Hello PPMA friends

The next in our series of 4 questions for PPMA Award winners, is with Amanda Harcus who was presented with the President’s Award for Special Contribution. Amanda is Director of HR & Workforce Development at London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

  • What has been the biggest lesson you have learnt from your careers so far?

Interesting question, being able to continually learn is paramount, when I reflect on this question two things come to mind, the first is that Nothing is impossible, however the time in space to think it through is really important and therefore protecting some time that is your thinking time is paramount to being successful. This is something I struggle with as I pride myself on being proactive and action orientated so often underestimate the amount of thinking time that I need! The other thing  I have learned is the importance and value of having a great network and by this, I mean having a network where you have a safe space where you can share your vulnerabilities or the things you don’t know and find out about them, linked to this for me is continuing to learn being really important in any role and I believe that the day you stop learning is probably the day you either stop working and worse,  potentially stop thriving.

  • If you were Chief Executive of your organisation what one change would you make (in an ideal world!)

Gosh that’s a question to think about, so,  if I was chief exec of my organisation  one change would I make,  Say for me this would be about introducing fun, challenging the workforce to do 1 fun thing a day whether it’s make someone smile, whether it’s to surprise someone whether it’s to share a joke or something that they’ve heard that’s funny because sometimes the workplace especially in the current climate can seem really serious and we know that laughter is really important for our well being.

  • What one superpower would you like to have to make people’s lives better.

The superpower I’d like to have to make peoples lives better would be to be able to show them what the potential future could be for them, perhaps to inspire them, perhaps to show them it could be different and if it’s different that could be better for them

  • If you were able to give your 18 year old self 1 piece of advice today what would it be?

I love this question, I did this when I became an NLP practitioner so I went back on my timeline and I actually talked to my 18 year old self I was in care from the age of 14 and was often told I wouldn’t make anything of myself, would either end up on drugs, or pregnant and a statistic. Being a bit of a rebel, I was determined I would make something of myself and my family always gave me some self belief said my advice to my 18 year old self was you doing okay you don’t need to worry about what you’re going to do with your career until you at least 30 because let’s face it you’re going to be working until you’re in your 60s anyway so find out what you enjoy find out what you like and make sure that’s what you spend your life doing because life is short and precious and it’s okay to try different things out it doesn’t mean you’re failing.

Amanda Harcus, Director of HR & Workforce Development at London Borough of Tower Hamlets and winner of the PPMA President’s Award for Special Contribution.

We’d like to thank Amanda for her frank and interesting replies to our 4 questions and they certainly give us all something to think about. Watch out for more answers to our ‘4 Questions’ over the coming weeks.