Vistage UK Blog

Why is Truth Always the First Casualty of Business?

Posted by Robert Craven

20-Nov-2014 11:02:00

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The truth is that truth is a very rare commodity in business. Would you agree that nobody tells the absolute truth in business? Would you agree that there is usually a web of half-truths, deceits, conflations, exaggerations and misdirections? Have you become – had to become – adept at convincingly telling at least half-truths as if they were the utter, honest-to-god truth?

But, hey, what’s a few porky pies if that’s what it takes to win the business?

Everybody does it. You have to do it if you want to get on. We all do it – so don’t point your moral finger at me!

But the question is whether it matters?

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Topics: Business, Sales

Advanced Negotiation Skills (3): Reading Between the Lines

Posted by Jeremy Thorn

18-Nov-2014 15:26:00

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Experienced negotiators know that there is a special ‘language’ for negotiating. It could be very abrasive, perhaps designed to destabilise the other side; or it could be quite emollient, to show how reasonable we can be, and both have their place.

We also know that often, what people say (and how they say it) isn’t always quite what they really mean. So a supplier might say: “We’ve got to have a price-rise”. But does that mean: “otherwise we will stop supplying you”, or “that is our fond hope”? It’s important to know which! Naturally, all good negotiators will make their best hopes sound as if they are the least they can accept. But where does the truth lie?
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Topics: Business, Sales, Negotiation

How to Be a Great Leader with Lessons from David Marquet

Posted by Fia Gosling

14-Nov-2014 15:48:00

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Being a smart leader is good, but the key to great leadership is empowering your people. Simon Sinek shares the powerful story of naval submarine Captain David Marquet and how he came to realise that even though the people at the top of an organisation have all of the authority, the people at the bottom have all the information. 

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Topics: Business, Being a new CEO

Vistage: The Elixir of Executive Youth

Posted by Steve McNulty

12-Nov-2014 17:17:00

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It was obvious to my wife that something wasn’t right and I couldn't see what it was. As usual I hadn’t been able to hide it. I also hadn’t been able to put my finger on it. Something about the future, my future and our future, was missing. I literally couldn’t see what it was – what the future looked like. I had no vision, no direction to travel and no achievement to look forward to savouring at the end.

It was January 2003 and, like most families in the UK, we were recovering from Christmas celebrations. This time our holiday had been extended to include a nice break as a reward for having recently sold the business I had been running.

Elaine and I were chatting over dinner about a number of family things and particularly what the next few years would hold. We were OK financially but I still wanted to have my mind gainfully employed. Elaine loved teaching and she would continue to teach but probably on a part-time basis and at 52, still reasonably fit, I’d lined up some non-executive directorship work.

It was supposed to be looking good for us. My work would use my strengths and I would be able to offer a lot of experience without being in at the deep end all the time. So…what was wrong? Why couldn’t I see my way forward? What was the future not holding for me? We agreed to sleep on it which, of course, meant it going on some distant “to do” list while we got on with life.

Then it came to me, and I’m really ashamed to say this, in a flash one morning eight years later when I decided to become a Vistage Chair.

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Topics: Business, vistage chair

How to Unleash the Hidden Assets Within Your Business

Posted by Alex Kent

07-Nov-2014 14:50:00

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Most if not all businesses will have hidden assets; these are the processes and procedures which people in the business have developed over time to make things easier. However many business leaders will often not be aware of these ‘tricks of the trade’, even though they are very valuable.  These assets need to be recognised, recorded and passed on to other team members as well as any new people who join the business.

I have just spent one and a half days with nearly all the other Vistage Chairs in UK and Ireland, and at these quarterly meetings we spend a lot of time sharing experiences.  This helps uncover the hidden assets or ‘tricks of the trade’ which are really valuable to us and to our group members. Coming away with just one new idea can justify the whole trip.

If, as a business leader you don’t know whether your business has hidden assets and what they are - here are four simple suggestions to consider:

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Topics: Business, Strategy

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