skills

Charity helps you get on in work and life

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donation_can_hands_1600_wht_5539Saying you are hardworking and a team player seems to influence recruiters, corny as it may sound. More than whether candidates had IT skills or a degree.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) asked 2,000 executives what they looked for in candidates when recruiting.

More than half said they were more likely to employ someone who had done charity work. This was a higher proportion than were impressed by sporting achievements or people being physically fit.

The rationale behind companies liking charity workers was simple. The skills they learned doing voluntary work brought in an extra £36,000 to the companies. They also thought volunteers were more caring, reliable and driven.

And those members of staff who had done voluntary work earned about £1,000 a year more.

Some volunteers said it also made them more attractive to the opposite sex and helped them get dates.

The BHF said “Volunteers are absolutely essential to the success of the charity and play an integral part in fighting coronary get disease. We couldn’t continue our life-saving work without them”

 

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Anatomy of a true leader?

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green_stick_figure_stand_out_crowd_1600_wht_1832In the Sunday Times business section this weekend Luke Johnson, Chairman of Risk Capital Partners and the Centre for Entrepreneurs, set out his list of the most important characteristics that a managing director should possess.

In brief these were:

The ability to motivate. The boss who can enthuse a workforce will generally do better than one who rules by fear.

Domain Knowledge. They must have sufficient technical understanding to gain the respect of their team.

The ability to listen. The best bosses don’t dominate debates but encourage feedback and leave their doors open. They listen to the shop floor by going there in person.

Decisiveness. Ultimately companies cannot function as pure democracies and someone has to make decisions rather than procrastinate. Employees need a sense of direction.

Financial literacy. Must be able to interpret financial statements and analyse accouts.

A sense of humour. Life is too short not to enjoy going to work .

Reliability in a crisis. Someone who doesn’t panic in the face of adversity and gets down to work in a diligent and professional way without histrionics.

Frugality. Having a thrifty approach to business. Extravagant CEOs set a bad example especially if they live beyond their means. A lean operation is the only way.

Delegation. The only way for start-ups to become large companies is for the proprietor/managers to learn to identify, promote, trust, and empower talent.

Adaptability. Modern companies need to be flexible and intelligent leaders thrive on change and are constantly learning.

Bravery. Outstanding leaders need the courage to make unpopular decisions. Those who fail to speak out on controversial issues and follow the consensus are followers not leaders.

That’s Luke Johnsons’ list and I can’t say I disagree with any of them. An interesting mixture of personality traits e.g. adaptability (being open to experience) and learned skills e.g. financial knowledge.

I’ve yet to meet anyone who meets all those criteria however! And when it comes to frugality it’s hard to say it abounds. When the average pay at the top of organisations is 130 times pay at the bottom and CEOs get rewarded for failure e.g. the Barclays CEO walking away with £28 million it’s hard to believe it exists at the very top of organisations.

If you want to comment or add to the list contact him at: luke@riskcapitalpartners.co.uk

 

 

Would you choose Happy or Grumpy?

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funny_face_balloon_girl_500_wht_193Everyone likes to work with happy people, don’t they?

But are they the best workers?

People with a happy disposition may adopt a “jack of all trades approach” investing small amounts of time in a variety of things, including social activities, at work.

Grumpy workers by contrast spend a lot of time on fewer activities thereby honing their skills. And if they find a task they like they may invest a lot of timer in it becoming very skilled.

The research published in the journal Social Psychology was carried out at the University of Illinois and the University of Pennsylvania.

So people who are the life and soul of the party may be the least productive employees.

Their opposites were characterised as less active but more focussed and less easily distracted.