Sep 08
Finance & Accounting Salary Survey 2021

Our Finance & Accounting Salary Survey 2021 has officially gone live! Click below to view and download, don't miss out!

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Final Cassel Salary Survey.pdf

Jun 02
Key trends re-shaping Banking & Financial Services

A look at some of the key trends re-shaping the Banking and Financial Services (BFS) industry makes it easier to understand the transformations being undertaken by financial institutions to stay relevant in the future. These trends include the ongoing digital transformation, the emergence of FinTech companies, the increasing role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics and re-thinking the concept of money.       

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Nao, Pepper and Lakshmi. It's not a new law firm or the latest boy band. It's a group of humanoid robots and chatbots that are revolutionize the industry. Banks across the world are deploying this kind of technology as a prelude to a future that is increasingly driven by technology — a future characterized by instant payments, anytime-anywhere services, individualized products, and virtual currencies, and perhaps run by invisible banks.1

Until recently, much of the industry's attention has been on improving Return on Equity (RoE) as many financial institutions deal with economic uncertainties, restrictive regulatory environment, intense competition, technology driven disruptions, and overhauling legacy processes to meet changing customer requirements. However, more and more banks are putting a new focus on innovation as many financial institutions re-deploy savings from efficiency initiatives and strategic cost programs into investments — including in technology.

Additionally, buoyed by a positive revenue momentum, improved performance and better RoEs, the industry is shifting its attention to sustainable growth measures. BFS companies are considering alternative operating models and evaluating emerging technologies to achieve a wide range of benefits.

Trend 1: Acceleration Focus on Digital Transformation

Trend 2: Emergence of FinTech Companies

Trend 3: Building a cognitive side to the business

Trend 4: Re-thinking the concept of money

If you are interested in reading the full article visit - 

May 12
Career search during COVID-19. How things have changed.

covid-coronavirus-real-3d-illustration-concept-describe-about-corona-virus-anatomy-type_17005-733.jpgWhether you have been looking for a job before the pandemic or lost your job because of it. The reality is everything has changed and that includes job search. It’s true that many companies have stopped hiring right now, but it’s also true that there are still many job opportunities opening in certain industries as companies require top talent to be resilient in the face of adversity. Finance and Accounting is one of them. We offer some suggestions on how to navigate this changing landscape.

Use the downtime: You will find that without the normal commute to work and rushing around to fit everything in your day, you have some extra time to update your CV and LinkedIn profile. Use that time to make sure your most relevant experience and achievements are highlighted.

Network in industries that are hiring:  More people are online for longer periods now than ever before. This provides the perfect opportunity to build your networks and catch up with experts in industries that you know are currently hiring.

Apply to open positions: This might seem obvious but if you are not in the game you are not going to get anything. Search for jobs, apply, network make sure you are out there.


Interview tips:
You managed to land an interview, what’s next? This is probable the part that has changed the most, and just remember the chances are that this is as new an experience for the person interviewing you, as for you. Hera are a few things to keep in mind;

Be prepared: Just as with any other interview make sure you’ve researched the company, that you understand the position and what the key things the hiring managers is looking for in order to showcase how your experience will fit into that.

Don’t slack on your appearance:  Just because we are all stuck at home and not necessarily dressing office appropriate. It doesn’t mean you can do the same for an interview. You want to still create a professional impression. On video it’s best to stick to solid colours and avoid stripes and too many patterns.

Eliminate distractions: If you have family and especially kids around during this time, make sure you can find a quiet spot in the house to have your interview. Explain to family members that you need some quiet time and that it’s important that you don’t get interrupted. Also make sure pets are taken care of and other things like TV’s and radios are tuned off.

Test technology: This is a key thing to check before any interview. Make sure you are familiar with the platform whether its Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp or any other. Do a quick test call with a friend or family member beforehand to see how you will look and how everything works. It is also a good idea to check your background and make sure it’s natural and won’t cause any distractions during the interview process.

2020 has not turned out like many people imagined, however it doesn’t mean that you can’t still change careers and or find a new opportunity during this time.

Cassel&Co can assist professional in Finance – related jobs across a variety of focus areas including Auditing, Banking and Insurance, Finance (CA), Finance (Non-CA),  Finance (CIMA), Governance Risk and Compliance and  Taxation.

If you would like to add your CV to our database, please use the ‘Submit Your CV’ form – which can be accessed on our website here – or, alternatively, search through our latest jobs and click on ‘apply’ to be prompted to load your CV.


