Sally Felton is a Director in Fraud Risk Management (FRM).
Her team sits within Forensics, with a Financial Services (FS) Advisory reporting line and an interest in the whole firm.
How have you helped others to achieve their potential?
I love watching my team grow and I am really passionate about ensuring the individuals working with me are recognised for their achievement and input. During a role at a previous firm, I looked after 200+ staff, ensuring that they were happy, motivated and if they weren't, I wanted to know why so that I could try and help. I manage people individually and I (try to) adapt my leadership to their way of working, not the other way round. I think it's my job as a leader to show flexibility in leadership style, rather than “it's my way or the highway". I still have one ambition in my career to achieve and that is to work for someone who used to work for me.
What would be one of your aspirations for the next 12 months?
I want the FRM work across the whole of the firm to feel cohesive, consistent and collaborative, no matter where the work is delivered from. I want our Leadership Team to know they can come to me, or any one of the FRM Working Group, and know that we'll be able to articulate the good work we are delivering, along with our ambitions for its growth across the business. I want BDO to be the go-to firm in the marketplace for FRM advice, and finally, I want there to be a healthy pipeline of talent working with me, ready to cover me if I decide to take a sabbatical or win the lottery.
Do you have any helpful tips on how to manage your general wellbeing or support a good work-life balance?
I am fortunate enough at home to have my own office which I appreciate not everyone does; this does mean I am able to close the door on the office when I am not working. I also have a very strict clear desk policy which means I make a point of closing everything down at the end of the day, packing my laptop and all of my paperwork away. During lockdown, I also got into the habit of taking at least a 45-minute lunchbreak, where I walk the dog if I'm at home, or head outside if I'm working in a Hub. I plan to keep doing this.
One of our Unifying Culture priorities is 'Be Yourself', how do you promote this personally or within your team?
I spent a very long time embarrassed that I left school at 16 when I was working with hugely talented, university-educated people. It's not been until the last few years that I have really started to appreciate what I have achieved in my career, and become proud to admit that I am street-smart, hardworking and fair. I will now always push to ensure those who have not had access to university educations or great starts in life are supported and developed through their careers. There isn't a one size fits all, and diversity and inclusion means more than gender, race, disability, religion, sexuality or orientation. If we are encouraged to 'Be Yourself', we have to live and breathe it, which I intend to.
Before you started your working life, what was your dream job?
Well, I left school at 16 and did my “dream job" for a year. I worked as a roller skater, teaching people how to skate. Needless to say, it didn't last long because despite the fact that skating is the only thing I will happily admit to being really good at, £1.25 an hour was never sustainable. Also, I was totally wrong. The best job in the world is in fact a Panda Keeper and I will challenge anyone who says otherwise.
Who would you invite to your dinner party?
This is really hard. I would invite my mum, pre-2010 to tell her how much I love her. She had a stroke in 2010 and whilst she is still with us and very much full of love and life, she is very different, and I miss having her to chat to properly about real issues. She is, however, still my go-to person for all things gardening related.
If someone offered you a one-way ticket, to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Anywhere I can see the Northern Lights, so maybe Finland in one of those ice hotels or little tent things. But I will definitely want a return ticket please, I have a grandchild arriving in September.
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