Stories

Meet our game changers: Fred Jones

June 20, 2019 / United Kingdom

Meet Fred, our game-changing Head of New Mobility for Uber across the UK and Ireland. He is responsible for ushering this next chapter for Uber. This includes making Uber’s transition to zero-emission vehicles a reality as well as expanding transport options available in the app to further increase the choice, reliability, and affordability of getting from A to B in your city.

Q: How do you view leadership (personal principles, thoughts, or philosophy)?

A: I believe that leaders can and should exist at every level of an organisation. What defines a great leader is that their behaviour and performance inspires, motivates and brings out the best in others around them. My personal philosophy on leadership is to ensure clarity exists on the mission and how everyone is contributing it. I focus my energy on supporting others to succeed, setting a high bar for success and holding those around me accountable to it. I think the most important time for a leader is when uncertainty or confusion exists; a leader must always seek out and run towards the biggest problems.

Q: What benefits to an organisation and team does cultivating a sense of ownership at every level provide?

A: It’s essential to reaching the highest levels of performance. If you can foster a sense of ownership then you can unlock enthusiasm, engagement, and real camaraderie across an organisation; it is a feeling when employees see your company’s success as the goal of the whole team. I’ve found that when there is a strong sense of ownership in teams, people strive to collaborate more, support a positive and inclusive culture and think holistically, looking to maximise each metric even those for which they have no direct responsibility.

Q: How have you encouraged and moulded your team to be seen as leaders in the organization as a whole?

A: Everyone has their own personal leadership style. So to help someone develop as a leader, I believe that you have to start by helping them be comfortable with being their genuine self at work. Not everyone is a ‘Churchillian orator’, but everyone can inspire and motivate others through their actions. Understanding an individual’s strengths then supporting them to demonstrate these in ways that deliver most impact across the team and organisation is a good place to start, followed by creating opportunities for them to coach others to do the same.

Q: Who do you consider to be an inspirational leader?

A: I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a number of great leaders in my career to see firsthand the impact strong leadership can have. But when it comes to naming inspirational leaders my mind always jumps to top athletes and particularly as an armchair fan of rugby union, Richie McCaw–the legendary captain of the All Blacks–stands out. His record on the pitch speaks for itself (most capped rugby union player of all time and double world cup winner), but for those that have watched him play and speak, his personal approach to leadership is clear; he was known for doing the hard work, mastering his trade, and others followed his example. He never strayed from his goal of being the best player he could be for himself, his team and his country. That was really inspirational to me.

Q: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in building and motivating a team?

A: I think every leader needs to understand it’s not about them; it’s about having a good team around you. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that you do not need to pretend that you know it all, instead, you should focus on creating an environment that allows people to be themselves, get involved, and make a positive contribution. The most important thing is to have a really clear vision of what you want to achieve and to get buy-in into achieving that. It is really important to have that from the start and to keep working on that week in and week out.

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