High Flyers: David's mantra is invest in training and build a team with shared vision

David McCallum
David McCallum David McCallum

In the High Flyers spotlight this week is David McCallum, executive director of Noviqa, who currently serves on the Northern Ireland Committee of the National House Building Council (NHBC)

What was your first job?

I began work with the then new NIHE. I worked helping with the takeover of lands purchased for housing from the old urban and rural councils.

What qualifications do you have?

I have a BA in public sector studies and an MBA. I am also an IoD Chartered Director.

What do you attribute your success to?

Great family support, determination, and meeting the right people at the right time along the way.

How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?

Someone once told me about the three Pillars of Excellence – Affability, availability, and ability and this might be a good descriptor.

Who do you look up to in business?

I look up to every entrepreneur trying to get their business started. Having come through the process with my daughter’s boutique Rose & Poetry I know what it takes.

How do you get the best out of people who work for you?

I try to surround myself with people better than me and let them get on with it. If I can bring out the best in them then I’ll have less to worry about. Invest in training and build a team with a shared vision.

If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?

All businesses to adopt a Local First Policy which is permeated across the organization, encouraging staff to adopt this principle at home. Money expended locally is more likely to be reinvested locally.

What website or app could you not do without?

Google. I work on the basis that ‘every day is a school day’ and am constantly looking up information on all sorts of things.

What was the last book you read?

I regularly re-read ‘The fish rots from the head’ by Bob Garrett on corporate governance. I loved Dan Brown’s ‘Inferno’ as my favourite city is Florence, and I have started his latest book ‘Origin’.

What car do you drive?

A Mercedes E220. I travel lots across Ireland and comfort is important in long journeys.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?

My mother told me that our great grandfather originally came to Belfast from Italy around the 1900’s. A gentleman researching his wife’s family came and gave us our Marcantoni family history back to the1650’s from a mountain village between Rome and Naples called Picinisco. Guess where I’m going this year?

What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?

I’m a rugby fan and follow Ulster and Ireland. Hopefully we’ll see a World Cup win this year. I’m also an avid golfer and still believe I can improve despite proving myself wrong for more years than I can remember.