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Authenticity: You Can’t Fake It

- By James T Noble

The more virtual our lives get, the more we hunger after something genuine. Customers today demand more than just a product or a service. They want an experience – one that  is honest and transparent, one that is authentic.

authenticity_flippedAuthenticity isn’t something that can be faked. That’s why authentic businesses inspire and prosper.  But it’s a thin line to tread.  Your customers today are far more informed, aware, socially connected and empowered  than ever before. They have high standards and they can sniff out a scam at 10 paces. Anything you put out there will be scrutinized. If it doesn’t measure up to ‘genuine’ it WILL get called out. More and more, making a wrong move in marketing can be catastrophic for your company kudos – with some seriously negative knock-on effects for your business.

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Perfectionism – the Unattainable Goal

- By Peter G. Vajda

Perfectionism is a common trait of successful business leaders. What about you? Do you sometimes berate yourself for not being “better” in some way? Do you strive for perfection in your professional or personal life and berate yourself for your perceived failures? Do you have memories of someone telling you you’ll never be good enough?

The thing about perfection is that it is unobtainable. There is no point at which we can say, “I’ve arrived – this is perfection”. Perfection is just an ego-driven idea. We think that being a “perfect 10″ means that we have no flaws or imperfections. Perfection excludes negative realities – an impossibility, no matter how hard our mind wants to convince us otherwise. Continue reading →

Unravelling the Secrets of Personality

- By Siobhan Twose

We might think that we’re a good judge of character, but the fact is that most people put on some sort of mask when they step into the office that obscures the core DNA of their personality and can make it very hard for their colleagues to grasp the subtle dynamics of their make-up and how their behaviours might play out at work.

Psychometric testing has long been used in the workplace. But now a more sophisticated generation of personality profiling is emerging that helps us to get behind the veneer that we all like to project, better understand each other and meet on common ground. Continue reading →

An Authentic Heritage

John Jones first entered into the fine art industry in the 1960’s when he quickly discovered that he had an aptitude for making high-quality bespoke picture frames. It was not long before he was framing professionally for artists such as Francis Bacon and David Hockney, designing and producing museum-standard frames specifically to complement their work. In January 2012, John Jones was awarded an MBE as Master Framer for his services to the arts.

In the intervening decades, John Jones oversaw the expansion of his company into a leading international consultancy business specialising in the protection and presentation of works of art. But he never departed from the belief that the firm should be family-owned and family-run, bringing his sons, Matthew and Kristian, and sister, Kelly, into the business and handing its stewardship over to them when he retired as CEO in 2013. Continue reading →

A New Take on New Clothes

In the story The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen, a foolish emperor is gulled by two conmen posing as weavers. They offer to make him the finest garment made of the most magnificent material in the world. Yet they warn him that this material is invisible to anyone who lacks intelligence.

newclothesWhen his chief adviser visits the “weavers” to examine the new clothes he sees nothing [for there’s nothing to see], but he lies and praises the new garments and informs his emperor of their magnificence.

When the emperor parades naked through the streets, everyone praises his appearance, all of them unwilling to appear stupid. Until a small child speaks up and states unequivocally that the emperor is naked. At last the truthful honesty of the child affects the rest of the crowd and they all now admit that their poor ruler is wearing nothing but an increasingly nervous smile. But such honesty came too late for the emperor.

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You CAN Judge a Book by its Cover

Andrew B Morris

Andrew B Morris

Making a positive first impression – the handshake moment – is critical in attracting people and building relationships.

Contrary to popular myth, we can make an accurate assessment within the first moments of meeting someone for the first time. According to research, within the first seven seconds we can make a balanced judgement on 11 key characteristics: wealth, political bias, credibility, religion, desirability, trustworthiness, sexuality, success, ethnicity, sophistication, and education.

Amazingly, this assessment will be 80% accurate.

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Get Yourself Heard!

- By Mindy Gibbins-Klein

In the recession, many businesses forgot about marketing, especially any kind of strategic marketing of their leaders. But it is a well-known fact that people buy from people, particularly people they like. Which is why more business leaders and owners are starting to realise the importance of being seen and heard, even sharing personal views on key issues.

We’re now seeing this reflected in the open communication style prevalent in blogs, social media and even books written by business leaders. People see the leader is engaged, so they feel engaged and they are more likely to do business with that organisation. Continue reading →

The Life of a Deal

- By Jo Haigh

It’s a curious fact that a company is what is called a ‘legal person’. But when you think about it, a company can do many things that a human being can do, including having a baby! We call that a subsidiary. It can get married – we may call that a merger – and it can even be deemed to have killed someone under the terms of the Corporate Manslaughter Act.

So if a company is a legal person, when that entity is put up for sale the transaction itself becomes a sort of lifecycle.

The arrival of a new baby is normally a period of joy and excitement. Sometimes this arrival comes after a long struggle to conceive, making the moment of life even more special. This feeling of exhilaration is very similar to the one that comes with an initial agreement to sell your business, the so-called heads of terms, and when the transaction to facilitate that deal comes to life. Continue reading →

The First-Time CEO

Executive search firm Warren Partners combines head hunting with leadership coaching and board review services. Based in London, Cheshire and Edinburgh, it has clients in the UK and internationally.

When Vicky Lawton was appointed as MD of Warren Partners in 2012, it was her first time at the helm of a business. Despite having previously been the company’s Director of Operations, the step up was still a challenge.

“When you move into a MD or CEO role for the first time within the same company, the dynamics of the relationships that you have built up over time change overnight,” she says. “At first, this can come as a bit of a shock. Suddenly the support systems you’ve been used to don’t operate in the same way.” Continue reading →

Go on, Take a Proper Holiday!

- By Peter G. Vajda

A few years ago, New York University sociologist Dalton Conley came up with the phrase “weisure” as a means of describing the way in which the lines between work and leisure are often blurred. Taking the laptop on holiday and checking emails even if from time to time are not conducive to fully re-charging and taking that well needed break.

toesYet many feel not only that they have to stay connected on holidays and weekends but that things will collapse if you take time off. So in addition to the loss of well-needed time for rest and relaxation, a key consequence of living in a “weisure” world is the loss of personal privacy.

So instead of returning to work rejuvenated, refreshed and motivated, our workplaces are increasingly populated by underperforming, disengaged and exhausted people. Some may even be going through depression or repressing their unhappiness about life.

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