Chris O'Connell: On Leadership, Mental Health and Personal Branding

Company Updates

Recruiter Podcast: Chris O'Connell: On Leadership, Mental Health and Personal Branding

Jan 26, 2021 / by  Miles Jennings
Miles Jennings is a proud sponsor and partner of Recruiting Trailblazers, a recruiting podcast by Marcus Edwardes. Marcus interviews top leaders and innovators in the world of talent acquisition and recruiting. Listen to the latest recruiting podcast:



In this episode, Marcus Edwardes speaks with recruiter and coach Chris O’Connell. He achieved worldwide top-biller status and managed teams generating £15 million in revenue. Then, he started his own recruitment business, grew it to £25 million in annual revenue and, in his own words, “lost it all.”

Today, Chris does what he truly loves. He helps leaders build purpose-led businesses that perform optimally with a focus on what Chris calls the BASE Mindset, which stands for Behavior, Attitude, Skills, and Experience.

Listen in as Chris shares what he learned about leadership and company culture after losing his recruitment business, how vulnerability and servant leadership manifest themselves in the workplace, empowering the individual to empower the team, dealing with the mental health crisis amid the pandemic, and the importance of personal branding.

What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

●      [02:45] What Chris learned from losing a £25 million recruitment business

●      [07:06] Things that Chris did right in his previous recruitment business

●      [09:53] Chris’s advice to himself if he could build that business again

●      [11:08] Why vulnerability is the top trait of every great leader

●      [14:26] How your family life affects your leadership capabilities at work

●      [15:21] How Chris coaches his clients to improve their own leadership skills

●      [16:26] Where a leader’s strength, resolve, and confidence come from

●      [18:51] What “servant leadership really means”

●      [21:50] How COVID-19 is changing the KPI-driven recruitment industry

●      [24:44] Managing the individual, not the team

●      [28:38] Transitioning away from a “survival of the fittest” company culture

●      [30:00] How leaders can maintain accountability in a remote working setup

●      [32:42] The role of gratitude in the workplace

●      [34:30] The pillars of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace

●      [36:33] Common problems associated with working from home

●      [38:55] Helping your people talk openly about their mental health

●      [46:08] Personal branding best practices

Key quotes:

●      “Don’t put all your eggs in that one basket that is your business. Building a big business is great, but it doesn’t guarantee happiness.”

●      “Just because a recruiter is at the top of the board doesn’t make them a great performer.”

●      “People buy from people, not companies. They don’t care how many awards you’ve got or how operationally efficient you are. They want to be from that person who understands them and enjoy the journey.”

●      “Your company has to have a framework or a company or team ethos, but you have to allow the individual to flourish in their own skin.”

●      “It’s much better to execute three or four things really well than 25 things really badly.”

●      “I think mental health and wellbeing is the number one component that’s going to drive business’s success in 2021.”

●      “Personal branding is more important than business branding.”

Tags: Thought Leadership

Written by Miles Jennings

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