Lord Mayor of London William Russell – Tradition & Modernisation
Due to the pandemic William Russell served two terms as The Lord Mayor each of one year. Now the 692nd Lord Mayor in the City of London Corporation, he began as an Investment Banker in Merrill Lynch (equity sales). There his boss Jack Gibbs inspired him in a laid back way also the late John Owen had a positive impact on him. They taught him a style of cajoling rather the forcing people in the way you lead them.
William’s father died when William was only one and his Mother was an inspiration as he grew up – her values focussed on giving back. For example in one year his mother raised £365,000 for charity. William has a nice mix of history and technology- five members of his family have been Lord Mayors in the City of London. he was educated at Eton college – and now he champions FinTech and the UK’s Financial Services sector globally. Reflecting on areas where he could improve as a leader, while he is sometimes stressed and competitive, William never looses his temper. Learning from mistakes was our next topic – William admitted he made many mistakes and some investment mistakes.
His wife Hillary met him at Durham University and she is a wise advisor and council to him. This raised another tip from him: Always have some one you can bounce ideas off – who will be honest with you. Tips – always remember please & thank yous – be polite and bring out the best in people. Sir Anthony Seldon focussed years ago on health & wellbeing – it is critical with the pandemic more than ever. His principles values and beliefs: if you are asked to any event – always go – you never who you might meet. It could change your life and certainly someone else’s life.
His final reflection: Apply soft convening power, rather than hard power.