The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is running a series of podcasts talking to leadership figures from across the nation to understand what leadership means in Britain and Northern Ireland today.
Joanne Bell, Managing Director of Bells Accountants, was invited onto an episode of the podcast, which also included an interview with world cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst. Host Scott Challinor asked both guests a series of questions about leadership and the role it has played in their careers to date.
Raised on a council estate, Joanne left school at 18 and went straight into an accountancy practice as an office junior where she moved up the ranks before moving to a second firm five years later. In 2009, she went out on her own. Now 33, Joanne has five practices in Chislehurst, Kenley, Bexley, Eltham and Tonbridge and the company turns over £1.2 million a year.
Scott Challinor said: “Hosting a show like this, where you speak to genuine leaders who have been there and done it, either on a national stage or within a crucial industry sector, is an absolute honour.”
Lord Blunkett, chairman of The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland said: “I think the most informative element of each episode is the first part, where Scott Challinor is able to sit down with someone who really gets how their industry works and knows how to make their organisation tick. Someone who’s there day in day out working hard and inspiring others. That’s what leadership is all about.”
Joanne added: “It was a great honour to be part of this podcast, particularly at a time when effective leadership is so important. As a leader, I feel a deep sense of responsibility towards my team – for their welfare, progression, and direction. And I believe people work at their best when they feel a sense of ownership. So, a priority for me is always to find the balance between providing autonomy whilst ensuring absolute clarity around accountability.
“I honestly believe that anyone can make a real difference, no matter their sex, age or background, as long as they have the determination and the will to succeed. And I want to be an example, particularly to young women, of what can be achieved through hard work and a clear vision and strategy.
‘It was also very exciting to be on the same podcast as Sir Geoff. Thankfully, there weren’t any football questions!”