Working with Philip

So what’s it like to engage and work with Philip?

Firstly Philip passionately believes in having a plan. Typically this comes in two stages:

  1. What are the immediate objectives?
  2. What is the ultimate goal – frequently for him that’s when are you going to sell and to whom?

His company is called Enhancing Clarity for a reason – Philip helps to identify the quickest way to get momentum and then works with you to identify the best (exit) strategy, giving your business direction and purpose. His ability to do this, and quickly, is one of the reasons his clients value his time so much.

Secondly Philip believes in the old proverb “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Philip sees his role as strengthening the CEO and senior management team’s ability to deliver the agreed business strategy through mentoring, coaching, facilitating and the odd bit of coercing.

This does mean that Philip is very unlikely to ‘do’ things – although where appropriate he is happy to introduce people and/or resources from his trusted network to help with implementation.

This also means that the long hours you currently work are likely to continue for a little longer, but hopefully they should start to feel less of a burden as you see your business start to make progress, having momentum and the plan coming together.

There is only one way to measure success in Philip’s book – the outcome! This is more than just the return on investment (ROI) which may be difficult to measure until long after Philip’s involvement has ended. But to give a flavour of what it means to engage Philip, the table below lists a some of the many success stories he has been involved in in the last 14+ years.

Client Investment Outcome
Chemical Engineering Company

Engaged to prepare the company for sale.

Profits fell during the engagement as considerable effort was put in to make the company more saleable.

£100,000 The owner was in his late sixties and wanted to retire. The Company was valued shortly before Philip was engaged at circa £2.5m by a globally renowned accountant.

The owner’s aspirational price was £4m.

The Company was acquired by a competitor for £6.4m.

Open Source Technology Services Company

Engaged to grow the business and prepare the company for an eventual sale over a 3 year period.

£120,000 Company sold for £4m, 38 months after Philip was engaged. The acquirer had tried to buy the client at the very beginning of Philip’s engagement, offering a fraction of the eventual sale price.
Full Service Telecoms Provider

Engaged to help the founders grow the business with the intention of exiting shortly after 2020.

£36,000 In 18 months the company has reorganised its supply channel. Margins have grown dramatically and profits have quadrupled. Sales are growing faster than expected.
Financial Services Training Company

Engaged to help the founders grow the business towards an eventual exit. Identified that the business model was inefficient and that skillsets were missing.

£48,000 Changing the model and applying it to historic figures showed that profits would have increased by more than 500%.

The founders are now transitioning the business to this new model.

Learning Solutions Provider

Engaged to help the board grow the business. Identified skill gaps which were holding back the business. Also worked with the CEO to improve his performance.

£15,000 CEO commented that “the business grew by 7% in first year which surprised some of us, and we expect to grow by 10% this year and 25% to 30% next.”
Picture Frame Manufacturer

A business stagnating for over 5 years.

Engaged to coach the founder to create and execute a growth plan to eventually sell the company.

£24,000 Sales and profits have increased and a pilot scheme is being introduced with a major UK retailer. Another major retailer is actively considering a similar pilot.
Risk Management Software Publisher

A short, sharp intervention to focus the founders on sales and delivery.

£18,000 Sales are increasing and a new version of the software is soon to be published, previews of which have been critically acclaimed.

Update 1: 3 orders received for the update on the day of launch, worth in excess of £150,000

Update 2: Philip has been re-engaged to help the board create a strategic plan for the next 3-5 years and to mentor them through the delivery.

User Experience Design House

A short, sharp intervention to focus the founders on roles and responsibilities and growth.

£6,000+ Sales increased by 25% in 6 months. Profits up 50%. Sales pipeline is now healthy. The client is choosing what work they want to take on.

Philip has been re-engaged to help structure the company so that the founders are able to exit in 3 years time.

An International Trade Body

Engaged to mentor the European CEO who was facing a number of challenges from the US parent body and the cultural differences between the various country membership in EMEA. Also facilitated a number of international Board Meetings

£120,000 Helped the European Board to articulate its vision and create the strategy for the future of the organisation. On a personal level, coached the CEO through how to prepare their exit from the organisation and to embrace new challenges.

Slaying Dragons

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

About Philip

image of Philip de Lisle seated

“My name is Philip de Lisle and I’m a professional mentor and facilitator to and for company directors and senior management.”

No, I’m not in therapy, but I’ve deliberately chosen to make this page more “human” rather than adopt the corporate style that is used for the rest of this website. Hence the use of the first person everywhere on this page.

A former serial entrepreneur, I have founded, built and directed many companies over the last 25 years. Having founded over 11 companies worldwide, I’ve got a proven track record of identifying new markets, focusing on potential problems and then taking or initiating the appropriate action to create a suitable solution. I’ve also made plenty of mistakes! These companies have been as diverse as the motor trade, advertising and PR, software development/IT and telecoms. Through them I have gained a breadth of experience of business situations and solutions that has won many commissions of work for Blueprint for Exit (a division of my current company Enhancing Clarity Ltd) that helps and enables company owners to exit their business profitably.

It was this experience which drew me into the world of mentoring CEOs and board level directors professionally, as more and more people started to ask me to share my pretty extensive knowledge of company management (i.e. compliance, risk management etc.), strategy, planning, and my network to help them improve their performance and that of their companies. I didn’t seek this role – it sought me; but I found it increasingly attractive due to the number of people that asked for my help in creating strategies to enable their businesses to improve and grow. It’s fun work that I love – and I get paid for it which is a major plus! Recently a number of clients have used the same phrase to describe my impact on them and their businesses – I give them “head space” to think about what they want for themselves and their company, helping them to understand people (themselves, staff/colleagues and clients), their motivation and their fears.

As part of my one-on-one work, I help people to discover their unique gift – we all have one – using a “tool” called Core Process. The effect of this on people’s lives is dramatic and it is a real privilege to be part of that discovery. I urge you to think about your special gift and to understand it as it will make a huge difference to you. For what it’s worth, my Core Process is “Mapping Beauty” which means everything to me (see the bit below about thinking).

I’ve been non-executive Chair of several companies, and the former Chair of a small charity working with children, all of which has provided me with the experience and acumen to work with diverse opinions, cultures and focus that comes with a Board of Directors.

I’ve been published on a number of occasions in the IoD Herts magazine and contributed the chapter on Mentoring for Growth in the 9th edition (2007) of the Growing Business Handbook published by Kogan Page. I’ve also delivered leadership programmes and strategy planning workshop, and regularly speak and lecture on how to exit companies and how to implement change so that it succeeds.

Finally I’m an accredited legal expert in IT with Crown Court experience having worked for the defence against the likes of the DTI, SFO and FBI.

So What Drives Me?

I am passionate about building teams and helping people to succeed. I want to inspire people to perform. As a mentor, I believe that my role is to challenge and to help people discover solutions for themselves and not to tell them what to do. For me leadership is about ideas and strategy, and discovering and nurturing other leaders – it is not about command. I hate seeing talent wasted.

I am particularly interested making boards and teams work effectively. To do this I use mentoring and careful listening to understand the “fit” of the individuals in the team, often by way of their Core Process.

One of the things I’ve come to realise is that people are increasingly afraid to think. We glibly use phrases like “thinking outside the box” in planning and strategy meetings without actually trying to do just that. For me, thinking is a skill which has to be practiced. I want to help people rediscover that skill, and if they are receptive, to teach them to think differently so that problems actually become fun and easy to overcome.

In fact I believe that I have the ability and focus to help you and your company identify your path forward into an exciting future. Big words I know, but what a journey …