What I've Learnt: Laura Weaving, Founder & MD at Duo Global Consulting
Laura Weaving founded Duo Global Consulting in 2014, with the goal of providing talent acquisition, development and growth solutions to clients worldwide.
Duo's focus on organisational culture helps them support businesses to attract - but also retain - the best people.
We found out what Laura has taken away from a career involving extensive travel and ambitious leaps into the unknown.
Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?
Taking a moment at the beginning of the day. This can be anything from taking time to work out before the day starts, or just sitting in peace and quiet with a coffee - I am a firm believer that how you start your day sets the tone for the day.
We rolled this into the business early on, and our staff come into the office anytime up until 10am, with most working on a few emails at home first. Nothing good ever came of anyone starting their day with road rage from sitting in rush hour traffic!
What's been your luckiest break?
Moving to America. Although I travelled a lot before that, I’m not afraid to say I was a total homebird and had never lived outside of the North East, away from family and friends. It was a huge step outside of my comfort zone but I decided to throw myself into the opportunity.
Not only did it completely open my mind, but I was lucky to meet a lot of people that turned into clients and friends. Duo was established while I was living out there and I now spend about eight weeks of each year in America working with clients.
What's your best failure?
Probably not being a very good employee in the companies I previously worked for (sorry!).
I don’t like being told something can’t be done or having to play by a set of rules that don’t serve the team, or the customer. I always knew the only way I would be truly happy is to knock all the sides out of the box, start something with the freedom and flexibility to create solutions that solve real client challenges - and have fun doing it!
What's the best investment you've ever made, either financial or time?
Hands down, it would be investing in great people - both in our team, but also outside in connecting with great mentors, business coaches and non-execs.
How would you describe your work/life balance?
Slowly improving - mainly due to the experience of our team, and adding Sarah as Commercial Director last year! I took up strength training and now make time to leave work on-time for at least three sessions a week, and last month I had a two-week holiday in Borneo with only a couple of “standing on a mountain trying to get WiFi” moments!
I believe that taking time out, completely unplugged - seeing new places and gaining new perspective - makes for more productive, higher performing team members when they’re in the office.
Which book would you recommend others to read and why?
‘Traction’ by Gino Wickman. I was introduced to this book by one of our clients in America who was implementing the EOS process into their business.
I’m a huge believer that simplifying complexity often generates the best results (there is nothing more complex than people, and in our business we focus on simplicity as key!)
‘Traction’ outlines a really straightforward approach to business operations and growth - we not only use a lot of the techniques in our business, but also with our clients.
What one piece of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
If only at 21 I’d had the insight into myself and those around me that I do now! If I’d have known the importance of values and beliefs, and how certain behaviours impact everything we do, I would have made much better decisions!
Who or what has had the single biggest influence on your working life?
Without a doubt, the opportunity to travel and immerse myself in other cultures. At Duo, we talk all the time about the importance of a growth mindset in high performance, and there’s nothing better for growth than seeing different cultures, meeting new people, and ultimately gaining a bit of perspective outside the comfort of your own bubble.
Tell us something about you that would surprise people.
Sticking with the travel theme, I have a challenge with myself to never age more than the countries I’ve visited – I’m currently at 34 countries so a few years ahead of the game!
What does success look like to you?
Having flexibility and freedom - which in turn gives me the opportunity to choose to work with the people and projects that have the biggest impact.