I was having a clear out of old paperwork recently in anticipation of the incoming GDPR legislation when I came across a poem I wrote in 2005 that I had completely forgotten about. Having found it, I remembered with extraordinary clarity why I’d written it. Like all entrepreneurs, I had many dark days when I wondered a) why I was doing whatever it was that I was doing and b) how I was going to look after my staff, family and friends. Continue reading
Sun Tzu’s famous treatise on the art of war has become a bible for business people, and in particular sales people. In recent weeks I have heard many people quote Sun Tzu in meetings in a combative way as they beat their metaphorical breastplates, and this worries me.
How does the statement “all warfare is based on deception” square with the salesperson’s oft stated goal Continue reading
This article is not about business but about values and beliefs – and my personal ones at that. Having said that, I frequently recommend what I am about to share with you to mentoring clients.
I came across this wonderful poem about 35 years ago and it has haunted me ever since.
I’ve been incredibly lucky Continue reading
Are you a leader? Would you consider yourself ambitious for yourself and your organisation? Of course you are!
Ambition is good. It drives us forward and stretches us so that we take on new ideas and experiment. It makes us do things. It makes us grow as people and those benefits accrue to the company we work for.
But what happens to an organisation whose leader(s) lacks ambition? This can occur when the company makes enough profit Continue reading
As I write this, the economic outlook for the UK (and Europe) is looking precarious to say the least. Although we are not currently in a recession, market conditions are tough with a credit squeeze, rocketing fuel and power prices, falling house prices and statements from the Bank of England and many leading retailers that trading conditions are worsening. The press would have us believe that a recession is just around the corner. I’m not sure I buy this, but regardless, leadership is becoming more important than ever.
So how do we lead in these situations? For me there are 6 points Continue reading
At some point in the distant past, a client was describing the problems he was having implementing a particularly tricky change policy on his company. While listening to him I realised that I’d been through this situation several times myself so we discussed what his options were to overcome objectors. Out of that discussion came a process I call “Slaying Dragons” which has the express aim of enhancing buy-in to Continue reading
Working with a client recently, they mentioned that they had started to hold internal lunchtime meetings to discuss how they were delivering projects for clients. They called these ‘TEAM Meetings’. “Why ‘TEAM’?” I asked thinking it stood Continue reading
A great business leader, Sir John Harvey-Jones, died last month. For those who are not aware, he was a leading light in the UK business community since the early 1980’s when he rose to public prominence as the chairman of ICI, which he guided to be one of the most successful companies in the UK if not the world.
But to most people in the UK he is best remembered as the star of the “Troubleshooter” television series where he Continue reading
I was chatting recently with Dermot Hill of Intramezzo who posed this question. Given my experience as a Chairman and my love of this role, it set me thinking. Note that I’m going to use the word “Chairman” in a non-gender specific context in this article.
Companies appoint a Chairman for a variety of reasons. If they are about to float, or are seeking external investment, they may pick someone who is acceptable to the “money men” and who has contacts in that arena rather than going for someone who can add real value to the companies proposition. But I suspect Continue reading
Maybe it is just me, but shortly after posting about how pygmies are taking over the world, I had 2 really bad experiences of customer service from the same company.
There is a well-known budget hotel chain here in the UK called Travelodge. I have used its various hotels frequently in the last year or so. Normally my stay is a fairly painless experience – it’s a budget chain so you get what you pay for, but the rooms are pretty comfortable so I’m happy. I tend to arrive Continue reading