2017 Leadership and Inspiration Award

This award is designed to recognise and reward outstanding performance in middle or senior management in the UK bus industry.

Results 2017

Winner, Gold Award

Stephen King – Go North East

Stephen King, who works for Gateshead-based Go North East.

Joining Go North East at 16 on a Youth Traineeship, Stephen King has led the marketing, commercial and customer services teams for several years, working his way up the ranks to become the company’s first Head of Marketing before becoming Head of Commercial and Retail. With enviable team and external relationships, Stephen works across the business, affording him a rich understanding of the company and key relationships at Group and senior management level. Stephen oversees the commercial area, which comprises network design, business development, and retail and marketing communications, along with corporate and stakeholder engagement. He has introduced a number of innovations into the business including transport, and region, firsts in the areas of ticketing, technology and fares. He has a wide cross-section of responsibilities including supporting commercial targets, shaping all internal and external communications, bus branding and wider marketing and new innovations. Stephen is a well-regarded and innovative leader within the company.

Passionate, committed and a good ambassador for the bus industry are all terms used by the judges to describe Stephen King. A very well written entry showed a good track record of successful branding, innovation and sponsorship, and the judges were impressed with how Stephen has made Go North East part of the region’s business community, bring benefits to the company.

Winner, Silver Award

Jim Small – RATP Dev London

Jim Small, a busy manager for RATP Dev's London operations.

Jim Small’s performance as an exceptional leader and innovator can be summed up in his role as Operations Manager of RATP Dev London’s Shepherd’s Bush bus garage. A large central London garage open 24 hours a day and with a cosmopolitan workforce, addressing the inherent problems that existed at the depot when Jim arrived in November 2013 was an enormous task. Jim didn’t just rise to the challenge – he blossomed in the role. As well as seeing a manager who had once been a driver himself, colleagues saw a boss who learned their names, chatted to them and took an interest in their lives. Morale began to improve, as did performance. Jim won over the workforce and engaged all members of the operating team in his vision to make Shepherd’s Bush great which meant bringing together a disparate group of demotivated drivers to create ‘Team Shepherd’s Bush’.

Demonstrating his passion for the job, and with a good track record of success, the judges were pleased to see this recognised in his recent promotion to General Manager of the Shepherds Bush and Stamford Brook depots.

Winner, Bronze Award

Anthony Carver-Smith – Nottingham City Transport

Anthony Carver-Smith, long-serving manager at Nottingham City Transport.

“You’ll struggle to find a more committed, hard-working, ‘eats, sleeps, breathes NCT’ person than Anthony Carver-Smith,” says his employer Nottingham City Transport. Fascinated by buses as a child, Anthony turned his spare time passion into his full time career when he came to the attention of NCT’s management team while still a student. NCT was under an often harsh media spotlight during 2001’s big service change, but the company noticed someone regularly defending them very eloquently and factually correct online and in the ‘readers’ letters’ section of the local press. This was Anthony. His loyalty to the company and passengers has been steadfast ever since. Often ‘forced’ to take holidays, never without his mobile running NCT’s social media, ‘Mr NCT’ as he’s affectionately known, plays a vital role in ensuring the smooth-running of NCT’s buses.

The judges commented that Anthony is clearly someone who loves his job and is very dedicated. He is a skilled communicator and has been innovative with social media at Nottingham City Transport.

Highly Commended

Mariusz Przybylski – Abellio London

Mariusz Przbylski with one of Abellio London's vehicles.

“Mariusz Przybylski is the gold standard of leaders,” enthuses his employer Abellio London. He leads the company’s schedules team in the vital work they do to make the business successful. Working with key internal and external stakeholders he communicates effectively while focussing on his team, their development and succession planning to deliver a top class service. Taking feedback from drivers and the performance team, as well as results on delays and early running, Mariusz translates the data into robust schedules that go on to deliver excellent reliability for Abellio London’s customers. Across the business the company has nothing but praise for him, commenting that nothing fazes him and that he is all about solutions and how things can be made to work, coming up with innovative ways to tackling challenges.

The judges were pleased to see that this unsung, but very important, area of the business being recognised. They were impressed that Abellio London said that Mariusz is delivering the best schedules the company has ever had.

Criteria and Entry Requirements

The judges will reach their decision on the quality of the written submissions made by the nominating organisation.

Nominating organisations were required show that the nominees had shown excellence in management and leadership and that this had been recognised by them. It was important to show that the nominee performed well under pressure and in adverse conditions – remaining focused and able to produce good results.

The nomination was then required to set out:

  • the context in which the individuals are currently operating
  • the challenges they have met and obstacles overcome in their job.

The nomination needed to demonstrate that the nominee had:

  • a commitment to ethical behaviour, respecting diversity and delivery of organisational objectives
  • an appetite for continuous learning
  • a commitment to support staff and colleagues with help, advice and mentoring
  • an ability to use their own initiative in order to get the job done
  • a willingness to question and to use a critical eye
  • a track record of innovation or adoption of new ideas
  • an ability to identify and focus on the key issues in a problem or situation
  • a forward-looking approach which enables the nominee to foresee future opportunities and problems even if these have not yet have become obvious.
  • a capacity to exercising judgment in decision-making – making the right decision and sticking to it.

Short-listed entrants were required to make a ten minute presentation to the judges either:

  • on the role of their organisation in the community and the wider transport market, or
  • on a subject of their own choosing relevant to the transport industry

and to answer questions from the judging panel (also ten minutes) on the presentation and/or any part of the entry.

Thanks to all our sponsors and supporters, including