30 Dec 2019 | 01.07 pm
Interview: Ciaran McCormack, B.ICONIC
‘I have focused on maintaining positive momentum’
30 Dec 2019 | 01.07 pm
Ciaran McCormack, chief executive of B.ICONIC, tells Conor Morris that experience as a professional magician has stood to him through his business career
Ciaran McCormack (pictured) is chief executive of B.ICONIC, which represents global brands such as Apple at Compu b and Bang & Olufsen at NuConnect. The company also distributes its own Juku technology accessory brand, while EBO is its multi-brand technology retail partner at Harrods.
What was your first job?
At the age of 16 I began my career as a professional children’s magician. As strange as it sounds, I believe that was the learning foundation of many of my skillsets: audience management, fee negotiations, logistical planning and confidence in my own ability to present to hundreds of people. These were all fantastic strengths to learn so young.
My magician experience influenced my attitude to business – ‘we can do it, we just haven’t figured out how’. Magic is about creativity and making the impossible possible. In my career I have focused on maintaining a positive momentum by making things happen.
What business achievement are you most proud of?
At Compu b, I have been very fortunate to have led a rapid growth plan that has made Compu b the leading Apple retail, education and business technology partner in Ireland and the UK, delivering an increase of revenue from €28m to €150m over a four-year period and an increase in employment of 40%.
How would work colleagues describe your leadership style?
I feel my leadership style can be best described as entrepreneurial, empowering and collaborative. I enjoy different perspectives, being challenged and pushed to do better. I would also say I am courageous, and a confident decision maker.
What are the common traits in top performing sales people?
Tenacity is a key success factor for every salesperson operating in high-end fashion technology sector. A great salesperson will be outgoing with great communication skills and will want to push the bar consistently to create new opportunities and experiences for their customers.
How do you motivate yourself and your team?
I like to think that I foster a culture of positivity within the B.ICONIC Group. For me, a positive attitude encourages collaboration and open communication, supports creative thinking and challenges all of us to be our best selves. It also supports our resilience, enabling us to better cope with challenges.
What is the best leadership advice you have received?
Admit what you don’t know and surround yourself with people who do. I have put an experienced leadership team in place at B.ICONIC whose collective industry experience has been vital in driving and sustaining the rapid growth of the group. When you surround yourself with experts in their field, you raise the bar of success.
What leadership book would you recommend?
Start With Why by Simon Sinneck is a compelling book that outlines how organisations that can clearly articulate why they are in business can achieve success even when faced with challenges. I am currently reading Power Your Tribe by Christine Comaford, which is about how neuroscience tools can be applied in the workplace.
Who would you like on your management team for a day?
Barack Obama. In everything I have read about him, the former US president always had a firm belief that if he thought he was on the right track then he could influence others too and get his message across.
As a business leader, why are you a member of The Executive Institute?
I would highly recommend The Executive Institute for their excellent educational and training programmes for senior management with strong keynote speakers.
• Conor Morris is managing director of The Executive Institute