3 for the week: Inspirational quotes to get you through the week – 13th May 2013

MOTIVATION: “Don’t think about your future, think about your bright future.” – Zabe Khan

SUCCESS: “If you’re climbing the ladder of life, you go rung by rung, one step at a time. Don’t look too far up, set your goals high but take one step at a time. Sometimes you don’t think you’re progressing until you step back and see how high you’ve really gone.” – Donny Osmand

LIFE & WISDOM: “Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” – Gloria Steinem, American journalist and women’s rights advocate

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Breaking the Glass Ceiling – Bold and Controversial Does It

Women in Business

I recently read a very interesting old article on Karen Brady that was published in the Guardian newspaper.  A familiar face on BBC’s The Apprentice, she is widely described by her peers and the press as one of the most successful women in British business. What is even more interesting about her story was her career path and the challenges she overcame to claim a substantial presence in UK Plc.  Not all her choices that led her to her success were straightforward. Indeed, many of the decisions she made were seen as unconventional l, often bordering on controversial. But they were choices that made her who she is, and help her smash her way through the glass ceiling that all too often paralyzes many women’s careers. If all women were like Karen Brady, then there would be no glass ceiling to speak off. Her meteoric rise through British business speaks for itself. She was the first female and youngest (at 23) Managing Director of a British publicly traded company, Birmingham Football Club. Moreover, she is now a Vice Chairman of West Ham United Football Club and holds several positions on various boards, and still only 44 and married with 2 children. Could Karen Brady then be the answer and inspiration for women to penetrate the glass ceilings of the business world?

Bold and Controversial

Karen Brady started her career in advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi. But her career really started taking shape after she left Saatchi & Saatchi to join London Broadcasting Corporation (LBC). There she became acquainted with David Sullivan, a client of LBC and sold him advertising space which earned her more commission then the entire sales team put together at LBC. Impressed by her “go getter” attitude, Sullivan offered her a job with his company. Then after a few years, Brady persuaded Sullivan to buy struggling British Football Club, Birmingham City which he did and made her the Managing Director off at the age of 23 that she returned to profitability.

What was a critical factor in her career was her choice of mentor, David Sullivan who was an adult entertainment entrepreneur. What makes Karen standout is that she is totally comfortable in her own skin, and she is not afraid of what somebody else might say. What would have many women running scared actually drew Karen towards Sullivan, and she benefited from that as she progressed throughout her career. Even in the male dominated environment of football, she was totally comfortable. In her first day as Managing Director at Birmingham City Football Club, she turned up to work wearing a fitted powder pink jacket. When one of the players made a sexually suggestive remark, she replied by telling him that he wouldn’t be making remarks like that when she sells him to a rival football club. It was this cool and collected, and mercilessly unflinching manner that propelled her through her career, and made headlines in the male dominated world of football.  Interestingly though, her success has not made her ignorant. She has encouraged and empowered other women like her in business which is a testament to her role at Birmingham Football Club which she left with a senior management team that were 75% women. She sees women as essential in management in companies, and believes that public companies that don’t have women on their boards should have to state the reason why in their annual reports.

Wisdom

Karen Brady is as smart and sensible in her personal as well as professional life. Here is her take on life:

“Life is a series of problems, and how quickly and easily you overcome them generally means how happy you are.” To her, this means not spending life questioning and analyzing because that will end up driving you crazy. To move forward, close the door and don’t look back and move on to the next thing.

What has really allowed Karen to be as successful as she has been is that she has been able to take control of her career at a very early age which is courtesy of her mature thinking when she was made Managing Director of Birmingham City Football Club, and total self belief in her abilities. She has focused on herself and hasn’t allowed the judgment of others to direct her path. Here are the elements that make her tick:

  • A charismatic personality
  • Enthusiasm to operate in a male dominated environment, and totally relish it
  • Raw energy
  • A controversial figure as mentor
  • Not emotional but very rational – doesn’t take things to heart and allows her head to rule her heart
  • Sustainable strength – thick skinned
  •  Keeps weaknesses at bay
  • Keeps doubts at bay – toughness in decisions

Many of these elements are personal and unique to Karen but others have been developed over time that has allowed Karen to negotiate the challenges she has faced. What Karen’s experience demonstrates to women is that it is often a combination of conscious choices women make and other personality traits that can help in developing their careers.

3 for the week: Inspirational quotes to get you through the week – 7th May 2013

MOTIVATION: “Promise yourself to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.” – Nolan Bushnell

SUCCESS: “You get some success. You run into some walls. It’s how tenacious you are, how irrepressible, how ultimately optimistic and tenacious you are about it that will determine your success.” – Steven Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft

LIFE & WISDOM: “If you’re not happy with the way things are going, that’s not going to change until you do something differently.” – Steve Tobak, consultant and former high-tech senior executive

Unemployment and Social Media – Jobseekers must Connect, Absorb and Create

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Let’s face it; social media is spreading like wild fire across the populations of the world. In fact, Facebook recently claimed that is now has 1.11 billion members.  Whichever way you choose to look at that figure, that’s a pretty substantial number of people.

