Vanessa Tierney is co-founder of Abodoo, an exciting global and intuitive platform that is connecting companies with remote working professionals. She champions remote and flexible working in order to attract and retain the best talent and lives and breathes “smart working” with all her teams now for over7 years.
A Top 100 All Ireland Female Entrepreneur Vanessa also founded one of the first 100% remote recruitment agencies supporting Fortune 1000 Technology Companies in the US and across EMEA.
Can leadership be taught? If so, how?
Anything can be taught but there are certain personality and behavioural traits that will be more receptive to learning and naturally being a great leader. I’m a big believer in learning through practice, theory has its place of course but what is online or in a textbook can be applied in many different ways given a situation. Nothing beats witnessing a great leader and the impact they have and then being coached to find your own leading style by someone who has been there and done it. Leadership is not a one size fits all, it’s the ability to have tools readily available and knowing what and when to use each one for maximum results.
When you are filling a leadership role in your organisation what qualities do you look for from candidates?
Emotional intelligence, strong cognitive ability, a visionary with the “people power” skill and by that I mean the ability to influence and have everyone feel inspired to excel in their own role and encourage others, creating a beautiful culture. Underpinning all of this is high integrity and altruism so that business goals can be achieved while building an organisation that rewards open communication and commitment.
If you had to leave your organisation for 1 year what would you ask of your team and what advice would you give them?
To continue to work by our values, striving to achieve our mission and vision that we are so clear about. The advice I would give them would be to prepare for the unexpected, ensuring that we are one step ahead of our competitors and we are predicting where future work trends will be. I would advise them to recognise and reward each other’s achievements and continue to feel proud of the lives they are changing for the better.
What are you doing today to make sure your organisation will be relevant in 10 years time?
At Abodoo we are constantly thinking about the future of working trends and how smart working will evolve. We are at the infancy of this revolution and are in a great position to witness first hand how employers are embracing change and evolving from trialing flexibility to empowering workers to be based in a location that works for them. Obviously, we will continue to conduct surveys with employers and workers and study international reports on the Future of Work.
What leaders outside your own organisation do you admire and why?
There are many I admire and really those that are creating smart working environments globally and in turn a culture of high staff retention that is fully supportive of diversity and inclusion. Leaders who see a gap in the market, can embrace change, trust their teams and are visionary are the most inspiring such as Tobias Lütke of Shopify, a Canadian e-commerce platform that is growing at a phenomenal rate, simple on the front end with a high complexity in their software and who is fully embracing their employees to work remotely.
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 think the best advice I can give is to assess yourself as a leader to see where your strengths and weaknesses are and then go online to find the right resources that are personal to you. I’m a big believer in personality, behavioural and cognitive assessments that will give you insight into your natural fit as a leader and where you can further develop. I like to listen to interviews of leaders of organisations that have built from concept stage up and listen to how they handled challenging situations, selected the best talent and ultimately achieved their goals.