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YLNI 2014 winner

Young Leaders Northern Ireland – YLNI 2014 winner

Abacus Professional Recruitment are pleased to be one of the sponsors for this years Young Leaders NI Conference.  As it’s nearly that time of the year again for the YLNI Conference.  We felt it would be a great opportunity to allow past winners to also share their experiences of the YLNI event.

Neil Logan, Partner from Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors, the YLNI 2014 winner has happily shared his inspirations, love of the industry and his secrets of success.  Read on to find out what Neil had to say:

  1. How did you feel when you won the award?

When the shortlist was announced I remember saying to a few colleagues that I was just pleased to be considered for the award along with four other extremely strong candidates. When I was announced as the winner my immediate feeling was one of panic as I had no speech prepared! It took a while for me to fully realise what a big achievement it was to win such a prestigious award. The whole day was great and I was extremely honoured and delighted to have been a part of it.


  1. What makes a great leader?

For me a great leader is someone who shows initiative and challenges themselves and others around them to further their career or personal goals. In my own profession I have been extremely fortunate to have worked for a number of people that I consider to be great leaders. It could be something simple like taking the time to chat to younger or less experienced members of staff about their goals and aspirations and offering words of encouragement to help them achieve those goals. I think everyone is capable of being a great leader but someone that can unlock potential in another through leading by example is what I would consider to be great leadership.


  1. Who has inspired you and why?

I am extremely fortunate to have worked with some great leaders in my own firm. Our managing partner Gilbert Nesbitt is an inspiration to any solicitor young or old. His enthusiasm for the job even after a long career never ceases to amaze me. His knowledge of the law and his business acumen have ensured that Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors have continually evolved to meet the changing needs of their clients. My colleague Gillian Crotty became a partner in Wilson Nesbitt at the age of 28 and is regarded as one of the top commercial litigation solicitors in Belfast. I spent part of my time training in Gillian’s department and have since worked alongside her on a number of transactions. Working alongside young professionals such as Gillian who have achieved so much in their career has inspired me to further my own career.


  1. For those at the starting point of their career, what is the best way to build a personal profile and get your name ‘out there’?

I think you must realise that being technically good at your chosen profession can only get you so far. There is no point being top of your game if no-one actually knows who you are or what you do. In order to achieve that you have to make time to grow relationships outside of your office. Simple things such as joining the Newry Junior Chamber helped me to meet people that I could potentially do business with. When personal relationships are formed and you establish an element of trust then business will eventually come to you so don’t be disheartened by not getting immediate results. Use of social media works for some but taking the time to get to know someone and their business is not achievable if you do not at least attempt to meet people. And never try a hard sell! Let people know what you do and that you are open for business but people may be put off if you are just about the hard sell. Maybe invite them along to a social event where they can meet with you and some of your colleagues or existing clients. I find that if people like you and trust you they will eventually do business with you.


  1. Any general advice you would recommend to this year’s nominees?

First of all make sure you write an acceptance speech or at least have an idea of what you are going to say if you win! Aside from that just enjoy the day. The line up of speakers for this year is impressive so put the nomination to the back of your mind until the winner is announced.

Abacus would like to thank Neil Logan, Partner from Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors for his time and sharing his experiences.  If you would like to find out more information in regards to the 2015 YLNI Conference, please check out Abacus YLNI Page, Iod YLNI Page or the YLNI Social Media Accounts: YLNI Facebook, YLNI LinkedIn, YLNI Twitter  We hope this has inspired potential Young Leaders of NI, it’s not too late to nominate yourself or a fellow colleague to obtain the chance to win the title of Herbert Smith Freehills 2015 Young Leader of the Year Award.