Feb 25
The hottest Finance jobs in 2020

Image result for job trendsAuthor: Sandra Olivier 
Around the world businesses have been evolving in response to new challenges, shifts in technology and a changing consumer. In South Africa we have been faced with greater challenges that include; a volatile economy, effects of state capture and the impact of load shedding. All of this influences the job market and how as business leaders, now, more than ever you need employees with the necessary finance skills and experience in your organisation that can help you steer these uncertain waters.

Our top specialist recruiters’ weight in on what they consider the sweet spots for hiring this year in the Finance industry.

Financial Managers
According to Cassel&Co General Manager Maxeen Bremer; “Financial Managers continue to be in great demand. Specifically, candidates with manufacturing or FMCG experience. We have also seen an increase in the demand for candidates with skills in financial modelling & cost control in terms of variance around forecasting and budgeting.”

It’s not a great surprise to see an increase in this space. The current economical climate and numerous issues in regard to corruption has highlighted the importance around compliance, governance and risk within businesses. Currently we are seeing an increase specifically in the demand for Audit Managers.

Transfer Pricing Specialist are definitely the hottest new ticket in town. Various companies are expanding especially into Africa which necessitates tax specialist with specifically international tax experience. We are also seeing a lot of demand for candidate with Mergers & Acquisition skills.

What’s the best advise you can give to hiring managers?
The candidate market is definitely shrinking due to several factors, mainly the current brain drain. Gone are the days were clients can take weeks to decide if they want to interview or offer candidates. If you don’t move very quickly and speed up your hiring process, chances are you will be losing out on the top talent. The war on talent in the Finance industry is fiercer than ever.  

Cassel&Co is a specialist Financial & Accounting recruitment agency, we are committed to sourcing top talent for our clients. Contact us today to assist with all your recruitment needs.

If you are a candidate looking for new career opportunities, we can connect you with some of the most sought-after companies in South Africa. Visit our website to view and apply to our latest jobs or register your CV here to be added to our database.

Nov 25
Finish Strong

finish line.PNGFinish Strong

Author: Georgina Barrick


On Saturday, 21 September, the Springboks played their first pool stage game of the Rugby World Cup 2019 against New Zealand in Yokohama – and lost. Watching them play that critical first game, it was hard not to get despondent about their chances in the competition.

Six weeks to the day later, the Springboks powered home to beat England and lift the William Webb Ellis trophy. In doing so, they made history as the first team ever to win a Rugby World Cup after losing a pool stage game. They are also the only team to have won every final they’ve played, without conceding a try. Journalists called this ‘one of the most astonishing records in sport’…


I’ll admit that, after that first loss, I was very worried about the inevitable negativity that was starting to make its way into conversation.

It’s hard to beat prevailing stats. In the 11 tournaments that have taken place since 1987, no team had ever turned it around after losing in the first rounds and taken the trophy. There was nothing to suggest that the Springboks would be any different.

But, they were.


Instead of giving up, the team refused to let the fact that others had written them off define them.

Led by a true servant leader, this diverse group of men had a strong desire to win. They truly believed that, if they worked together, they could be victorious.

Giving up wasn’t an option. So, after that first loss, they took time to reframe the pressure they were under to achieve – and, rather, began to focus on how playing a good game of rugby could bring hope to South Africa (#StrongerTogether). They found purpose - and it was bigger than the task at hand.

In doing so, the Springboks turned what should have been an ending into an amazing beginning. They fought back – and won (to the delight of all South Africans).


Much has already been written about the leadership lessons that can be learned from a win like this. About how finding a shared purpose can unite a team (and a nation) and how, to win, you often have to fail first.

For me, though, what really stands out is the importance of finishing strong.

We’re heading into the final stretch of what has (for many of us) been a really challenging year.

The economy has been tough, the political landscape unnerving and the sword of downgrade remains hanging firmly over our heads.  

And, while it’s tempting to throw in the towel and start planning for 2020, the Springboks have made me realise that, even at this late stage, there is still time to finish strong.

The race is always won, not by those who try or mean well, but by those who finish.

It helps that building and sustaining momentum now is the smarter way to give 2020 a fast start.

So, how do we finish 2019 strong?  


Recommit (to One Goal)…

You may have started the year with many goals. Or, you may be one of those people who don’t believe in ‘goal-setting’. Regardless, pick one thing to do and see it through. Decide what you need to do to achieve this goal and give it your all.


