Meet our new Business Lead, Wendy Gray

With exciting and ambitious growth plans on the horizon, the Tinto team is expanding!

We recently welcomed Wendy Gray to the team, in the position of Business Lead. With Wendy’s extensive experience and passion for people, she will help to truly bring Tinto’s vision to life, develop a robust foundation to facilitate our future growth, and help everyone achieve their potential.

We’ve asked Wendy to share more about her new role at Tinto, what excites her, and insights into her past experience…

Tell us about your new role at Tinto?

“My role is to support and facilitate the company’s growth plans and help bring Tinto’s vision to life. It’s a gutsy vision, but with such a talented team, and everyone playing their part, we can deliver it.

“My work will initially focus on reviewing the current structure and processes, and consider any improvements that are required to support strategy delivery. The intention is to ensure a robust foundation, preserving the Tinto quality and enabling the whole team to deliver to their full potential - and ultimately grow the business.”

What are the key facets that your job role will encompass?

“As a company grows, you need a clear operating system. Richard has decided which operating system he wants for the company, and I’m here to implement it. His role in the company is creativity and vision, and my role is to create a really strong business foundation to support that growth mindset. With Richard as the Visionary, and me as the Integrator, we have a strong combined skill set to allow us to appropriately lead and support the team to strategy delivery. It’s exciting!

“Another part of my role is reviewing and documenting processes and procedures. Strong processes and procedures allow consistent application across the team with all the benefits thereof. When a company is small, it’s common for everyone to have their own ways of working, but as we grow, we need to ensure that everyone adopts the same procedures and delivers the “Tinto way”. It’s not about me coming in and telling people how to do their job, but more about allowing me to help everyone reach their potential in the most effective way.

“So, there’s lots to take on… putting an effective structure in place, helping the team see where they fit into that structure, strengthening processes and procedures, and managing a Visionary. I’m committed to adding value quickly and underpinning the Tinto team’s “can do” attitude. I will make a positive difference and need to live up to my promises to the team…. I’m not here to fail.”

What attracted you to the role at Tinto and how did this come about?

“Two years ago, and after more than 25 years in the Oil & Gas industry, I requested voluntary redundancy. This surprised or shocked many people, but it was one of the times where I really followed my heart and I knew it was the right thing to do. I took some time out to recharge my batteries and focused on my passion for health and wellbeing - pilates in particular. I gained my BASI pilates instructor qualification and started my own health & wellbeing business.

“But over the last six months, I felt that something was missing. While I thoroughly enjoy my business activities, I crave the buzz and delivery of the business world… and now I feel very fortunate to have, what I believe, is a great balance.

“I was introduced to Richard, as he was potentially looking for someone to join his team, and I really liked what he said about the business and his exciting growth plans. I also clicked with Richard… which is a bonus given that we work so closely together! Because Tinto’s a smaller company, I felt that I could add value and make a difference every day, whereas in large companies the contribution you make can be limited or can take a long time to be truly felt.

“One of my career options at school was interior design, and while I didn’t pursue that route, I’m delighted to get the chance to work in a design environment now. I knew that I wanted to be in an environment that will excite me, as that’s when I’m at my best… and I know that I’ve found that here.”

What excites you about your new role at Tinto?

I feel really lucky because this wasn’t a role that was advertised and it seems to be perfect for me. Throughout my career I’ve done a fair bit of personal development and I know that my purpose is to lead, coach or teach, while my passion is helping people achieve their full potential.

“If I get this right, I can help Richard unlock his full potential in terms of creativity and business development, freeing him up from current day-to-day business issues, while holding him accountable to his skillset. This will super charge the workflow and enable everyone else in the team to achieve their full potential as well.

“At Tinto, we want to be the supplier of choice AND the employer of choice. We want to continue to create the environment, customer and employee experience, where people feel valued.

“The model we’re putting in place will be scalable, so that when we execute the strategy and as the team grows, personal development plans and performance appraisals are in place to help manage that and make sure that everyone is supported and feels valued.

“When people feel that they are valued and heard, and they have the right support and career plan, they’ll flourish. I’m excited to bring that into my role here, while setting the business foundations that will allow Tinto to achieve its strategy.”

Tell us about your career background?

“I’m a qualified Chartered Accountant, although I don’t think I’m a stereotypical accountant! I’m quite an extrovert and I think there’s a creative in me too.

“I completed my accountancy and audit training, and was promoted to the role of Tax Manager within my five years in public practice with Price Waterhouse. I then spent 12 years at Baker Hughes, in a variety of finance and managerial roles, and laterally I had 9 years with Repsol Sinopec Resources, again in a wide variety of roles.

“In every one of these roles, I’ve been a team leader or a manager, so while I’m really focused on results, details and getting things right, I’m also really keen on personal development among the team and have always wanted to help people understand where their role fits and how their delivery impacts results. I’ve always taken responsibility for team development and delivering results; I’m so happy within a winning team!

What have you learned about managing people?

“Acting with the utmost integrity, being fair, supportive, adaptable and HONEST is key, and drives respect.

“I like to think that I manage people as I would like to be managed. I make sure that people know exactly what is expected of them but also that I’m there to support them. Too many leaders shy away from difficult conversations when it comes to people who aren’t delivering; anyone who is under-performing has the right to understand this and be supported in filling the gap. I don’t shy away from difficult conversations, in any area, but I like to think that I handle them in a professional, respectful and nurturing way, working towards the best outcome possible.

“I encourage everyone when they are asked to do something, to make sure that they know exactly what they are being asked to deliver and why, because without that clarity, there’s always a chance that they could fail. Whereas, when you’re absolutely clear on what is expected, you have a really good chance of succeeding.

“I’m very much a people person, but with dominant red energy. This is not generally what others notice first about me; results and delivery focus tend to be what’s noticed, but without good managerial and leadership skills, the results don’t follow! If I’m not engaging properly with the people / team that are the driving force of the results, then we’re not going to deliver... so it’s all about finding a balance.”