Hattie Greenyer

hattie greenyer

An absolute pleasure to talk with you Hattie. You’re a wise woman with a big heart and calm head. Currently working as the Frontline Manager (Bristol/Bath) for the Big Issue having spent a combined 8 years working with UrbanLeaf, we can say this; you’re simply an outstanding leader focussing your career on helping others less fortunate.


What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? 

A tricky question, as I read a lot. The book I think I have actually given out the most is The Overstory by Richard Powers, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (2019). It’s a novel about nine Americans whose unique life experiences with trees bring them together to address the destruction of forests. It spans 200 years and demonstrates how trees in a forest are interconnected. This is the book I give out the most. The reason I give it out is that as well as my appreciation of trees, I think this book is a metaphor for how we’re all connected in the world. 

I also give out books by Will Self, just because he is bonkers!


What purchase of £100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months?

An easy spin chopper, for £9.99. It’s perfect for making curries as it chops chilli, garlic and spices etc. really easily.  It’s amazing.


How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? 

I found this the hardest question. I think I fail constantly as a parent, but I’ve learnt to accept that it’s normal and fine. I’m doing my best.


If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it —metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why?

No borders. I guess it comes from the idea of everyone being interconnected. I don’t believe that economically and socially we should have any difference. I know it’s a bit hippy and a bit of an extreme thought, but I believe in the freedom of movement and of communities and sharing how we live together.


What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?

During lockdown I invested in an online course learning tarot reading. People misunderstand it; it’s not fortune telling. It’s a new skill, it’s fun, it’s interesting, and you can take it anywhere. Friends ask me to do it at parties, it prompts thoughts about people and their lives; it creates intense conversations which are led by them. It’s a great way to get to know someone really quickly.

If you want to find out more visit Treadwells for their online courses.


In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?

It’s not the situation that’s the problem, it’s how you react to it. This is really useful when in stressful situations.


What advice would you give to a smart, driven student about to enter the “real world”?

Go with the flow. Don’t force things. Act with positivity, love, good spirit and kindness, and things will work out. 


What does leadership mean to you?

Being calm in a crisis, keeping a cool head (there are lots of crises in my new job). Taking a step back and seeing the bigger picture. Looking ahead and seeing opportunities. Delegating to people who are good at those tasks. 


Which people have most inspired you in your life and why?

George, my husband, has taught me how to interact with people in a way that brings out the best in people and how to make the most of any situation.


Have you ever engaged with self-help, mentoring or coaching? If so, how?

I’m trying to organise with a woman in leadership to have some mentoring. I just read Radical Candor by Kim Scott which is a management book. She defines the term ‘radical candor’ as feedback that incorporates both praise and criticism. I highly recommend it.

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