How to use Jobsharing to create highly effective leaders

Published: 27 January 2015

How to use Jobsharing

A guest blog from Sara Horsfall

Creating the right environment to develop effective leaders can be a challenge. Sara Horsfall from Jobshare specialists Ginibee shares her vision for using flexible working to fast-track leadership development.

We are experiencing a crisis in leadership development. The current system is not working, and many high performing employees who aren’t able to work long hours are being overlooked for leadership positions.

What if there was another option?

I specialise in creating successful Jobshare partnerships, and in my experience I have encountered many high performing, high profile partnerships, where leadership roles are shared. Many of the key attributes of good leaders are essential for effective Jobsharing.

What if there was a requirement for Jobsharing as part of leadership training for both full-time and part-time employees? I believe this would help to bridge the leadership gap and produce improved opportunities for leadership development, compatible with career flexibility.


Leadership crisis in managementThe leadership crisis

A survey by Human Resources blog TLNT in October 2014 revealed 42% of executives say company growth plans are “slowed by lack of access to the right leadership”.

And there is considerable dissatisfaction with the state of leadership despite significant investment.

Clearly, something needs to change.

We know that women account for only 20.7% of board positions despite many having the necessary skills. What if there was a way to ensure more women were given opportunities to prove and use their leadership skills even if they weren’t able to work full-time? And this doesn’t just apply to women. What about people preparing for retirement, or caring for a relative?


What makes a good leader?So what makes a good leader?

The subject of leadership can be a tricky one that is interpreted in many different ways, which perhaps contributes to the level of dissatisfaction that exists.

A survey by TLNT suggested that communication skills and humility are the top two leadership traits.

So how do developing leaders learn and practice these skills? And how do organisations create the opportunity for both men and women to practice these skills at all levels and at all points in their career, whether they’re working part-time or full-time?


Is job-sharing for you?Could Jobsharing be the answer?

I’d like you to imagine an organisation where leadership development and flexible working are harmonious. Where ‘required Jobsharing’ is an essential part of practicing important leadership skills ‘on the job’.

Employees who work full-time can share more than one role. In other words, ‘required Jobsharing’ not only develops leaders who want to work full-time and can share more than one role, but it offers a career development opportunity to those who need to work part-time through Jobsharing a career role.

Using Jobsharing in this way increases the pool of candidates for potential leadership roles and encourages equality, diversity and flexibility throughout the company.


How to integrate Jobsharing into your leadership development programme?

  • Open up all full-time leadership roles to applications from Jobshare partnerships. 
  • Empower and enable employees to find and create Jobshare partnerships.
  • Actively support shared objectives, identity and accountability as a way of demonstrating strong leadership skills.


Written by Sara Horsfall

Sara Horsfall is the Founder of Ginibee Ltd, an Independent Jobshare Network currently working in the UK to help organisations to successfully implement Jobsharing. Sara has 15 years’ experience heading up sales and marketing teams to create and sell services to businesses, as well as a BSc and an MBA in which she specialised in knowledge management and what makes individuals learn from each other. Now, as a mother of two young children, Sara is determined to make Jobsharing an accessible and accepted opportunity so developing your career and yourself outside of work is a sustainable way of life.

@ginibee123 – on twitter.


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Professional Academy Now in Bahrain

Published: 22 January 2015

WTDI HR Seminar Bahrain 2015

In the first of a series of planned international partnerships, Professional Academy announced its presence in Bahrain last week at the launch of a Bahrain governmental initiative. Professional Academy’s presence in the country, thanks to distributor WTDI, will enable Bahrain’s national training body to roll out an initiative supported by the Ministry of Labour, supporting the recruitment and training of Bahraini nationals in Bahrain.

Professional Academy and WTDIAli Asfour, director of the Bahraini Centre for Training & Development, welcoming Professional Academy to a forum at which the national training initiative was launched said:  “The Ministry of Labour’s participation in this Forum reflects the government’s intention and commitment to encourage Bahraini organisations to take advantage of the national initiatives that are in place to support the recruitment and training of Bahrainis. The turnout of a large number of companies and institutions in various business sectors, in turn, reflects the interest in these initiatives.”


Martin Speaks at the WTDI Conference Bahrain Martin Hutchins, Managing Director of Professional Academy, spoke at the forum of the new approach to human resources management in Bahrain, focussing on skills competencies and the use of best practices in strategic planning for the management of training. He gave specific examples of how this will lead to increases in efficiency and productivity, and of how the training programmes Professional Academy delivers will help.

“We are delighted to be working with WTDI as our new distribution partner in Bahrain. This relationship further enhances our reputation as a leading global provider of CIM, CAM, CMI and ISMM in-company training and development services. With a presence, so far, in the channel islands, Egypt and the middle east, we are actively looking for partners in other countries,” concludes Hutchins.

