Our Marketing and Innovation Director for Global Travel Shares his Insights into Leadership and How to Build a Successful Team

Global Travel’s Marketing and Innovation Director, Dafydd Pugh Williams, shares the latest in what Global Travel involves, how he unleashes his purpose of “uniting people to unlock growth” and what it means to be a leader.

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Tell us about your role and what makes it unique to working at Diageo.

In Global Travel, we are responsible for building Diageo’s brands around the world wherever there is a Duty-Free sales opportunity for example in airports, airlines and cruise ships. It’s the global reach of the role and diversity of the team and consumers we are targeting which make it truly different to any other role. Most of the team are based in the UK with some of our customer marketing team based in key travel hubs such as Dubai, Shanghai and Sydney.

As the Marketing and Innovation Director for Diageo’s Global Travel Retail business, I lead a diverse team across a range of Consumer Marketing and Customer Marketing disciplines including Brand and Innovation Management, Trade Marketing, Category Management and Retail Development.

Where do you find connection with your own purpose in your current role? and how do you bring this to life for others in the team?

My purpose is “to unite people to unlock growth” and I can’t think of a better place to bring this to life than Global Travel Retail. Working across such a broad market with colleagues and external partners located in multiple locations around the world focuses you to constantly seek to build relationships, understand different insights and then find common solutions that can be scaled globally with a local twist.

The biggest lesson I have taken from this role is the consumption and buying occasions for our products around the world are remarkably similar, but there are some important local nuances to consider when formulating brand plans. I’m privileged to work with some amazing people who balance strong strategic thinking and creative bravery with a humility to learn and be agile in the face of new and localised insights.

How has a role in Global Travel supported you on your leadership journey?

The global nature of my role has helped accelerate my leadership journey to become a better relationship builder and communicator. In a world where you rarely have the chance to have those “water cooler” chats that we have missed during the pandemic you are forced to become more proactive in building relationships and communicate in different ways. This has forced me to become a lot more deliberate in how I communicate when I’m sharing new information and also to become more adept at using different communications channels at work to connect with the team who are based in different places, in different time zones.

Do you have any top tips for leadership?

  • Don’t worry about being too formal. I aim to create a space where my team feels like they can raise any issues with me directly. Of course, there are times when this isn’t possible and therefore I rely on my marketing leadership team and peers in the Global Travel Executive team to feedback any issues they have identified.
  • Avoid micromanaging. One of the greatest gifts I have ever been given is the trust and space from my bosses to get on with the jobs I’ve undertaken, and I try and impart the same trust to those who work with me.
  • Share your vision. I think the greatest impact I can have on the team is to provide clarity on where it is we want to go and then give the team the support and space to get on with delivering their work helping to remove any blockers along the way.

What career advice would you give to someone looking to join Global Travel at Diageo? 

If you are an inquisitive problem solver who has a genuine interest in different countries and cultures, then Global Travel could be a great team for you! It’s cliché but I genuinely learn something new every day and I absolutely love working in such a diverse team spread all around the world. If you like a challenge, go search for it and be a part of the solution. Emerging from the pandemic, I’m incredibly proud of what the team has done, making Diageo Global Travel the success it is.

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