Be Self-Aware…

Self-awareness can help us move from being eager starters to consistent, strong finishers.

Being self-aware allows us to identify (and focus on) our strengths, while acknowledging (and accepting) our weaknesses. Which is how goals are achieved.

To reach this point, you may need to have an honest conversation with yourself about what you have done well this year and what has been in your blind spot.


Take Action (Daily)…

Do something each day which moves your closer to your goal.  Move faster. Create urgency.

Make your action steps effort-driven (I will answer all email requests within an hour) rather than outcome-driven (I will improve customer service).

Evaluate how you’ve approached your goals in 2019. Explore what you’ve been doing and decide what you need to stop doing, keep doing or start doing – and implement this immediately. 


Set Deadlines…

If you’re anything like me, nothing gets done without a deadline as more important things always seem to crop up. So, if the work that you’re doing hasn’t been set a deadline, set an artificial one for yourself.

Deadlines get you moving.


Renegotiate Your Relationship with Perfect…

If you’re a Type A personality, you’ll understand the battle with perfectionism.

If you constantly value work that is perfectly presented over work that is done, it might be time to move your boundaries on perfect. Remember that the pursuit of perfection (where it takes time to tweak, change and make things perfect) is at odds with the need to get it done and delivered.

At this point in the year, finding the delicate balance between perfection and delivery is important.


Manage Energy – not Time…

Energy levels fluctuate throughout the day. Early risers might find that they’re at their most productive and alert early in the morning. For night owls, the opposite is true.

Regardless of when you’re most productive, always choose to do your most important tasks when your energy levels are at their best. Your productivity should rise, as a result.


It’s late in the year and we’re all weary.

I’m choosing to take strength from the Springboks recent World Cup win and I’m not giving up until the finish line is crossed.

Join me in ending 2019 with a strong sprint – not a slow walk (into oblivion).

Good luck! #FinishStrong


Oct 23
Work and Life: Is Balance Really the Goal?

331511-P9Y05M-466.jpgAuthor: Georgina Barrick

My maternity leave is coming to an end.

And, even though I’ve (mostly) worked through it, making myself available for key meetings and calls, I admit to being a little daunted at the prospect of juggling full-time work and full-time mothering.


Work is a necessity. As a single parent and the only bread winner in our little family, I don’t have the luxury of staying at home. But, like for many of us, work is also one of my happy places, where I feel valued, contribute and make a difference. Work is a large part of my identity, shaping how I view myself and my place in the world. And I really enjoy it.

But, there’s now a tiny human in my life, who has completely taken over my heart. A human who needs time, love and nurturing to unlock his true potential. And I love that too.

So, how do I balance two competing forces that both demand my all? How do I continue to give my best to my work and my family? And, how do I ensure that I don’t fail anyone – my team, my son or myself?


Speaking to other working parents, I’m know I’m not alone.

Many have shared their stories, from dealing with tiny, crestfallen faces when they miss dinner/ sports days or the school play (again!) to tales of missed deadlines and Skype calls that go awry when children intervene. Who can forget the sight of Professor Robert Kelly’s wife scrambling to remove their children from the room where his BBC interview was taking place?

The dilemma of how to give your best in both spaces is a challenge that we all face – and, luckily, one that many are willing to share insight on.

As I return to full-time work, I’m trying to incorporate these sage bits of advice into my own life…


Imbalance is unavoidable…

I’ve been told that one of the ways to deal with it effectively is to shift your mindset away from ‘all or nothing’. Understand that achieving balance isn’t about keeping all aspects of your life in equal proportion – like a tightrope. It’s more like a see-saw – when one end is up, the other is down. So, rather than trying to balance my life daily, I’m going to try to ensure that, in the longer term, each part of my life gets a turn to be ‘up’ for a bit.


Focus on what’s important…

While many things will compete for my time, I should only do those that are important to me. This means that I will have to track my time – and edit, delegate or discard the extraneous.

Get up early. Do more in a lunch hour. Work after the children are in bed. There are many ways to squeeze productive time into a day. Learn to say ‘no’. Don’t volunteer for the PTA or serve on a(nother) work committee. I know that, if I stop doing things out of guilt, I will open up opportunities for activities that bring me joy.


