Denis Carroll is a level-headed, straightforward leader who brings his diverse knowledge and life experiences to his work at Oxford. After earning a Bachelor’s in History and German in college, he had the opportunity to travel throughout Asia and teach English in Korea for three years. During his time there, Denis taught everyone from kindergarteners, to doctors and pilots. Such incredible experiences have led him to understand the values of patience, calm, and not taking anything too seriously.
Q: How long have you been with Oxford?
A: Over 11 years. I joined the same day we opened the Life Sciences group in Cork.
Q: What daily habits do you recommend for success?
A: Control what you can control; if you can’t control it, don’t worry about it. There is very little in your work life that should upset you. Do your most difficult task first each morning, and show genuine appreciation to at least one person every day. Be honest with people at all times. Also, stop trying to multi-task and stop creating “to-do” lists with easy-to-achieve items. This gets in the way of doing the important things well.
Q: What attributes do you think are most important in a leader?
A: Recognize that the vast majority of people want to do well in their job. Believe in their abilities and encourage them, keep them on the course you’ve set for the business, and trust them to improve themselves.
You should not let the power of your title inflate your own sense of self-importance. A lot of people are reacting to your title, not to you. Control your ego; stay humble.
The leader serves the team. It’s the leader’s job to improve the personal and professional lives of those under his/her care, using whatever tools are at his disposal, and taking into account the employee’s abilities. Have patience and humility; ask questions, and do not be afraid to look like you don’t have all the answers. Be comfortable in surrounding yourself with people who will challenge and improve you as a person. You need to play the same part for your colleagues too.
Q: What’s the best book you’ve read on business or leadership?
A: Start With Why by Simon Sinek. All his books are excellent. Quiet by Susan Cain. Great for me as I’m naturally very introverted. Grit by Angela Duckworth. For me, grit is the most important trait/skill someone can possess.
Q: What skills do you think will be most in-demand in 2019?
A: Digital transformation is impacting our clients in all industries, and as the skills gap continues to grow, this will become an incredibly competitive market in 2019.
Q: What do you like best about working with your team?
A: There are no egos on our team. Everyone in both the front and back office is rowing in the same direction. We have an incredible support team which makes the sales team’s job that much easier.
Q: Why Oxford?
A: For clients, we assign the best candidates in the market with flexible solutions. Our business development team desires to add value to every relationship, and is able to do so.
We have really exciting projects for consultants. You will work with an experienced recruiter who is solely responsible for your profile and who wants to build a long-term relationship with you. Our focus is ensuring you have everything you need to perform at the highest possible level. We want to help you succeed.
Internal employees have the opportunity to build their own brand within an exciting, dynamic and lucrative industry, backed by a billion dollar company.
I have had incredible growth opportunities and access to best-in-class leadership as personal mentors which has allowed me to grow myself and our team.
Q: What is your work motto or favorite quote on success?
A: “If you hear hoof beats think horses, not zebras.” Your ongoing successes show the (typically upward) trend of your business; a bad period should not upset culture within the group.
“Nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you’re thinking about it.” Successes and failures, good and bad times —come and go. Learn to move on.
Denis is proof that the right attitude makes all the difference. His ability to focus on what is really important on a day-to-day basis makes him a brilliant leader, partner, and an embodiment of the values of our Oxford team.