Danny Roberts was recently hired as the new head of commercial strategy at EAL. The keen cyclist was previously Global Head of Training at SGS SA, where he was responsible for the training services strategy delivered to customers in over 100 countries. Prior to that position, Danny developed commercial training services in the UK across the spectrum of training and education services, bringing over 15 years of experience with him to EAL.
We spoke to Danny about his experience working at EAL so far and found out a little more about the man himself.
What does your average day look like?
I work from home, so travel to work is quite short! I walk the dog by about 7am and that’s when I am thinking about the working day ahead.
I’ll be at my desk generally by 8.15am. An average day is made up of several meetings either with colleagues or customers. I tend to get about two hours of me time which allows for analytics, reflection (rare for me), preparation and business performance reviews. I am a terrible fidget, so I prefer to work in 30 to 60 minutes bursts, leaving my desk for 5 minutes to either recharge or just move.
Lunch normally lasts for about 30 minutes whilst I keep an eye on my emails and I will trawl the news, politics and competitors. My day normally ends at 5pm but the great thing about working from home is that I’m able to complete tasks in a time frame that suits me, whatever time that may be in the day or week.
Tell us how you came to be in this role?
I worked in a very large conglomerate where the sales of training were important to the customer base but a low percentage of revenue to the company. This meant that the real focus was on other parts of the business, which is not uncommon in large businesses. However, EAL is totally focussed on my passion.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Winning as a business in any form, but most importantly for the customer, which is especially satisfying in this business as we are making such an important contribution to the industries we serve. The people at EAL and working with them are another aspect of the job that I love as they are passionate about the customer and the sectors we work in as they really want to make a difference every day.
What is the key to nurturing relationships with customers?
Openness, honesty and properly listening.
What three skills do you think you need in your role?
The ability to take a lot of information on board and quickly make sense of it, being able to get close to the customer whilst understanding their needs and the leadership skills to take people on the journey with you.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Interpreting government education and funding policy in uncertain times, then understanding how this will influence our delivery centres and the learners.
What’s your biggest achievement so far?
In my personal life, having a great family with two successful daughters.
In my career, personally paying for my master’s degree, completing it in my own time and using what I learned to help drive forward businesses, so I am still achieving this every day.
I have also won some very significant education and training tenders, building deep trust with those customers, which provides great intrinsic satisfaction.
Why would you recommend working at EAL?
It is a great place to work, especially due to the people, where everyone’s voice is heard and respected.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I am, and have been for many years a keen cyclist, whether that be mountain biking, cross country (CX), road cycling solo or with friends in a club. I try to cover up to 90 miles a week or a few hours on a turbo trainer mid-winter. I have even managed a road race team, which was fun.
What was the last film you watched?
Elvis - it has great makeup and scenes with quite a powerful (if not sad) story about the music industry in the day.
If you could meet one famous person, who would it be?
Winston Churchill, over a brandy and cigar.
If you could go back into any period of time, which year would you choose and why?
1976/77. I was about 10-years-old; it was the time of the Queens jubilee, Abba and a summer heatwave. Plus, I was really enjoying school and sport.