BRAIN FOOD: Matters for the mind to chew on - Unlikely managers - Harbour master - Harwich Haven Authority, Essex

BRAIN FOOD: Matters for the mind to chew on - Unlikely managers - Harbour master - Harwich Haven Authority, Essex - Name: David Shennan

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Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Name: David Shennan

When did you become a manager? As pilotage manager before becoming harbour master in 2000. I look after the five Haven ports, which see 26,000 ships come and go every year. I'm responsible for 96 staff, including 36 pilots and 30 launch crew.

What does management mean to you? Communication and trust. Most of us come from a marine background and have a high sense of duty - the team is rather like a ship and I'm the captain. Having been at sea all my life, I'm good at picking up on people's changing behaviour - it can be a challenge managing the 36 pilots, who all work individually under short-term pressure. I also manage the port environment and anti-pollution operations, deal with incident investigations and regulate the safe transit of vessels. I deal daily with agents, fishing interests and leisure users.

What do you love/hate about it? I love to have a happy workforce. I hate obstructive employees ruining the experience for the majority.

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