Eamon Moore has been involved in the technology industry since 1995 and has worked with a variety of companies including CSK Software and ESAT/BT. He holds a degree in Computer Applications from Dublin City University and a Diploma in Cloud Strategy from the Irish Management Institute and University College Cork. Eamon was the founder and CEO of business productivity and technology firm EMIT, overseeing its growth into one of Ireland’s foremost providers of managed services and Cloud solutions. He successfully exited the company in July 2018. Eamon has since co-founded Hikari, a business intelligence and data analytics company. He leads a group of dedicated business and technology professionals who provide solutions that allow organisations to analyse business data – providing actionable insights, adding value, and empowering companies to make better business decisions.
Can leadership be taught? If so, how?
Yes, to a certain extent. Everyone can be a leader in their own right and for some it comes more naturally than others. With the right mentoring and coaching, or simply by being around other leaders, people can grow into a leadership role. In my own experience, the most important factor in improving my leadership skills has been observing others and learning from them. It’s important to note that it’s not just about simply copying what others do – you must learn from them and then put your own spin on it, developing a customised approach based on your personality, abilities, experience and environment. Leaders are individuals and those who excel have their own style and approach.
What do you think is the difference between management and leadership?
For me, management is like a car on a journey: management is the system behind the scenes which keeps the car moving and ensures that all of the different parts work cohesively and correctly. Leadership is the driver, the person or people who bring the team on the journey, guiding them along the way. In my experience, managers tend to maintain the status quo and work within structures or strategies that are already in place. On the other hand, leaders seek to drive change, take risks and inspire others, embracing potential challenges and operating confidently in the face of failure.
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?
Start early. The advantage that students and the younger generation have these days is access to an unparalleled amount of information. Podcasts, videos, online repositories, social media and a host of other platforms are part of everyday life and provide fantastic access to insights, best practice, people and more. It’s an opportunity to further educate upcoming generations in areas that simply were not available in the past. Accessible classes or modules focused on leadership, entrepreneurship and business – offered through a variety of platforms and formats and promoted and tailored to second and third level students – will, without doubt, have a positive impact on the development of future leaders.
However, learning doesn’t stop in your teens or early twenties. Business environments can undergo rapid change and companies need to continually invest in their people – part-time courses in areas including leadership, strategy and innovation are very important in encouraging individuals to take the next step into leadership roles. Confidence can also be key, and interactive courses with knowledge sharing and group activities can bring out the best in people. I experienced this first-hand during my time in the Irish Management Institute, which had a profound effect on the approach I now take with regard to leadership and other important business skills. Give people the tools and they will grow.
What is the one mistake you witness leaders making more frequently than others?
Forgetting that they can’t do everything and not surrounding themselves with a strong management team. The best leaders recognise their limitations and constantly ensure they bring the best people on board, building a team environment with a broad range of skills to ensure future success. In fact, the finest leaders or entrepreneurs I know work hard to retain these people – when they move on to the next venture you’ll often see them surrounded by the same or a similar management team. Surround yourself with the right people and good things will follow.
What advice would you give to someone dealing with a high-pressure situation in their life or work?
Seek help and advice and make sure you seek it early on. Don’t wait until it is too late. Throughout my career, I have built a network of people who are always at the other end of the phone. This has been invaluable to me and I’ve found that it’s a trait in Irish people both in business and in general – we are always willing to help.
What are a few resources (books, blogs, podcasts, courses etc) you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a better leader?
A podcast that I regularly listen to is “How I Built This” with Guy Raz who interviews entrepreneurs and business leaders to learn about the stories behind some of the world’s best-known companies. I would also highly recommend the Irish Management Institute who run various courses across leadership, strategy and personal development. When I get the chance to read I tend to look out for books about sports and teams as it is often the case that many of the principles in this area relate to those in business, leadership and teambuilding.