This may then be the right time for jobseekers to view social media in a different light given its ability to reach out to a staggering number of people. For businesses too, maybe it is time to move away from print media for placing job advertisements. The mass appeal of social media is that it keeps users informed on-demand 24/7 – its real time.  The ability of social media to keep people connected is the key here.  For jobseekers this is such a powerful tool. Joe McKendrick, a regular contributor to the blog Smart Planet commented on one of his posts on 21st of July 2010 on the subject of social media and unemployment. Here are three ways social media can help jobseekers:

An innovative recruitment and employment tool: Thanks to social media, people have been able to market themselves better more than ever before through their own blogs, LinkedIn accounts, Facebook, Twitter. Businesses can get a more rounded view of the potential job seekers real life capabilities that are often over looked in traditional psychometric tests. Direct communication through social media outlets also has the potential to reduce a business’s recruitment advertising budget. This is a win win situation on both sides.

An entrepreneurial tool: Social media has presented people with opportunities to reach out to customers across the country and worldwide. A whole new ‘Do It Yourself Economy’ has emerged where people can set up businesses at the click of a button. One trend that has really taken off is that innovative businesses now have their own Facebook page to promote their business. We are now in an era in which entrepreneurs can connect instantly to the masses.

 Outreach tool for distressed communities/regions: This can be a real kick start for communities and local economies that have declined in the recession and returning them to good health. With the aid of cheap, low cost internet access these communities can access the same information and take advantage of the same opportunities through social media platforms as individuals in thriving areas. This can be a precursor in helping to eliminate the divide that exists in societies around the world.

The power of social media to help job seekers still hasn’t been realised. However, this may be in part due to a lack of understanding of job seekers to make the most of it. There still seems to be a loyal group of job seekers out there who rely on traditional print media.  Individuals must embrace social media and make it work to their advantage. The true value of social media for job seekers is to connect with people, to absorb and make sense of the information out there and to create and maximise the opportunities that arise.

3 for the week: Inspirational quotes to get you through the week – 29th April 2013

MOTIVATION: “The sky is never the limit. We are our own limits. It’s then about breaking our personal limits and outgrowing ourselves to live our best lives.” – Celestine Chua

SUCCESS: ““Success, in my view, is the willingness to strive for something you really want. The person not reaching the top is no less a success than the one who achieved it, if they both sweated blood, sweat and tears and overcame obstacles and fears. The failure to be perfect does not mean you’re not a success.” – Fran Tarkenton, American football player, businessman, corporate consultant, author

LIFE & WISDOM: “To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing”. – Eva Young

 

Multitasking Turbo Charged – A simple and effective technique for effective time management

Turbocharged

It just amazes me the number of people that cannot keep track of time. Everybody from the CEO to the janitor is guilty of this. We are exposed to punctuality and time management at a very early age when we go to school, and are then reminded of its importance when we go to college/university as we juggle those deadlines for multiple projects and essays. At work, the situation gets even more pressing as we are subjected to the achievement of tough targets and deadlines as we strive to make that elusive profit.

The lack of effective time management is why most projects never get off the ground, and targets never met. Put simply, quite a lot of people out there in the world of work have a really poor grasp of time management. However, it need not be that way. If you think about it in real terms, managing one’s time effectively is all about organization and discipline. The best thing anybody can do for themselves is to break things down into small manageable parts. In order to make multitasking really work for you, you need to understand how to use it sensibly. Some research even points to multitasking actually holding you back. Don’t believe me, then just Google it. It is stated that multitasking makes it more difficult to focus on issues and you are less likely to come up with more creative and innovative ideas if your mind is on more than one task. However, I disagree with the research but do believe that multitasking can be refined. To make it work better, use checklists and to-do lists to help plan your day. I suggest tackling no more than three major tasks on any particular day and then number them in order of importance by tackling the most urgent first. So say if you have 15 tasks to be completed in a week, tackle tasks 3 at a time. That way you will keep track of time, meet your targets and keep your mind properly focused.

3 for the week: Inspirational quotes to get you through the week – 22nd April 2013

MOTIVATION: “Always be confident, believe in what you are doing and don’t waver. You won’t persuade other people to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself.” – Peter Jones, Entrepreneur

SUCCESS: “True success is overcoming the fear of being unsuccessful.” – Paul Sweeney

LIFE & WISDOM: “Many of life’s failures are people who do not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison