Accountability increases productivity, as it helps leaders deliver results without being complacent. It helps them keep track of their short-term and long-term goals and thus, accountable leaders are then able to lead the business effectively. They lead with responsibility and leave a legacy that is worth following. This quality of accountability helps them to be innovative and allows their team to deliver pioneering solutions in their business. Steven Hill is one such business leader and he is the Managing Director of Light Source.
Steven formed Light Source in November 2000 as a telecommunications design business, however since 2010, the company has been delivering a full turnkey service to its clients; design, build and commissioning major telecommunication networks. He is personally accountable for the overall direction and strategic development of the organisation and is working closely with board of Directors and Senior Stake Holders to build and develop the national capability of the business in the telecommunications sector.
Growing Even Amidst Challenges
The pandemic has given Light Source major operational challenges; however, they had a ‘Business Contingency Plan’ for a pandemic, and this helped the company transition into their ‘new’ way of working. The majority of their desk-based staff are working from home; however, Light Source engineers continue to operate on the front line as key workers. Steven is sincerely grateful and proud of the attitude of their engineers and that of its supply chain. Devoid of focusing on the negative impact of Covid 19, it is worth mentioning that Light Source is seeing circa 70% revenue growth on the same period last year.
Ensuring Inclusion, Diversity and Collaboration
A positive work culture runs through the backbone of Light Source’s business. The company has a number of initiatives to ensure there is constant collaboration with ‘The Light Source Family’; from quarterly regional director roadshows, to ‘You Said, We Did’ initiatives to ensure their staff has a voice at all levels. Steven’s key objective is to safeguard a positive Health and Safety culture, underpinned with governance, integrity and trust.
From Steven’s point of view, every member of its staff and supply chain are part of the Light Source community, and without them, the company has very little to offer. A huge initiative for him personally is ‘inclusion and diversity’ and he is accountable to ensure there is no racial or gender bias and guarantee an inclusive atmosphere throughout the business.
Taking advantage of technical development is key to manage the growth of Light Source and its external operational teams. Light Source are an almost paper free business and the majority of its work is issued through digital platforms. It has developed its own ‘works operating platform’, which is also in APP format. This portal manages workflow, governs HSQE inspections/ audits, and updates clients network records.
Light Source’s operational innovation has seen its teams using drones to fly cable across rivers, and they are developing a pneumatic rocket launcher that will ‘fire’ cable over 150 meters over terrain that is difficult to access.
Striving for Excellence
Steven’s management skills are driven by his objective to create a working environment that improves quality of service, reduces any operational stresses, and has increased productivity for his partners. He is continually challenging his teams to differentiate their deployment in a competitive market. He tasks his leaders to find ways to do more for their clients than others and employees are encouraged to do more, give more, be more and serve more.
Striving for excellence has become habitual for Steven and his business. “I take our competition very seriously, but not ourselves,” he says. This has given his employees a fluid mentality to not only develop their talent, but also increase their inquisitive nature to explore new concepts and ways of working.
It is due to his novel approach of leading, he was nominated as the EY Entrepreneur of The Year Finalist, 2020.
Giving Back to Society
‘Corporate Social Responsibility’, at Light Source is referred to ‘Social Responsibility’.
Light Source has a huge responsibility to contribute to the communities that they operate in, and the company does Light Source deliver innovation and environmental diversity whilst seeking to maintain our legacy of building networks that are at the forefront of future technology. ‘‘ ‘‘ this through society initiatives, financial contribution to key charities, and working closely with job creating enterprises. During the height of the pandemic, Light Source delivered welfare packages to local NHS hospitals, and number of its commercial vehicles were utilized by the NHS for transporting PPE.
Maintaining a Legacy of Building Robust Networks
Light Source sustain its competency by continuing to understand that the client is the parent in all of their engagements, and Light Sources’ key objective is to serve. Its culture is honest, genuine, and sincere, and this runs right through the mainstay of the business.
Steven personally gets very close to his partners, and they have found themselves go through births, deaths, and marriages, which ultimately forms a huge bond.
Light Source’s key focus for the coming year is to improve its customer concentration. Since January 2021, the company has mobilized three new clients, which in addition is broadening their UK footprint. Light Source envisages, at minimum, an additional 2 new major clients in this calendar year, 2021.
Light Source’s success will continue if its community safeguards their positive health and safety culture, and underpin this with increased governance, integrity and trust. Steven mentions that the company needs to continue to deliver innovation and environmental diversity whilst seeking to maintain its legacy of building networks that are at the forefront of future technology.
In 3 to 5 years’ time, Steven would like to see further diversity in what Light Source delivers. This may see the company enter the multi utility sector or have a greater involvement in the mobile sector.
Enlightening Emerging Entrepreneurs
Steven advises budding entrepreneurs to have patience with their journey. “I am 21 years into my voyage, and still learning each day. Qualified financial advice is key, which forms the foundation stone to stability, growth and ultimately profit,” he says.
He adds, “Your own personality will form the character of your business and you must ensure you treat people as you would like to be treated.”
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