Ditch the guilt…

No-one is perfect. I know that I can’t do it all. Something has to give. I will miss soccer games, meetings or deadlines. As long as I’ve chosen to do the most important thing in that moment, I’m going to try to ditch the guilt.


Rely on others..

Build teams at home and at work.

At work, lighten your workload by giving others the opportunity to be successful. Delegate – and, if you can’t – collaborate. You’ll still get credit, but won’t have to work as hard.

Build your support structure at home. Find a good nanny, let grandparents help out (if possible) and rope in friends (if you can). I know that it’s important to feel comfortable that my child is well-cared for while I’m working – and good support is the only way to achieve this.


Plan (everything)…

Some of my friends set up weekly or monthly meal plans. Many fill ‘gift drawers’ so that they don’t have to rush out to buy last minute party gifts. Most use online shopping for basics. The common thread in all of these life hacks is planning. As a working parent, I know that I need to plan my time like a military operation – so that I can show up and be present to my team, even when I have a sick child at home or have had no sleep.


Aim for work/ life satisfaction…

Perhaps the most powerful insight that I’ve received is that, if we really explore what makes us happy, we often realise that it’s not about finding balance. Rather, we’re looking to be satisfied in both our personal and professional lives. Satisfaction comes from finding a way to shift the balance from work to home (and back) seamlessly.

For some, that might mean negotiating flexibility at work to spend more time at home. For others, it could mean setting boundaries and learning to say no. For most, it’s about prioritizing self-care. I’m taking time to find out what work/ life satisfaction means to me – and am hoping that, if I know what it is, I’ll be more likely to spot the red flags and readjust, when necessary.


And so, I’m heading back to work. I’m hoping that, with time, I will find my own personal work/ life satisfaction. I wish it for you too.

‘It's not wrong to be passionate about your career. When you love what you do, you bring that stimulation back to your family.’

Allison Pearson

Sep 27
Motherhood… It’s Time for a Little Truth

Baby.jpgAuthor: Georgina Barrick

This year, I became a mother.

Unlike any other life role that I’ve taken on, motherhood is one that I now know I really couldn’t adequately prepare for. Sure, I read a few parenting books, babysat nephews and godchildren and spent loads of time with friends and their children. I even spent a year, post degree, working as an au pair. Yet, nothing could fully prepare me for being 100% responsible for my own tiny human.

A tiny little human who I couldn’t communicate with conventionally - and who definitely had his own ideas about how things would work.

Motherhood is a job where you have all of the responsibility, but none of the control.


It’s completely life-changing – in many ways.

The rush of love – and responsibility – that you feel for your child is indescribable. Watching a little human grow, learn about the world and blossom in your care is truly one of life’s best and most wonderful experiences.


And, then there’s the tough stuff…

The broken sleep. The relentless drudgery of bottles, nappies and trying to settle into a routine. Feeling like your old life (with personal free time, interesting conversations and spontaneity) is gone. Trying to balance work deadlines with infant needs. Meeting friends in the brief window between sleeps and feeds. Dealing with the sheer ‘messiness’ of baby stuff all over the house.

Add to this the fact that you’re often so tired and so inexperienced that each mistake feels like you’ve ruined all hope that your child will turn out all right. It’s no wonder so few of us feel like we’re really nailing this motherhood thing (especially in the early days).

There is no doubt that, as rewarding as motherhood is, it’s one of the toughest jobs I’ve ever had (especially as a single parent). With the benefit of hindsight (and a bit of distance), I can say that the early months were mind-numbingly boring, emotionally draining and physically exhausting.


What strikes me, though, is that it’s often impossible to tell that other mothers are also struggling. No-one really wants to talk about how hard motherhood actually is, making it feel that it’s like ‘Fight Club’ for mothers.

Even my own Instagram is full of beautifully curated ‘Mom and baby’ images, with gorgeous, blow-dried hair and not a baby vomit stain in sight. When I’m out shopping, all of the Moms that I see appear so calm and ‘together’. In baby groups, we seldom talk about how sleep-deprived we are, lest we look like ‘that’ mother who, in the sea of calm, just isn’t coping.

As a group, it seems almost impossible to let down our guard and have a really ‘no-holds barred’ conversation about how ill-prepared we are and just how overwhelming it can feel to swop the boardroom for the baby group.

Because, that would be complaining – or admitting that we aren’t perfect. Which would be unacceptable. Simply put, being truthful about how we feel makes us vulnerable to others thinking that we’re a bad Mum.


Let’s be honest.

