Speaker Insight Series - Eoin Motherway

Eoin Motherway, Head of Operations, The Asset Management Exchange

Eoin has sent through his thoughts for the third edition of our 2019 Speaker Insight Series. We’ve borrowed the format from Tim Ferriss’s book ‘Tribe of Mentors’. You can read about the book here and buy it directly here.

Throughout the book, Tim poses 11 questions to his interviewees with the request to respond to 3 to 5 questions.. or more, if the spirit moves them. See Eoin's answers below:

What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

The Three Little Pigs. I’d like to think I would have built the Stone House. Take the time to build the strongest house and you come out on top in the end. The Soup Stone, for how true teamwork helps everyone. I’m not a regular gifter of books but I have frequently recited an adapted passage by Marianne Williamson that kicks me on when I read it.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? ……Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. …. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours?

My favourite failure is many years ago being part of a large outsourcing pitch for a client for whom my team already serviced for Money Markets and they were outsourcing their entire business. I arrived in Glasgow and my hotel was reserved but not confirmed so the room was released. There was a Bagpiping Festival on and Celtic Legends were playing a charity match. It was pouring out of the heavens and taxis were limited. A hotel was found after a two mile walk in the rain; but after a sandwich and a shower a good night’s sleep would fix it all. The next morning in getting attired I had my suit jacket, my white shirt, serious business tie and shiny shoes – but no suit pants ! The great and the good of our global team in town for a massive pitch with a valued client and all I had was my wet jeans. I managed to buy a suit by 9.20am for our 10am meeting. In the opening session our lead introduced our team, finishing with me as I was the existing service agent of the firm. The client replied, “I know all about Eoin & his team, we don’t need to cover his area today, we are already very happy with the work they do for us on a daily basis”.

It’s my favourite failure, not for the humour it now holds, but because the lesson it taught me that if you take care of your character, your reputation will take care of itself. We do not win or lose business on one encounter. It is only lost after a period of failure and only grows after a period of goodwill. One failure will not kill a relationship, even a favourite one.

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)

Culture is what people at the bottom feel it is, not what people at the top think it is

What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)

The greatest investment I ever made was believing in myself and my ability. Sometimes that belief was delusion to the reality, but I like to think I have narrowed that gulf over the last 20 years. If you can’t believe in yourself, your team mates wont, but it’s a two way street. You always take setbacks and often times it’s a team environment and how you collectively pull through that is you how maintain or restore the self-belief you started with.

The second greatest and free investment is polite, definite but emphatically delivered manners, especially a positive response when someone greets you. It makes my blood boil, upon enquiring of someone “How are you ?” to hear people reply “Not too bad”, “Can’t complain”, “Could be worse”. If the opening conversation is a negative expression, it hardly makes for good company for the next hour, day, week…career !

In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?

Find a few minutes every day to stretch your muscles, sinews, ligaments. Titanium joints are no good if the wiring doesn’t work. Secondly if you are away overnight for two nights or more, spend one night at the theatre, a gig, a museum, a gallery - do something with your time. And, because its paid for in your room rate, use the gym at least once. I have seen so many events across Europe in the last five years instead of ordering too much room service, eating on the side of the bed scouring bad TV. I find if you arrive at the venue 5 mins before and ask for the cheapest ticket – you will be surprised how good your seat will be as they look to fill the stalls.

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