This month’s insights from our leaders around the world comes from Amanda Moore, General Counsel, BAI UK. Since qualifying as a solicitor Amanda has worked both in-house and in private practice, in a number of roles across the outsourcing, technology, defence and telecommunications industries.
What’s the most important development happening in our industry and what does that mean for business?
5G technology is the single most important development in our industry – and beyond. More, better, faster connectivity is enabling a revolution in how each of us lives day to day. However, building the physical layer of a 5G network is expensive. The operators need to get on board, but funding their own builds is costly and duplicative. The shared infrastructure model is the solution and the BAI Group has a proven track record of providing neutral host solutions for its customers in North America and the UK. This is our time!
What inspires you most in the work that you do?
Telecommunications is such an exciting place to be. Pretty much every aspect of our lives is virtualised in some way – we work, socialise, shop, transact business, watch, listen, learn, monitor, maybe soon even drive…, using telecommunications technology. BAI builds the networks that enable that technology, and that means something personal to everyone. It’s great to be part of something that has meaning to each of us and impacts directly on everyday life.
What is a technique you use to be more effective in your work?
Take time out to think. Every day at BAI is different and sometimes the work flies in from all directions, which is part of what makes BAI such an exciting place to work. But it’s easy to become reactive and rushed all the time, even when the big squeeze isn’t on. Whenever I can, I stand back and take time to think things through or better yet, sleep on it. The extra time lets my brain catch up and often I can see something I’ve missed, or a new idea or solution will surface. So if you see me staring into space, it’s definitely because I’m ruminating on a thorny issue.
What’s one of the ongoing challenges you face at work and how do you manage it?
There’s so much to do! It’s been little more than a year since BAI was awarded the TfL concession agreement. The London office has transitioned from tendering to delivery in an incredibly short period of time. And we’re growing fast – onboarding customers and partners in London and Sunderland, bidding for new business, welcoming new colleagues from Dublin and Reading. It’s great to be part of this incredible launch period, although it’s also very challenging to prioritise when everything is a priority! I manage by engaging as much as I can with my BAI teammates. I need to listen and understand what’s going on for them, what’s needed and when. If I can get them to take me along for the ride I’m ready when I need to be, or at least as ready as I can be!
What is your advice for proactively managing your career?
Get a mentor. I don’t think you can underestimate the value of having someone to bounce ideas off, give you guidance when you want it, and even have a whine to occasionally. There a no rules – they don’t have to be in a similar job, or even in the same industry. Whenever I catch up with my mentor, I always get a different perspective and some new ideas. Don’t stop at getting one though – being a mentor is great too. Not only is it rewarding personally, but it’s a very effective way of seeing yourself through another’s eyes and has helped me to assess my own decisions (and advice!) differently.
Who has been the greatest influence on your career and why?
I have had the pleasure of working with a great many clever people, most of them not lawyers. The one person who stands out as influencing me the most is a partner I worked for in the early stages of my career in private practice. In a meeting room or at the pub, his manner was always calm and kind (no matter how badly the negotiations were going). And he always made time for his team when they needed him (often, in my case). I learned from him that I didn’t have to be anyone at work but myself. That influenced me immensely because I realised that my career would be forged by going where I felt most myself, not necessarily the next rung on a ladder.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I didn’t finish high school. My first job was as a bank teller, back when they were human beings, and until those silly plastic notes came out I could still count cash like a machine… It took me 7 years to decide that university was for me after all.