A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life… Martin McMullan, director, Life Adventure Co

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT ROLE?
As with every business, there’s a little bit of everything. There’s quite a lot of management in adventure sports so I would be responsible for a lot of the design and development of programmes and events as well as actually looking after delivery.

WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
My academic background is Management & Business Studies but my professional background is mountain instruction. I’ve worked within the industry across a range of sectors, from sports development and education through to events themselves.

WHAT ARE THE BEST/WORST PARTS OF YOUR JOB?
I’m not sure there’s a worst part as even the laborious tasks of background management have a very clear reason behind them; ensuring we do it safely and as effectively and comfortably as possible. The best part for us is getting to work with clients and get them outdoors and meeting their objectives whatever those might be – developing skills, themselves or team development.

WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT THE SECTOR?
The biggest challenge working in the sector is convincing people of its strengths. We tend to have a risk-adverse culture, not even just risk adverse but having no concept of going outdoors in inclement weather. It scares people so one of the biggest challenges we have is convincing people of what the potential is from getting them out.

OUTLINE A TYPICAL DAY
I can’t juggle but I think that, in this industry, it’s a form of juggling from liaising with clients, our wider delivery team and other stakeholders, whether that’s venues, landowners and so on. And then, with looking at the design and development of events and delivering, there are absolutely no two days ever the same and it’s very broad reaching. It’s one of those things that makes our industry and this job so interesting, the fact the roles you fill are so diverse as are the people you interact with and the tasks you undertake. If you’re going to survive in this industry, one of the key things is you have to be prepared for change and have a dynamic view and approach to what you’re doing.

PROUDEST MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE
One recent example is something very simple but really underpins why we do what we do. Even though we’re commercial, we created a mountain biking club for adult males suffering from a very broad range of mental health issues as a corporate social responsibility programme. Just to see, over a period of four to six weeks, the change in those individuals in terms of their levels of motivation and long-term planning; the outcomes have been just phenomenal. We had 10 guys ranging from 18 to 70 and that programme has been so successful, we’re going to continue and expand it. It’s one example of the benefits to wider society from just simple outdoor recreation. That’s where we get our sense of achievement from, just doing little things like that which make a difference.

BEST THING ABOUT BEING INVOLVED IN THE LOCAL SECTOR
We’ve now got an understanding and appreciation of the industry on the ground within the community. There’s a vibrancy which has never been there before across the public and private sectors and that, in turn, is generating excitement with potential customers and bringing new customers in which is great because the economic aspect has to be there at some stage or it’s not sustainable.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND AWAY FROM WORK?
Exactly the same as I do in work! I very much enjoy walking, climbing and running but the big thing timewise that fits in for me is mountain running. Mountain running is my escape.

TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF NOT MANY PEOPLE MAY KNOW
We are very much a business and purely commercial, but we don’t view it that way. One of the things I hang on to very much on a day-to-day basis is the saying, ‘You make a living from what you get but you make a life from what you give’. Everything I do would come from that understanding.

 

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