first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Sir Richard Branson has fallen into that dangerous media category also occupiedby the likes of Robbie Williams, Chris Tarrant and Tony Blair – theover-exposed. One day they were all the darlings of the media, up on a pedestal; the next,they were over-exposed and heading earthwards. It can be a simple trigger – onesong too many about yourself, another contrived pause for the audience, or thatlast insincere promise. The press may have tired of them, but that doesn’t mean they have becomeunpopular with the important people – the public. Their songs still get tonumber one, they still attract huge TV ratings and still live in DowningStreet. And they still inspire, entertain or lead large numbers of people. Despite Richard Branson’s love affair with the press being over, he hasdelivered all three of these things for more than 30 years, and the people lovehim. Whenever there is a poll for a hypothetical leader, Branson always wins –if the public had had their way, he would be the Mayor of London and theDemocratic Republic of Britain’s head of state. Branson may have pulled one publicity stunt too many (surely it was a crimeagainst humanity for him to don a wedding dress for the launch of VirginBride), but I challenge you to name a better British business leader. In fact,just try naming 10 British business leaders, good or bad. In a square mile ofgrey suits, Branson is a noisy maverick, a bit of fun. But does being exuberant and fun make him the Greatest Briton in Managementand Leadership? To win this title – and I am confident he will win – I have toprove three things. First, that he is a great businessman; second, a greatleader and, finally, a great Briton. His business record is no joke. While he claims to have only recently workedout the difference between net and gross, the 53-year-old has created abusiness empire of more than 270 branded companies. He is personally worth acool £1bn. While many have accused him of being a lucky chancer, this could not befurther from the truth. Branson does take chances, but he manages the riskcarefully. Look at his launches into the cola and mobile phones markets. In hiswar with the Coke giants, Branson ensured that the costs of producing VirginCola were negligible, so his risk only relates to the size of the marketingbudget. In the mobile phones market, the expensive part is setting up andmaintaining the communication network. But Branson hooked up with T-Mobile anduses its network, cutting overheads and allowing it to deliver better value tothe customer. This sort of opportunism, and his habitual re-investment in hisbusinesses, has led to the Virgin Group having an annual turnover of £3.5bn. But is he a great leader? People work for Virgin because they want to workfor Branson. He has imbued all of his companies with his enthusiasm, andconsequently, Virgin constantly vies with the BBC and the Foreign Office forthe top spot in graduates’ employer wish lists. Mike Broad is assistant editor of Personnel Today”Convention dictates that a company should look after its shareholdersfirst, its customers next and last of all worry about its employees,” saysBranson. “Virgin does the opposite. For us employees matter most. It justseems common sense to me that if you start with a happy, well-motivatedworkforce, you’re much more likely to have happy customers. In due course theresulting profits will make your shareholders happy.” A great Briton? Undoubtedly. We love an underdog, and Branson alwayspositions himself as the little man. He took on British Airways over their‘dirty tricks’ campaign and had his day in court. OK, he was less successful attaking on the ‘fat cats’ of Camelot – but he still received great publicsupport. “My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparentlyunachievable challenges, and trying to rise above them,” he says. We also love a self-made man. Branson doesn’t have an Oxbridge degree, or arich daddy. He is one of us (despite owning a Caribbean island). There have also been the big gestures. He flew to Baghdad to rescue the‘human shield’ prior to the Gulf War, and bid to run the National Lotteryfranchise on a not-for-profit basis. But he is no saint. He had an early run-in with the authorities over musicbootlegging, and more recently journalists made a lot of the offshore financingof his businesses to reduce his tax liabilities. While legal, it is hardly thework of a great philanthropist. In contrast, Bill Gates is spending his timecreating the world’s largest charity. But surely this just adds to Branson’s charisma; he’s a scruffy,balloon-flying maverick, who gets his kicks from challenging the establishedorder and creating businesses that he can be proud of. He doesn’t have a highercalling, but who cares? The 35,000 employees who have helped him create one ofthe world’s leading brands certainly don’t. “Some people say that my vision for Virgin breaks all the rules and istoo wildly kaleidoscopic; others analyse it down to the last degree and thenwrite academic papers on it. As for me, I just pick up the phone and get onwith it,” he says. Gates may be a great philanthropist, and one of the few businessmen with apersonal and corporate brand as strong as Branson’s, but who would you ratherhave lunch with? And, more importantly, who would you rather work for? Branson’s CV1950 Branson is born in Surrey1968 After leaving school with few qualifications, Branson launches Studentmagazine1971 Opens first Virgin record shop in London1973 Virgin record label is launched and releases Mike Oldfield’s TubularBells1984 Takes to the air with Virgin Atlantic1993 Wins libel action against British Airways2000 Fails in bid to run National Lottery2001 Significant expansion of Virgin companies, including Atlantic, Mobile,Money and ActiveMake your vote countHere’s a reminder of the nominees Geoffrey De Havilland Nominated by Linda Holbeche,director of research at Roffey ParkGeoffrey de Havilland was a pioneering pilot and led theaviation industry. He designed, tested and built planes that were vital to ourcountry’s