Spotlight on: Javed Edahtally

This week our Spotlight-on series features Javed Edahtally who we placed as Independent Non-executive Management Board Member at RICS.


I was approached by Starfish for a non-executive role I’d never considered before, working with the Management Board of a well-known international chartered institution. At first, my thoughts after reading the Job specification was that I couldn’t provide the level of experience needed. But I was reassured that my skills were relevant, and support could be provided. As roles like these require a blend of experience, expertise, emotional intelligence, self-awareness and communication skills, they are really more are about who you are rather than what you have done. It was through the encouragement and belief of the executive search team at Starfish that I was able to turn the opportunity into a reality: having applied for the role, I had a great feedback session before the interview which helped with my preparation; and I went on to be appointed. 

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?  

Perhaps I would change the human characteristics of greed and pride, a root of much of the world’s inequality and reason for unrest. There is a concept known as Betaris Box which means that a negative attitude attracts and promotes negativity in others, along with negative behavioural traits and it creates ripples like throwing a stone in a pond. The same is true of a positive attitude and therefore positive behaviours. Just imagine where the world would be if we all had the right attitude and no single race, culture, heritage or place saw themselves as better than another?

What personal philosophy do you aspire to live by?

Do good things and good things will happen. It’s perhaps an obvious statement, but I never really understood how important it is. Whenever I’ve volunteered or invested my energy and time selflessly and not just for renumeration, it’s always enriched my life in ways I didn’t expect.

Who has inspired you the most on your own career journey?  

I’ve had the privilege of working with exceptional colleagues, staff and leaders. Many people have inspired me in many different ways. I’ve worked with people who have extraordinary work ethic, with brilliant communicators who can captivate a whole meeting room; with analytical and technical people. I can’t pick anyone in particular – they’ve all inspired me. 

What advice would you give to others who are following a similar path?  

Believe in yourself. And never stop learning, not just at work but in life. Be a student or a teacher, but nothing else.  


Leadership journeys, expertly navigated