January 01, 2021

Leading in Partnership, Cultural Transformation & Managing Complex Stakeholder Situations: Cath Possamai CEO Army Recruiting Group Capita Inspiring leadership interview with Jonathan Bowman-Perks

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Cath’s most important leadership advice is to be utterly authentic. By which she means, be yourself. Don’t think that you need to pretend to be more serious, more intelligent – or even less intelligent – than you really are. Don’t pretend you know things when you don’t. Don’t keep quiet when you have a contribution to make because you think others around you are better, or more qualified.

Cath Possamai, Chief Exec of the British Army Recruiting Group – a Capita / Army partnering contract.

Themes – Leading in partnership; Cultural transformation; managing complex stakeholder situations Cath walked into an army recruiting centre when she was 18, only to walk out again 5 minutes later disappointed and confused at the apparent lack of interest from the male recruiting sergeant, dismissing all thoughts of a possible military career. 25 (ish!) years later she now leads recruitment for the army. In the last two years, alongside her army counterpart, she has overseen the turnaround of a famously broken recruiting operation and private / public sector partnership between the Army and Capita. In the intervening period, following a sports science degree, Cath has led a series of large scale corporate recruitment operations in the UK and Europe before completing the circle begun at age 18.

Cath’s most important leadership advice is to be utterly authentic. By which she means, be yourself. Don’t think that you need to pretend to be more serious, more intelligent – or even less intelligent – than you really are. Don’t pretend you know things when you don’t. Don’t keep quiet when you have a contribution to make because you think others around you are better, or more qualified. She spent several years earlier in her career thinking that she needed to project a layer of gravitas that she didn’t really feel. She also thought that as she got into leadership roles she needed to know all the answers. To all the questions. All of the time. Clearly that’s ridiculous. The real art of leadership is understanding what you don’t know, assembling a diverse team around you who complement your weaknesses with their strengths, and empowering them.

A leader focussed on unlocking the best within my teams, thriving particularly in complex partnering environments. Believe absolutely that collaboration, empowerment and openness are fundamental to success.

Strengths lie in initiating, driving and managing change; the leadership of large diverse teams; recruitment and talent strategy; business process design; senior stakeholder partnering; reputation management and business development.

Particular specialism in Resourcing and Talent and experience across multiple sectors (IT, Telecomms, Financial Services, Outsourcing and Defence) both as solution provider and in-house practitioner.

Recognised as one of Recruiter Magazine’s ’11 Most Influential Resourcing Leaders’ in 2014 and 2016.

A judge at the annual Recruiter awards 2014 – 2018 and at the Soldiering On Awards 2020

Named in the ‘Timewise Power 50’ in 2019 which recognised the UK’s top flexible workers.

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