Caroline Sugrue is operations director with DCS Group, an electrical and energy services company founded in 2005. The company has grown from 5 employees to its current staff of 35 permanent and 15 part-time employees. DCS Group has been very successful over the years and weathered the crisis through constant innovation and hard work. A pro-active approach to strategy and planning has been a key driver of success for the company.
In respect of your career to date, what are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the fact that the team has managed to keep the business going through some very difficult years. It wasn’t easy but we kept going. Now we are a stronger team and in a position to take advantage of new opportunities.
What do you believe are the most pressing challenges that business leaders face today? And why?
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 were the key benefits to you of undertaking the IoD's Chartered Director Programme?
The Chartered Director Programme has brought a new level of professionalism to our business. The board is now more focused on strategy and risk and realises how important these concepts to a business are. It has enabled us focus our energies on key enabling drivers that will grow the business in the future.
What advice would you offer to new or aspiring directors in Ireland?
I would encourage anyone who is interested and enjoys working in a business environment and is looking to advance their career or just build on their current knowledge and experience to complete the programme on Company Direction and become a Chartered Director. The standard of the Programme is second to none.
What do you believe are the traits that are most lacking among business leaders today?
In a world of constantly growing technology we are connected all the time. Contact now is 90% email. We no longer pick up the phone. I feel leaders are now lacking the ability to have a conversation and listen to their customers, their employees or their peers, and so are we really listening ?
Where are the biggest changes you’ve seen in business over your career?
This question echos the previous question. When I started in business over 13 years ago, I spent a lot more time on the phone and meeting people. It really helped in building relationships. That one to one contact has significantly declined. I think people are more isolated.
What, in your opinion, makes a great leader?
A great leader in my opinion is a person who surrounds herself with very talented, positive people and gives them the space to contribute and grow the business.