Ray Jones (TalentBanq & ex Time Out)

In the Spanish version of the blog, I like interviewing relevant Spanish analysts. I am going to start doing the same thing in English. But as an exception I will not interview an analyst this time.

So…. What´s this interview about?

Ray Jones has proven leadership, networking, social and event-organising skills. Sounds interesting ?

Ray and I met during our time at Time Out. I can say that I miss some of the benefits there: a non-stop flow of tickets to attend plays, musicals, festivals etc. And the best thing: tickets for “Time Out Rising Stars”, a gig series Ray used to organise ( his awesome gigs keep rolling now at TalentBanq -a company he has just founded).

It has always impressed me that Ray choses the bands, knows many of the attendees, and definitely has a bunch of soft skills that made him a top business development director. Not a data analyst, but someone we can learn from.

Soft skills are key for profesional success. Which ones are the most important for you and why? In other words, what do you want to see in someone you would hire? 

Emotional Intelligence is key. The ability to empathise and socialise must be considered when engaging new staff.

Organising an event is a good way to develop soft skills. What other activities you think can help to grow in that sense?

Event management requires soft and hard skills. In the workplace there should be opportunity for people to meet and exchange ideas. As companies grow many find the need for Team Building exercises and excursions away from the office that enable employees to get to know ( and support ) each other better

Are you naturally extrovert? Guess you are, but when you started organising events and speaking in front of many people, how did you deal with the “fear”?

I am and always have been extrovert.

Re public speaking , I simply learned to face the fear – and then learned to enjoy it. It’s all about preparation. Know what you are about to say, and make it fun for the audience. I don’t use Powerpoint. I have single word prompts that remind me to include all I have planned to deliver.

How important do think is having a mentor? What´s your experience mentoring now and having been mentored in the past?

I have acted as mentor to several people but never really had one myself. If the right skill-sets are present and the right relationship is developed, I think Mentors can be of real value

How have you became a top networker? Mainly in the sense of keeping in touch with that many people.  

That’s it. Keep in touch. Its easy now with Linkedin for professional and Facebook for personal, plus a database of key contacts and a very active social life. For me this all comes naturally . I like people and work hard at staying in touch with those I really like. I have also learned to drop the ones I don’t care for. You can’t be friends with everybody

What´s your style of leadership? Can you share some advice? Specially for the ones who are starting out

My style of leadership is said to be “inspirational”

That sounds strange, but I try to inspire people to get on board and do their best

Set common objectives and “Go For It”

Give people the opportunity to thrive ( and fail sometimes, but in a supportive environment )

Guide not control

I will finish the interview mentioning the best band I have discovered thanks to Time Out Rising Stars & TALENTBANQ . Well, actually two, as I cannot choose: Anavae and Bree. If you live in London and love live music,  keep an eye on the Talentbang Facebook page and see you in the next gig 🙂