success in the Second World War, such as the Mosquito fighter-bomber.He was a bold risk-taker, but treated his staff fairly. He ensured good workingconditions in his factories, trail-blazed sponsored apprenticeships, and wenton to launch the first commercial jet liner. Ernest BevinNominated by Brendan Barber,general secretary elect of the TUCDespite being the illegitimate seventh child of an impoverisheddomestic worker, Ernest Bevin rose to sit alongside Winston Churchill in theWar Cabinet. A manual worker until the age of 30, he rose rapidly through theunion ranks, working ceaselessly to deliver better living standards forworkers. In later life, he became foreign secretary and helped create thesettlement that led to Britain’s withdrawal from the Empire.Alexander Graham BellNominated by Paul Pagliari, HRdirector of Scottish WaterAlexander Graham Bell had a visionary understanding of thepower and potential of communication. On 7 March 1876, Bell patented thetelephone at the tender age of 29 – six years after immigrating to America. Heshrank the world and started the information revolution that continues in ourworkplaces today. He helped establish the Bell Telephone Company, and lobbiedvociferously for the education of deaf people.Mike Brearley Nominated by Tim Yeo, Shadow Secretaryof State for Trade and IndustryMike Brearley was one of the finest England cricket captainsever. He led the team in 31 test matches, winning 18 and losing only four. Hewas an inspired leader and motivator, and will be remembered for bringing homethe Ashes in 1981 – overcoming seemingly impossible odds. Following hiscricketing retirement, Brearley wrote a definitive work on leadership entitledThe Art of Captaincy.John ReithNominated by Will Hutton, chiefexecutive of The Work FoundationThe greatest test of leadership is an organisation’s ability toprosper over time. John Reith achieved this as the first director general ofthe BBC. Unlike so many organisations in the UK, the BBC works. Its strongreputation for creativity and professionalism has created extraordinaryloyalty. The BBC informs, educates and entertains as part of its duty to thepublic – and it was Reith who unwaveringly insisted on this ethic.Anita RoddickNominated by Max McKeown, leadingmanagement authorAnita Roddick created a $1bn, top 50 brand in The Body Shop,and yet profit was never her motive. She wanted to create an organisation thatdelivered more than shareholder value – one that brought ethics into business,inspired women, and gave its staff the best working conditions and benefits.Roddick stood down from the board last year, promising to campaign for humanrights in the future. Jack Jones Nominated by Stephen Bubb, chiefexecutive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary OrganisationsIn the 1970s, the press claimed that Jack Jones – then generalsecretary of the T&G union – ran the country. He brokered the pioneering‘social contract’ between the Government, industry and the unions, which sawthe unions restrain pay claims for the good of the economy. He also forged theidea of ‘industrial democracy’, which led to employees being treated asstakeholders.Adrian CadburyNominated by Geoff Armstrong,director general of the CIPDSir Adrian Cadbury led his family firm towards being a globalplayer – as Cadbury Schweppes – and pioneered business thinking on managementethics, governance and social responsibility. He articulated the valuesunderpinning progressive people management, and showed practices could bedesigned to draw the best from employees. He led the seminal review ofcorporate governance in the 1990s that bears his name.Ernest ShackletonNominated by Ruth Spellman, chiefexecutive, Investors in PeopleLeadership in the 20th century was typically hierarchical, butErnest Shackleton led by example. Despite all three of his polar missionsending in failure, he brought every member of his party back safely, againstthe odds. He offers a tangible role model not based on modern managementtheory, but on real-life experience. Through his experiences, we realise theimportance of building teams and recognising the strength of individuals.Richard BransonNominated by Mike Broad, assistanteditor, Personnel TodaySir Richard Branson has entertained and inspired his staff andthe public for more than 30 years. He has risen from running a strugglingstudent magazine in a basement flat to driving a global brand that turns over£3.5bn. His companies – which employ 35,000 people – are all imbued with hisvalues of opportunism and fun, and Virgin Group has become the pre-eminentemployer of choice. The greatest briton: Richard Branson by Mike BroadOn 18 Feb 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

26 Jan / 2021

Raising the bar

first_imgSince taking office April 1, student body president and vice president Alex Coccia and Nancy Joyce have checked off items left and right. Recent initiatives included supporting University admissions policies to welcome undocumented students to campus, a week of awareness for mental health issues facing students and a coffee cart installed in DeBartolo Hall, all of which were goals included in their campaign platform. Though they have made progress through the concrete to-do list, Joyce said they are most proud of their success in engaging students who were not typically involved in student government. “I’m really proud of the fact that we’ve gotten a lot of involvement from people, even outside of any sort of formalized committees,” Joyce said. “I think we’ve done a pretty good job of trying to involve people who have opinions but who aren’t necessarily interested in being involved with student government, and that’s really what we wanted to do from Day One.” Coccia said personal, one-on-one interaction with members of the Notre Dame community has been key to his administration’s policy-making. “Even at the very beginning, we focused on how we approach one-on-one meetings and making sure we’re doing a lot of those with students and administrators, to not only get initiatives going, but also to build important relationships,” he said. “We do that every week with both administrators and students, and that has just come in immensely handy and has just been a powerful, powerful method for really working with students to get change going and build trust.”  