So much of motherhood is about just winging it. There are parts of it that stink (often literally!).

I’ve gone from being my own boss to being completely at the mercy of the whims and desires of my son. I’ve had to accept that I’ll never come first again. I’ll never have the crispiest piece of chicken skin, eat the last sweet or get to lick the cake icing bowl because he’ll do or get those things now.


But, in accepting this, I’ve learned that motherhood is the ultimate lesson in selfless leadership.

As a mother, I simply cannot be selfish or self-centred. As I’ve settled into the role and let go of my old way of life, my focus has shifted towards facilitating the success of my child. I’m starting to understand that I can use my power for the benefit of the little person who now follows my lead. And, this has led me into thinking about how I can model the right behaviour to help him become successful, kind and self-aware – and empower and uplift him.

Yes, at home, I’m now the leader with all of the responsibility and none of the control.

Yet, I’ve realised that this isn’t about me anymore. It’s about my child and how I can give service to the worthy cause of raising him to be a good human being.

And, that’s what motherhood is really about for me now.


As Jessica Lange said..

‘The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the centre of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.’ #truestory





Aug 16
Let It Go: Emotional (And Physical) Baggage is Bad for Your Health

balloon-3206530_960_720.jpgAuthor: Georgina Barrick

Recently, I (like many of my contemporaries) have helped my elderly parents move out of the home that they inhabited for almost a lifetime. To call the process fraught would underestimate the toll it took on all of us. For nearly 40 years, my parents lived, loved and experienced life in this house, collecting memories – and stuff. 

Sorting through it, this detritus of a lifetime, and watching my parents unable to let it go, was a powerful lesson for me, forcing me to look at how we all carry baggage (both physical and emotional) that weighs us down. Letting go of this baggage can set us free…

We all carry personal baggage.
For some of us, this baggage is physical. Like magpies, we pick up, collect and fill up our spaces with things that bring us joy or that we know we’ll ‘use someday’ and believe we simply can’t do without. And, as it fills up our lives, this stuff brings comfort – a physical safety blanket.
Others carry emotional baggage. The unresolved past emotional traumas, issues and stresses that occupy our minds and spill over, colouring all of our new experiences or encounters – and giving rise to prolonged feelings of guilt, regret, shame, anger, fear or stress. It’s the critical inner voice constantly telling us that we’re not good enough or can’t change the outcome.
While we might not all hoard stuff, we certainly all carry some form of emotional baggage. 

Like an overfull backpack, emotional baggage cannot be contained indefinitely.
It overflows, impacting the carefully crafted new reality that we’ve created for ourselves.
Sometimes, it manifests physically, causing health issues like unexplained back pain, headaches or stomach problems. Prolonged stress is a known trigger for cancer and heart disease.
Emotional baggage can also become a barrier to making healthy lifestyle changes. If we’ve dealt with past trauma by developing bad habits – like smoking, binge drinking or comfort eating – it can be really hard to break the pattern and stop. And, carrying our personal perceptions of past (bad) experiences into our relationships or workplace can negatively impact our connection to others or prejudice our career ambitions.  

So, how do we ‘unload our backpack’ and slip out from under our emotional baggage?

The first step towards letting go of emotional baggage is to understand it – and what caused it.
Think deeply about situations that have upset you, made you feel uncomfortable or stirred up negative emotion. Try to identify what made you upset – be it unexpressed feelings of hurt, unresolved anger, regret or grief. If these feelings haven’t been allowed to run their course, they’ll hang around, repeatedly causing issues in your life. 
You may need to talk to a therapist or trusted friend for help with this process.

The ability to understand the reality of a situation, without needing to fight it or change the outcome, is acceptance. If we’re able to look at a negative experience without emotion or expectation and view it pragmatically, we remove our need to be tied to changing the outcome – and can start the process of acceptance.

We’re human – and we make mistakes. We all feel guilt, regret and shame over our actions – but, sometimes, we hang onto these feelings as a way to punish ourselves.
And, while we can neither change the past nor predict the future, we can let these feelings go and forgive ourselves (and others). Accept your choices. Learn from your mistakes. Own your truth. Stop the retroactive self-judgement. Remember that you’ve done good and can be proud of the many positive things that you have done in your life.

