Ellvena Graham, OBE, is currently chairman of ESB, Ireland’s electricity supply board, but in 2008 she was a director in the Royal Bank of Scotland when it lost £24.3bn – the biggest corporate loss in British history. How did the daughter of a mechanic from a rural town survive? She tells Margaret E Ward, through deep exhales, how she navigated those unimaginable days of the financial crash, what they taught her and how anyone can lean into crisis. There is a way out, she says, but solutions take time.
Ellvena talks about the practicalities of keeping your cool when a storm rages around you, why comfort zones are sterile grounds for growth and how she wishes she spread her wings earlier. She is also very real about good long nights of sleep, and other basic hacks that can sustain you in business.
And our panel of experts talk about the sticky issue of boundaries – what to do when your boss rings and emails you at home.