In this morning’s leadership roundup, The London Dermatology Centre has teamed up with Cosmopolitan UK to provide advice on how to replicate the post-holiday abroad complexion despite staying at home thanks to Covid-19 this summer, while the CEO and founder of IceMos Technology talks about the importance of continuous learning throughout one’s career. Elsewhere, and most relevant in these current times, the incumbent director of WRG Steel Partition discusses the qualities that leaders must display when navigating a crisis.
The London Dermatology Centre
The Covid-19 pandemic has left many people’s prospects of holidaying abroad looking remote both now and for the foreseeable future. With many opting for a UK staycation this summer instead, people are having to find new ways to replicate the post-holiday glow.
Women’s fashion and entertainment magazine Cosmopolitan UK has issued its own set of tips on how people can look after their skin and appear to have a holiday tan, even if the furthest they have ventured during the summer happens to be to the local park.
Cosmopolitan’s four recommended steps are supplemented by the expert advice of Dr Zainab Laftah, a consultant dermatologist from The London Dermatology Centre.
Within the article, Dr Laftah outlines the benefits of regular exfoliation, daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen, and ensuring that skin is regularly hydrated to deliver a smooth, radiant complexion.
The full article outlining Cosmopolitan’s four essential tips and Dr Laftah's expert insight may be read here.
While the Covid-19 pandemic has proved to be a challenging and sensitive time for so many, one of the few positives that some have been able to take away from the crisis is the value it has placed on learning and adapting to a changing world.
Speaking on the Leaders Council podcast, Samuel Anderson, the CEO and founder of Belfast-based firm IceMos Technology, shared his views that leadership should be seen as a continuous process of learning and renewal, and encouraged others to adopt this attitude in their own careers, irrespective of whether or not they occupy leadership roles themselves.
Anderson said: “I consider a leader to be someone who must inspire people to follow a particular direction and accomplish a meaningful task that will provide value upon completion. My personal leadership style is to lead from the front, I would not ask somebody to do anything that I wouldn’t do myself, and I encourage people to make mistakes.
“There is no blame culture in place for those who do make mistakes in my business, and I look at it very much as a cycle of learning. The more we learn, the more progress we make.”
Explaining how he ensured that his staff remain engaged in a continuous learning process, Anderson added: “I ensure at IceMos that there is some level of renewed learning in the areas of technology. We are a tech company, and we generally try to plan our technology roadmap on a semi-annual basis and we look at our progress toward fulfilling this on a monthly basis. We do that through a cycle of renewal where we keep learning to stay up to date with the latest technologies and help each other to achieve our goals.”
Offering some insight as to the inspirations and influences behind his personal leadership approach, Anderson highlighted one executive who he had worked for earlier in his career who had left a profound impact upon him and taught him the value of persistence.
He said: “Bob Galvin of Motorola Corporation is a major influence on my career, from when I used to work there. He is from Chicago and was the son of Paul Galvin who started the company. Paul had started six companies prior to establishing Motorola which had all failed before Motorola became the success it is today.
“One of the things Bob, his son, emphasised to me when I was working for the company, is that persistence is key. If you believe in your idea, its value and truly believe that it can make a difference, then if you persist and keep making progress, eventually you will succeed. I have never forgotten that.”
WRG Steel Partition
As well as demonstrating the importance of adaptability within business, the Covid-19 pandemic has also forced executives to step up to the plate and show robust leadership to guide their firms though troubled waters. In a one-to-one discussion with interviewer Jonathan White on the Leaders Council podcast, David Graham, who directs steel partitioning systems manufacturer and supplier WRG Steel Partitioning, reflected on the challenges that previous crises had posed and discussed how overcoming those challenges inspires him today.
Looking back to when he had first taken over WRG Steel Partition in 2005, Graham said: “I was very naïve back then. I knew a lot about the products of the business, but in my previous role I was a product manager as opposed to a managing director, so I had to get used to a lot quite quickly.
“I look back at the 2008 financial crisis, another testing time which the business had to get through, as an enjoyable but tricky time. But we came out of the other side to become the company we are today, and we can look to that success to inspire us for the future.”
When asked about the qualities that leaders must display to manage a crisis, Graham said: “Leaders must remain truly positive in challenging times and difficult decisions have to be made. Back in 2008, we had a reduced orderbook, so we had to canvass the shop floor to get them to agree to reduced hours, and we all had to agree to pay cuts. At that point it was all about survival and looking at costs, to ensure we could get through the other side.”
The challenges that Graham described from 12 years ago do not seem too far removed from the challenges of the current recession triggered by the ongoing pandemic situation, and he called on leaders everywhere to remain positive and focused and believe that the current challenge can be overcome.
Graham said: “I’d advise anyone to stay positive and focused. Look at your cost base and stay open to new ideas and ways of doing things. Surround yourself with good people and be positive about the future.”