Learning Experiences

National Customer Services Week

Talking employee leadership and strategy with Client Solutions Director, Lee Russell
Tell us about yourself and what you do at Davies.

My role at Davies is focused on helping our clients realise some of their people development hopes and dreams. I’ve worked in the field of Learning & Development (L&D) for the last 15 years and have worked with clients across all parts of the world and from a wide range of sectors. This experience has helped me shape the Learning Experiences function within Davies which makes its number one priority helping clients access the very best, results focused, learning experiences for their people.

As someone who is passionate about development and sees it as a fundamental right for everyone, I’ve always been keen to keep ahead of the curve with what people expect to get out of their professional development.


How does leadership contribute to an effective company strategy?

Leadership to me is an important enabler to an effective company strategy. Leadership is the function, which connects people to the strategy. An important job for any leader, is to translate the strategy and help people understand what it means to them – and how their work aligns to what the company wants to achieve.


What are the biggest challenges leaders face today?

Dispersed workforces – what I mean by that, is teams of people who just don’t have time together, in the same room, chatting about ‘stuff’. Whilst outputs can be maintained, often higher than before, and personal lives can be managed easier – at what cost? For me, the cost is reduced engagement, increase separation from the business and strategy, and an increase in attrition.

I’m not the type of person to say everyone needs to sit in an office every day, but through my work, I see how the emotional intelligence of leaders, flexing of styles and personality are more important than ever. Of course, leaders can’t be mind readers, but they need to develop a deeper sense of dispersed workforce psychology, in order to minimise the risks I mentioned earlier.


What are three things leadership development must have?
  1. Impact – It has to deliver a punch and moment of realisation – and not just be a nice day out.
  2. Clarity – It has to be clear, focused, and centred on the role of the leader. The time has gone for generic, non-specific leadership development.
  3. Energy – It has to motivate the learner to do things – it has to energise them to a point that they are excited to try new things, think in different ways, and unlock the potential of their people.


Tell us about a leader that inspires you and why?

To decide on one person, would be to suggest that I would live my leadership career in their shadow. But, leadership to me is as personal and individual as our fingerprint.

So, I take inspiration from different people, such as:

  • Richard Branson for his innovative mindset
  • Steve Jobs for thinking the unthinkable
  • Nelson Mandela for his strength
  • Barak Obama for his ability to unify people
  • Aristotle for teachings which live on today

If you’re looking for tailored learning experiences that can help you develop and manage your oragnisation’s future leaders, please get in touch with us at learningexperiences@davies-group.com.

Lee Russell
Client Solution Director