Since then, Steve has worked in a variety of roles, from draughtsman to Managing Director at Morson Projects before more recently becoming Client Services Director for Morson Group.
“Probably the best bit of advice I’ve ever been given was from Gerry Mason (Founder of Morson Group). And I’ve said it before and I’ll say it to other people, it’s an old adage, but you have one mouth and two ears.
“There’s a time to speak, but more importantly, there’s a time to listen, but not just listen. Hear what people are saying. What are they saying? Why are they saying it? What do they want? And then how can we turn that into a deliverable for them?”
Find out more about Steve’s story in his recent video interview:
“Maths was my favourite subject, and technical drawing and science, so very technical, and I excelled in those subjects.
“I went to Eccles Grammar school, one of only four people in the junior school that got the choice of going to grammar school. I did well at school, left there in 1976 with nine O Levels. Fortunately, when I left school, I didn’t want to go into further education completely. I decided I wanted an apprenticeship. It was my choice where I wanted to go. And with the results that I had from school and academia, I could pick which career I wanted.
“And I wanted to either go into a bank because I was good at numbers or go into engineering technical drawing. So, fortunately, I got offered an apprenticeship at a company called Mitchell Shackleton, which were the world leading crankshaft manufacturer organisation. And I got a job as an apprentice draftsman there, which involved one year on the shop floor in a training school, learning how to operate machinery and make things.
An interview with Morson Group
“So if you’re going to go into a drawing office environment, you need to learn how to make things before you can draw it and design it. After two and a half years, I realised that a crankshaft is a crankshaft, all it did is vary in size, and decided then at 19 year old, I wanted to do something different. So I saw an advert in the local Eccles journal placed by Gerry Mason (the Founder of Morson Group), for aircraft jig and tool draftsmen.
“I wrote to Gerry Mason and I said, I’m in the middle of an apprenticeship. However, I’m quite ambitious and I’d be interested to move into aircraft tool design and I got an interview, so I went for an interview in January 1980, and I took my dad with me for the interview. I was such a young age, and he wanted to make sure I was making the right move. And it turned out that my dad actually almost interviewed Gerry himself then without me knowing. Gerry then came to my house to meet my mum and dad while I was out, sat down, had a coffee with them, and gave my mum and dad his assurance, his personal assurance, that he’d look after me and wanted to offer me the job to continue me apprenticeship and take the five-year apprenticeship out to when I was 21.
“After a period of time and getting to know Morson and brewing up for everybody, I was then let loose on my own and started doing my own drawings. Then I started dealing with customers. And then I moved from a draftsman stage into becoming a designer. And then from being a designer, I then became a section leader, looking after a team of people, running projects, and then from being a designer, then to becoming drawing office manager. And then it also allowed me to work on many different projects.
“Later, I was then promoted to Business Development Director for Morson Projects, with only two directors in Morson projects at the time. Then in 2004, we had a restructure within Morson Projects, and I was asked to take over the running of Morson Projects as the Managing Director, which I accepted.”
Some of my greatest years
“And some of those were some of my greatest years in Morson, being responsible for further growth in the organisation, creating the operations board, getting everybody into the same direction, putting our values in place, putting our strategy in place, opening new offices in Birmingham, Belfast, Hull.
“So I looked after Morson Projects for eight years until 2012. And then Ged (our current CEO) asked me if I could look after some of our major accounts in Morson International (now known as Morson Talent), which was the talent recruitment side of the business. And you think, well, how can you apply lean technology and lean processes and principles into recruitment? But you can. So we mapped everything, found out what we did well, find out where the pinch points were, where we weren’t doing so well, how we could make consistent processes and approaches to everything, get customer feedback and so on.
“So we had some workshops, got customers in to find out what went well, get feedback and then design a service exactly what they wanted.
The best bit of advice
“Probably the best bit of advice I’ve ever been given was from Gerry Mason. And I’ve said it before and I’ll say it to other people, it’s an old adage, but you have one mouth and two ears.
“There’s a time to speak, but more importantly, there’s a time to listen, but not just listen. Hear what the people are saying. What are they saying? Why are they saying it? What do they want? And then how can we turn that into a deliverable for them? Whether it be a technical project, whether it be a service, or whether it be a challenge that they’ve got, that they want us to take on board and find a solution for.”