What I've Learnt: Jenny Davies, CEO at M247
M247 is a global provider of cloud services and superfast internet connectivity, headquartered in Manchester - working with thousands of customers worldwide.
Jenny Davies joined the company in 2017, originally as its operations director. She quickly progressed to become its MD, then CEO. Throughout her career, Davies has held management roles in a number of other traditionally male-dominated sectors, moving into IT only around six years ago.
She's overseen acquisitions and led M247 with a focus on authenticity, managing to build upon M247's existing success to create an international leader.
We sat down with Jenny to learn what motivates her.
Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?
Morning exercise - usually half an hour of one-to-one with a Muay Thai boxing coach about three to four times per week. And listening to a podcast when I’m stuck on the M56 on the way to into work!
What's been your luckiest break?
Joining M247 and becoming CEO within just 18 months of joining the company.
What's your best failure?
I have a few - you always learn from operational incidents and I have managed some large ones in the past!
When customers are impacted it’s the worst feeling at the time, but I’ve learnt that a lot of the customer reaction is about how you respond to the incident in the first place. In all the organisations I have worked for, I have always ensured that customer communication is prioritised during an incident.
What is the best investment you've ever made, either financial or time?
Training to be an executive coach - it teaches you to be non-judgmental and ask lots of open questions.
How would you describe your work/life balance?
It works for me. When I’m with my kids, I’m first and foremost their mum and I work around their routine. When I’m in work, I am extremely organised and ensure that my week is well planned out.
I always try and make time to attend events and assemblies at my children’s school, but I also let my kids know that having a good work ethic is important for their future.
Which book would you recommend others to read and why?
'Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff' by Richard Carlson. Life is incredibly busy and it’s important to put everything into perspective. 'Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff' is about making sure the relatively insignificant events in your life don’t take up more space in your mind than they need to.
What one piece of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Have at least a year out travelling - you’re going to be working really hard for the next 30-plus years!
Who or what has had the single biggest influence on your working life?
Probably my dad. He left school at 15 and worked hard all his life; ending up with a very successful business.
Tell us something about you that would surprise people.
I am not a techie. In fact, at school I didn’t really enjoy STEM subjects. I was much more into the arts.
What does success look like to you?
Feeling that I have done my best for my family and my employees at M247.