Leadership Week: Sir Nicholas Young of the British Red Cross

In our third exclusive podcast interview: Sir Nicholas Young on running one of UK's largest charities.

Last Updated: 09 Jul 2013

With 2,500 staff and nearly 35,000 trained volunteers, the British Red Cross has a turnover of more than £200m. Since taking charge in 2001, Sir Nicholas – who heads up a senior management team of 11 directors – has focused the third sector organisation more closely on its core services: emergency response at home and overseas, delivering community care services which meet the needs of vulnerable people in our neighbourhoods, and educating people in life-saving skills.

In his exclusive interview with MT, Sir Nicholas tells us that his travels to Red Cross operations around the world enable him to ‘make better decisions as chief executive because I understand the suffering of those the charity is trying to help and what our volunteers are going through.’ (He’s travelled to Iraq, Zimbabwe, Darfur and Pakistan).

Sir Nicholas goes on to speak about the different roles he assumes in his position as chief executive: mediator, politician, strategist, ambassador and fundraiser. Luckily, he says, he loves ‘the variety of the job’, and enjoys being a ‘hands-on’ person - though he admits you have to be an eternal optimist to do the job he does...

Listen to our podcast above (or download HERE via right-click/ 'Save Target As..') and discover:

  • How passion, inspiration and dedication to your cause is core to being a good leader
  • Why it’s important to develop your own leadership style, by finding within you what it is that works
  • Where the crossovers and differences lie between private sector companies and charities
  • What it means to lead an organisation whose work is never done – learning how to say no and making tough decisions.

Sir Nicholas also talks about the challenges of responding to a huge disaster (like the Myanmar floods earlier this year), and of keeping the public inspired to continue giving...

In today's bulletin:

Feeling is mutual for Co-op and Somerfield
Samsung boss fined £55m for tax-dodging
Cameron's masterplan for economic salvation
Leadership Week: Sir Nicholas Young of the British Red Cross
Mormons mortified by missionary positions

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