Brain Food: How does she manage? - Cathedral Curator

Leslie-Ann Thompson marketing and events manager, Ely Cathedral.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

When did you become a manager?

Before coming here, I managed European communications at MCI, the telecoms company. I was like a virtual manager, getting staff across 10 countries to function as a team. Coming to the cathedral from that high-level capitalist company was a jolt back to earth - and a great learning experience for me.

What does management mean to you?

My role is largely about bringing out people's potential. I look after about 80 cathedral guides - volunteers who come here from different backgrounds and for different reasons. I work out why they're interested in the cathedral and press the right buttons. You can end up with the tail wagging the dog, as you're so grateful for them giving up their time, but as the cathedral becomes more business-savvy we treat them like professionals - give them guidelines and tell them what's expected.

What do you love/hate about your job?

The cathedral is a beautiful place to work, but it can be daunting - it's a huge building with 1,000 years behind it, and it's my job to bring money in to keep it going for future generations. My friends think I've landed a cushy job here three days a week, but I have to shatter that illusion - I've never been so busy in my life. As I've become completely attached to the success of the cathedral, I can't just switch off. Every penny counts.

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