As we reach our 20th episode, it’s time to put ourselves in the hot seat, showcasing our own family business alongside all the wonderful heritage, humility and huge success we’ve heard from some of the country’s oldest, boldest family businesses.

With 23 years of history and counting, Liz Lean PR is where we put into practice all the amazing qualities that we’ve heard about from the series’ fascinating guests thus far. 

In episode 20 of It Runs In The Family, we bring in Jack Willingham to turn the tables and ask us some probing questions on life at Liz Lean and the mother-daughter relationship that makes our business journey unlike any other. After all, who better to interview us than one of our own family, right…?

We ramble (as a family) through what we’ve learned on our journey as a family business so far, and some standout moments from the 19 previous, inspiring episodes of ‘It Runs In The Family’.

This episode covers:

  • Our mother-daughter dynamic and how it plays into our working relationship
  • Maintaining the line between personal and professional issues
  • How closely Leila plans to follow in Liz’s footsteps
  • Some of our fondest memories thus far at Liz Lean PR
  • Whether Jack sees himself taking up a role in the business

Episode Highlights

“I do think I’ve had to tame the over-talking since joining the business. It’s become a skill in terms of knowing when it’s good not to talk, and formulating what you want to say in your head before you go and say it.” – 4:55 – Leila Willingham

“Team morale is so important in our world. PR can take quite a lot of your emotional bandwidth when you’re thinking about what’s best for the client, how’s the consumer going to respond to this, how’s this going to protect or build on the client’s reputation for the next 5, 10, 15 years. It’s actually a boost when a dog with a waggy tail and her ears up is trying to eat some of your sandwich, and she puts her jaw and head on your lap. No matter how the day’s going, it’s always a nice little boost.” – 6:55 – Leila Willingham

“I think whether we’re in work mode or home mode, a lot of those same things apply. But obviously, we would always be professional and like to think that we would spare our team members any hope for years, fives that they really don’t need to be bogged down within their working days. So it’s pretty much kept at the door. ” – 8:35 – Liz Willingham

“It’s probably our editor Dan who’s heard the truest version of just the two of us. We come into the studio, the door gets closed and it’s just me and you, which is very rare in business and professional capacity. There’s not very many times where within a listening PR capacity, it’s just for the two of us and we have to sound our best on the podcast, so we might pull each other up on that.” – 9:20 – Liz & Leila Willingham

“That’s probably one of the most interesting dynamics of family businesses –  it can be easy around a parent to revert to being a child again.” – 10:50 – Leila Willingham

“It could be difficult for a lot of mums who want to be founders; juggling whether you can still be a good parent and nurture my child to be a good human, have play time with them, and yet still be successful.” – 16:00 – Liz Willingham

“It’s very important that the family business is celebrated as an entity. There is a massive proportion of the business world that’s made up by family businesses, and I’m not sure that people realise or recognise it. There is a special DNA that runs through family businesses, and they are really important to our economy. So celebrating them feels right, feels good, and if we can all learn something in the process, then happy days!” – 18:30 – Liz Willingham

“My future career is at Liz Lean PR, and I can’t see myself anywhere else now. I hope that I can use what Liz has created as a springboard so that she’s really proud of what I’ve taken the business to do, and that it lives on as a legacy.” – 20:50 – Leila Willingham

“I still have so many amazing memories of the business. At some point, I’d like to take some time out to actually review all of those memories, because there’ve been so many; Working with incredible people over the years, some of the team members that have come and gone, and some that’re still with us, they’re just fantastic.” – 25:10 – Liz Willingham



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