Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Development is about being open and seizing opportunities

Company / Interview

May 04, 2023

Development is about being open and seizing opportunities

Corporate values represent the foundation of an organization. Our LKQ Corporate Values are guiding our behavior and decisions as we continue to grow. From the way we do business with our customers and suppliers to how we develop our people, our values are at the core of all we do. Ian Leedham, Legal Director at LKQ Europe, shares his thoughts about our development value, how he keeps himself refreshed and why working in a diverse environment is inspiring.



Why is the Development of our colleagues important? How does it impact our growth as a business?  

Nick Zarcone, President and CEO LKQ Corp always says "people are our biggest asset" and that is so true. Our people make the magic happen. We have to create an environment to ignite growth and development and that means people need to bring their true, authentic selves to work. The best ideas are often the ones never considered so we have to allow people to speak up, challenge convention, and admit issues, problems, and errors in a safe environment where ideas are respected. We have a wealth of resources and opportunities to develop with LKQ You and other HR platforms, but Development is not just about ‘pushing’ programs to you, everyone needs to ‘pull’ what they want and need. If you want to challenge or change something, learn something new or work in another area then you have to reach out to get the skills, have the conversations, and express the interest. Development is great for LKQ, but it is a two-way process with each individual. 


We’re the no1 supplier of parts in the automotive aftermarket sector, how does Development impact this? 

We did not achieve this status in 25 years by luck or with a unique app, process or patent. We did this through good decisions, strategy, and pure hard work of our people. The market we operate in is competitive and that is also true of our customers. The market is changing, electrification of vehicles, increasing software and technology in vehicles (ADAS/entertainment/ECUs), OEMs changing to an ‘agency model’ and not OEM owned. How do we help small workshops stay up to date and be able to compete? How do we develop our customers as well as ourselves? Our position is never a given, what made us successful is not a guarantee we will remain so. We have to change, adapt, speculate, fail, and succeed if we are to stay ahead.  Change is good, it drives development in our market, our customers, and each of us; many see it as a challenge but it is a question of mindset, it is an opportunity if you are prepared and accept the need for new skills and services.


How does Development impact your function? 

Development affects Legal in lots of ways. The law changes and so we have to lobby through Public Affairs before any change. We have to adjust and educate the business about changes and alter business terms. That is a challenge across the 20 countries we operate.

In Compliance we have to learn and then share new areas to make sure the business operates safely and compliantly, to protect our people and preserve our reputation.

The biggest Development challenge we have is on sustainability; how do we create a better environment for colleagues, lower emissions and get engagement from all in our sustainability journey.


Why is Development important for sustainability? 

Sustainability is not only about lowering CO2, although that is part of it and that requires change and education. It is also about the environment in which we all work. That means allowing you to bring your whole self to work, feel able to share and contribute, learn new skills and language, move teams or even territories. It also means looking after your well-being, part of all our Development will be personal, including relationships, children, adoption, injury, illness and loss.  

Our HR policies, our well-being programs, exercise challenges, employee support facilities, bike-to-work schemes, and community programs are all there to support personal development and changes in circumstance. Sustainability is about creating a more positive environment, that is not a process or a program we can simply follow, it means offering access to facilities and opportunities for you to engage with and take up for the benefit of you and those around you.


Why is this value important to you and how do you ‘live’ it in your day-to-day role? 

In my role living Development means learning about the languages, laws, and cultures of all the countries we operate in. Having conversations as I travel, even with people I sit with on trains and planes, teaches me something new. Working with Compliance, Public Affairs and Sustainability gives me new ideas and skills and hopefully, I give some new ideas and skills to them. It is also great to get involved with the new businesses we acquire and make introductions across the business. Legal work with many different teams and so we are good facilitators to introduce people and challenge ideas to create development. Outside of work, I still need to make time to stay fit, learn languages, engage with my family, travel and read which I need to keep refreshed and open to new ideas. My development is within my control, LKQ provides opportunities for me take and so does the gym, the library and the people I interact with. Development is about being open and seizing opportunities which suit you.

Media contact LKQ Europe

LKQ communications


T +41 41 884 84 84

E [email protected]


LKQ Europe GmbH
Zählerweg 10
6300 Zug