Lindsay Lucas has been part of the Software Solved team for twelve years (more than half the company’s life). She has progressed within the company, starting as the Service Delivery and Hosting Manager to becoming the Managing Director in 2019. We asked Lindsay about her career path and the expertise she demonstrates to carry out her leadership role.
Pathway to an MD
Lindsay studied Engineering at Exeter University and went on to secure a sponsored place on a Masters degree. Lindsay remarked: “Engineering firms in the South West weren’t quite as progressive in their mindset as I had hoped, and I ended up temping at an ISP, KCOM, to pay the bills in the short term. However, they liked me and offered me more work in different departments until I joined the Sales team full time. I was always up for new challenges and had a couple of roles created for me after which I secured a promotion as PA for three Directors whilst also managing the office of 150+ people. This was the most eye-opening role for me, looking after Directors who covered Operations, Sales Marketing as well as Development & Technology. I was able to learn so much and was given many opportunities that I’ll always be grateful for, including the one to become Technical Project Manager.”
Upon leaving KCOM, Lindsay joined Software Solved, initially heading up the First Line Team. Since then, she has held pretty much every Operational Leadership position in the business, even with a foray into Product Management. She adds: “Now I get to ‘sit in the big chair’ as they say.”
No-one else will do it for you
When asked what Lindsay’s biggest lesson has been to date, she states: “This is a tough one! Inevitably, there have been many lessons along the way, but I think the one that stays with me, is no-one else is going to do it for you – if you want something go for it, throw your hat in the ring! What’s the worst that can happen? Someone says no but asking for feedback enables you to know what you need to do differently next time.”
People over possessions
Lindsay explained the importance of re-centering yourself and the significance of people within your life and career: “Really interesting question, if you’d asked me early on in my career, I’d have said, big house, nice car, role title. But as I’ve matured and reflected more on how I measure my own success, it’s more about making a positive difference to others. To see someone take on a challenge they didn’t think they were capable of and get that “I can do it” moment is incredibly rewarding. For me, people are the most important thing in life, yes money helps, and I couldn’t do what I do without the position that I have, but ultimately people, not possessions are what life is really about.”
The power of self-reflection
Commenting on the power of reflection is an incredibly difficult question for Lindsay to answer, and in her view, she states: “I have had several mentors throughout my career, each who have helped with different aspects of it at that particular point in time. In terms of my own self-development, I am incredibly grateful to Clodagh Murphy who was Ops Director at KCOM and my manager at the time for teaching me how to self-reflect and understand my strengths and areas that I needed to develop in. These understandings and subsequent growth have allowed me to know myself well enough to enable me to adapt to new challenges in a positive way.”
Networking and self-study
Lindsay describes her response to networking and self-study by clearly emphasising the importance of reading and listening, she points out: “I’ve joined peer networks and groups to further my own development as well as self-study. I love listening to audiobooks and podcasts, especially when on a long journey in the car, or out for a walk. I also enjoy looking at what the team shares on the Teams channel and seeing things through other people’s perspectives.”
Navigating through the Pandemic
Lindsay is quick to maintain a positive outlook on reflection of the pandemic and contributes: “Despite being a Managing Director during a pandemic, which was uncertain and something no one could have ever prepared for, the biggest lesson I have learnt to date is to digest and learn from everything you do.” She continues, “Not dwelling on the times you get it wrong, but taking the lesson and experiences absorbed and move on. I have to consciously work on not beating myself up over things, especially when they are out of my control. I like the mantra; ‘focus on the things that YOU can change’.”
Lead by example and protect your culture
Lindsay reveals her leadership style: “Lead with authenticity, honesty and genuinely care. I don’t just ask questions about people because I feel I have to; I ask them because I care. Lead by example and stay true to your values. When people in the team aren’t living the values, question it, explore it and help them address it and if it’s not for them, be ok with parting ways. Good people in the wrong culture for them will unwittingly become terrorists in your organisation. The key is to protect your culture.”
Positively challenge and help get the best out of everyone
Lindsay concludes: “I work on the premise that I employ a strong team of experts around me, who are specialists in their area. I am there to support, guide and positively challenge to get the best out of them. I also believe in all being in it together, as a team and creating a safe environment for challenge and vulnerability. As Michelle Mone said recently on the High Performance Podcast, “I wouldn’t ask anyone to do anything I wasn’t willing to do myself.”
How do you help #BreakTheBias at work?
With the theme of International Women’s Day being #BreakTheBias, we asked Lindsay what she does within her role to do this daily: “It’s not something I consciously do, to be honest. I just make sure I know I am doing my best and employing the right people with the right values for the roles around me. Building an inclusive culture is instinct and I like to think I’m agnostic to any biases and focus purely on attitude, talent and team fit.”
Find out more about the people at the forefront of what we do on the Meet the Team page. Together, we can all break the bias on International Women’s Day (IWD) and beyond, learn more here.