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In the Nick of time

In the Nick of time

Naked Leader Week 819 – 29 April 2019

Time to Read: 3 minutes

In the Nick of time – a man focusing on the here and now.

This month for our Leader Feature, Clive Barrett interviews Nick Spenceley, responsible for Environmental Service for Tower Hamlet Homes.  A fascinating insight to Nick’s approach to this challenging role.

IF anybody knows how to get the best out of a team, then Nick Spenceley is that man.

Nick has been head of Environmental Services at Tower Hamlets Homes for the past eight years and winning plaudits for his role in the process.

A friend of Naked Leader and advocate of the ‘just do it’ mantra, Nick helps the company manage 22,000 properties with roughly a 50/50 split of council tenants and leaseholders who have bought.

‘Around 50% of leaseholders sublet their flats so we have a significant number of residents that are fairly transient,’ says Nick, who not only excels in his role, he loves it.

‘Tower Hamlets is a hugely interesting borough to work in and has lots of challenges such as half of the borough’s children growing up in poverty despite a large number of high earners living there,’ he adds. ‘There is also a significant drug problem with many dealers and users prevalent on some of our estates.

‘That said there are many brilliant people and places that really make the borough what it is.’

Nick explains his duties, saying: ‘In my role I look after the Anti-Social Behaviour, Caretaking, Gardening and Drainage teams of around 215 staff so the role covers a fair scope and is pretty full-on all the time. There is also a police team and Neighbourhood Patrol team linked to the ASB team. ‘

Just as Naked Leader emphasises ‘staff are not a company’s No1 asset, they are it’s only asset’ Nick refers to this as one of the key things he has learned during his career: ‘I think the main thing is how important your staff are,’ he says. ‘A happy, motivated, well-trained workforce can pretty much do anything and your customers will see this and buy into what you are trying to do. Set the standards for the team, and praise and challenge as required.’

Nick shares another tip, too. ‘I also think it is important to keep things simple. We may be doing challenging jobs or projects at times but don’t over-complicate things.

‘Be clear in what you are trying to achieve, break it down into chunks, be clear with staff about this and their role in achieving it, and give regular feedback to them, even if things are not 100% going to plan. Silence is the worst and people will fill in the gaps for themselves, rightly or wrongly… ‘

Another factor in Nick enjoying a hugely-rewarding working experience to date, is the pleasure he derives from his dynamic role.

He adds: ‘Finally, try and enjoy what you do. Working with a motivated team is a great place to be, and doing stuff you don’t want to do is awful.

‘If you don’t like it and can do something else, go for it. If you can’t move on, try and influence what it is you are not enjoying. Lots of things are more negotiable than you think.’

Referring to his relationship with Naked Leader, Nick added: ‘I really enjoyed working with the company and have found applying the principles challenging and rewarding in equal measure. That your future is your choice, and it’s your choice at how you respond to events, some that are beyond our control, is an important mantra to carry with us at all times.’

Naked Leader founder, David Taylor said: “Nick is a great example of living with a purpose. His dedication to helping those in greatest need runs right through him. I loved working with Nick.’

– Thank you Nick and Clive.

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With my love and best wishes to you all



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