Getting Ahead: Richard Lee

I think its important not to look to the past, but to concentrate on the future and therefore I make a conscious decision to forget the bad and focus on the good.

Name: Richard Lee
Company: Blue Sheep
Job Title: Managing Director

What made you get into marketing?
When the CEO of DQ Global, a data quality software manufacturer, assigned me as a consultant to a project aimed at turning his sales team around; I fell in love with the challenges faced by direct marketing professionals and have stayed within the industry ever since.

How did you get into the Industry?
Literally through the back door, I was a self-employed consultant specialising in turning around under-performing sales teams, Sales and Marketing are closely linked so it was a natural transition.

What was good and bad about your first job?
The good was that I had daily satisfaction from seeing time I spent planning actually migrate into success and the bad was the amount of education I needed to go through to assist marketers and to be taken seriously at board level in order to secure funding for large projects.

List your jobs to date?
VP Sales – DQ Global
Head of Business – Development at Occam
Managing Director – Blue Sheep

What were the best and worst and why?
Everyone can pin point good and bad elements of all jobs – however I think it’s important not to look to the past, but to concentrate on the future and therefore I make a conscious decision to forget the bad and focus on the good.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Everyone and anyone who has ever said to me “You can’t do this, you can’t do that”

Who in the industry do you most admire?
I admire all those I have worked with and who have helped to achieve the success I have achieved today.†Those people know who they are and I will be eternally grateful.

What is your biggest achievement to date?
I made a decision to leave the army and make a total life change, much against the advice of lots of people, including some very senior officers who wanted me to convert to a commissioned officer. It’s just like me to ignore advice once I have my mind set on achieiving a goal.†The goal I actually set was to be in a senior sales management position within 10 years of leaving the forces; I achieved this goal bang on time a few years ago and have not looked back. The leap from military to commercial held no safety net and took a lot of determination.

On what do you base your success so far?
I was in the army in places like Northern Ireland, Berlin, Khartoum and Kinshasa (to name a few) in the late eighties, early nineties and I had to learn quickly how to understand an objective, match the available resource to the component part of the task and then motivate and lead a team to a successful conclusion. These skills have formed the basis for my success and I use them day in and day out.

What are your ambitions?
Travelling and enjoying the culinary delights of the world along with all the great wines, and of course having the money to afford to do it.

Change one thing about your job?
I’m satisfied and content with my current job and the challenges it brings, I’m lucky that I work with an inspirational and enthusiastic team.

Change one thing about your industry?

As our customers change, we must as marketers act responsibly, targeting our customers more strategically, many companies within this industry still haven’t grasped this and unfortunately it affects us all. We must be aware that government legislation could change at any time which would cripple our industry.

Change one thing about the world?
A long shot, but I would get every government to abide by the terms of National Peace Day – September 21st; just to see what could possibly be achieved.

What is your favourite brand?

What is the next big brand in your view?
Whoever teams up with Microsoft to challenge the position of Google.

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