Book recommendations and being Queen for a day – a quick Q&A with Joanna Swash

December 19, 2023

In a recent episode of the Inspiring Leadership Podcast, gunnercooke founder and host Darryl Cooke interviews Welsh businesswomen, keynote speaker and business mentor Joanna Swash. Darryl is joined by co-host Sir Peter Fahy, the former Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police.

Joanna is the group-CEO of Wrexham-based Moneypenny, a company she joined as the first salesperson in 2005. Moneypenny is a leading provider of outsourced customer service functions for companies. In 2021 she was appointed to the Prime Minister’s Business Council, where she advises the government on building skills resilience for the benefit of both education and business.

Who has influenced you the most?

I have to say my father. He took his own life when I was 11, he had his own business that was failing and that kind of situation can take you one of two ways. Losing my father made me want to prove myself, be the best version of myself and be successful.

What particular quote do you return to?

“Only do what only you can do.” This is one of mine – I think that if you want to run a scalable business and want to grow, don’t get involved in things that other people could be doing for you. In my opinion, you have to create a vacuum in your organisation and let other people step into the gap. Let other people do their jobs.

What book has had the biggest impact on you?

I would say “The Advantage”. It’s all about the room of trust, being honest and empowering your team to talk to each other and tell each other how they feel about certain things that are going on in the organisation.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career?

If the business plan works, and your gut feeling is there, go and do it.

If you were Queen for the day, what would you do?

I would encourage kindness, if we had a society that looks out for each other as opposed to being selfish and self-centred, we’d make such a difference to society.

Is there a secret about you that would surprise those around you?

Mostly it would be working at the chippy!

What’s the last book that made you laugh?

Isaac and the egg. It’s a mixture of huge sadness and comedy.

To listen to the full podcast or the rest of the series visit Spotify or Apple Podcasts.  

Previous guests of the Inspiring Leadership Podcast have included Jurgen Maier, Dr John Blakey, Vikas Shah, Alison Grade, Hassan Damluji and Damian Hughes, who discuss how to have integrity in business, the balance of process and innovation, and how CSR drives a business forward.  

Darryl is welcoming inspiring leaders who are making a difference in their business or community to join him for future episodes. Get in touch here to recommend a guest.  

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