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Darren Wray, IoD member

Darren Wray

CEO, Fifth Step

“Being an Advance member has helped me meet lots of people from organisations of all different shapes and sizes.”



What was the main challenge you experienced as a business leader before joining the IoD?

"It’s a challenge that all organisations face; finding the right people to talk to within an organisation and then getting the message out there about your business. You can have a good product and service but finding the right people to share that with is still difficult."

What have you found as a result of being an IoD member?

"Being an Advance member has helped me meet lots of people from organisations of all different shapes and sizes. I’ve attended a number of events and spoken at one which has also been great for networking."

How long have you been a member of the IoD?

"I have been a member of the IoD since the mid 1990’s and when the Advance launched I was keen to try it out. A bunch of us from Fifth Step took part on the pilot programme, right from the beginning. I’ve actually just done my first membership renewal as an Advance member."

What is your favourite thing about being part of the IoD community?

"Going onto the Advance App and being able to see upcoming events as well as being able to book events on the spot is really valuable. If I have meetings on the side of the city then I can reactively look on the app and see what’s happening at the IoD that afternoon or evening. I often come to 116 Pall Mall after meetings to work anyway but if there is something going on, like an event, I can take advantage of that. The app makes a huge difference, it’s really useful."


“The Advance community allows me to connect with people all across the country as I travel for work.”


What are three other benefits you’ve enjoyed as a result of being a member?

"Premises are the biggest benefit for me. Having access to 3,000+ Regus offices and access to 116 Pall Mall is great. As our offices are on the other side of the city I also use the City of London branch if I need to have meetings or even take important calls."

How does being a member of the IoD help you succeed in your career?

"Being part of the Advance network gives me the right platform to meet the right people. It’s great brand alignment for Fifth Step, as it not only aligns us with the IoD but also the history and prestige that comes with that."


“It’s a great brand alignment for Fifth Step, as it not only aligns us with the IoD but also with the history and prestige that comes with that.”


How has the IoD changed for the better?

"The Advance App has helped bring the IoD into the 21st century. While the prestige and history of the IoD is very important I’d also say that the Advance community is equally important."

What does being a business leader mean to you?

"To me being a business leader is all about people. A business leader needs to give people the opportunity to learn and expand. Some of our team at Fifth Step are Advance members and we actively encourage them to attend the exclusive events available to them.

It not only provides them with great networking opportunities but they can also learn from each event – even if it’s simply observing how people present, from the flamboyant to the nervous. So as a leader, it’s important to provide people with business experiences which will allow them to grow both in their career and personally."


“The Advance App has helped bring the IoD into the 21st century.”


What would you say to anyone considering becoming a member and would you recommend it?

"Yes I would recommend it! The slight difference in cost is more than made up for by the additional benefits you receive as an Advance member – the App being the biggest one in my opinion.

The Relationship Managers are a great team and do a lot to support the members. Having the additional sense of the Advance community makes a big difference as a member and allows me to connect with people all across the country as I travel for work."

If you could give one piece of advice to fellow directors, what would it be and why?

"My one piece of advice would be to follow the ‘Three Foot’ rule – talk to anyone who is within three feet of you. By doing this you’re always going to learn something new, either about them or possible something advantageous for your business. Make sure you don’t just talk about business either, make sure you’re friendly. That way you get to meet a lot more people and will always learn new things."