If you are interested in partnering with Professional Academy please contact Martin on +44 844 800 5256 or


For further articles on this partnership in Bahrain please follow the below links:

WTDI Bahrain

Alwasat news Article 1

Alwasat news Article 2


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How to win at digital marketing - A Dave Thackeray guest blog

Published: 20 January 2015

How to win at digital marketing

In this virtual world of ours, snake oil merchants predominate. If you were holding out for a hero, prepare to have your patience rewarded. DAVE THACKERAY is here to deliver the lowdown on how to build an incredible presence for your business online...

When I was young, (sing it - "I never needed anyone...") I was a journalist. I was a journalist for a very long time beyond being young, and what this era in my career instilled in a younger Dave was the importance of mindreading.

Just as Steve Jobs knew - and Buzzfeed knows today as high priestess of manipulating big data - you need to be so instinctive about their needs that you know them before they do.

But what do we, now as consumers, want? We want easy lives. We want smarter, speedier, smilier. We want to rub out our to do lists so we can get on with the serious business of fun. In fact with attention spans shrinking faster than our new year's resolutions, we want instant gratification all the time.

As business owners and marketing experts it's our job to make our customers' lives as perfect as possible. That means instead of being merely brands and shops, we need to be intriguing, inspiring, educating and entertaining. Just as the BBC once was.

People are frightened by what some pompous authorities call 'content shock'. Loosely speaking that's the fact the web has a lot of information on it, and contributing to the ever-growing fount of knowledge will just see you vanish into the morass.

Frankly, this is bobbins. I always refer back to that fantastic article called 1,000 True Fans as proof that anyone worth their salt can create a locked-in community simply by being trustworthy, respected and respectful, and deeply committed to the group of customers they so selflessly serve.

These days you don't have to be a direct descendant of Buddha to be a thought leader or renowned expert. We can accomplish this previously totemic feat by unravelling the mysteries of content creation and curation. We need to recognise both our customers' pain points and fantasies. We should use all the tools at our disposal relevant to our customers to achieve that. Facebook advertising, email marketing, face to face communication. This is but a blog post so we're only addressing the tip of the iceberg so far.

Let's go underwater.

Conquer the world of thought leadership

Conquer thought leadership

There are two ways to impress your expertise: create content from scratch, or provide valuable insight into information already out there. Some people are looking for producers, others, curators.

Curation always gets funny looks. I have people asking me all day long the merits of us giving our own perspective on the work of others. Jonathan Ross didn't get where he is today by making movies. Giles Coren, though a twit, wouldn't earn his humungous salary if he was working in the kitchen.

Your voice is what separates you from everyone else. Your unique take on the world around you is the most valuable component of who you are.

In my day job advising people via the web to change their habits and get more active, I lean upon the best in the business to be meaningful.

And the abundance of content many dismiss as a disadvantage is, for us curators, a huge asset. There's a wellspring of content out there. You couldn't expect one man to sift through it, unless that guy was me. And as marketers we all need to perform that miraculous feat as ringmaster and chief curation officer.

But irrespective of whether you're building your own hub of information or simply analysing the content generated by others, you need to start somewhere.

We've never had it so good when it comes to finding things to talk about as emerging thought leaders.


Embrace new technologyTechnology is our best friend.

It both provides the content, and the tools to help us pan for the gold.

Talkwalker is my right-hand resource. Setting up alerts when keywords and key phrases show up in the world's blogs is fabulous. Mention is another great tool.

Feedly is where my chief inspirations live. I set up a Must Reads folder of everything that's precious to me, then I rifle through all my folders set up in such a way I can go from top  to bottom in a few minutes, assessing quickly from the blog post headlines whether to dive in or not.

Another always-on asset when it comes to creating the kind of content not only that your customers need, but the search engines require so your customers can find it more easily, is My gateway drug of choice to their fine work is a multimedia article called How To Provide Unique Value In Your Content which is displayed in both text and video forms as one of their weekly Whiteboard Friday escapades.

Talking about being found: social media is a great way to expound the virtues of your expertise as thought leader, and Hubspot has an excellent guide on managing your accounts in 10 minutes a day.

I mentioned Facebook advertising. In my mind this is the year's most powerful way of generating traffic. Tweet me if you want some advice on how to make it work for you, and I'll also tell you why it's especially effective when you use it to create subscribers to your newsletter - and how to do it.

Don't neglect Facebook advertising to find new people to learn from your wisdom and ultimately become your paying customers.

Email marketing and Facebook advertising are my big plays for 2015. MailChimp offers some great and free how-to resources while Jon Loomer is the Facebook advertising whizz kid.

Slideshare is a great place to field your biggest ideas, and LinkedIn Pulse lets you publish your monumental inspirations and ideologies for the rabid consumers of our #1 business networking site to devour.

Finally, never neglect your own website. Corral the finest, set up a digest, and alert those who value your thoughts using email marketing. MailChimp even offers an RSS to email option automating this part of your job.

I wrote a book about all this stuff back in 2012 Sharing Superheroes. Despite being entirely about digital marketing it's surprisingly relevant still.

Content creation and curation is a deadly weapon in the right hands. Scheduling and automation - and being there to answer follow-up questions - is the secret sauce of taking people down the AIDA route, fellow marketing geeks, to monetize your efforts.

