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Leadership

5 minutes with... Nicky Forsyth, Partner Development Manager, breatheHR

Melissa Jones  |  22 September, 2016

This blog post is part of the behind the scenes at breatheHR campaign, giving you an insight into the people and the minds behind the online HR system that simplifies and automates people management. 

people_nicky_300x300.jpg1. Tell us about the company you work for and your role there

I work at breatheHR and I head up the partner channel. We work closely with HR consultants because they are often in the position of recommending a software package to their clients. A close partner relationship helps us sell to more companies and provides them with the ability to recommend a package they feel confident with.

2. What excites you most about the work you do?

It is intrinsically exciting working with a growing company. I enjoy the entrepreneurial attitude and the challenges it presents. We have the opportunity to introduce breatheHR to hundreds of companies throughout the UK, and, in doing that, make a marked difference to how well staff are managed and reduce the paper-trail of admin in those businesses.

3. What makes you happy at work?

A good bunch of people to work with and a product that I and others believe in. We are providing something that people need so in our own way we are helping to change lives for the better.

4. What qualities do you look for most in an employer/company to work for?

Honesty and integrity in the top team. The behaviour of the management team sets the standard for behaviour in the rest of the company. 

I also look for a company in a growth phase. Growth in a company gives the chance for all the staff to grow too which makes the whole experience interesting and exciting.

5. Tell us about a challenge you’ve faced at work and how you overcame it

My biggest challenge happens every day and is always balancing listening to partners’ requests against the priorities we face in house. This often involves letting partners down, but the skill is being able to explain the reasons to partners in a way that lets them know we are listening but also leaves them with a greater understanding of our business. Maintaining a good relationship is key to my work so nobody must get upset!

6. Other than the one you work for, which other businesses are you influenced/excited by?

I am always interested in fast-growing businesses, especially in the technology sector.  Not so much the famous ones but those achieving strong growth in smaller niche markets. It provides an example of what we can achieve.

7. What would other people say is your biggest strength?

Having run my own businesses I know the challenges an MD faces and the stresses that nobody else sees. I also know what it is to be the one with whom the buck stops! I can take responsibility and help support the company without leaving a mess for others to clear up after me.

8. What did you always want to do when you were growing up?

When I was about 5 years old I wanted to be an opera singer. I still enjoy music and love it as a hobby. As an adult, I soon understood the dedication required of professional musicians and realised it was not for me. I think the opera singer idea may have been the way for me, as a quiet, shy, child, to express a desire to let my voice be heard.

9. What one business application/piece of software could you not live without?

MS Excel. It’s great for forecasting and planning and incredibly powerful. I don’t know how anyone in business ever managed without it. Some time spent with the numbers can reveal insights into the dynamics of a business which can help with planning and avert disasters.

10. If you could work with one famous person who would it be and why?

It would have to be Richard Branson. He is an icon of entrepreneurship and I love his relaxed attitude to life.

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