The LEADING WALES Awards 2013

SHORTLISTED CANDIDATES

Rachael Wheatley

Rachael Wheatley Category: Businesses with 50 or less employees

Summary:

Rachael's vision when she set up Waters Creative, a Swansea-based design, creative & marketing studio, was to provide; visionary ideas, exceptional creativity, strategic thinking and a 'can do' approach to all work. Eight years down the line she employs 11 people, works for over 400 clients across the UK and has opened a second office in Reading.

Profile:

Rachael ensures that the Waters Creative team builds strong relationships with customers and once clients work with the team, they come back again and again. This trust and confidence in the service comes from Rachael's direction and guidance that empowers the team to deliver relevant services and products according to a client's specific industry, design and strategy requirements.

Rachael encourages the team to keep up to date and trained in the most recent software applications and we integrate these skills within the staff training and business development plans. This investment is vital in the company's ongoing service delivery that pushes the boundaries in digital communications, creative design and website development.

Her calm, open approach and accessibility helps to alleviate any possible business or personal issues that may escalate out of proportion. She has a strong relationship with all clients and is therefore always in a position to deal with any quality or production problems. Waters Creative, under Rachael's guidance, does not advocate a blame culture. We are all in this team together and that is evident to staff and clients alike.

In March 2012, the company introduced an internship for students at the University within the studio; this internship is aimed at students who are struggling creatively or to relate what they are doing in lectures to a commercial environment. She also conducts mock interviews with local 'A' level pupils who are looking to go to University, helping them with interview techniques.

Rachael is also a Mentor for the South Wales Schools 'Young Dragons' annual business competition. She participates in VIVA sessions with Swansea Metropolitan University, providing commercial advice and feedback to design students.

Her leadership skills are an inspiration to staff and clients alike put the business in a sound position for further growth.

Who inspires you?

Hard workers, clever thinkers and people who act with integrity.

What is your top leadership tip?

Don't ask anyone to do anything you are not prepared to do yourself.

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues don't know.
I have a Blue Peter badge.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Reliability, calmness under pressure, realising the skills and strengths of your team.