Jay Blades

BBC TV Presenter & Social Entrepreneur working with disengaged & disadvantaged

The no-nonsense furniture upcycler Jay Blades, former co-founder of award-winning social enterprise Out of The Dark, is the nation’s inspiration for transforming dusty old furniture into a work of designer-looking pride and joy.

His company, Jay & Co, is a social enterprise that acts as an extended family to disadvantaged, disengaged and disruptive young people to help them achieve a sustainable positive life.

It is run by people who have all experienced challenging circumstances in their teenage years but have been able to turn their lives around with support from Jay & Co.

They aim to motivate and elevate young people so that the community becomes a better place to live in.

“Even though you cannot control everything that happens, you can control your attitude toward what happens. And in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.”

“One of the UK’s coolest furniture designers.”

— Money For Nothing, BBC One

Hi Jay, welcome to the Leadership Interview

How do you start your day?

At 6 am I get up and do 60 push ups and 80 sit-ups, then post on all my social media.

What was your first job and what is the worst job you have done?

First job was painting and decorating.

Worst job was working in a frozen sausage factory, putting 100 of them into a box.

What advice would you give to others about furthering their career?

Enjoy the path because you never know where it can take you.

Who inspires you and why?

Everyone and everything because they all have such interesting stories, they I learn from.

Do you think a talent to lead is nature or nurture?

It’s a bit of both, we all have it but it takes a Good Leader to bring it out of you.

How can a leader fail? Do you have a personal example?

A Leader has to fail, this is the only way they become a Great Leader.

I have failed many times and that has helped me fine-tune where I am going now.

I lead people I will never ever meet

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Greatest strength is my mind. Weaknesses, too many but the biggest one is never satisfied, always when to achieve more.

What do you find most challenging about being a leader?

Nothing. The reason I say that is because the people I am leading, I will never ever meet them.

I work with someone and they are influenced by me and then they influence others and that’s what I’m working towards.

What are you most proud of?

All the young people I have supported over the years.

What’s your biggest self- indulgence?

My clothes.

You can follow Jay on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn

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