2015 Next Generation Leader Finalists

John Burnett, RWE Generation with Joy Phillips, Harding Evans Solicitors, Consortium Member

Next Generation Leader sponsored by the Leading Wales Awards Consortium

The shortlistclick on a name to read their personal “Leadership Story”

Ed Barnett – Director, Cartridge Mate Ltd t/a Copier Mate
John Burnett – Operations Section Head, RWE Generation (winner)
Natalie Hancock – Refuge Team Leader, Calan DVS
Ella Rabaiotti – Assistant Chief Executive, Wales Community Rehabilitation Company


Ed Barnett

Director, Cartridge Mate Ltd t/a Copier Mate

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

Life has taught me to be upfront with people, and to encourage them to be the same with you. If we shy away from difficult conversations because we fear the truth is hurtful, consider the damage done by avoiding them altogether. Many experiences like this have driven me to have this mind set, and it forms a core part of the leader I am today.

What have been the main highlights and challenges since taking up your leadership role with Cartridge Mate?

Working with people is always a challenge, and trying to understand behaviours when someone might not understand them themselves proves even more difficult. For me, the rewards of working with people come from their moments of realisation or deeper understanding of themselves. Encouraging deeper thinking is something I love to do, and being part of that journey with someone is so special.

What have been the most helpful things you have learnt from these highlights and challenges?

Always work to understand yourself and other people better. Strive to better yourself in terms of: empathy, real listening, and coaching those around you. Don’t become complacent about your own beliefs and behaviours, and try to be objective.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing leaders in Wales in 2015?

Limiting ourselves by thinking small or being modest.

Which other leaders in Wales do you admire and why?

There are so many, but Rachael Flanagan is the one who springs to mind: she’s built her business using herself as the differentiator, and she’s inspired me to look at Copier Mate in a similar vein. Seeing her success gives me faith that our hard work will pay off.

What is one word that sums up leadership for you?

Inspire

Ed Barnett is the Managing Director of Cartridge Mate Ltd, a Cardiff-based business servicing clients across the UK. Also trading as Copier Mate, the business has rapidly grown to become Wales’ largest Toshiba dealers. The company’s values are based on authenticity and clear communication, and their aspirations are to be the exemplary company in a tainted industry.

 


John Burnett

Operations Section Head, RWE Generation

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

It’s a great feeling when someone in my team achieves; either delivering excellence or developing themselves.  Throughout my life many people have guided and encouraged me to achieve and improve, and I’m driven to pass that on and enable my team to be as successful as they can be.

Being in a position of considerable responsibility when you’re relatively young can be a challenge. I’ve needed development and support to build my confidence and grow my leadership skills. I’m not the finished article; but my experiences have taught me that getting out of your comfort zone and asking for feedback is a great way to be better every day.

What have been the main highlights and challenges since taking up your leadership role with RWE Generation at Aberthaw Power Station?

I’ve had the pleasure of working with a diverse group of people with a variety of strengths and personal qualities that they can bring to the team. It hasn’t always been easy, but working to embrace this has brought us closer and made the team more effective at implementing solutions.

A real challenge was successfully implementing a staff reduction programme sensitively last year; I needed to create an environment where my team could continue to deliver their demanding objectives during a period of uncertainty.

What have been the most helpful things you have learnt from these highlights and challenges? Embrace the true essence of diversity; everyone has something valuable to contribute and harnessing this will enable the team to ultimately deliver better solutions.

  • Be organised and effectively delegate; this is essential when managing multiple projects and responsibilities in tandem.
  • Finally, I appreciate that the capability to enable people and teams to succeed is the essence of a great leader.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing leaders in Wales in 2015?

Realising sustainable economic growth in Wales is a real issue for our country. Leaders that can inspire and deliver business improvement and development are in need now more than ever. This means keeping our teams engaged and providing them with vision, dealing with political and economic uncertainty, and keeping our view long term.

Which other leaders in Wales do you admire and why?

I’ve worked with some great colleagues and leaders at RWE Generation, and have met many inspiring people in Wales. I admire anyone who has the passion and drive to improve themselves and deliver for their business. People are successful in many ways, and I believe we can all learn much from each other.

What is one word that sums up leadership for you?

Enabling

John is Operations Section Head for RWE Generation at Aberthaw Power Station. Located to the west of Cardiff, Aberthaw generates enough power to meet the needs of some 3 million households. Split into 4 operational shifts; John leads a team of eighty ensuring the 24/7 delivery of electricity to the grid system.


Natalie Hancock

Refuge Team Leader, Calan DVS

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

For as long as I can remember I have been a very independent and determined person and although I was lacking in confidence I never sought to rely on anyone else.

Through early comprehensive school I experienced bullying and witnessed a change in myself that I think makes me who I am today.

Academically I had to work very hard to achieve as I wasn’t gifted with great natural ability, however I am glad of this as my approach and attitude to hard work and the realisation that to succeed you need to work hard, has helped me fully appreciate everything I have achieved.

What have been the main highlights and challenges since taking up your leadership role with Calan DVS?

Since I began my role as Team Leader I have supported my team through three mergers. Although these have been both challenging and difficult at times, they have also provided me with the most rewarding experiences.

