By Amanda Menahem, Hastings Direct Insurance HR Director
In this regular feature, we ask business leaders from across the region to share words of wisdom they might of collected over their career. Words that have carried with them and used to great effect for their own career, or to help motivate their team.
This month we feature Amanda Menahem, HR Director of the largest employer in East Sussex, Hastings Direct Insurance, based in Bexhill. As the HR Director of such a substantial and hugely successful company, we asked Amanda to share with us words of wisdom that she might of gleaned over the years.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with so many wonderful and talented mentors. Wise words that have consistently served me well are: So what?
Obvious, but easy to forget. I constantly use this with my team and to check my own thinking. Anything we do as HR professionals should be boiled down to the ‘So what factor’ for the business. Sometimes you have to ask this a number of times before you get to the real benefits to the business.
It’s about having the right people on board.
One of my early mentors – a hugely successful and inspirational global HR Director – said that this was the single most important thing. It never fails to amaze me how true this is. I can track most organizational successes and failures down to this principle. Jim Collins talked about ‘getting the right people on the bus’. Talent recruits talent. Bad people recruit bad people.
Seek first to understand before being understood.
In the past there have been times I’ve regretted jumping in with an answer, view or solution when I would have been better off asking more questions to fully understand the situation, the other perspective, the unspoken needs. The most successful leaders do this naturally or learn this lesson early on.
Take action – don’t over think.
A brilliant trainer, coach and author Jamie Smart said: “There are things you will learn, discover and innovate through taking action that you will never stumble upon in the privacy of your own head.” The perfectionists out there will relate to this. It’s easy to delay action because you want it to be perfect. Just start doing it! Often the 80% solution is the best.