Life is certainly uncertain. It doesn’t matter who you are, life will always throw challenges your way. No matter if we expect them not to, these speed bumps that appear in our path can sometimes feel more like mountains. Even when we can influence them, these challenges can still be overwhelming and confusing, leaving us […]
This summer has been our busiest on record. Fact! And from speaking to other SME’s it seems to be a trend. The general consensus is that 2013 and 2014 were more difficult than 2015, and whilst global economic uncertainty is still played out through the media, there does appear to be plenty of cash about […]
The jet lag has now subsided and we have had a few days to reflect on our recent business exploration to Australia. As a small business offering training, mentoring and coaching programmes to different groups and individuals, we are amongst a smaller number of businesses where exporting is higher on our expansion plans than growth […]
Since starting my own business several years ago, there have been times when my health has occasionally been impacted by an accident, being overworked or just by generally catching something along the way. As the years move on I have found it harder to bounce back or to be able to burn the candle at […]
This week Amanda Murrell Associates have moved into a brand new office! It has been a move we have been planning for some time, and that time has now come. The decision to move premises is not always easy but it is a pivotal part of our expansion – without space, clarity and room for […]
It’s the 21st century and no longer do we have staff members that we take fresh from college, train and develop through the business and then wave off for a ‘happy retirement’ 40 years later. Times are a changing and the education system is no longer geared towards developing the non-educational side of our children […]
With the summer nearly over, children back to school and my Bedfordshire BusinessWomen (BBW) Presidential year is coming to an end. As a business woman in 2013, I have been taking some time to consider how worthwhile my role as President has been to my business and to the services that I offer to my clients.
Being President has added real value to my business and whilst the workload has been at times overwhelming, I have a much stronger portfolio of skills and experience as a result. Anyone considering taking up a voluntary role should consider these business benefits, which often cannot be achieved any other way.
So, I wanted to share some of my highlights of being President of BBW during the last year.
October 2012 and our 25th year of networking started on a high as Finalists for Fundraiser of the year 2012 at the Pride in Bedford Awards. Our first event was an evening fashion show at Mercedes Benz of Bedford, where some of our members modeled on the catwalk.
November 2012 was an exceptional month, winning the Community Investment Award, at the Beds & Luton Business Excellence Awards 2012, and at the same event Finalists for Enterprising Organisation of the year 2012, as well as Runners-Up for Networking Group of the Year 2012 at the East of England Business Champions 2012.
We were treated to breakfast in the Mayors parlour and later in November, afternoon tea at Woburn with workshops delivered by members. After a great Christmas afternoon event with fun, frolics and Santa, at the Embankment Hotel, in December, we started 2013 off with the traditional ‘Man Day’ at Millbrook Proving Ground, with over 60 men and women experiencing an exciting day of high-speed pro-drives, professional networking and inspiring presentations. We also celebrated with our annual International Women’s Day event, sponsored by Bedford College, where we were dined in decadent surroundings at the Mansion House, Old Warden.
Always keen to raise money for charity, other than The Road Victims Trust (RVT)my charity of the year, we took part in the Ladies Driving Challenge, RAF Alconbury, for The Fire Fighters Charity, raising over £1,000, this was definitely one of my highlights from the year.
There are many more highlights; yoga at Champney’s in March, joint FSB Business Expo in April, Putteridge Bury in May, Lifestyle event, Luton Hoo in July and my leaving event, an afternoon garden party at Milton Ernest.
New for my year are monthly workshops at the i-Lab run by our own members and any member is welcome to run workshops, or share with BBW, aspects of their business, we actively encourage joint working and networking outside of BBW events.
It wouldn’t be right to finish this review without mentioning our spectacular 25th anniversary ball and awards evening in June at the Sharnbrook Hotel – a truly glamorous event and very befitting of such a wonderful group of ladies and of course also winning the FSB Best Networking Group 2013 in June.
Finally, I would like to say a huge thank you to everybody who has contributed to BBW in some way, for supporting me as President, and made this another successful year for us all. I wish Emma and the members of BBW all the very best for the coming 12 months.
As we approach International Women’s Day, March 8th, it makes me think about all of the very successful women there are in business. But according to recent research, women in business still tend to be at a distinct disadvantage when securing funding for their business (it does not say why or what funding), it also found that women tend to be charged higher rates of interest when taking out loans – an average of 2.9%, substantially more than the 1.9% average charged to men. Despite these statistics (statistics don’t always reflect the true picture) the UK now houses a thriving female entrepreneurial community.
According to Daniel Goleman the author of “The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights” one of the reasons why women are effective leaders is because on average they outdo men when it comes to sensing a person’s feelings in the moment and more attuned to Emotional Intelligence (the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions).
Psychology Today recently featured Meg Whitman, former CEO of ebay and current CEO of HP for leading with emotional intelligence. During her eight years with ebay it was the fastest growing company in history. In her book The Power of Many, she writes: “I believe that being willing and able to actively listen is a vital skill for any leader. Not only is listening the right thing to, an antidote to arrogance, it also leads to all sorts of competitive advantages.”
Use your Emotional Intelligence to develop “perspective” – patterns of recognition combined with experience – within your company. (Doctors do it all the time by building up case histories and finding patterns of symptoms.) People without perspective see the world from their own limited viewpoint and keep pushing that viewpoint. When you have perspective, you can step outside your own worldview and acknowledge other perspectives – your customers’, your colleagues’, your direct reports’, and your boss’s.
It makes sense that today’s organizations will struggle to survive, much less thrive, if they are simply a collection of IQ skills – finance, statistics, information systems, product development, technology, manufacturing, delivery, marketing, etc.
IQ skills need to be balanced with elements of Emotional Intelligence – honesty, trust, integrity, intuition, imagination, resilience, purpose, commitment, influence, motivation, sensitivity, empathy, humour, courage, conscience and humility.
Use feedback from your heart, not just your head. It’s what ignites creative genius, keeps us honest with ourselves, shapes trusting relationships, provides an inner compass for our business lives and careers, guides us to unexpected possibilities, and may even save us or our company from disaster. As Emotional Intelligence is more and more frequently linked to success and profitability, it is gaining legitimacy – even among some of its sceptics.