We asked Alison McGinley, Managing Director of TaxAssist Accountants Ireland to share with us some insights on her experiences and how she draws inspiration from the environment around her, role models she had during her careers, the best advice she received, and what she sees as the biggest challenge facing leaders today.
Voltedge: What is your current role and how long you have held this position?
Alison: I am the Managing Director of TaxAssist Accountants Ireland and I have been in the role for over 3 years having been with the organisation since it launched 10 years ago.
Voltedge: Where do you draw inspiration from?
Alison: My role is to drive the business forward and position us for growth so I am always looking for new ideas; new technologies, new product lines, new marketing angles etc .
I find I get better inspiration when I am not caught up in the day to day in the office- so when working from home or traveling for example. I personally find researching different industries to my own useful and thought provoking. I also research what is going on my in own industry but in other countries.
I will also often get inspired by our network of franchisees both here and the UK telling me about client trends and things that are happening on the ground. So, I try to carve out time nearly every week to be out and about so I can to stay on top of that.
Voltedge: During the course of your career, was there a role model or mentor that stands out for you?
Alison: I was very lucky in my first role out of University at Google to be surrounded by a lot of very able, strong , female role models on the management team who were excellent role models. I absorbed a lot one of which was looking at how they advocated for themselves. Its something that holds a lot of people back but you do need to get comfortable with it. None of us wants to look boastful but seeing it done in a more graceful way was interesting to me at that early point in my career.
Voltedge: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given during your career?
Alison: To say yes to good propositions/ ideas and figure out how you will achieve them afterwards!
I also really remember the penny dropping that perfection and the constant pursuit of expertise is not the way to develop your career. You need to let go and realise that your relationships with superiors, staff, clients are really what will propel everything forward so that area needs time.
Voltedge: What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?
Alison: For me it is people. Finding, motivating and keeping a strong team around you is so important.
Voltedge: What is your favourite quote and why?
Alison: ‘The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place’. – George Bernard Shaw
For me so much of our success or failure is about communication and building relationships with people.