Finalists in the Boss of the Year category of Pitman Training’s SuperAchievers awards have been announced today, after hundreds of nominations from across the globe were submitted, to the business superbrand now celebrating it’s 180th year in business – and all shortlisted finalists are from Leeds.
The three finalists revealed in this year’s awards are; Head of Humanities at a West Yorkshire School, Becky Higgins; Director and Trainer of Adele Adams Associates; and Head of Learning and Development at Karma Nirvana, Natasha Manota.
Voting is now open for all 3 at www.pitmansuperachievers.com.
Becky works as Head of Humanities at a secondary school in West Yorkshire. She is proactive in using her managerial expertise to guide and coach her team, giving them the autonomy and responsibility to work to the best of their ability but also knowing she is available and approachable should they need her. She is a dedicated to ensuring her team are led and motivated by spending time with them in and out of work to really get to know them, she offers one-to-one support where the focus is solely on the individual and their aspirations and she offers positive, constructive feedback. These key managerial traits reap rewards and the repercussions see that it’s not just her team who feel the benefits, but the whole school. Now, what people also don’t see is how she juggles all of this whilst being a wife, mum, daughter, sister and friend.
Around the same time she became a Mum, Becky gained the role of Head of Humanities and her family are her key support network and motivation to succeed. Her parents were her role models and being the eldest of four siblings, Becky has always wanted to replicate that role for them. Her husband is also a teacher, whom she met in her very first teaching job and he has fully supported her progression throughout her career and now they both aim to be the ultimate role model for their young daughter. In addition to this Becky is a keen fundraiser for charities very close to her heart, Cancer Research and the NSPCC.
Adele is the Director and Trainer for her own food safety consultancy business. Having initially gained a degree in Food Science she worked in various positions in the food industry such as technical management and consultant. She then established her own company, Adele Adams Associates, in order to best utilise her 20 years experience and provide practical training and advice on how to get the best out of HACCP principles.
The colleague who put Adele forward for this award wanted her to be recognised for both the efforts she puts in to make her business thrive, and also for the leadership qualities she shows to her team. This is displayed in various ways but her colleague noted “Adele is a patient boss, she knows we’re only human so any mistakes are met with optimising and productiveness and, if necessary, praise for the way we have dealt with the situation. Wins and successes are rewarded and shared through the team, praising your input in how it has worked.”
In her final comment in the nomination Adele’s colleague said “Working with Adele I have grown in many ways and it is a fantastic environment to work in. Helping her now to develop the company in its 14th year is going to be an interesting and enjoyable task.”
Natasha is Head of Learning & Development at Karma Nirvana. She is a qualified Barrister who has advocated nationally to change policy and practice within the abuse sector of forced marriage/honour abuse, this has led to changes in the law both civil and criminal.
Asked what they thought Natasha’s greatest achievement was her team said her initiation and development of national police training which led to the first police specialised risk assessment tool and a 3 day training course. Natasha identified national support which led to working in partnership with South Wales Police and survivors so that police and survivors guided the content. The development stages highlighted real policing challenges in a complex area which Natasha brought to the attention of the Home Secretary. After successful lobbying and ensuring a consultation, this led to a national government inspection into all 43 forces by HMIC (Her Majesty’s Inspection of Constabularies). This was the first inspection of its kind and led to clear recommendations to ensure improvements in policing and the specialised risk assessment which was used to secure the very first criminal conviction of forced marriage. A project of such magnitude and importance was met with great challenges and Natasha’s tenacity and personal input ensured the success of the project.
Natasha was put forward for this award not only just because of her dedication to her work but also because she inspires a team. They said “What makes Natasha a great boss is that she nurtures and develops her team which enables them to perform better; they are retained and happier. This is really appreciated by team members and she does it with great humility and sees potential that in turn changes other for the better. It is often commented in our office how Natasha is our ‘port in a storm’ we can all go to her with any issue and have the confidence that she will provide a considered, knowledgeable, patient and often diplomatic response. These levels of communication in our team whereby we are dealing with demanding and complex issues are so important.”
Voting is now open at www.pitmansuperachievers.com – the public vote will be combined with a panel of judges votes.
This year’s judging panel is made up of: Last year’s PA of the year – Jennifer Corcoran; Claire Barratt – entrepreneur, author, mother of 5 & founder of caricature brand ClaireaBella, a celebrity favourite brand which she created from her kitchen table whilst juggling her day job of being a special constable and detention officer; Lucy Brazier, International Speaker and Director of Marcham Publishing, a training and development magazine for Executive Assistants; John Adams, Author of ‘Dad Blog UK’; and Diane Rose, Director of CPD Assessment and Membership at The Professional Development Consortium.
All winners will receive a prestigious SuperAchievers Award; a cash prize of £500 to help them on their way to achieving their goals and a free distance learning training course from Pitman Training Group, with additional prizes also including a 1hr personal impact review, ‘Brand YOU,’ which will review the LinkedIn profiles of the winners, to ensure they are effectively presenting themselves for business opportunities.
Claire Lister, Managing Director at Pitman Training Group, said: “We are honoured to be able to highlight such incredible stories, across a really varied set of professions and showcase those who are striving to achieve. Each year, I look at the entries submitted, and it inspires me to see what people are achieving in their careers through hard work and ambition”.
Pitman Training offers flexible, tailor-made courses and qualifications with one-on-one student support in subjects including Office, IT, Administration, Finance and Business, which are recognised by employers. The team also offer free career clinics and CV advice. For more information see: www.pitman-training.com/Leeds