Channel Your Anger…
Often, we’re taught that being angry is bad and that, when someone wrongs us or we observe injustice, we should ‘turn the other cheek’. But, hanging onto anger can be deleterious. 
Allow yourself time to rant or cry. If you can, explain your anger to the person who caused it. Understand your role in the situation and determine whether you could have done anything better.
Channelling your anger positively can be very empowering. 

Be Mindful…
Sometimes, we are so caught up in our past experiences that we forget to simply be – to live right now. Practising mindfulness involves accepting your thoughts and feelings, without judgement. To be mindful is to live in the present moment, rather than reliving the past or imagining the future.

If your baggage is more physical, than emotional, it’s important to make time to declutter.
As good place to start is with Marie Kondo, the Japanese organisation expert, who created a system for simplifying and organising your home by getting rid of physical items that do not bring you joy. Kondo believes that, to thrive creatively, your home should be filled only with items that you cherish.

Whether your baggage is physical, emotional or both, letting it go can set you free. 
And, ensuring that you don’t allow emotional baggage to overwhelm your life going forward is a good goal. 

‘Choose not to be harmed and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed and you haven’t been.’
Marcus Aurelius

Georgina Barrick, MD of Cassel&Co and The Working Earth, all divisions of ADvTECH Resourcing (Pty) Ltd. Georgina has over 25 years of recruitment and executive search experience.

Jul 23
The Certainty of Uncertainty


Author: Georgina Barrick

Death and taxes. Life’s only two absolute certainties, according to Benjamin Franklin.
Human beings have lived with uncertainty for millennia – which doesn’t mean that we’ve got anymore used to it. 
Quite the opposite, in fact. But, in uncertain times like these, the only thing that’s certain is that more uncertainty lies ahead. We can’t change, manage or control this. But, we can moderate our response to it…

We live in an age of unprecedented uncertainty, where everything seems unpredictable.
Since 2008, the global economy has been shaky, susceptible to shock and lacking in resilience. 
We’re working harder and longer than before, often for less. Political upheaval is the norm – think Brexit, global trade wars and a world leader who governs by Twitter. The effects of climate change are widespread and frankly scary – flooding, drought, our beleaguered oceans. 
Social media makes us more connected than we’ve ever been. Yet, we’ve never been more disconnected from what really matters. And, as a result, many of us are suffering the effects of stress-induced illness. Mental illness in the workplace seems on the rise.
Most days, merely consuming the news requires a deep breath and a stiff drink. 

Yet, as the world becomes more unpredictable, we’re mostly coping – and many of us are thriving. It’s true that periods of massive change, while alarming, also create opportunity.
Uncertainty induces anxiety, stress and frustration. But, it also brings challenge, which leads to growth, satisfaction and strength. It’s cliched, I know, but challenge helps us understand that our limits aren’t limiting and, out of this understanding, we build resilience and become open to possibility. 
So, how do we get this right?

Acknowledge that uncertainty is a part of life…
Total certainty is an illusion. We’d like to believe that we have total control over what lies ahead. But, the truth is that, while we have some control, it’s far from total. Accepting that uncertainty is a natural part of life – and doesn’t necessarily mean that things are going wrong – can help to ease our anxiety around change.

Understand that uncertainty doesn’t (always) equal a bad outcome…
If you’re a worrier (and many of us are), it’s likely that you mostly equate uncertainty with a bad outcome. However, ‘bad’ is just one of a few possible outcomes – along with ‘neutral’, ‘good’ and ‘excellent’.  
You could accept a new job that turns out to be a bad career move. It’s also possible that a new job could energise your career and expose you to new learning. 
Try to steer clear of ‘better the devil you know’ thinking and be open to all outcomes. 

Control what you can…
So much of life is out of our control. 
We can’t single-handedly grow the global economy or rein in the bad behaviour of world leaders. 
However, this doesn’t mean that we have no influence over how life pans out. 

Rather than focusing on what you can’t control (which heightens anxiety), focus on what you can. 
Or, as the Serenity Prayer says, accept the things you can’t change and have courage to change what you can – while hoping for the wisdom to know the difference. 

A good idea is to start by determining whether you have ‘no control’, ‘some control’ or ‘total control’ over what is making you anxious. Then, focus only on what is in your control. 
Another idea is to take action and, in small ways, give yourself options. Learn a new skill, monetise your hobby, save money or network to build new contacts. Small shifts can make a big difference and give you options (and breathing space).  

Take care of yourself…
It should go without saying that, in a stressful world, self-care is vital. 
Make time for exercise. Get good sleep. Meditate. Seek out support. 
If you’re running on empty, it’s very hard to see the wood from the trees.

