1:00 AM 20th November 2023
10 in 10 Gareth Scargill, Director at Nexus
Gareth Scargill, Director at Nexus,
the vibrant community for innovators and entrepreneurs, is the latest regional professional in the hot seat as the p.ublished group of newspapers gives him just 10 minutes to answer our 10 burning questions.
What does a typical working day for you involve?
My role is interesting because every day is different and busy! I joined Nexus in January as Deputy Director before being appointed Director at the start of September. During that time, I was observing as much as possible from our then Director and making subtle changes to our operations, whereas now, I am focused on ramping up activity to make sure we are always delivering. Generally, I spend my time speaking to my immediate team, key stakeholders and our Nexus members – I am always meeting and chatting to new people which I enjoy. A big part of what I do is looking to maximise the benefits and opportunities available for our community and I take this role really seriously.
What makes your company special?
I was aware of Nexus before I joined, but perhaps not fully aware of the positive impact it and the University has on the city, region and beyond and that’s really special. Leeds and the University are thriving right now and it’s an exciting time to be here! I always get asked “What is Nexus?”, and I always answer by saying that we’re the University’s innovation hub and community. We’re the interface between industry and academia and we’re here to attract the right businesses to work with our academics and researchers. The Nexus building is great too, but it’s just the enabler – it’s what happens inside that’s important.
Overall, Nexus is a huge demonstration of commitment by the University to business engagement that maximises value for both parties. The way in which we work so closely with our member businesses to gain a holistic understanding of their needs and ambitions, I believe, sets Nexus apart.
Do you have any business rules that you swear by?
I have three. Firstly, I believe that open communication is key and overall, it makes everything easier. I also place great importance on being transparent and honest in what you do – I think this is a good trait to carry into everyday life too. Lastly, it’s important to remember the value of listening. Instead of just talking for the sake of it, strive to offer valuable contributions. In cases where you may not have something helpful to say, it might be more beneficial to allow others to have the floor and share their thoughts. I always aim to encourage active listening; it helps to truly understand others and foster meaningful discussions.
Do you dress up or down for work?
We have a relaxed dress code at Nexus, so I tend to be in smart/ casual clothes most of the time. However, I will throw on a nice suit and tie when it’s appropriate! It’s definitely your actions that count, not what you wear.
What piece of advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
I would tell 18-year-old Gareth to be more brave, trust others and always take the risk. I would also share what I know now about the power of delegation. I think as a young manager in charge of a team there can be a tendency to think ‘I’m going to do everything’ and ‘I don’t trust anybody else’. However, you’ve got to allow people the opportunity to prove themselves and make mistakes, which I see as a good thing so long as you learn from them. That’s something I definitely wouldn’t have said at the start of my career, so would have been good advice for my younger self!
What’s your favourite Yorkshire venue for an event or team away day?
For our last team away day we actually went to the escape rooms (Escape Hunt) in The Light in Leeds. It was brilliant! The activity was really collaborative, challenged everyone to problem solve and most important of all, it was really good fun. A good representative of our overall community culture at Nexus!
How do you prefer to travel for business?
I usually travel by train where possible, however I do enjoy driving while listening to a current affairs podcast. My favourite is The Rest is Politics
hosted by Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart.
What’s your favourite place in Yorkshire to relax?
Aside from a busy family life, I love to stay active. One of my favourite places to be is on the golf course with a group of friends. The course I go to is a bit of a drive from where I live, which means I can start relaxing from the moment I get in the car – with a good podcast on for the journey. I often wish I had more time to play golf more regularly, then maybe I could reduce my handicap!
Where is your favourite place to eat in Yorkshire, and what dish do you recommend?
My favourite place – Akbars! My go to is a chicken jalfrezi, with a peshwari naan and mushroom rice. Highly recommend.
What do you miss most about Yorkshire when you’re away?
I am a big Barnsley FC fan and have supported them since I was six. So when I am away, I miss going to games and watching my team play at Oakwell.