The deadline for this year’s IoD Guernsey Director of the Year Awards, sponsored by JT, is just weeks away.
As we approach the deadline, we spoke to judge and Chartered Director Gordon Wilson on leadership and what makes a Director of the Year.
Gordon, who has more than 20 years’ experience as a director in the Channel Islands, tells us how the role of the director has changed in the past 30 years and how directors need to stay ahead of the curve.
Q. What qualities does a director need to lead an organisation successfully?
Amongst others, there are three main qualities and skills directors need: empathy, influence and the ability to inspire.
Being empathetic isn’t only a skill for within an organisation, but to all stakeholders. It enables down-to-earth conversations and the ability to build real connections. Being inspirational and influential do cross over, but both are crucial to helping get the best out of your team. Your business is only as good as the team, and many will learn and follow the example of their director.
Q. How has the pandemic affected a director’s ability to lead and plan for their future?
All leaders, at least those who are successful, will have a long-term vision for their organisation. This vision will direct their strategy and objectives.
The pandemic continues to challenge company direction. More than ever, leaders needed to have their finger on the pulse of their business and have the ability, and sometimes nerve, to make divisive and timely judgement calls.
This is where I think Guernsey’s leaders have stood out since the start of the pandemic. A lot of local organisations have managed to stay afloat and keep a lot of their team employed thanks to quick and firm action. We have not seen many zombie companies.
Q. How has leading an organisation changed over the past 30 years?
A director’s day-to-day duties are getting harder. More than ever, leaders need to learn more skills in their 40s, 50s and 60s and stay ahead of business trends. Life-long training is now that norm that directors need to get onboard with.
For example, the growth of technology is difficult to keep up with. Secondly, and rightly so, our workforce’s needs and wants are developing. Social issues are transferring into the 9-5 and leaders need to stay updated.
A lot of today’s leaders may never have worked for someone during a social-conscience time like the modern day. So, how can they expect to lead in today’s world?
Q. What are you expecting from this year’s Guernsey Director of the Year winners?
As I’ve said, leading has been a different type of challenge in the past 18 months. I know that there are countless directors in Guernsey who may not think their performance deserves recognition.
Good directors shine in the difficult times and sometimes keeping your team and business together is the best outcome, and those leaders need to be recognised for their efforts and hard work.
The deadline for this year’s IoD Guernsey Director of the Year Awards is Monday 26 August and more information on how to enter can be found here: https://www.iod.gg/iod-director-year