Find people who make you better

Dosh’s Managing Director for the past 10 years, Steve Raw, is moving onto a new post within Thera Trust and so we are saying a fond farewell, thank you and good luck to Steve for his leadership at Dosh. Meike Beckford is taking over as Lead Director from 1st November 2019 and is looking forward to working with the Dosh team, people we support and partners across the UK as financial advocates promoting people’s control and independence with money.

As Steve leaves Dosh, he has been reflecting on his time with us and has written this piece on surrounding himself with ‘people who make you better’. Here is his blog post on the subject, reblogged from


I am interviewing our second candidate with Meike Beckford, Dosh’s Financial Advocacy Manager for a position with Dosh Ltd  a company I have had the honour of being the Managing Director for over the last 10 years.  It is my turn to be asked a question by the interviewee and to be honest it is not one I was expecting.  “So what do you find is the best part of working for Dosh?”  My response comes to me immediately.  I say “it is reading the stories that my colleagues send me about how they have made a difference to another person’s life”  Before each Board Meeting each team member sends me a story about their most recent work and their involvement in supporting a person to have more independence and control with their money.  I always find their stories moving and inspirational.

The Dosh team come from a diverse background and they are totally committed and dedicated to people with a learning disability.  I am truly surrounded by talent and I will be a better leader and manager for this experience.  Working for Dosh has been the highlight of my second career.

How did that happen?

I started as a Community Support Team Leader (& Support Worker) supporting people with a learning disability, after retiring from the Army in 1996. I was inspired by my daughter Bettina (who copes with a learning disability) to enter this field of work.  I wanted to make a difference and I decided the best way to do this was to seek out the best people to work with and for.  If I was going to achieve success and be successful, I would need to surround myself with talent.  I knew from experience that doing this would make me better a person and a better leader too.

I subsequently became a Registered Home Manager, Area Manager, Operations Manager, Regional Director, and a Director of Learning Disabilities, before achieving my dream job in 2009 as Managing Director of Dosh (Financial Advocacy) Ltd a subsidiary company of Thera Trust.

If you have the ability to work with people smarter than you, always try to be the least smartest person in the room and surround yourself with talent, because iron sharpens iron.  Jake M Johnson

The purpose of this post is to share with you how I have personally benefited from finding people who have made me better and why this is a good thing to do.

Why should you endeavour to find people who make you better?

My 5 top reasons for doing this are as follows:

  1. You want to be the best person you could possibly be
  2. They will fill gaps in both your knowledge and expertise. You can’t possibly know it all.
  3. They will teach you new things.  In Dosh this has been a daily experience for me over the last 10 years.  I often tell one of my colleagues that every time I read one of her emails I am educated.
  4. They inspire you to do great things.   (As a leader you don’t always have to be the person inspiring).
  5. They stop you from being complacent.  Talented people have high expectations.  They expect something special from you, so it is important you deliver (every day).

How do you go about finding people who make you better?

  • Never stop talent spotting.  Even when I don’t have vacancies in a team I have been responsible for, I never stop looking for people who I would like to work with.
  • One Mentor is never enough.  Which areas of your life do you want to be better at?  Once you have identified these areas, find a Mentor for each one.

“I’ve got the attitude which I still have today that if I find someone that I really admire, someone that I think, I want to be you.  I want to do the things the way you do them.  I’ve always sort of been stupid enough or brave enough to go up to them and say, will you mentor me?” Rene Carayol – Businessman, Speaker, Author and Broadcaster

  • ‘Networking: it really is all about who you know’ my life has been enriched by the people I know and I have come to the conclusion that the success I have achieved in both my careers has often been due to the people I know.  My thoughts on networking.
  • Take the time to find out peoples gifts, qualities and interests they have.  I have found doing this, especially with Dosh Team members who have an abundance of talent and creativity, has made me a better person.
  • Seek out those people who have a stake in your company, they could be your ‘customers’ and or the people you support.  I talked about how Bettina has made me a better person in my blog the people I support have also made me a better person.  How they see the world and the hard work and determination to communicate their feelings is both humbling and inspiring.

“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” – Jim Collins, Good to Great

My 5 top tips on Talent Management

So you have found people who make you better.  How do you keep them close to you and involved in your life so you keep getting better because of them:

  1. Find out their aspirations and do your very best to help them achieve.
  2. Always put them before you.  (in my first career it was a sin if you went to the front of the queue for a meal – you eat last and sleep last)
  3. Go for democracy –   seek their advice, involve them in decision making, and then trust their judgements.
  4. Create a ‘culture’ (the way we do things around here) that people will want to be part and proud of.
  5. Part of that culture needs to recognise that failure and making mistakes can be positive and are there lessons to be learned from these.  You have a “no blame” culture and when you have that, it sets talented people free to be their most creative.

