#LeadingWalesAwards: “I believe that strong, visionary leadership enables business growth and sustainability”
Nominations are currently open for the Leading Wales Awards, which recognise people whose leadership is making a real difference in Wales, impacting positively on moving forward their community, business or organisation.
This year’s Leadership in Social Enterprise category is sponsored by the Wales Co-operative Centre, in partnership with Social Firms Wales. In 2013, it was Menna Jones, CEO of Antur Waunfawr, who picked up the prize. Here, Menna shares her thoughts on the award win and what good leadership means to her:
“I was surprised and truly humbled when I was told that I had won the Leadership in Social Enterprise award last year, as I have always seen myself as part of the team, rather than its leader.
I believe that strong, visionary leadership enables business growth and sustainability, as it encourages innovation, releases the potential of the workforce and ensures that organisations have the right strategies to drive productivity and growth.
A good leader needs strong values and a commitment to the aims and objectives of their company. They need to be courageous when dealing with major problems, and must keep difficult situations or problems in perspective. They also need to be willing to take risks with pilots, as these are the schemes which enable your company to dip a toe in the water in terms of new activities.
During my time at Antur, I have never been afraid to ask others from in or outside the company for advice, and have never been too proud to ask for help to solve a problem. I’ve also learned to be open with staff, and to share successes and failures, as this has a direct effect on employee commitment and engagement.
Antur Waunfawr has developed many sustainable projects over the years, which create training and employment for people with learning disabilities.
Securing the financial viability and sustainability of the organisation has given us the freedom and time to plan strategically and, most importantly, has enabled us to focus on the needs of the people and the community. Careful planning has also ensured that no member of our staff has lost work during the recent recession.
My message to this year’s hopeful entrants would be to always keep an open mind, and always be ready to listen. It’s only in this way that leaders can themselves learn and grow, and become inspirational to those who work with them.”
To nominate someone for the Leading Wales Awards, visit the website leadingwalesawards.co.uk
You can also book onto two Social Enterprise Leadership Café events, which are being run during the nomination period. One is taking place at Crest Co-operative on February 19th, with the other being held at Monwel Ltd on March 3rd. You can book your place for these free events on the awards website.