The director of award-winning apprenticeships and training provider Themis says even natural born leaders have to work hard to develop their leadership traits and skills.

Simon Jordan, who leads Burnley-based Themis’ apprenticeship and business training portfolio and is responsible for a workforce of over 500, will speak at our breakfast event 'The Secret of Leadership' at Burnley College on Wednesday 27th September.

The event is being held with Themis and in association with CascadeGo HR software. Sign up to attend for free now.

Jordan told BusinessCloud ahead of the event: “They say a footballer is born with those special skills that make them stand out on the football pitch but they still have to work hard to develop that talent and improve – it’s like that with management.”

As far as what makes a good leader, Jordan said organisation, communication and vision are among the most important traits to have.

“Being calm in all situations is vital, too,” he added. “If you’re racing around and frantic, that will affect everyone else around you: you really don’t want that.

“Whatever you do and however you’re feeling inside, always come across as being calm and in control of the situation: you are the person your team is looking to for a lead and they’ll pick up on your behaviour.

“Panic has a ripple effect through a team: you need to be the figurehead that’s got it covered and are in control – that will feed down through the team.

“If you’re in a job where you’re expecting praise all the time then management is really not for you.

“Your success as a manager is reflected in your team – it’s their success that really counts.”

Jordan also dismissed the notion that age and gender have any impact on someone’s ability as a manager or leader.

He said: “I say that if you’re old enough, you’re good enough. Likewise, you’re never too old to be a great leader. I don’t agree with the idea that leaders have a shelf life: that’s not the case at all.

“Gender doesn’t make a difference at all: I don’t even give that concept head space.

“If you are good enough it doesn’t matter about your age or gender. Women are just as capable as men when it comes to decision-making and leadership.”