Ian Brookes

Ian Brookes

Formally, my role is Chairman, leading the board and working with fellow directors on strategy, performance and innovation. Having said that, I like to get involved and make a difference on a day-to-day basis. From coaching and mentoring, helping with recruitment and joining in with daily operational meetings – it’s about using my experience to help take the business forward, helping spot and overcome the bumps in the road on our growth journey, and being ‘the business dad’ - putting an arm around folks when needed, and then stretching them too. First names are important, job titles are not.

Questions

Who inspires you in business?

I’m a great believer in that you have to do it for yourself, simply you’ve got to want enough and then go out and make it happen. Northern grit I guess. However, I do look for insight from high achievers, and take inspiration from them. For example, George Mallory, who may possibly have been the first man to climb Everest, some thirty years before Edmund Hilary. He died on the climb, and we don’t know if he made it to the summit. There’s a quote from Mallory in response to being asked ‘Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?’ He said, ‘Because it’s there’ – which is a good enough reason to want to take on any challenge and achieve anything in front of you.

What has been your biggest achievement in your career?

I’m not one for ‘biggest achievements’, simply I’ve been fortunate to be in the right place at the right time and enjoyed some successes. Equally, I’ve collected a few scars along the way! I’ve had some great people working alongside me and guiding me throughout my career, and sharing moments of success and being part of a team that can say ‘we did that!’ is what counts. Three moments I do cherish are leading a company to flotation on the Stock Exchange, reaching a £150m valuation; being part of a tech startup we took to £10m revenue in three years, and then helping a tech business grow revenue by x25 in six years and exit to create life-changing rewards for everyone. There’s a link between hard work and consistently putting in a shift, making stuff happen, and getting the rewards.

What do you do in your spare time?

I'm a Burnley FC fan 24/7, and been there every step of the way from the Division One days and relegation in 1974, to the seven years of wilderness in the old Fourth Division with crowds of 1,500 and being knocked out by non-league Telford in the F.A Cup first round, through to the rebirth and success we’ve had under Sean Dyche in the last five years. I also follow rugby union – poor eyesight, a bad back and dodgy knees finished my playing days off as a lumbering front row forward, I still miss the banter, camaraderie and physicality of playing and tours of Ireland. I’m also on a personal journey to visit each of the 200+ UK lighthouses. Well, it gets you out of the house and into the fresh air.

Future @ Checkd Media

Our future is about scaling to become a high growth business. We’ll achieve this by driving product and technology innovation to create and exploit new opportunities and markets, working closely with strategic partners to win the hearts, minds and wallets of our customers. It’s also about people and culture, harnessing the entrepreneurial flair and spirit that Jamie and Lee have built into the DNA of the business, and developing and growing our people with their own identity and character. Along the way, we’re going to have fun, we don’t take ourselves too seriously – paraphrasing something Muhammad Ali said, ‘We’re young; we’re handsome; we’re fast. We can't possibly be beat’.