Business Leader: My working day, Lorna Stellakis

Organisational Development Director

Fav thing about the office

It’s an office full of creative geeks with great banter, what’s not to love!

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up

An actress

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Trash reality TV

Favourite Holiday

Walking in Wales if I am feeling energetic, Crete if I need a rest!

If I had a superpower it would be...

Mind Reading

Describe yourself in three words or less

Fun, nurturing, efficient

An interesting fact about me

My first car was a Humber Sceptre, which started my obsession with cars

Likes

Thai food, long walks with my dog, creating ideas with post it notes!

Favourite Band

I’ll listen to pretty much anything I can sing along to

Karaoke Jam

Islands in the stream, Dolly Parton

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is essentially support Andrew (the MD) with defining the overall business strategy and financial budgeting, then to design and deliver cost effective process and organisational change strategies, managing positive change in support of Q2Q’s future growth plans.

I work with the team to ensure there is continuous organisational performance improvement that is always customer centric, ensuring they are working collaboratively and efficiently, coaching them individually and as a team to bring out their best performance in supporting our customers.

Background and Achievements

The majority of my career has been in the mad world of Fashion, on the planning and operational side. In my previous role as Operations Director for a Heritage Menswear brand, I was responsible for the end to end journey of the product, from range planning, through sourcing, production, quality control, logistics, warehousing and customer service. Some of my key achievements in this role were improving on all delivery and service KPI’s, improving quality performance from 10% rejects to 1%, and delivering a significant number of process improvements across the team, whilst also delivering a saving on costs of 10% on overheads.

• As this role spanned so many disciplines, it enabled me to focus on my true passion, which is process improvement and people development, so my proudest achievement was introducing a Continuous Improvement Project Team to the wider business, bringing a positive change culture based on a combination of ideas including Appreciative Inquiry and Solution Focus tools. The workshops we developed empowered people to solve problems cross functionally, and considerably improved communication, collaboration and efficiency, whilst making savings to the bottom line. These workshops have formed the basis of the tools I now incorporate into Q2Q, and offer as an additional consultancy service to Q2Q customers.

Hobbies and Interests

Walking with my dog, and eating out with family

 

Recently, our operational development director, Lorna Stellakis took part in Business Leader's My Working Day Q&A. Lorna revealed what time she wakes up on a morning, the best way to prioritise a day’s work and the best piece of advice she’s ever received. If you missed the article you can catch up on it below…

As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example, to lead and inspire a team of individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But, how do these business leaders go about their daily routine?

What time do you usually wake up?  

2am… 4am…. Currently, I’ve lost the ability to sleep for longer than two-hour stints, but I’m usually out of bed by 6am at the latest.

What do you typically have for breakfast? 

Eggs, every day. Different variations depending on my mood and usually with something added such as ham, bacon or chorizo and some tomatoes.

What is the rest of your morning routine before you start work?  

Usually just getting ready to head into the office while listening to a podcast. I really enjoy the TED Talks series and have found they make a real difference to how I feel in the morning.

I make tea and toast for my husband Andrew if he’s at home, as well as lunch and a coffee to-go for myself. If there’s time the dog gets a decent walk, but if not, he gets dropped off with my parents, so they can do the honours. HHe’s not a morning dog, so I often have to drag him out of bed when it’s time to leave.

What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?

When I arrive in the office, I check the helpdesk statistics to see which customers have outstanding issues and speak to the team to understand what their priorities are for the day - making sure the two marry up! After that, I run-through my own to-do list and decide on the day’s most pressing tasks.

How do you prioritise your day’s work?

I absolutely love Microsoft Excel, so my to-do list is on a spreadsheet, with columns separating the various components involved in each job’s completion. It features all my regular tasks, plus one-off items and meetings – I’d be lost without it! 

I also have focus weeks – which cover finance and forecasting, people, marketing and customers – in a monthly rotation. All very organised, but with enough planned space for chaos, as IT support can never really be predictable.

Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?

We’re a small team so we plan brief, regular meetings that include all staff members. We have longer ‘out-of-hours’ meetings that are more relaxed, and we use this time to bounce ideas around.  We also use a concept called ‘destination verbs’ – this ensures there are always decisions made and actions planned, rather just lots of talk.

Do you have a working lunch or is it good to take a break? 

I eat at my desk but I usually take a 20-minute break for a walk if it isn’t raining – just to get my steps up more than anything else.  These walks often turn into an on-the-move meeting with a member of the team, as I find you can have better conversations when you’re moving around.

When does your working day finish?

No set time, but in my head, I aim to leave the office at 4pm so that my dog gets a good walk before dinner.

How do you prepare for the next day’s work?  

Before I leave the office, I always take five minutes to reflect, plan and rearrange my to-do list depending on what I’ve actioned – or what’s come up – during the day.

Favourite piece of technology?

It has to be my iPhone! I’m tracking my screen time at the moment and trying to limit myself to productivity-type apps but Instagram is often too shiny to resist!

How do you switch off?

I walk a lot. It’s usually just me and the dog during the week, but we enjoy longer walks at the weekend with my husband as well – that really helps clear my head.  Otherwise, I’ll often be found watching TV or scrolling through Instagram. However, if I am really wound up about something, the house gets a thorough clean!

Best piece of advice you’ve received?

I can’t remember where I read this, but the advice was to replace the words “I can’t” with “I don’t”.  Try it with anything you’re struggling to change in your life – the psychological shift can be enlightening!  For example, “I can’t commit to exercising regularly because XYZ” feels very different if you say, “I don’t commit to exercising regularly because XYZ.”

 

Business Leader – My Working Day – Lorna Stellakis Business Leader – My Working Day – Lorna Stellakis