A few hours on the golf course can give you all the clues you need to decide whether you want to do business with someone, says Janette Withey, especially if you are a woman.
Just like most boardrooms, the golf course is still dominated by men. Unbelievably, even in Europe, some clubs still don’t accept women members.
So a successful business woman who is also a good golfer presents an interesting dynamic, especially if the game is against older men who grew up in an era when women weren’t encouraged to have careers let alone run their own businesses.
Recruitment expert, entrepreneur and golf fanatic Jeanette Withey says golf has been one of the secrets of her success and helped her to build her £2million turnover business. Janette also has a high-profile role as the Chairman of the London Docklands Business Club – part of the London Chamber of Commerce. She was recently asked whether she would ever hold back on the golf course knowing that she would be risking upsetting a key male client if she beat him.
She explains: “I’m not a typical woman but my advice is to never hold back and to be yourself. Most of my golf is played with men and I’ve never once looked at a golf match and thought I’m deliberately not going to win this.”
As a manager for Brook Street, before she launched Quay People in London’s Docklands, Janette represented her company at many celebrity Pro Ams and has played on courses all over the UK, including Wentworth. Throughout her whole life, Janette’s hero has been Seve Ballesteros because of his charm, guts and competitiveness.
Whether you win or lose on the golf course, she stresses, is irrelevant if you are playing with business contacts.
“The relationship you build over the game is what is most important and four hours gives you a perfect amount of time to assess what a person is really like. For instance, are they a gentleman? And is there a rapport between you? You can start to see what makes them tick and whether you really want to do business with that person,” she stressed.
Janette’s advice comes with a warning – she admits that she’s not a typical woman and that she has come across men who couldn’t cope with being beaten by her but that can be helpful and means, if she does business with them, she is aware of their macho tendencies.
Janette Withey owns and manages Quay People, a highly successful, independent recruitment service, tailored to the needs of London Docklands and surrounding areas. Janette has more than 30 years’ experience in the recruitment industry and an innate understanding of Canary Wharf and the London Docklands. Janette previously worked as a senior manager for a national recruitment consultancy before deciding to go it alone with a more tailored service for clients and candidates. As a contributor to the area’s growth, Janette is now Chairman of the London Docklands Business Club, part of the London Chamber of Commerce. She is known for her boundless energy and larger than life personality and has a close relationship with the business community and a good awareness of business trends in the area.
In October 2006 Janette was awarded the accolade of the Life Time Achievement award at the inaugural London & South East Recruitment Awards 2006, sponsored by The Recruitment and Employment Confederation. The awards recognise the achievements and potential of individuals and companies involved in recruitment, with the Life Time Achievement Award designed to recognise consistently high achievement within the industry.