Setting a standard Engaging in social media and working to reach students where they are has been a crucial aspect of the administration’s leadership, Coccia said. Joyce said during their term, they have been trying to “raise the expectations of what student government should be on campus.” “I think we’ve made a very concerted effort to engage freshmen, which is really important because now, for the next four years, the expectation of that and of every successive class is for a student government that reaches out to them and gives personal invitations to various invitations, a group that is known to them,” she said. “On a more macro level of what student government is, we’ve really tried to make it something that people can expect a lot from, and that we deliver on it. “Hopefully going forward, that bar has been raised a little bit.” Juan Rangel, chief of staff for this year’s administration, said he has been “pleasantly surprised” by the level of student involvement and cooperation on campus. “Students are really engaged on campus, not necessarily in a formalized way, but even just in the ways that we can reach them, whether through social networks like Facebook and Twitter or in events that we host,” Rangel said. “Students are more aware that student government is active and that we’re actively trying to meet their needs in any way. I think that’s definitely something to be proud of.”  ‘Using the momentum’ Coccia said he attributes much of the group’s success in tackling the initiatives on the platform to the constant connection and interaction between members of the executive cabinet and with students outside the organization. “If someone sends us an idea, we’re typically going to follow up on that and try to get a better sense of what their thoughts are and how they see student government fitting into that,” he said. “I think the sexual assault [initiatives] are a great example of that. We definitely had that on our platform, but as something that we wanted to work on in whatever capacity we could.” Joyce said when examining ideas and reviewing priorities, at the end of the day, they “always go back to the platform.”  “But at the same time, I think there’s been a lot that’s come up since we’ve been in office that had been generated by people coming up to us and saying ‘Look, I have this idea’ or ‘I see this happening this way,’ and I think we need that,” she said. “We make that a priority.” The relationships built between administrators and student government have proven “really encouraging,” Coccia said.  “Ultimately, I think administrators are impressed by student ideas, and so when we bring something to them like the coffee cart idea, more often than not, they want to get it done,” he said. “Where student government comes in is just to be the best partner we can.” Rangel said their work often opens their eyes to the inner workings of the University, providing a unique view on the behind-the-scenes action. Coccia said he finds the activity across the strata exciting. “It’s certainly been encouraging for me to see on all levels of the University the number of moving parts on various initiatives,” he said. “It really does become kind of a team effort across the University, because as students, we’re all here to have a great learning experience and learning environment, and the administrators know that students are the reason they’re here as well.”  Reviewing the semester Although the group members are pleased with their work to date, Joyce said they will revisit and review their remaining agenda items to pick up after winter break. “When we started, we had this huge platform of things we wanted to get done, and we have gotten a lot done, but we certainly think that there are more things for us to accomplish,” she said. “Part of being efficient in the next three months will be picking some of those things and prioritizing some of them. “I think that we may not get every single thing checked off of our platform, so we want to make sure that we’re getting as much done as we can and doing the most things that students feel are important.”  Coccia said he hopes the recommendations made in the Oct. 17 report to the Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees will help sustain some of the long-term projects beyond the one-year time frame in which they will hold office.  “Hopefully, this and the next board report in May will lay a blueprint of recommendations for future administrations,” he said. “Ultimately, what we’re trying to do is address the issues and bring the conversation up in a way that is going to prolong it and make sure it is sustained.” To increase the scope of projects, collaboration with groups outside student government has been a “huge success,” Joyce said.  “We’ve really tried to reach out to lots of different people, in the dorms, all the clubs and the administration,” she said. “I think it’s important to realize that student government can work with other people.”  ‘Above and beyond’ In addition to representing the student body, Coccia was a 2013 Truman scholar and a finalist for both the Rhodes and the Marshall scholarships. Joyce said his leadership so far has exemplified “setting the tone at the top.” “Alex would never say this because he’s too humble, but the leadership comes from the top, and his get-it-done attitude and his ability to really go out and figure out what it is that we can be doing is where the inspiration comes from for everybody else,” she said. “I doubt that there are very many people on campus who don’t recognize Alex, and I think that really says a lot. “He’s done such an incredible job of getting out and talking to people one-on-one and making people feel like their concerns are our concerns, because they are. I know as a team, there’s a lot that we’ve done, but it certainly would not be the same without him, so I hope people know that.” Coccia said the group is “enjoying every day” and is excited to return to campus in January to finish the term strong. “We’re loving it. We’re having a lot of fun,” he said. “There are certainly frustrating days, and I think we recognize that things sometimes take more time than what we want, but it’s been really fun.”  Grade: A The Coccia-Joyce administration has exceeded their goal of “raising the expectation of what student government should be on campus,” as Joyce said. Having enacted tangible changes, they have already left a unique legacy on Notre Dame and have set a new standard of excellence in the student government office. The accessible and energetic leadership style exemplified by Coccia, Joyce and their cabinet makes them effective leaders and connects them to their constituents’ needs. Contact Ann Marie Jakubowski at [email protected]last_img read more

