What Search Consultants Want

Tuesday 12 October, 2010

One of Australia’s most experienced executive search consultants, Mr Andrew Horsley, urged Warrane residents to use their time at university to develop a well-rounded personality to go with their academic qualifications.

Mr Horsley, a former UNSW student and the founder and chief executive of Sydney-based Horsley and Company Pty Ltd, told residents that they should be thinking not only of degrees but of developing their character, their spiritual life and their sporting life as well.

"My message to all of you is to participate in university life to the full," he said. "The richness of university life is what you make of it. It won’t come to you."

"Do things that you have never done before. When I was here I did fencing and judo and all of these other sports which have stayed with me to this day."

Asking the question: "what is education?", he pointed out that it was taken from the Latin for "to lead out".

"To lead out what is within you," he said. "You have the answers within yourself."

Speaking about "interior life", Mr Horsley said the longest journey is the journey inwards. You need to engage in self-reflection, self-awareness… "All I can do is to encourage you to reflect deeply on the spiritual life."

Whatever spirituality they were drawn to, the basic point was that they should use their time at university to pursue it.

Among the other skills that students should develop were the ability to think critically, the ability to express one’s self well – both verbally and in writing, and interpersonal skills as well.

He also urged residents to think about their longer-term goals, rather than just drift along.

"Set your goals, but also be opportunistic about the things that come your way."

Overall, he said it was very important to become a positive person, rather than someone who always thinks negatively – to develop a "tonic" personality, rather than a "toxic" one.

"You see it all the time," he said. "There is the tonic personality is someone who is a man for others, someone who is enthusiastic, who has a sense of urgency, a sense of action and purpose.

"Then there is the toxic personality: they are negative, they are angry, they are moody, they are vain, they are narcissistic.

"So try to get yourself into being a tonic personality – being upbeat, but not in a false sort of sense, but having good reasons that you are responsible for.

"You can get enormous strength out of doing things for others, being a man for others.

"And finally, be a man of the world. Be curious about the world. Presentation and style – how you present yourself, being aware of the bigger picture and a higher purpose."

Mr Horsley said it was a good idea to work for an organisation that tends to be larger rather than smaller, where you are going to work with good role models, and where they are going to spend some money on training employees further.

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