My team is very diverse and many of them have been with their respective organisations of origin, for varying numbers of years. Therefore with these mergers came changes and for some of the team these changes were very unsettling and therefore challenging.

However I feel in the way I supported and guided my team through these times, brought us all closer and made us stronger as a team. I feel I have built a very positive and trusting relationship up within the team; their respect for me and the respect that I have for them brings me a huge amount of professional and personal pride.

What have been the most helpful things you have learnt from these highlights and challenges?

The most helpful things I have learned are the importance of openness and honesty. You can’t be an effective leader if your team doesn’t trust you and if you don’t trust them.  Two way communications are also vital when it comes to creating and sustaining an effective team.

How crucial it is in involving the whole team at points of change, and allowing them to be involved in shaping the changes?

As mentioned, good communication is vital, and making sure those teams, at all levels, are aware and feel informed of changes that affect them. Consultation has been key throughout each, individual merger, involving team members each step of the way to mitigate any negative impact brought about by change.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing leaders in Wales in 2015?

Threats to funding and the possibility of de-commissioning services impacts massively on organisation morale, resulting in Leaders fighting to motivate teams to provide a higher level of services for less income.

We also strive to work in collaboration with partner agencies, funding and competitiveness within the sector does not allow us to do this fully.

Which other leaders in Wales do you admire and why?  

Rhian Bowen Davies is my current leader and one who inspires me every day. Rhian’s ambition and drive is contagious and her vision holds no bounds, Rhian is a champion in all she does and completes every goal with the highest level of quality, it is a high bar she has set but this is one I aim for.

What is one word that sums up leadership for you?

Inspirational

Natalie Hancock joined Lliw Valley Women’s Aid at the age of 20 as a support worker and was quickly promoted to team leader for the organisation’s 2 refuges.  When Calan DVS was formed in 2012 she was appointed Refuge Team Leader.  At just 25 she is responsible for three refuge sites in Neath Port Talbot and South Powys, directly managing 11 staff members.

She is responsible for all HR, training and planning activities including staff supervision, appraisals, training needs analysis, personal development plans, day to day planning.

In her current role, she builds on the skills she learned in her role as support worker at Gwalia Housing in a mental health supported housing scheme


Ella Rabaiotti

Assistant Chief Executive and Head of Dyfed Powys Local Delivery Unit , Wales Community Rehabilitation Company (Wales CRC)

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today? (100 words)

As a qualified Probation Officer, my vocation has always been about supporting positive change and removing obstacles, to empower people to be the best they can be. My journey into criminal justice management and leadership has shown me the importance of working in collaboration and building strong partnerships – whether it be staff, service users or community engagement – to find creative solutions to tackle problems. My leadership experiences have grown out of my determination, enthusiasm and confidence to achieve the seemingly unachievable through partnership to ensure growth and development in individuals and communities.

What have been the main highlights and challenges since taking up your leadership role with Wales CRC?

I became an Assistant Chief in April 2014, during a significant transformation programme in Probation. I built the profile of Wales CRC across Dyfed Powys, ensuring visibility, and active participation at all partnership fora, seizing opportunities for joint working. I am proud of the strong performance achievements of my teams throughout the changes.  I enjoy leading Integrated Offender Management (IOM) developments across Wales and Chairing an IOM regional Board. I have secured funding for innovation; piloting a social enterprise and developing restorative justice services. I have led Service User Engagement across Wales CRC, involving a wide range of staff and testing out new ways of working.

What have been the most helpful things you have learnt from these highlights and challenges?
Bring people with you during change, taking time to listen and taking on board concerns – whether staff, service users or stakeholders. I have learnt there is a vast opportunity to be more creative and innovative in the delivery of probation services and criminal justice interventions – you just need to be bold.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing leaders in Wales in 2015?

It’s important to have a qualified and skilled workforce committed to delivering quality services, with the customer in mind. Leaders have a responsibility to ensure sufficient training and development opportunities but also utilise mentoring programmes to support internal growth.

Which other leaders in Wales do you admire and why?

I admire leadership in people every day – an ex-offender acting as a role model to peers or a Probation Officer beaming about a successful outcome. I admire my senior colleagues – how they have approached transformational change by using complementary strengths to achieve our organisational goals.

What is one word that sums up leadership for you?

Empowerment

Ella Rabaiotti is an Assistant Chief Executive at Wales Community Rehabilitation Company, an organisation which supervises low and medium risk offenders and provides rehabilitative interventions. As Head of Dyfed Powys local delivery unit, she oversees all aspects of operational delivery, including overseeing several teams, ensuring performance is maintained and working in partnership to reduce reoffending. Ella has lead responsibility for Service User Engagement, mentoring and Integrated Offender Management.

 

Disclaimer: All details included in these leadership stories have been provided by the finalists themselves.  All information has been accepted in good faith.  Any references to individuals or circumstances have been relayed in the finalist’s own words and have not been verified by the Leading Wales Awards Directors or its Consortium.  Any views expressed are those of the individuals concerned and are not necessarily the views of the Leading Wales Awards Directors or Consortium members.


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