Different leaders across the business

What do great Co-op leaders do differently?

Depot general manager, Leon Exton-Russell, introduces opinions from leaders across our business.

I genuinely believe that we put the customer at the heart of everything we do. The fact that we’re a business owned by our members feels different. We take a more ethical approach and don’t just focus on profit which makes me feel proud. That’s the point of difference against our competitors.

The Co-op is far more collaborative than other businesses I’ve worked for. Leaders in this business don’t think they have all the answers. Everyone has different ideas and a different way of thinking. Our customers and colleagues are diverse so why shouldn’t we be?

We asked other leaders across the business what a great Co-op leader does differently. Here’s what they said:

“A Co-op leader knows that it’s important to judge individuals and teams on HOW they approach things as much as on WHAT they’ve achieved.”

Andrew Archibald
Head of Customer & Member Experience
Insurance

“It’s about setting a co-operative culture by understanding our shared values and principles, modelling them and encouraging and helping your teams to model them themselves.”

Ed Powell
Co-operative Partnerships Manager

“When making judgements, whether about people or profits, a great Co-op leader thinks about our purpose and four Ways of Being before they make their decision.”

Catherine Muirden
Director of HR, Food Retail

“Listening, challenging and helping your team to understand and share what is uniquely different about our Co-op.”

Rebecca Birkbeck
Director of Community Engagement

“A great Co-op leader at their core is attuned to the essence of the Co-op brand and it’s heritage, they know and understand what makes us different from our competitors and this drives their decision-making.”

Richard Pennant-Jones
Head of Marketing
Insurance

“Co-op leaders create a culture where people enjoy coming to work, enabling their teams to shine by empowering them to be themselves.”

Catherine Turner
Head of PR  – Insurance, Funeralcare and Legal Services (Communications)

“A Co-op leader puts our members and colleagues at the heart of every decision they make, while challenging themselves to apply behaviour today that they ask of others tomorrow. In doing so setting the way.”

David Robertson
Deputy Retail Chief Information Officer (interim)

“We must absolutely live our Ways of Being. For me that means being honest. Being kind. Giving team colleagues the space and trust to be themselves. And always having their back.”

Wendy Coello
Head of Group Colleague Communications

“A great Co-op leader engages and involves their team, empowering them to do the right thing.”

Andrew North
Co-op Engagement Manager

“Listening and working with our colleagues and customers to have great shops in the heart of the community.”

“Balancing company ethics along with astute commercial awareness to enable us to re invest in our society.”

“A great Co-op leader makes the right choices so that the next 170 years are as successful as the first 170 years.”

“Future proofing our business for long term sustainability is something that could be deemed as different to short term capitalism.”

“A great Co-op leader is someone who’s really passionate about our business, customers, colleagues and members.”

Tina Mitchell
Divisional Managing Director – Central 

plus Regional Managers and Area Managers

“Co-op leaders inspire, motivate and develop others.”

Colin Butler
Head of Partnerships
Insurance