In a world where uncertainty is the only certainty, it’s still possible to thrive. As Eckhart Tolle said, ‘When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life.’
May you be open to possibility.

Georgina Barrick, MD of Cassel&Co and The Working Earth, all divisions of ADvTECH Resourcing (Pty) Ltd. Georgina has over 25 years of recruitment and executive search experience.

Jun 19
Honesty: The Lonely Word

magnifying-glass-1607160_960_720.jpgAuthor: Georgina Barrick

I’ve always been passionate about truth, honesty and transparency.
So, listening to the Zondo Commission findings, watching all of the layers being peeled back and realising just how much we’ve been lied to, is sickening. From outright lies to the avoidance of the truth, we’re seeing the whole spectrum. 
But, I believe that truth is important – and will prevail. And, that it’s better to be honest from the outset…
Watching the recent coverage of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, I was struck by the veterans’ stories. Alongside a recounting of what they had done on that fateful day, many spoke, with searing honesty, about the fear that they had felt and the horrors that they had witnessed.
Some mentioned that they were doing so to highlight the brutality of war, in the hope that future generations would learn a lesson and work to avoid conflict.
For me, their heart-breaking honesty was refreshing.

Today, we live in a world of untruths, fake news and hidden agendas. 
We seem to be bogged down in lies and corruption. Honesty is a rare commodity. A ‘lonely word’ as Billy Joel lamented. ‘Truth’ is whatever I (or social media) says it is. Images are photoshopped to hide the ugly truth. Politicians lie to serve their own best interests – and lie some more when the Zondo Commission finds them out. Corporations misstate results or use ‘spin’ to sell you a dream. Steinhoff, Enron, Thanos, Madoff – and, more recently, Tongaat Hulett – come to mind. 
Facts are immaterial, truth is inconvenient and honesty has suffered. 
And, we’re living with the consequences.

Without honesty, we have no trust, no transparency and no accountability.
It’s hard to build lives and companies without it. It’s impossible to deliver on promises made.
The ‘Silent Generation’ D-Day veterans would tell you that honesty is ‘the right thing to do’.
Billy Joel would say that it’s ‘mostly what I need from you’. (I’m showing my age, but he’s currently in concert in London!) 
So, how do we cut through the ‘fake news’ noise and live (and work) with honesty and truth?

Practice (Radical) Honesty
It’s not always easy to be honest. Sometimes, it’s simpler (or it works in our favour) to keep quiet – like when a waitress forgets to charge us for a meal. But, truth matters – and it starts with the small things. 
Honesty builds transparency and trust. Make honesty a personal habit and foster a culture of honesty in your team. Reward transparency and come down hard on untruth. The road to transparency isn’t always straightforward and can be lined with criticism – but if you stay strong and have the courage to tell the truth, trust will follow.

Temper honesty with kindness. The bald truth can hurt, so how you deliver feedback is important. Be mindful of your delivery.

Own Your Mistakes
Tiger Brands learned this lesson the hard way. After CEO Lawrence MacDougall denied responsibility for the 2018 listeriosis outbreak, claiming that there was no direct link between any deaths and Enterprise Food products, the company lost R5.7 billion in value, spent R377 million on a product recall and is now facing a class action suit.
Take accountability for your actions and those of your employees. Remember that you’re accountable to your employees and that they rely on you to be honest – especially when you’ve made a mistake.
If you’ve messed up, get out in front and own the mistake. Apologise and make things right. 
Encourage your staff to own their mistakes by reframing mistakes as learning experiences. 

Also, stand up for what you know is right. If you witness improper behaviour, don’t keep quiet – even if speaking the truth puts you in the firing line. Remember that bad things happen when good people do nothing. 

Facts, Facts, Facts
Base your decisions on hard fact – not feelings. 
Decisions based on fact leave no room for misunderstanding and can be tracked and easily reviewed by all. So, stick to the facts – and encourage your staff to do the same.

Being honest isn’t always easy, popular or welcomed. 
But, at the end of the day, it’s all we really have to offer. Work hard to be a wo(man) of your word. You and the world around you will be better for it. 
Speak truth always. Stay strong.

Georgina Barrick, MD of Cassel&Co and The Working Earth, all divisions of ADvTECH Resourcing (Pty) Ltd. Georgina has over 25 years of recruitment and executive search experience.
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