5 Tips For a Successful Career as a Workplace Leader
Hannah West
Research Lead
In this article;

Want to become a successful leader in a top organisation? Or learn some inspiring tips on excelling in EDI or ESG? Well, take it from the experts — they’ve done it all before!

Below, you will see that the super inspiring workplace leaders we’ve had on The Interview all have one thing in common — they truly care, and want to make a positive impact on their sector, community and the world.

Here, we have compiled some of the most inspiring advice from the incredible workplace leaders we’ve had the pleasure of interviewing. Read on to find out more!

#1: Be Open 👐

Open-mindedness is the key to creativity, relationship-building, personal growth and, according to Katherine Milliken, Chief Operating Officer at Macfarlanes, your career. Often we restrict ourselves to one path when it comes to our work life and stick to what we feel comfortable doing, but taking on new opportunities gives us a chance to thrive in ways we never expected.

Remain open-minded. Don’t restrict yourself to one career path. In my career, law was my foundation to take different paths. Taking opportunities, how and where they come, is always a good thing.
#2: Act on Your Values ⚖️

For those passionate about creating positive change in the world, working in an organisation that shares your values gives you space to achieve this. Neil Pearson, Head of ESG and Social Value at Mills & Reeve, advocates for taking a deeper look into a firm’s values to ensure they align with your own. Doing this allows you to gain more meaning from your work and feel fulfilled by what you do.

Choose an organisation that genuinely chimes with what’s important to you as an individual. Lift the bonnet and have a look (as it were). Everybody makes a lot of claims about what they do, but speak to people and see if values are lived rather than just laminated.

#3: Listen & Learn 👂

The space of EDI and ESG is in a constant state of evolution and change, which means that to be successful in a workplace environment, keeping up is essential. Paddy Linighan, Chief Operating Officer at Clyde & Co, recommends that anyone in that role learns to take note of their environment and adapt to it. That’s not where the process ends though — once you adapt, the process of listening and learning begins all over again.

Listen, adapt, and listen again — because the environment is always changing and evolving.
#4: Bring Your Compassion 👏

When a role has been designed to help others, bringing humanity and compassion is one of the most important things you can do. For Jonathan Bond, Director of HR and Learning at Pinsent Masons, this has been integral to his work in people development; he acknowledges that the human element often makes the biggest difference in any organisation.

Understand the industry you’re in first and foremost. It’s not just about being in HR; it’s also about who you are working for and with. Most often, the thing every sector is in need of is a human element, so bringing compassion and humanity is crucial.
#5: Be Proud to be You 🌈

Sometimes the simplest advice is the most effective, which is certainly true of what Sara Bailey, Senior Partner at Trowers & Hamlins, recommends. As an advocate for creating workplaces where people can show up as themselves, Sara’s advice comes from the perspective of someone creating initiatives to make this achievable. It might seem easier said than done now, but those invested in creating great EDI policies are making that possibility a reality.

Be yourself, and be proud of that.

The workplace leaders we’ve had on The Interview have provided incredible insight into what it means to centre your work around equality. Their top tips for anyone coming into that space certainly gave us some powerful food for thought.

Here at GoodCourse, we are grateful to learn from these inspiring individuals and to be able to share their wisdom further! You can keep up to date with The Interview here to read more about what these professionals, and many more, have to say.

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