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My approach to planning is…. to start with a clear destination in mind and only then work on a path for everyone involved so they all arrive there together.

My approach to building trust is… to be honest, and let yourself be vulnerable and let the people who work with you see the real you.

My secret to fostering accountability is…. to be crystal clear on your expectations, on “what” you expect from “who” and “when” you expect it and then, most importantly, clarity when expectations are not being met. Accountability cannot occur when there is ambiguity over expectations.

My advice on managing difficult people is… whoever is your difficult person today for whatever reason will be a different difficult person with a different reason three months from now… difficult people are always an opportunity to stretch yourself.

My secret to challenging trading times is… that throughout my career my very best work has been done during challenging times. In my experience when the chips are down and results are not going your way, that is when you can be at your most creative and perhaps most importantly, when you have the attention of senior management and an easier business case for investment.

My approach to leading through change… is to establish a north star and then bring everything that you do back to that north star. And explain the pros and cons of difficult decisions as you have to make them. 9 times out of 10 when someone knows the “why” for change, even if they don’t agree with the change, they get on board quicker.

My secret to ensure I continue to grow and develop as a leader is… to always be listening to your people and to your customers and never take the path of least resistance no matter how tempting. I believe people want to do a great job and be successful. As a consequence, I believe leadership is about removing any barriers to your people being at their best.

The biggest challenge facing my industry today is… that whilst there has been an explosion in content, advertising and e-commerce across the internet, it is not the telecoms operators that are monetizing this but the digital newbies (think Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix) that have built their empires on the top of our networks that cost our industry millions to upgrade year after year to handle the ever-increasing flood of data.

The greatest opportunity facing my industry today…. lies in our ability to execute on the Internet of Things. Our industry has the infrastructure advantage and if we can successfully combine that with state of the art digital technology we will become the undisputed backbone of this fast-growing digital ecosystem.

Articles by Caroline Baldwin