Successful Leadership By Anyone’s Standards-Yet with Humility: Lt Colonel (Retd) Jonny Gray with Jonathan Bowman-Perks
Jonny Gray is a Senior Partner at Control Risks (one of the world’s leading business risk consulting companies) having had a fast stream, highly successful military career & left after commanding The 1st Battalion The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders with action in the Iraq War. As a result he was awarded the Queens Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS) in 2004. He found that a lot of adjustment and learning was needed to transition from the military to a Professional Services Firm (PSF) in 2005.
Since this interview Jonny has been selected to be the first CEO of the global Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) from February 2020. He looks forward to working with all involved in world tennis to grow and develop the TIU into a broader-based integrity organisation for professional tennis. In Control Risks he had leadership consulting roles in EMEA & the Americas based in LA. He was then Head of Sales & Marketing for the Americas and finished up as Global Head of Sports and Major Events based back in London. For Jonny he admires Inspiring Leaders like General Sir David Richards (Lord Richards now) & General Sir Nick Carter plus former Control Risks’ CEO Richard Fenning.
He learnt to thrive in a complex matrix management structure with reporting lines by function, geography and client. Having done an MPhil at Cambridge in the Army, Control Risks invested in sending him to Harvard Business School for two PSF courses. Also training at the UK Institute of Directors helped him to “be less rough around the edges”. Leading in a PSF is about normally leading from back and only occasionally from the front – depending on circumstances. He learnt to create the environment for others to succeed. The challenge is to “Empower & Enable” your teams (sometimes 3,000 miles away) and yet you understand them and what it takes. He realised you need a lot of humility. What Jonny got wrong in leadership. It’s about constant learning.
Jonny said – my DNA was to lead and be at front – that is often NOT what is required. Rather to be “a producing manager” who sells and leads by example while empowering others to stretch for success. Top tip – You lead people; you manage resources