It happened

I found work that I was always meant to do and I got to do this for 10 years with Dosh.  From the 1st November (2019), I am moving to a new position within the Thera Group.  I will be their Head of Workforce Strategy and Engagement (the job title is still under negotiation as I type).  I feel fortunate to be given this opportunity as there is so much I want to achieve for people within my organisation.

As I handover to Meike our (excellent) new Lead Director and before I leave Dosh, I want to take the opportunity to thank the Dosh Board of Directors and each team member (past and present) for making me a better person.  I couldn’t do what I do without you!

November 1st, 2019

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Dosh is 10 – love the job you are in

Steve Raw

Dosh is 10 years old today! The idea was born in 2007 that there was a different, better way to support people with their money. This focused on financial advocacy and putting people in control of their money and how this affects their lives. From this idea came Dosh. Since starting to support our first handful of people on 29th November 2007 we have grown to nearly 800 people today! We will be celebrating our 10th anniversary today and over the coming year – look out for a special anniversary newsletter in the new year, stories from people who joined Dosh in the early days and more celebrations. To start us off, our Managing Director for 8 of those 10 years has written about his passion for Dosh, some of his highlights and why he loves the work he does.




By Steve Raw, Managing Director for Dosh


Celebrating 10 years of financial advocacy for people with a learning disability

One of my mentors is my wife Joyce, we call her the Oracle.  Why?  Because she is always right. An example of one of her gems was back in 1996 when she said to me:  “Steve, you spend a long time at work so it is important you do something you love and enjoy” – that really focused me on deciding what I was going to do as I was being demobbed from the Army (my first career).

Fast forward to this week, on the train coming home from the Dosh Strategy Day in London, I had the best day, working with some incredibly talented, knowledgeable and experienced people on how we could support people with learning disabilities in the next 10 years, and I was buzzing.  I looked at my fellow commuters, I may be being unfair but they looked weary.   I detected the same weariness in the conversations they were having on their mobiles too.   For me though, this is a second career which has lasted 21 years so far and one that I am still incredibly passionate about.

For the last eight years I have had the good fortune of being the Managing Director for Dosh. I told Learning Disability Today magazine in their ‘Me and My job” series the following:

What would be your dream job?  “I am already doing it – I love what I do everyday”

What is your ambition?  “I reached my professional ambition when I became MD for Dosh”

So why do I love my job?  I enjoy being able to be involved in all aspects of our company and our support which includes:

  • Personally supporting a person with learning disabilities and supporting him with his Individual Budget; being part of his Circle of Support and being involved in all aspects of his life.
  • Building a winning team which is known for having a “can do” attitude and also seeking out and recruiting talented individuals to our company
  • Working with Support Providers (sixty at the last count!) and local authority care management teams – especially when I am asked to deliver a presentation (I love talking about Dosh)
  • Travelling – Yes I actually like doing all that driving across England, Scotland and Wales.  I get to see some amazing countryside
  • Project managing new opportunities.  We have just started a new project within Dosh as we gear up to support 1000 people looking at our current structure and  reviewing all our systems and processes.
  • Spending time with great colleagues.  Last Friday I was in the grounds of Bury St Edmunds Cathedral for a 1-1 with one of the team – what a way to finish the week!!
  • And the important part of being MD – Strategic Management.  Business Planning!  Thinking and planning our Strategic Direction which includes our growth, our marketing and the never ending challenge to do something completely different for our company and the people we support (at least once a month).

Doing stuff that you have a passion for helps you to maintain and have stronger mental health.  In your quieter moments, acknowledging that you are doing something that you are passionate about can give you a sense of well-being and contentment.

With passion comes a high level of enthusiasm for what you do.  I have found this to be contagious not only do your friends benefit, but also your family.

Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.

Oprah Winfrey

Here my top 5 tips for finding your passion:

  1. What do you have strong emotions for – make them visual so write them down, better still draw a picture for each one
  2. You need to find something that has a ‘purpose’:  will it make a difference in another person’s life?
  3. Think about what you are good at, would it pay you a living too?  When you have both, not only do you find your passion you feel successful.
  4. What excites you: what would make you get out of bed earlier than you really need to?  I fling the bed sheets back at 5am every morning, yep even the weekends I can’t wait to start my day and find out what are up to.
  5. Dream big: “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman

As a young 15 year old heading towards the Army Recruiting Office in Middlesbrough while my school mates headed in a different direction towards  their interviews for ICI Apprenticeships as Welders and Platers, I thought that if I didn’t love what I was going to do I wouldn’t be able to do it with much conviction or passion.  I felt the same way when I entered into the world of supporting people with learning disabilities.

There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.


See more about what Dosh has achieved and how we support people with:


November 29th, 2017

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