Dame Carolyn McCall OBE - A Few Wise Words

Dame Carolyn McCall OBE

One of the United Kingdom’s most respected business leaders, Carolyn McCall’s reputation began while working at The Guardian newspaper. She joined as a researcher in 1986 after obtaining her master’s degree in politics, and steadily progressed to become CEO of The Guardian and The Observer, and eventually CEO of the Guardian Media Group.

In 2010 she was appointed CEO of easyJet and successfully led the airline’s transformation into a customer-focused success story, with record growth in passenger numbers and business travellers. In 2018, she was appointed CEO of the commercial broadcaster ITV. Among her numerous awards, in 2008 she was named as the Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year and was also awarded an OBE. In 2016 she received her damehood for services to the aviation industry.

If you are positive, energetic and happy in your work, you will naturally stand out. People will begin to say, “Would you like to work on this project?” or “Do you want to work with this team?”

There’s this popular myth that once you reach a certain level, you stop learning. I think that’s completely bonkers! I’m still learning all the time.

If you are afraid of failure or taking risks, this can seriously hold you back. Most people believe that they can’t make a mistake, and the fear of doing so often stops them from getting on with things.

One thing that my parents gave me was a very secure home life – I knew I was loved, and I therefore always felt secure. They never told me that I couldn’t do anything. Instead, they would say, ‘You can do whatever you want to do.’ It was that ability to feel I could do anything and that I had the freedom to do so that was really important.

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