Noel Davidson, general manager of LEO Training at The Entrepreneurs Academy, takes the Business & Finance 60 second challenge.
Q. What was your first job?
I think my very first job was the local paper round when I was 14 years of age. I was born in north county Dublin and so picking potatoes during the summer months was the normal activity.
I studied horticulture in college and was site engineer on the construction of a number of golf courses in Ireland – that was a long time ago!
Q. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?
I delivered a TED talk in Bergen, Norway in November 2012.
TED talks were a new phenomenon at the time and I was delighted to be involved. I spoke about protecting your online persona, which actually has more relevance today as our online activities increase.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
If ‘this’ works, keep doing ‘this’, if ‘that’ doesn’t work, stop doing ‘that’.
Wasn’t it Einstein who said the definition of insanity is doing exactly the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome? I believe, especially in business, that we are constantly learning and need to keep changing and evolving to meet our customers’ needs.
Q. If you could step into the shoes of one business person for the day, who would it be and why?
It would have been Steve Jobs from Apple.
I would have loved to see how he created the teams of designers, engineers and collaborators that have all worked together to make some amazing products over the past 10 years.
He was also a master story teller and I’ve always been inspired by how he made very sophisticated technology comprehensive to everyday people – a trait that I’ve always tried to incorporate into my training delivery by ‘making the difficult simple’.
Q. In three words or less, how do you define success?
Living life passionately.
Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?
I’m a huge fan of the Simon Sinek TED talk ‘Starting with why’ and I believe that when we work out for ourselves the ‘why’ we do things and communicate our ‘why’ to those around us. It inspires and motivates.
To quote Simon Sinek: “Whether they’re individuals or organisations, we follow those who lead, not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead, not for them, but for ourselves. And it’s those who start with ‘why’ that have the ability to inspire those around them or find others who inspire them.”
Q. How do you relax?
I’m a sailor and I get out on the water as much as possible in my free time. There is a special moment in sailing after clearing a harbour and setting the sails, when you turn off the engine and feel the boat lean into the wind and silently pick up speed. In that single quiet moment, all the joys of sailing come to me in a rush: freedom from the life ashore, the thrill of travel, the challenge of pitting myself against the forces of the sea.
Q. What’s your motto?
To live a full, meaningful and happy life. I stay inspired and motivated by connecting with others, and following my passions.
Q. What are your aspirations for the future of your business?
As part of the team at The Entrepreneurs Academy we are all about training people to start up and importantly stay in business.
We have a vision to have meaningful impact on the quality and quantity of entrepreneurship in Ireland by igniting the potential of 10,000 individuals by 2025.
We are well on the way to that goal and I relish every day that I contribute to our nationwide movement to change the face of small business in Ireland.
I stay inspired and motivated by connecting with others, and following my passions
Davidson leads a training team that designs and delivers practical and highly engaging materials for entrepreneurs and leaders of SMEs at The Entrepreneurs Academy.
He has worked with the academy since early 2010 and has proven highly successful in bringing start-up and small business owners through the challenges of setting up their business and use of digital media for the benefit of their business.
Davidson has extensive experience in person-facing roles in a number of industries including confectionary, hospitality, horticulture, retail and leisure.
He has been delivering training and mentoring services in various areas such as social media, market research, idea generation, business skills and business planning and IT.