We were extrememly lucky to be introduced to Claire Wilkinson late last year when we first stocked the Think Triangle stationery in Princes Square and we feel privilaged to have met such a wonderful person.
Claire is the Marketing Manager of Princes Square Shopping Centre in Glasgow and Director of Ginger Rabbit Marketing. Princes Square is situated on Buchanan Street, bang in the middle of the busiest shopping street, which means Claire undoubtedly has her work cut out for her and her busy days are never once the same. Dealing with the centre's tenants, the creative, digital and PR agencies and pop up's and events within the centre are among a few of the things that occupies her.
We are so grateful that she managed to take a little time out to chat to us about life and leadership.
LS: What is a typical day like for you?
Alarm goes off at 06:11 (random, I know) and then it’s a mad dash to get myself, hubby and 3.5 year old Jude out the door by 07:30 most mornings. Busy day at work – working with agencies, tenants, promotions and pop ups, and dealing with budgets, events, signage, advertising, website, social, PR, charities …. Home by 7pm – catch my breath – dinner and fall into bed. Then do it all again. Sometimes I have to confess to staying in pj’s till lunchtime at the weekend – just because I can, and the idea of no rush hour commute is bliss.
LS: What would you say has got you to this point in your life?
CW: A lot of hard work. Some sacrifice. Luck. Sense of humour, and a tremendous support network.
LS: What have been your biggest life lessons?
CW: Good guys need to stick together – I only want to work with good guys. Life is too short, so if I need to speak to you every day in life – we need to be able to go out for a wine.
It’s a small world – and what goes around comes around. Too many people can be assholes and forget that you never know when someone will pop up again – one of them popped up a few years ago and I took great delight in being way ahead of where he thought I would be – which was way ahead of him!
Oh – and the truth will always out. It’s karma.
LS: This magazine focuses on leadership. Who has been a great leader in your life?
CW: Eileen Connolly – now Executive Director at MadisonSoho.
I worked as part of Eileen’s team at Donaldson’s and then DTZ for 7 years – and she just always had such faith in me even when I didn’t. When a resignation left me essentially alone in the Scotland office, it never crossed her mind that I couldn’t do it on my own with her remote support – and I will always be eternally grateful for that. She is also the first person I turn to whenever I need work advice. She is at the top of her game – but just a really nice person too – and I would work with her again in a heartbeat.
LS: When times are ‘not so good’, how do you lead? What processes do you put in place?
CW: I try to keep it all in perspective – but it’s not always easy – I do take things personally. But sometimes you need to experience the bad to appreciate the good. And tomorrow is another day – so deep breaths and plough on.
LS: What gets you through the day?
CW: Knowing that I will get cuddles from Jude at the end of it.
But in truth – I love what I do – 95% of the time – so I am very lucky and fully aware of that.
LS: Best person you have ever worked with and why?
CW: Eileen – as above. And currently Charles at Princes Square – because he makes me laugh every day and we are a great team.
LS: What gives you courage?
LS: What brings out your dark side?
CW: Disloyalty. I will be your most loyal friend – but don’t cross me, as I bear a terrible grudge. Not always an admirable trait I know– but there you go.
LS: What are you certain about?
CW: My gut instinct – it is rarely wrong. And chocolate. And shopping.
LS: When you have a big day ahead, what would be your go to ‘lucky’ item?
CW: My diamond earrings – one of the few extravagant treats I have gifted myself. They match everything.
LS: How do you create balance?
CW: This is something I struggle with to be honest – and need to do better at.
My OCD doesn’t help here – when I should be sitting down – I am wielding a hoover and a cloth invariably….or just relentlessly pottering about.
LS: How do you stay calm?
CW: I don’t? Not on the inside anyway.
LS: What do you dream about?
CW: Crazy things – on the rare occasion I dream and can recall it.
LS: Who would employ you?
CW: Eileen hopefully! Myself. And anyone who valued a hard worker who takes it personally, and who would respect my opinion and the fact that they were employing me to have one.
LS: What is taking up your thinking space right now?
CW: Thoughts of my holiday in 4 days time – 2 weeks, Disney daft in Florida with my two boys
LS: Favourite book on leadership/life/dream-making abilities?
CW: Tully by Paullina Simons – have read it several times – and in fact – am going to look out and take on my holiday to read it again.
LS: How would others describe you in 3 words?
CW: Loyal, thoughtful and funny – on a good day.
Keep in touch monthly (or even more frequently with us*).
* We promise not to virtually stalk you, it will be (at max) weekly round ups and elements that it would be rude not to tell you about...