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My heroes: Rebecca Hopkins

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Whilst we're influenced by so many people in our working and personal lives, it's possible to pin point a few people who made a bigger contribution along the way. If you're lucky enough to have heard of, or even met, Rebecca Hopkins then you'll know where I'm coming from. In recent years, this person was a beacon of energy, fun and wisdom to me. I benefitted from it from the moment we met.

Coming into a new company environment, you might know how you want to act and react. My preference is to be personable, honest, imaginative and quick to complete tasks. But you never quite know how your approach is going to go down.

She might not know it, but she showed me how to stick with my approach. I didn't slip into the easy role of making people like me because I make tea and do no work; I allowed myself to be the person who gets stuff done and is reliable. A trickier path to manoeuvre, but all round a better position.

Rebecca's broad and senior IT project management, coaching experience and personality allowed her to see things in our work that others didn't even dare to acknowledge. She came at everything - good and bad - with energy, questions, clarity and solutions.

Her structured approach to gathering new ideas for business improvement, planning priorities and beginning to complete them will stay with me forever.

How does this help me in my new life, running a company? I use everything I learnt from her every day. Having the confidence to make decisions on the information in front of me and move on. Not needing to know every detail of the plan before starting. And coming at everything I do with firmness but enthusiasm.

In fact, without her I wouldn't have known that I could do what I'm doing: finalising my idea, making a plan and not fearing how to make it happen. Just starting to make the steps to make it reality.

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