based software and our team's expertise to help them grow and develop their own businesses. After all, their success is our success.”
Outside of your work commitments, what interests or activities captivate your attention and kindle your passions?
“I have a young family, which, as any parent will tell you, keeps you very busy!
Recently, I started karate with my son and daughter, and we are all enjoying learning together (even though they have already shown significantly more skill and aptitude than me!). I have always been into sports, playing mostly in my youth, though these days cricket is the only one to have stood the test of time (maybe it’s the famous teas?!).
I enjoy the outdoors, whether that be a family dog walk or something more challenging like orienteering, trail running or mountain biking.
I’m also very much into my cars and spent many lockdown evenings and weekends restoring a 1987 Peugeot 205 CTi, which still has pride of place in my garage (and on the road when the sun occasionally comes out).
Otherwise, I try and enjoy the simple things in life – time at home and away with my family brings me the most joy.”
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