Chairman Sylvester established Neylons Facility Management in 2004 and has successfully grown the company to almost 600 employees. NFM deliver facility management services nationwide. Sylvie led the company as CEO for 13 years from the front in every aspect of the business with enthusiasm, passion, innovation and compliance. He built very strong relationships with clients by always ensuring their needs are met and exceeded no matter what the challenge. He now sits as Chairman of the Board of Directors. He is actively involved in the growth of Neylons.
Can leadership be taught? If so, how?
I believe not as leadership is distinct characteristic and my belief is it can only be enhanced through life experience, education, and mentoring.
When you are filling a leadership role in your organisation what qualities do you look for from candidates?
A willingness to learn, good time keeping, responsive, friendly, a keen interest in the role. These are just a few pointers that influence me as the culture in the company is that the best gets the job with these characteristics.
If you had to leave your organisation for 1 year what would you ask of your team and what advice would you give them?
Only recently I had to leave the company for 4 months. As we had invested in building a management team it was easy because I knew business could only get better when you apply the principles mentioned in your previous question.
What are you doing today to make sure your organisation will be relevant in 10 years time?
Neylon Facility Management have invested heavily in our senior management team, spending many years educating and mentoring. Today we have our own academy creating the right educational courses for our future management. The results from this exercise is evident in our board today, out of six directors four have come from this source. We plan to allocate more resources to the academy and to continue developing our CAFM system.
What leaders outside your own organisation do you admire and why?
Denis O’Brien (Digicel)
Richard Branson (Virgin)
Michael O’Leary (Ryanair)
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 believe to develop in the leadership role get your psychometric test completed. Get a professional to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Empowered with this knowledge enhance your strengths by attending courses, reading relevant business books. (“Good to Great” by Jim Collins, “The Toyota Way” by Jeffrey Liker). Always remember your weakness can become your strength, knowledge is power.