Business leaders: if you could learn a new skill, what would it be – and why?

Woman at a computer screen learning a new skill

We asked six contributors to the September issue of Director what new skill they would like to learn. This is what they said…

Kathryn JacobKathryn Jacob, CEO, Pearl & Dean

I wish that I was a coding native: to have that at your disposal opens up a whole world of opportunities. My daughter learnt to code and sees it as essential. To facilitate learning this skill I would have to use the other skill I would like to have. This would be the ability to create more hours in my day. Twenty-four never seems enough. @PearlAndDean

Kathryn Jacob on why businesses must understand the male-female divide 

Dave BrailsfordDave Brailsford, co-founder, Garrick

I can turn my hand to almost anything but I do regret not learning AutoCAD [software for computer-aided design in 2D and 3D]. I love designing, and have always felt hindered because I wasn’t able to use the correct tools to bring a particular idea to life. For speed and cost effectiveness I always prefer to do as much design as possible in-house. @DavidBrails

Dave Brailsford on the luxury watchmaker’s Brexit boost

Josh HoughJosh Hough, managing director, Care Line Live

I think it would be good to learn how to really take pride in the success I’ve created. It’s easy to look back and find the mistakes, or say: “I could have done that better,” but I think for my own personal development and happiness I’d like to learn how to easily look at something and say “I built that, isn’t that amazing.” @joshjhough

Josh Hough asks this month’s expert panel how he can find the right investor for his business

Ben RouthBen Rooth, journalist

It’s a quandary for many business journalists – indeed anyone who runs a business. Just how much time should you dedicate to social media? In theory, it’s an ideal way of engaging with a wider audience but, with time at a premium, it frequently gets overlooked. So I’m hoping to get to grips once and for all with the most efficient way of embracing it. @BenRooth

In our special repot, Ben Rooth asks if electric vehicles can meet your business’s needs

Susan JordanSusan Jordan, chief executive, St Leger Homes

My new skill would be to play a musical instrument, either the fiddle or the cello. I love folk music and both instruments are played to great effect in folk. To have the skill to create wonderful music, to evoke strong emotions and move people, is truly amazing. I would love to be part of that creativity and be able to provide such enjoyment. @StLegerHomes

Susan Jordan tells us how to retain and retrain an ageing workforce

Stephen HerringStephen Herring, head of taxation, IoD

I used to practise the wholly undesirable habit of selective procrastination. I always put off doing that – often urgent – task I least wanted to do until the others were accomplished. A colleague suggested I should firstly do the easiest task each day but next the task I least wanted to do. My challenge is to ensure I always stick to this approach in the future. @Stephen_Herring

Stephen Herring offers six ways to streamline and simplify the tax system

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About author

Richard Dunnett

Richard Dunnett

Richard Dunnett is an associate editor who writes about entrepreneurs, SMEs, FTSE 100 corporations, technology, manufacturing, media and sustainability.

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