In collaboration with the Greater Manchester Leadership Hive , the Growth Company Business Growth Hub and the University Academy 92 (UA92) co-hosted a special event on "How to Become a Game Changing Leader" on the 22nd of March, 2023.
Fostering understanding and forging stronger links between the student talent pool and businesses in Greater Manchester, the event was attended by college and university students, graduates, and the business community in the region.
Through the event's panel discussions and networking opportunities, students gained insight and understanding with the real world advice offered by the business leaders, allowing a better transition from a student’s life to the world of work. At the same time, the business community explored the key drivers for attracting future talent, including corporate social responsibility; social value; a wider sense of purpose, business ethics, sustainability, and vision.
Exploring Real World Pathways
The event’s first panel discussion focused on the “Real World Pathways,” joined by a group of young and talented members of our business community to share their experiences in the real world. Azeem Aimr, a visually impaired professional footballer and founder of “Learn with ESS”, which provides disability awareness training for businesses, schools and colleges in the UK, shared his story of joining the England team and playing in the international arena.
“Everyone in society is faced with various challenges, whether disability, economic or financial, or in the time of the pandemic, people faced with health challenges,” said Azeem. “I am grateful that on my pathway to becoming a professional footballer and an entrepreneur, I have met many different people from various organisations, providing support and assistance in various ways.
“All this made me believe that even when faced with challenges, such as losing my eyesight, with the right support, the barrier will not completely block my way to achieving my goal. I just need to slightly adjust my way accordingly and still be able to achieve my target.”
Embracing Social Value
The event’s second panel discussion turned the focus to “How should a Leader Embrace Social Value”, with business leaders and advisors discussing the importance for businesses to prioritise social value over financial returns, a crucial factor for them to attract and retain talent.
In the discussion, Ian MacArthur, Director of GM Good Employment Charter, shared the quality of leadership in good employment, “We have a discussion paper on our website, which is done by our supporter Gillian Drakeford, ex Global Executive of IKEA. The paper has covered a full range of issues, but to sum up, for a good leader, it is about being authentic, it is about good communication skills, it is about setting a vision, it is about listening to your employee, and it is about setting an environment where people can develop together with you.”
Nadir Sultan, Social Value Business Advisor of Business Growth Hub, also explained that business prioritising social value could benefit the business: “Previously in a procurement process, every company focused on price and quality of the good and service. However, in recent years, many companies started weighing in on the social value of their procurement. Considering the difference in price and quality might be very narrow between competing offers, the social value might become the real determinant in a procurement process.”
“With the ‘new normal’ after COVID, the world is becoming increasingly competitive and constantly changing,” said Dawn Duggan, Head of People, Skills & Talent of Business Growth Hub. “Leaders who prioritise social value over financial returns are often in a better position to attract and retain talent, as employees want to work for a company that is making a positive impact on society, which creates a sense of purpose and meaning in their work, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.”
Delivered by GC Business Growth Hub in partnership with Greater Manchester’s university business schools, the Greater Manchester Leadership Hive brings together the best leadership and management training the region can offer, all in one place.
From executive and workforce development to mentoring programmes and support with sustainability and inclusivity, the Hive gives small business leaders everything they need to run their businesses as effectively as possible.
For more advice and to view all programmes available to you.