Rob Durran is co-founder of technology company, XINTEC, which focuses on fraud detection for telecom operators. The company’s unique approach in solving this €40 billion a year problem has helped transform XINTEC into a world-class fraud solution provider with customers including Vodafone, Orange and Tango Mobile. XINTEC’s presence spans the globe with operations in Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. The technology they have developed is also adaptable to other markets including transport, financial and utilities.
Rob is an experienced entrepreneur with over 10 years’ experience working with start-ups. In 2018 he won Kerry’s Best Young Entrepreneur award and he has recently completed an MSc in Business from University College Cork. Rob is a passionate rugby player and Munster supporter. As well as his role on the men’s senior team, he is also Director of Rugby for Tralee Rugby Club where he is involved in the overall development of the club, and recently won Club Person of the Year for his contribution to the club’s growth.
Can leadership be taught? If so, how?
Leadership is all about influencing and convincing people to follow you on a journey. It is something that is buried within us all, whether it’s in a parenting role, a sporting role or a business role. While there are many courses and books on leadership, I would consider the best way of harnessing ones leadership qualities is to surround yourself by people who you feel are, or have been, great leaders. Their guidance and inspiration will help more than any theory.
What do you think is the difference between management and leadership?
Managers delegate – leaders inspire. People follow leaders, however, successful leaders wouldn’t be able to function without effective managers.
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?
We need to create an environment for leaders to develop, whether that is through sport, business or within our personal lives. People need to be encouraged to try and fail – and try again. Mentoring programmes can be very effective.
What is the one mistake you witness leaders making more frequently than others?
As a start-up technology company in the communications industry, it’s ironic that one of our biggest mistakes was internal communication! From my experience in the start-up industry, this tends to be the biggest mistake as leaders aspire to grow their organisations. Effective leaders have a vision for success and this needs to be clearly communicated to their team in order to realise their goals.
What advice would you give to someone dealing with a high-pressure situation in their life or work?
Stop! Sleep on it! Avoid making rash decisions in an emotional or difficult situation. Surround yourself with people who you trust but can learn from. Treat people with respect – you never know when your paths will cross again.
What are a few resources (books, blogs, podcasts, courses etc) you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a better leader?
I enjoy Ted Talks and some of the Sunday business shows – listening and learning from others successes and mistakes can be far more effective than reading countless books on how to become a leader.