Sleigh & Story is indeed a local success story. Described in aviation terms, it has an ‘air-traffic controller’, Peter Sleigh, who always looks at the bigger picture, making sure the ‘aircraft’ is going in the right direction, avoiding any strategic hazards. Today I am talking to the ‘pilot’ of the company, Debbie Story, whose daily role is to steer the business and ensure that each client receives the very best experience along the way
1. What makes Debbie Story a happy person?
“What makes me happy is when I see people united, with a love and respect for each other. A big thing for me is finding a solution where all are happy, and there is a win/win situation – for example in the workplace where colleagues and clients are happy and there is excellent service and colleagues feel rewarded. I get personal satisfaction seeing others reaching their full potential, when they are living their lives in line with their God-given purpose in life. It saddens me when people aren’t being true to themselves and are settling for second-best.
2. How long have you been a partner of Sleigh & Story? What is your background?
I have been a partner here for around eleven years. I’m a born and bred accountant. I decided at the tender age of eight that this was my vocation in life. I have always been good at maths and took A’Level maths and business studies followed by an accountancy and finance degree. I worked initially for KPMG then as a Finance Manager at Asda for almost 9 years before coming back into practice, here at Sleigh & Story.
3. Was there anyone in life you admired or saw as a good role model, or thought “I’d like to be like him/her”?
Not from a business perspective. What drove me more was looking at people who weren’t fulfilling their potential. When I was younger my parents didn’t encourage me to go to university but I was determined to maximise my potential. My mother was an excellent role model for helping to shape my values.
4. You are in a business along with Peter Sleigh. How does this work so well?
Patience! Respect! We are both very different people, however I believe that these differences have resulted in a stronger Sleigh & Story. Our respect for each other means we can discuss our different views and come to a more informed decision.
5.Tell me about yourself. What do you enjoy in your spare time?
I am currently training as a Methodist Lay-Preacher which takes up lots of time. I am enjoying the studying element and the practical side of this exciting journey. I am a mum to two teenagers and two older step-children. My family and work-life balance is very important to me.
6. When thinking of the future of Sleigh & Story, what would you like to see?
I’d like to see a company on the forefront of technology and customer service. I’d like to see a company which isn’t complacent by comparing itself to the past, but is excited by the ever changing environment we find ourselves in.