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Spotlight On: Lisa Knights

Each week we highlight one of our Ashton Gate Stadium employees. This week we put the spotlight on Group Head of Communications, Lisa Knights.

Lisa Knights

What time does your alarm go off?

6:15am on a weekday, but I’m normally awake before it actually goes off. I have a quick scan of emails/ WhatsApp on my phone to check the world hasn’t stopped spinning and then I try and do some form of exercise before the children get up. Once they are up it is the usual struggle to get them out of the door on time with all the necessary bags and kitbags plus of course multiple repetitions of “brush your teeth, brush your hair, get your shoes on” escalating in volume, before we can actually leave the house… 

What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?

Coffee and deep breath.

Before working at Ashton Gate, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I did lettuce picking in a field in Norfolk in my school holidays once – not interesting but fairly unusual and definitely backbreaking! I’ve been very lucky to cover lots of big news events and interview some really interesting people but covering the Asian Tsunami for ITV from Sri Lanka was probably the most fascinating. I travelled the whole of the west coast with an aid team reporting on the devastation and loss of life.

How long have you worked for Ashton Gate?

It will be five years this year! It has flown by and there’s been so much change in that time.

What do you like most about working for Ashton Gate?

Part of what attracted me to the job was that I felt like I could make a difference in my home city – Steve Lansdown’s vision of building something that was iconic for the city and that we could inspire people through sporting excellence really appealed to me. I love that every day is different and often quite unpredictable. The very best thing about the job though is the people, so many staff go above and beyond every single day. I am lucky to work with so many people that I like and who make me laugh - a lot. Life is too short to do a job you don’t enjoy!

How do you define success?

Everyone’s definition is different, mine centers around my family and my personal values.  I guess success for me is determined by being able to look back and feel proud that I did the best I could.  

What does leadership mean to you?

To inspire people to do the very best they can. I would hate the thought of people ever thinking “she didn’t pull her weight or go the extra mile” - If people don’t see you as trying your hardest then they won’t either. I come from a team sport background and dynamics of a team are so important. If you have just one person not committed, then you fail. 

What 2019 concert are you looking forward to most at Ashton Gate?

Take That, as I’m coming to it with the same group of girlfriends that I went with to see them with in 2006. That said my kids watched Spice World over Christmas so now we are coming as a family to see Spice Girls. My husband is constantly in despair over my musical taste!

How do you balance your career and family?

It is actually much tougher than I thought it would be, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want my children to understand the value of working hard. My parents instilled in me a strong work ethic and I hope I pass that on. From years of getting up to be in a swimming pool at 5am I firmly believe that you have to work at things, nothing worthwhile should come easily – you have to work at everything – be that career or relationships. From a logistics point of view, I do the school run most mornings, Nick my husband picks up most afternoons - we make it work together.

If you could switch your job with anyone else in the business who would it be?

It would probably be one of the Bristol City Women players - To be able to earn a living playing professional sport is a great thing and a very new thing for women’s team sports in particular.

What advice do you have for prospective Ashton Gate candidates?

If you are the right personality, then the right job is here for you. You don’t necessarily have to love sport (although it helps) but you have to be able to come in everyday and give your best with a smile in place. Sir Dave Brailsford once said to me he thought the biggest marginal gain you can make in your daily life is to smile. I couldn’t agree more.