The choices we make with Sarah Warby, CCO of Nandos

Sarah Warby, CCO, Nandos
Sarah Warby has one of the most impressive CVs in marketing. More than that though, she's a clear thinker and a down to earth human being. Now leading one of the most popular brands in the UK (and increasingly the world) - we asked Sarah to come and speak about the choices she'd made that have got her to where she is today, but also the lessons she has learned along the way.

Key takeaways from The Choices We Make with Sarah Warby

  • Growth is all about: Diagnosis → Tactics → Strategy → Repeat
  • Know what you’re brilliant at and work out how to develop that more.
  • The time to be happy is now.
  • The only person who can truly make you happy is you.

[07:30] Progress, growth, development, and careers

  • Career paths aren’t linear.
  • Sometimes, we move onto less prestigious positions as our careers progress, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The question is: Are you happy?
  • “Things I believe in…”
    • Have a strategy, see it through.
    • It’s all about customers.
    • Nobody gets up in the morning to do a crap job.
    • Growth and learning
    • Being happy

[12:04] Being happy

  • Know who you are.
  • Love who you are.
  • Just be it every day.
  • Find what you do best (your sparkly bits) and double down on it. You don’t have to be the best in the world at it; but, it has to be the thing you’re best at and love to do. Find your thing through…
    • …feedback.
      • Don’t ask: “Do you have any feedback for me?” Get specific, like: “What’s the one thing I do that you find really helpful?”
    • …looking in the mirror and getting really honest with yourself.
  • Success does not bring happiness. Happiness brings success.
  • You choose how happy you are.

[27:14] How to rewire your brain and get into a happy loop

  • For 21 days…
    • STOP reading the news.
    • RECORD three positive things every day for which you feel grateful.
    • GIVE one unsolicited piece of praise to someone.

Q and A on the choices we make

Q: Any tips on how to help others focus more on their sparkly bits?

A: It’s easy to get caught up in the right here, right now. The most important things in life take time. Firstly, you’ve got to want to do it. Don’t do it on your own. Get feedback from others to get started on the right track, and get accountability at the same time. Carve out some space to work on it.

Q: But what if the feedback you get doesn’t align with what makes you sparkle?

A: You’re gathering insight. Ask, “why?” five times to peel back the layers and uncover the superpower you’re really passionate about at the core of the feedback you’re getting.

Q: When your values and skills aren’t aligned with your organization’s, is it time to move on, or should you persevere?

A: Develop awareness of who you are and who you want to be. You can try things such as creating your own little ecosystem within your organization and hoping that it rubs off on others. Also be careful not to overinvest in your job, because you will be setting yourself up for disappointment. Don’t rely on your employer to make you happy. You’re in charge of your own happiness.

Q: My career history is sporadic. What’s the best way to explain the strengths of that to potential employers?

A: Network and cultivate relationships to help people understand your story. Know your amazing strengths so you can talk about them effectively and right away.