Caroline McEnery

Caroline McEnery, Managing Director of The HR Suite and HR and Employment Law Expert. Caroline is a member of the Low Pay Commission and is also an adjudicator on the Work Place Relations Commission.

She has also completed a Masters in Human Resources at the University of Limerick, she is CIPD accredited as well as being a trained mediator. Caroline had worked across various areas of HR for over 20 years in Kerry Group and in the retail and hospitality sector where she was the Operations and HR Director of the Garvey Group prior to setting up the HR Suite in 2009.

Can leadership be taught? If so, how?

Yes, I think that Leadership can be taught. Emotional Intelligence is a key aspect to Leadership. People Management skills and Emotional Intelligence along with other key skills can be taught, mentored and coached to develop the very key ingredient. In my view yes, it can be taught.

When you are filling a leadership role in your organisation what qualities do you look for from candidates?

Emotional Intelligence is the key independent ingredient in Leadership. It is the key characteristic that I look for with an ability to work with people and get the most from them. For leaders, having emotional intelligence is essential for success. After all, who is more likely to succeed – a leader who shouts at his team when he’s under stress, or a leader who stays in control and calmly assesses the situation?

If you had to leave your organisation for 1 year what would you ask of your team and what advice would you give them?

I think the key focus would need to be on KPIs- To reassess performance against KPIs on an ongoing basis, to ensure they stay focused on the main goals and KPIs.

What are you doing today to make sure your organisation will be relevant in 10 years’ time?

I am Building a Winning Team. My core competitive advantage is my team of employees. By consulting and engaging with my team, I also train and motivate them as much as possible. A core component is to always ask employees what can we do better’. By asking this question I can identify demotivators, that can be easily removed and addressed. I have an amazing team behind me and their core strengths which are daily contributing to the company will still be relevant in many years to come.

What leaders outside your own organisation do you admire and why?

Barack Obama and Cheryl Sandberg because of their leadership qualities- Team Players, Ambition, Ability to influence change and Compassion.

What are a few resources (books, blogs, podcasts, courses etc) you would recommend to someone looking to gain an insight into becoming a better leader?

  1. Ted Talks- There is a wide selection of topics and a range of inspiring people to choose from
  2. My book-  The Art of Asking the Right Questions which is a people managers guide to HR. This book is a summary of our top tips to help make a  journey of people management run more smoothly so one can maximise their very best resource – Their team.
  3. Podcasts- There are very few podcasts available now that you don’t actually get something from. There are so many it is difficult to choose from
  4. I think if you ask yourself, what do you need to know more about ( for e.g. engagement and engaging my team) in order to become the very best in my field- Then research it, then do it!