Caroline Burton – “Eyes On, Hands Off”: Discipline in Non-Executive Roles
Caroline Burton

Caroline Burton has a portfolio career which includes roles as an independent advisor to local authority pension plans and a NED role. She previously spent over 25 years at the Guardian Royal Exchange, where she was promoted to manager at the age of 28. She retired from that organization in 1999 and has since built a portfolio career.

Our conversation starts in what seems like an entirely different era in the City – during the mid 1970s. Top hats were in vogue, gentlemen’s dining clubs were the rage and diversity was not high on the agenda. Caroline encountered her fair share of sexism in her early career, but nonetheless made her way through management ranks, and shares some of her strategies for success. We reflect also on how the industry has changed, and where progress has been lagging.

When she retired over 20 years ago she moved to a full portfolio career of committee and non executive director roles, and we discuss where these differ from executive roles.

As an experienced committee member she has a a clear sense of where non executive roles differ from executive roles – in particular that the mantra should be “eyes on, hands off” and that observing and listening to the direction of travel and then opining on it can be a key value added of the non executive director.

This podcast was supported by Speaking with Images, a company focused on motivational speaking, focused on increasing resilience, improving communication and building better workplace culture.