Leading with James Ashton

S4 Episode 12 - National Trust

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Episode notes

Hilary McGrady is director-general of the National Trust, keeper of the nation’s treasures including the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, Sir Winston Churchill's family home Chartwell in Kent and Scafell Pike in the Lake District.

With 5.5m members and more than 50,000 volunteers in normal times helping to keep stately homes, parks and coastline open and maintained, everyone has a view of what the boss should be doing.

McGrady joins James Ashton to discuss:

Her plan for recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, which cost the Trust a third of its revenues and resulted in 1500 redundancies;

Inspiring members to do their bit to combat climate change;

The very personal reason she joined the organisation in 2005;

Lessons learnt from marketing whiskey and clashing with politicians in Northern Ireland earlier in her career still come in handy today.

McGrady took the helm of the Trust in 2018, the first director-general to have worked her way up through the organisation. She previously worked for drinks firm Diageo, an arts charity and led Belfast’s unsuccessful bid to become Europe’s city of culture.

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James Ashton’s book The Nine Types of Leader (bit.ly/NINEbook) is available to order now