Caroline Sugrue has been Operations Director with DCS Group for over 13 years having worked previously in the Irish Examiner Newspaper and Kerryman. DCS Group specialises in helping organisations with complex energy requirements to find solutions to reduce their energy consumption. She is currently the Chairperson of Cara Credit Union located in Tralee, Castleisland and Killorglin, Co. Kerry which has over 45,000 members and assets in excess of €250M.
Caroline has a Diploma in Company Direction and Corporate Governance and has been responsible for developing the strategy and analysing the risks for DCS Group as they move through the different stages of a growing company. Caroline believes that because the world and market are constantly evolving, to stay in business and stay relevant your company has to change too. Values and goals will remain the same but you might need to get on a different bus. Caroline has four teenage daughters and when not tending to their needs she likes to play golf, do a bit of yoga, walk a bit, run a bit and meet up with a few friends. Caroline is working towards becoming a Chartered Director in 2018.
Can leadership be taught? If so, how?
Yes, I believe leadership can be taught – When I look back over the past 15 years or so, I see how much I have changed in my role, how I deal with people, how I react to different situations, how I motivate the people I work with. This has been a process of learning, mostly through experience, but also mentoring and reading many books.
What do you think is the difference between management and leadership?
Management is following the plan, managing the team and getting it done. Leadership is following the goal, and if the plan isn’t working, changing the plan but never the goal.
The world around us is changing faster than at any time in human history and we need more leaders to emerge. How do we make this happen?
The world is all about technology, innovation and disruption. Being a leader is challenging. No longer is business separated from society. We must motivate and show the next generation that the leaders of the future are the people who will shape our world and the type of world we want to live in.
What is the one mistake you witness leaders making more frequently than others?
Not listening, really listening and giving people time and space to think.
What advice would you give to someone dealing with a high-pressure situation in their life or work?
Tackle the situation. Don’t ignore it. Make a plan. What is the desired outcome? Talk to someone who you trust. Don’t delay.
What are a few resources (books, blogs, podcasts, courses etc) you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a better leader?
“Time to Think – Listening to Ignite the Human Mind” by Nancy Kline
“The Road Less Travelled” by M. Scott Peck
Download your favourite songs to a playlist and go for a walk. Music is food for the soul!!