Episode 28 - Andrew Denton - Alfa Systems

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“A lot of being a good mentor is listening and getting people to back themselves…if you tell somebody how good they are, that means a lot, and if you tell them to back themselves, someone who may not have gone for that opportunity or taken that role on, maybe they now do, and that makes a big difference.”

Today’s guest is Andrew Denton. Andrew is Chief Executive Officer of Alfa Systems, the leading international asset finance and leasing software company. Having joined the company in 1995 he successfully worked his way up, becoming a member of the Board in 2003 as Sales and Marketing Director. He was made Chief Operating Officer in 2010 and became CEO in September 2016.

In addition to his role at Alfa He is also Director and joint founder of the Leasing Foundation, an organisation that supports the leasing and asset finance industry through charitable activities, research and development.

Andrew was recommended to me by two close friends of mine as someone I must get on the podcast and he certainly didn’t disappoint. The advice and insights he shares throughout this interview are fantastic and I had a great time interviewing him.

We cover so much ground in this conversation including:

Andrew’s path to CEO and his advice to those looking to do the same.

The importance of developing sales skills regardless of your role if you’re looking to climb in your company.

What he learnt from Alfa’s IPO and his advice to others who may be considering doing the same.

The importance of finding and building relationships with Mentors to help you accelerate your career.

As my first guest from a listed software and services business it was great to get his unique perspective on the market and advice for others looking to emulate his and Alfa’s success.

You can find out more about Andrew and connect with him through his LinkedIn profile - https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewwdenton/

You can find out more about Alfa Systems at https://www.alfasystems.com  

Specific Things We Discuss:

The blokes guide to pregnancy by Jon Smith  - http://amzn.eu/d/9OF2V2d

The sixty minute father by Rob Parsons - http://amzn.eu/d/girxojz

The Jersey: The All Blacks: The Secrets Behind the World's Most Successful Team by Peter Bills - http://amzn.eu/d/iFCvidm

The Real McCaw: Richie McCaw: The Autobiography by Richie McCaw - http://amzn.eu/d/gBs2iG3

Numis - https://www.numiscorp.com/x/default.html

Barclays - https://www.investmentbank.barclays.com/

Tulchan - http://www.tulchangroup.com/

Whitecase - https://www.whitecase.com/

Alfa’s Non Executive Directors  - https://investors.alfasystems.com/media/board-of-directors

Tim Cook - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Cook

Bill Mcdermott - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_McDermott

Nile Rodgers - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nile_Rodgers

Madonna - https://www.madonna.com/

Bill Gates - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gates

The Gates Foundation - https://www.gatesfoundation.org/

TED interview with Elon Musk - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQtMqdYgFH0

Flipboard - https://flipboard.com/

You can find out more about Andrew on his Linkedin page - https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewwdenton/

You can find out more about Alfa at https://www.alfasystems.com/eu/   

What we talk about:

00:02:30 – Andrew’s background and how he got to where he is today.

00:05:02 – Andrew’s path to CEO and his unusual advice to others looking to do the same.

00:10:05 – How to make the most of ‘dead end’ career moves and how you should learn from every experience. 

00:13:12 – The questions Andrew asked himself when considering the step up to COO and then CEO.

00:16:16 – The common misconceptions have about being CEO.

00:20:40 – The importance of sale skills if you want to climb in your career.

00:30:16 – Andrew’s book and resource recommendations when it comes to fatherhood and leadership.

00:33:21 – Why you should be looking to learn from and emulate those outside the Consulting industry as well as within.

00:34:54 – How Andrew’s kept his own knowledge and understanding of the industry fresh whilst being in the same business for 23 years.

00:38:31 – Andrew’s key learnings from the Alfa Systems IPO and his advice to other looking to do the same.

00:46:09 – Andrew’s advice on mentoring, why you need them and his dream mentors.

00:49:50 – How Andrew and the Alfa management team have built a culture that has sustained for such a long period of time.

00:55:47 – The common questions that Andrew gets from his mentees and his answers to them.

00:59:29 – Andrew’s advice for finding and working with a mentor.

01:06:00 Andrew’s additional book recommendations and his other go to resources for news and insights.

01:09:11 - Andrew’s closing advice for you whether you’re just starting out in Consulting, In the middle grades or approaching Partner level.

01:11:00 - How to get in touch with Andrew.