UNDERSTUDY TO CEO (CHIEF OF STAFF TYPE FUNCTION / POSSIBLY CEO DES)

  • Job Reference: 2414
  • Date Posted: 12 April 2018
  • Location: Bracknell, Berkshire
  • Salary: £90,000 to £100,000
  • Bonus/Benefits: Package
  • Sector: Executive Positions
  • Job Type: Permanent
  • Duration: Permanent
  • Work Hours: Full Time
  • Contact: J1 Consulting
  • Email: info@j1consulting.co.uk

Job Description

MARKET LEADING INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY SERVICES / CRISIS MANAGEMENT / DISASTER RESPONSE FIRM

Bracknell based, with significant international travel as required by events: further offices in the US and Middle East

c £100k + package; experience dependent

Start - as soon as practical, though identifying the right person is more important than an arbitrary deadline

BACKGROUND

Current CEO has built the firm up to its present level of significant success (over 500 retained Clients), and now aspires in due course to step back into more of a Chairman type role: this necessitates bringing on board an individual with suitable characteristics to understudy him, and ideally (in time) to assume the role of Chief Executive / Managing Director.  Suitably experienced, genuinely high grade former military Officers with some subsequent experience are considered likely to possess the necessary traits, though as outlined below wider attributes are also needed.
PERSON SPECIFICATION
The ideal Candidate will exhibit the following characteristics:
  • International Exposure - someone who has lived abroad within local communities, adapted to circumstances, and can navigate different cultures and systems of Government etc tactfully, effectively and with a high degree of autonomy.  You must be able to live and work in the UK indefinitely, and be free to travel to the US and countries with similar visa requirements.
  • Degree Level Education, underpinned by:
    • Demonstrable critical thinking and problem solving skills across multiple disciplines
    • A wide breadth of reading and self education
    • Theoretical knowledge of conflict resolution, negotiation, crisis management, and an ability to articulate how they have responded personally to such challenges
  • Diverse Management Experience
    • Within at least two different Sectors (one of which could be the military): a proven ability to adapt successfully is essential - there must be no hint of Institutionalisation
    • Practical knowledge of a field related to Crisis Management: logistics; law enforcement; emergency services; contingency planning; military etc.  In the latter context, formal Staff training in developing detailed plans is highly desirable, but equally important (if not more so) is the ability to implement effectively and calmly across multiple disciplines in conditions that may be stressful, emotional and sometimes politically charged.  The old adage applies - 'no plan survives contact with reality': thus candidates must be able to advise, persuade and give a lead in trying circumstances.
  • Physical Fitness - events can take place in all climates, timezones and environments: you must be able to take a long haul flight at short notice, meet with clients who have suffered a catastrophic event, reassure them and get straight to work.  Field conditions / lack of basic amenities must sometimes be expected.
  • Strong Communicator - you must be credible at senior Management / Governmental level, able to represent the firm effectively, with the ability to communicate processes and concepts in a manner that can be readily grasped by those who are not native English speakers, whose backgrounds may not have equipped them to deal with the realities of dealing with death, disaster or risk to reputation.
    • It follows that a high degree of Empathy, Tact and Perceptiveness are absolutely essential characteristics, coupled with strong Presentational abilities.
    • You must be able to work and communicate with people of different races, gender orientations, religions and cultures.
    • You must be able to write clearly, accurately and swiftly, often against tight time constraints: outlining / review of processes, drafting of communications, explanation of technical issues in lay terms and press releases / blogs / newsletters can all be required.  Again, formal military Staff training will be an advantage in this respect. 
  • Personality Traits (in addition to above) - confident, persuasive, decisive, authoritative, passionate, discreet, flexible / adaptable, sense of humour.
    • You must be willing to travel extensively; sometimes unpredictably / at short notice.
    • You must be willing to travel to countries perceived as 'higher risk'.
    • You must be able to cope with exposure to traumatic events; self-managing stress, remaining detached and effective whilst retaining compassion and humanity.
    • You must be unafraid to take charge (and one day, want to be in charge).
After training, you should be competent to manage crises seamlessly across the functional areas of humanitarian response, forensics, personal effects, crisis communications and repatriation of deceased and belongings.

CONCLUSION

This is clearly not a role for someone of a '9-5' mentality: nor given the succession aspects involved is it for someone at a late stage of their career - a degree of longevity is sought, coupled with the maturity required to interface credibly at senior levels: thus ideally we are seeking someone of demonstrably high calibre in mid-career, within easy reach of Bracknell, who seeks a significant but highly stimulating and unusual challenge.  To apply please submit CV in Word plus short covering letter outlining your suitability to the role and stating your earliest availability to info@j1consulting.co.uk; deadline Mon 23 April.  Early application may be advantageous.