first_imgThe house at 15 Trinder Rd, Ashgrove, is for sale for the first time.WITH clean lines and splashes of colour, it is not difficult to see this house was designed by an architectural master.Carmen and John Havers enlisted renowned local architect Bud Brannigan to create their dream home on a 2013sq m block at 15 Trinder Rd, Ashgrove. Entertain by the pool.They wanted a house that would suit both family living and support an entertainment lifestyle.Mrs Havers said they loved the way Brannigan was able to create something that was perfect for their way of life.“We loved that he captures the Queensland lifestyle but does it with an urban edge,” Mrs Havers said. “I really like that blend.” This semi-enclosed alfresco dining area would be ideal for a dinner party with friends.A monochrome palette is warmed by the frequent use of timber and the occasional injection of colour. The indoors flows to the outdoors.The house features floor to ceiling glass, a 7m void, and is reminiscent of a mid-century modern home of Palm Springs, although Mrs Havers said this was unintentional. Glazing reaches sky high. The servery window peeps into the kitchen.In the lounge room was Mrs Havers favourite space of the house, which is on an expansive 2013sq m block.“I love sitting in the lounge room because when you sit there you can see the trees out the front, and the pool and the green garden out the back,” she said.“You can still watch TV and relax, but never feel closed in.“In winter time you can close the doors and it feels warm and intimate with the fireplace.” Bi-fold doors fold away to make a seamless transition to the pool.It has been 12 years since they moved into the double storey house, but you would not know it, with the house barely ageing a day.“We tried to choose timeless materials, and some things you can’t help but I think it has held its age well,” Mrs Havers said.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus13 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market13 hours ago Purple walls add a splash of colour in the bathroom.Mrs Havers said the house had been perfect for family living, but was also great for entertaining, having had up to 140 people at the house at once. There are timber features in the kitchen.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:44Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:44 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p288p288p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow to bid at auction for your dream home? 01:45last_img read more

first_imgLiverpool managing director Ian Ayre expects the next step in the redevelopment of Anfield will be completed this summer. After announcing in October their intention to stay at their current ground the club have been working to buy up properties in the streets bordering the stadium. Until they have acquired all the relevant houses no planning application to extend the Main Stand and Anfield Road can be submitted but Ayre expects the first part to be completed in the next few months. “We are in an interesting period in terms of our aspirations around the stadium,” he said. “Our goal is to extend Anfield but we need certainty and that comes with the acquisition of properties. Real progress has been made in acquiring them. Once they have all been acquired we will go through the planning process. We would expect to be in a position to make that a certainty this summer. Once planning has been achieved then we can start construction.” An expanded stadium of 60,000 will boost matchday revenue and allow the Reds to close some of the financial ground on their rivals. And with new Financial Fair Play rules – a requirement of which is that clubs must break even over a three-year period to be involved in European competition – kicking in next season, Ayre believes that will help them further. “We are very supportive of FFP for a number of reasons,” he told the Liverpool Echo. “One is we believe you should only spend what you earn. We want there to be as level a playing field as possible. We are in a very fortunate position in that we generate some of the biggest revenues in football despite having not been as successful on the pitch as we would have liked in recent years. “We also have a huge fan base around the world. We’ve sold 100,000 tickets at the MCG in Australia this summer and there has been a similar demand for tickets for the other pre-season tour matches in Jakarta and Bangkok. That bodes well in an FFP environment. The real challenge for UEFA is to ensure the rules are applied correctly. “It’s only going to work effectively if there are sanctions for those who don’t abide by them.” Liverpool hope to finalise the signing of Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas early next week when he is expected to fly in for a medical. The two clubs agreed a £7.7million fee a couple of weeks ago and despite the delay in concluding the deal – held up by Celta’s successful final-day Primera Division survival battle – the Reds are not concerned about the time being taken. Meanwhile, third-choice goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi has left Anfield to join Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more