Published: October 12, 2018
Published: October 12, 2018

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‘A Good Manager Should Leave Their Ego Behind’

Ken Armistead, PPG director of corporate communications in EMEA, was thrilled to discover he had won this year’s Rainmaker Award.

Having recently celebrated his 30th year with PPG, he considers it a privilege to be recognised for his achievements in the same way as the current and past respected Rainmakers. He brings authenticity, honesty and a human approach to everything he does.

There are many examples of this in the exceptional additions he has helped to bring to PPG – Ken was part of the team that created the Colorful Communities initiative, which has become a hugely popular. Despite this worldwide success, Ken remains modest.

Success is an iceberg – it’s only by taking risks, persistence and learning through failures that you succeed.

Never Sitting Down on the Job!

Ken began his PPG journey straight out of university with a production-based role in a Sigma Coatings plant, in the UK. Through his career he has held a variety of roles in sales, marketing, HR, project management and latterly the full range of corporate communications activities.

Today, his workmates admire this energy in meetings. "We are not sitting down all day,” he tells them, before taking them on an outdoor walking meeting. A key moment of learning for Ken came in April 2005, when an opportunity to join the BBR (Breakthrough Business Redesign) Project came along.

This was a big challenge for him – it required fast learning of many new functions and a lot of travelling around Europe, but Ken succeeded leading the Change Management stream, concluding the project in 2008. During this time he built networks of connections and friendships all around Europe and beyond.

Today, he is responsible for employee communications, media relations, community engagement and corporate marketing. His team handles a wide range of responsibilities and was initially a team of one – just Ken. Now, with five employees to support him, the PPG EMEA communications team is thriving.

A Different Approach to Success

At PPG, his successes have come from understanding the importance of persistence, teamwork and being true to his own values. Ken also takes a friendly approach to his managerial role, stating that good bosses leave their ego behind.

Ken’s tip for success is to constantly seek learning opportunities and having the courage to step out of your comfort zone.

Seek out the jobs, projects and promotions that meet your personal values and beliefs, and not just a better job title or salary.

Millennial at Heart

In his spare time, Ken has played an active role in charities supporting the homeless in his home city of Manchester, UK. He also keeps fit through biking, swimming and walking the hills.

Additionally, he likes to keep up to date on contemporary trends. Although he is not from the millennial generation, his team teases him for being remarkably on-trend. He credits this youthful approach to his team.

The energy and inspiration I get from my team – their enthusiasm, dedication and creativity – drives me to do more and constantly look to improve.

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