APPRENTICE star and West Ham United vice-chair Karren Brady answers your careers questions and meets an inspirational CEO.

Here she gives a reader advice on how to be a good manager for their team.

Q) I work at a graphic design studio and, thanks to my experience with the company, I was recently promoted to a senior role that requires me to oversee the work of others.

While I’ve always been happy to offer advice and feedback to colleagues, I’ve never had responsibility for ensuring they meet deadlines or satisfy clients’ demands.

Frankly, that’s how I’ve liked it – I’m too laid-back to crack the whip.

I was pleased to be given my new role and the increased salary is welcome, but I don’t know if I’m cut out for management.


Karren Brady’s career advice on taking a big risk to start working for yourself

Karren Brady’s career advice on asking for a raise in a salaried job

Do you have any tips on being a leader?

Anna, via email

A) Your company obviously has faith that you can do the job, otherwise you wouldn’t have been awarded the promotion.

The more senior you get, the more it becomes about managing people, as well as getting results.

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But there’s a big difference between managing people and leadership.

Good managers get good outcomes, but great leaders deliver a vision by ensuring people work together.

Being a leader isn’t about cracking a whip, it is about inspiring your team.

Encourage communication with your team, support employee growth, and give and receive honest and constructive feedback.

Every team member may have a different communication style, so it’s important to adapt to each individual.

Building trust will allow them to become more responsible for their work, which should improve their performance, too.

Set clear objectives and encourage their input when making those objectives to increase engagement.

Being a good leader takes time, but it is a skill you can learn.


Keri Jamieson, 48, is the founder of bag and accessories brand KeriKit.

She lives in Manchester with her IT account director husband Scott, 50, son Jasper, 10, and twins Charlie and Ariella, eight.

I wake up at… 

6am for a yoga or gym class. When I get home at 7.30am, I sip a juice and chat to the kids before I drive them to school.

A normal day involves…

I’m at my desk in the loft-room office I share with Scott at 9.15am.

I check emails then I’m straight into admin.

Tracey, my virtual assistant in Jamaica, manages jobs like customer service and uploading products to the website, while I handle sales, stock levels and web development.

Pre-Tracey, I never got to the most important parts of my to-do list, like creating YouTube content, engaging with my audience online, or attending networking groups and charity events.

For maximum organisation, I swear by bullet journalling to plan my time each day and set daily goals.

By noon, I’m in my showroom – a converted container in the garden – recording Instagram reels and lives and YouTube videos.

After a light lunch at 2pm, I check in with Tracey and, depending on what kids’ clubs are on, I finish around 5pm for dinner.

While Scott is putting the kids to bed, I’ll fire a few responses off to Tracey. 

The best part of my job is… 

Hearing positive feedback about our bags.

I launched them eight years ago, during maternity leave, after I was unable to find a practical but also beautiful bag for parenting.

I was moved to tears recently when one woman with postnatal depression said she’d rediscovered her identity because the bag made her feel like “her” again.

And the worst…

Having such a small amount of time to create products.

It’s not an idyllic life spent designing, but rather a constant drive to sell them, which is tough in the current economic climate.

If anyone says they’re having a great time in business right now – unless they’re Amazon – they’re lying!

I wind down by… 

Reading with the kids, having a bath and a good chat with Scott.


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