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Experience Counts


In my experience of meeting successful leaders of client companies or when I interview great senior level candidates; they all say pretty much the same things about what influenced them the most in order to make them an effective leader.


Charity Bosses Are They Worth It?



In the last few months, we have completed two of the biggest CEO roles in the local charity sector. Both positions commanded six figure salaries, but during the process we were reminded of the sensitivity around salary levels in the voluntary sector.



Time to Move On?

In my line of work I speak with candidates on a daily basis who feel they are ready to leave their current role.  I also approach many candidates who find themselves unsure whether they want a new challenge or are genuinely contented in their role. 

It isn’t always easy to recognise when it’s time to move on from your current job and it can be difficult to determine the difference between simply lacking a little motivation (after perhaps being with an employer for several years) and knowing that you’ve become too content and complacent and are ready for the next step in your career. 

Generally speaking however, most of us know when it’s time to leave, our gut usually keeps us informed with feelings of dread or unhappiness which can hit on the drive into work in the mornings.   However before making any rash decisions it’s important to spend time assessing whether you are ready to move on. 

Leading different paths

 One of the most common reasons I hear from candidates is that their employer doesn’t share their ambition.  Many candidates are having considerable success in their role but find that their employer is putting restraints in place prohibiting candidates from reaching their full potential.  If you feel that you have more to offer but are unable to do so in your current organisation, it might be time to move on to a company more suited to your skills and that shares your mind-set and vision. 

Going nowhere 

Many complaints I hear from candidates who are unhappy in their jobs is to do with bosses who stand in the way of an employee’s development.  Whether the training opportunities aren’t available or their boss just isn’t as invested in their staff members; a lack of development can be incredibly frustrating.  Explore development opportunities with your employer before making the decision to leave. 


Corporate politics can play a significant part when it comes to deciding whether it’s time to jump ship.  Quite often large corporate organisations breed an environment whereby employees feel they constantly have to justify or explain their actions which inhibits creativity and gets in the way of actually getting things done.  There’s not much that can be done about the overall office culture of an organisation – if you find this is stagnating your work and development, consider smaller companies or a leap into self-employment. 

New horizons 

If you are excited by the thought of a new job, find yourself day dreaming about other organisations you’d love to work for and constantly think ‘I can do more’ then it’s definitely time to go! 

What Makes a Great Leader

Author, scholar and pioneer of leadership studies Warren Bennis defined leadership as ‘the ability to turn vision into reality and sustain it.’ leader

This is certainly an accurate definition when it comes to defining what leaders do generally, however how leaders do this is the subject of endless debate.

There are two types of leaders – those who lead by instilling fear and those who encourage everyone to live up to and fulfil their potential.  Obviously the latter is the definition of a good leader and what you should be aspiring to do throughout your leadership. 

In my line of work, I am often tasked by multi-national companies to find high level executives for top positons in which the individual will be required to lead the company sometimes in a different direction or through particularly challenging times or perhaps throughout a period of great change.  Such leadership is no ill feat and education and work experience will only get you so far.  When I have a selection of potential candidates all with similar experience and qualifications, the next thing I look for is someone who can demonstrate great leadership qualities - but how do I identify a great leader?

Many people believe they are great leaders, however may find that a large proportion of their employees disagree – meaning they aren’t actually very accomplished leaders at all.  

Here are my tip five traits I identify as qualities that true leaders possess:


Great leaders don’t dictate, they have a strong ability to influence and inspire others.  No one likes a dictator and the truth is if you’re leading correctly you won’t need to.  It’s cliché but providing you have the right employees in place, then leading by example and encouraging your staff to fulfil their full potential as well as granting autonomy will result in developing a highly motivated team who want to prove their worth.  Motivation is the cheapest form of supervision. 

Skilled communicator

Sounds simple, but few people possess the excellent communication skills they boast of on their CV.  The ability to communicate well doesn’t just mean you are able to get your point across to a range of people and using a range of styles in a clear and concise way.  A key part of communication is listening.  Having a process in place to listen to your employees’ feedback is extremely beneficial.  The ability to really listen and understand is crucial to being an effective communicator.  


The most successful people in business don’t quit.  They are tenacious and ready to overcome all obstacles.  Good leaders involve their team when facing challenges head on.  Having the ability to bring together a collective wisdom to solve a problem usually solves the problem quicker and also helps to reunite and build a stronger team.

Address failure

It’s not pleasant addressing failure or shortcomings, particularly if the failure is a result of a poor performing employee.  Good leadership involves recognising and addressing the issue immediately and seeking to resolve it whether that requires more support, a frank discussion or requires you to be ruthless.


Lastly and perhaps most importantly, being honest and having strong moral principles will set you in very good stead and earn the respect of your colleagues.  The respect of your employees is one of the most important assets you can possess if you want to be a successful leader.

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