Go forth and come back tell us how you got on!


Dave Thackery - The Journey of a CIM StudentFormer journalist, editor and company owner Dave is now the web and social media officer at WLCT, a charity operating leisure services for councils. After years making his way through the marketing maze he decided to go back to basics and learn how to do it properly with Professional Academy and CIM. Follow his progress on this blog and feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter to ask about his experiences. 

If you would like to Join Dave on a CIM Marketing Qualification Course you can contact Professional Academy for some advice or Download a copy of the Marketing Prospectus today. 

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New Year Realisations - The hidden costs of untrained workforces

Published: 15 January 2015

The hidden costs of untrained workforces

By Andy Hart, Learning and Development Advisor for Professional Academy

New research reveals that 37% of workers are planning to leave their current jobs in 2015, a dramatic increase from 2014 (19%) and 2013 (13%). With 59% of those interviewed stating “more opportunity for progression” and 27% “more opportunity for training/development” as the thing they want most from a new position - it has never been more important for organisations to understand the hidden costs of untrained workforces...

With the challenge of finding skilled workers, budget cuts and companies running leaner than ever, many businesses may be experiencing the hidden costs of an untrained workforce – without even knowing it.

Such hidden costs can include:

  • Poor productivity

  • Missed deadlines

  • Poor customer retention

  • Poor employee morale

  • Poor employee retention

  • High employee turnover

Employee turnover and retirements are playing a role in the changing demographic of the workforce too. Many of the companies Professional Academy is talking to report that it’s increasingly challenging to replace workers who retire with qualified employees, and to retain associated internal corporate IQ.

By investing in training, companies can reap benefits including:

  • Improved productivity
  • Improved customer retention
  • Improved employee morale, engagement and retention
  • Improved productivity  
  • Improved profitability
  • Improved internal corporate IQ

Want more evidence? Read this Gulf Air case study, sharing how Professional Academy helped the major airline transform its unprofitable workforce in just 18 months.

January is always a popular time for career planning. The level of enquiries we’ve received this year already demonstrates that many employers are looking for proven ways to manage their talent pipelines, making sure staff have opportunities to develop and progress.

Are you? We can help. Contact us for an obligation free discussion.

In our next newsletter I will look at how professional training can help brilliant practitioners develop a leader’s mindset and become exceptional managers. We’ll also share with you a case study of our work with BP.


Andy Hart - L&D AdvisorAndy Hart is a Learning & Development Advisor with Professional Academy. Working with companies across the UK to deliver tailored bespoke people-focused training in Sales, Management, Marketing and Customer Service.

If you would like to connect with Andy please feel free to contact him directly via LinkedIn. 

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Would you like to help your sales training get even better results?

Published: 13 January 2015


A recommendation from Martin Hutchins

Those of you who know me are all too aware that I have dedicated a fair proportion of my professional career to developing sales people’s skill and knowledge sets, as well as trying to help them adopt the right mindset and enjoy the job. As part of that ongoing commitment to help sales people excel, I wanted to take a moment to share with you some insight into a whole new area of professional sales development that I recently came across. 

I firmly believe that the unique work a company called ReMap are doing across many different sales sectors could help most of us identify and overcome those final hidden barriers that we, as trained and able sales people, face daily which prevent us from reaching our full potential.....want to know more?

ReMap use an on-line profiling tool called the ‘Sales Preference Questionnaire’, which concentrates on accurately identifying a sales person’s real emotional propensity for selling..... which is a very different thing to their overall attitude or ReMap explained to me there are very few sales people who really don’t want to be successful ......however having profiled over 5500 sales people in the UK alone, ReMap can confirm that in reality there are thousands of sales people out there who don’t feel as bold, confident or engaged as either they, or you, might want them to be when they are selling.

Their profiling uncovers over 20 different key areas of data which combine to provide a comprehensive MOT of what is going on internally for a sales person and, clearly, I can’t share them all here.  So I’ve chosen 2 examples that I found really powerful, having seen them live and understanding the impact they had:

  • The disconnect between knowing logically what you should do to succeed in sales and what you are actually able / prepared to do because of your sales related emotional discomfort.

  • Why many sales people who have great access, who can build strong relationships and provide excellent customer service, still give away their profit margins or fail to close.

We are teaming up with ReMap because not only can they find out what is getting in the way of a sales person maximising their performance, but they can also fix the issues within just 4 weeks in most cases......... and for the Financial Directors reading this don’t worry, ReMap always evaluate their interventions and can provide long term independent proof that their Development Programme’s ROI has paid for the training and much more!  For example Ian Styles, the MD of Axminster Tool Centre, has worked out that for every £1000 he invested in developing his Key Account Managers he got £28000 back!

I’m excited, as I see ReMap helping to get sales people using all the training they have already been given already to much better effect, as well as being able to embrace any future development by feeling much more confident and willing to trying new things.

Please connect with me on LinkedIn, send me an email or drop me a call the office today to talk to me personally to discuss this in more details. 

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