Keith Jeffrey of The Roberts Partnership
Keith Jeffrey of training and business consultancy The Roberts Partnership tells BQ more about the company's commitment to plugging the skills gap and fills us in on his career in business so far...
What is it the company does?
The Roberts Partnership is a training and business consultancy, working extensively with start-up businesses to provide them with essential skills to enable them to start and grow their businesses. Additionally we have our Business Academy that focusses on communications in business.
The academy does this through a range of workshops, one to one sessions, retainer consultancy arrangements and digital training delivery. Communications in companies is an ever changing challenge.
Our focus is to ensure that organisations continually address the issue to ensure that their external and internal communications in areas such as public relations, customer service, branding and social media reflect and support strategic objectives.
What does your role include?
I see my role as a business facilitator. I work with a highly talented team with great skills and drive. They understand and work well our client base. I have never been the type of manager who likes to micro manage. My role then is to allow the team to resolve problems, exceed customer expectations and increase the reputation of the business.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
On graduation I started working with Weir Pumps as a design engineer and returned to university to a research post which also involved lecturing as I completed a Master's Degree. I then worked at Paisley University as their Industrial Liaison Officer before joining the Scottish Development Agency and then Scottish Enterprise. I left SE to set up The Roberts Partnership.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
A great leader has the ability to listen and communicate well, to provide inspiration and opportunities for others and to acknowledge their efforts. A sincere thank you can mean a lot.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Directing the business through the changes facing our economy and developing a strategy that harnesses the potential of digital training.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
Heading to our place in the Cairngorms National Park.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
At one point a dentist. I think that passed when I had to have root canal treatment at a tender age after a schoolboy scrap.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
Clutter. I like a regular 'spring clean'. I have been known to be a bit ruthless when it comes to throwing stuff out.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
Following the same lines of business that we currently have but with greater digital delivery of workshops to a wider audience. There is the unknown potential of taking training material and workshops that have been developed for local economies and delivering to a much greater digital audience.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Acknowledge and give people the respect that they deserve.
What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?
Be prepared to embrace the unexpected, you never know what opportunity is ahead of you.