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Have you ever taken a journey that's changed your life?

by Shannon Walsh


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To accompany the launch of the new Tile Hill website I’ve written a short blog post about the journey I took to get here together with a bit about what to expect from Tile Hill and the topics we’ll be giving more thought to.

But first I’d like to know something from you…

Have you ever taken a journey that’s changed your life?

I ask this question because I’ve recently taken two. The first was a 2-month trip with my young family. Having jumped at the chance to take the wonderful new option of Shared Parental Leave, in July last year, I sped out of the office before anyone had a chance to say “but dads can’t do that”, and we hit the road. Five of us in a car on a road trip through Europe. It was fantastic. Mostly.

Everyone knows that travelling with kids isn’t always easy and travelling with three children under six had its moments. But after about 10,000 toddler snacks, 7,000 kilometers, 6,999 are-we-nearly-there-yets, 50 he hit me’s, 30 she hit me’s, more than a handful of wrong turns, 2 serious threats of divorce and 1 lost mobile phone, I arrived back home knowing that there was more to life than the way I’d been working. And that I wouldn’t be going back.

The second journey, incidentally, was to Birmingham.

Tile Hill Interim Management

My company was born out of a journey to Britain’s 2nd city. Having resigned from the business I’d been at for the past 10 years, I’d been offered a new role to start a company for someone else. It was a good offer, from people I respected and it was sure to be a new challenge. But, when I considered the reality of it, in the end, it just felt like too much of the same. At this point in my career, I really needed to leave behind the frustrations I’d been feeling with corporate life.

The truth is, I’ve never been overly bothered about being paid to turn up. Of course, I always had a salary but since the first day I stepped into the recruitment industry, it’s been meeting targets and being rewarded for achievements that’s meant more. I guess in that sense working for myself feels like less of a leap. I’ve always wanted to start my own business but being in an environment where I was learning and developing had kept the balance from tipping.  So, taking a small step away from the office for few months to focus on family, made me realise something important. I realised that for me, the sense of satisfaction you have at the end of the day is really what life is about. And, it’s by far the biggest motivator for me in going to work.

Do I feel like I’m making a difference? 

Am I doing the things that are important to me?

Am I able to invest in the people that work for me in the way I want to?

Can I make the decisions I want to quickly, and for what I believe are the right reasons?

Do I genuinely feel empowered?

When the answers to those questions start to feel more like a no than a yes, it’s time to make a change.

It was during a train journey to Birmingham that I decided to turn down the job I’d been offered and create a business of my own. I made that decision in a place called Tile Hill.

I owe a small debt of gratitude to our rail service for allowing me some extra thinking time on that journey. As the train sat there, I contemplated the business I wanted to create and the values it should be anchored to. Ownership, Passion, Integrity & Ambition. A business that thrives on a challenge. Where people love their jobs. And, where the driving force is making a worthwhile and lasting contribution to our customers’ businesses and their careers.

So, this is it. Day one. Tile Hill is very much in its infancy. My vision is that we can grow and that eventually we can be recognised as the No. 1 provider of interim management and independent consultants to the public sector. There’s a long way to go on that journey. And the buck stops with me to get it moving.  But it’s a journey that I bought a ticket for and it’s one that I’m enjoying every minute of.

David Weir, March 2017

Follow Tile Hill on Twitter, LinkedIn & Instagram for updates on the future of work, leadership that gets results, public sector insights, the odd useful tip for interim managers & independent consultants and a few things more.

**A note of thanks also to our partners that have helped to get things kicked off. Volcanic, CTP Digital, The Office Group, The MJ, Base 52, Jelf, The Recruitment & Employment Confederation, Zoho Recruit and Vonage.

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