5 Ways You Can Make The Change To A High Performance Culture

7/10/2015 posted in Business, Leading, Not Managing, Recruitment, Employee Motivation

Studies show that the corporate culture of your business has a direct, measurable impact on performance. A survey of 90,000 people showed that while 20% absolutely loved where they worked, 40% of those questioned said they were completely disengaged with the organisation they were working for. That’s almost half, working for organisations they don’t like, holding back their business from achieving its true potential.

What if you then discovered that the 20% who were really enthusiastic about their job were 86% better at serving the customer and 95% better at coming up with ideas and innovations to improve the business? Wouldn’t you want more of your people to feel the same way?

This is why a high performance culture is so important to your business.

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Why Leaders Need to Learn to Speak in Outcomes, Not Activities

6/19/2015 posted in Business, Leading, Not Managing, Employee Motivation

Today's most successful business leaders and managers exercise their leadership in such a way that their people are held accountable whilst being empowered to make decisions, share information and try new things.

The mindset that each person brings to your organisation has an impact on its success. But, the mindset that you bring yourself in your leadership role will have the greatest impact of all - positively or negatively!

Unsuccessful leaders have mindsets that are fixed on the specific activities of the organisation. In comparison, great leaders focus on the outcomes.

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How Your Body Language Can Affect Your Business Success

6/12/2015 posted in Business, Leading, Not Managing, HR, Employee Motivation


Non-verbal communication really is a key contributor to a successful career in business. Have you ever considered how the way that you use your hands, or the openness of your body and the subtleties in your facial expressions could be the difference between winning that deal, or damaging your well-earned reputation?

Depending on the study, non-verbal communication counts for somewhere between 75% and 90% of our all communication. So, even if you know the basics, there may be many non-verbal elements that could be hurting your success.

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The Greatest Threat Is Digital?

6/5/2015 posted in Business, Leading, Not Managing, Employee Motivation

If we were to believe the hype, online and offline, then it would be natural to conclude that the greatest threat to running a successful and sustainable business is the failure to remain in touch with the leading edge of digital developments.

An entire digital industry has grown up over the last twenty years. An industry preoccupied with all things digital: new business models, social media, search engine optimisation, search engine management, video, platforms, mooches and so forth. These are all fantastic tools that can give our business and our marketing a serious competitive advantage. However, that is not the whole picture. In fact, it is a distortion.

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66% of Directors Don’t Fully Understand Their Company’s Strategy

3/9/2015 posted in Business, Leading, Not Managing

A survey undertaken by McKinsey consultants, published in January 2015, has highlighted some daunting findings for business leaders. With 34% of directors admitting that they fully understand the company’s strategy and only 22% claiming that they are aware as to how their firms created value. Whilst these figures are shocking to most, these findings are not out of line with my experience when working with executive boards.

So, as a business leader how can you make sure your board is more effective?

Here are a few observations of my own that I hope will help you to challenge the effectiveness of your board:

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How to Create Your Family Business Dream Team

1/23/2015 posted in Business, Leading, Not Managing, Family Business

In the last article we highlighted The Dream Team Model and why you need different blended profiles to grow a business, and how strong business genes can be passed on from generation to generation. In this article we will be going through all of the 9 Dream Team DNA Profile Descriptions in detail.

One of the keys to ensuring you have a balance of all profiles is to be able to easily recognize the traits, qualities, and skills that comprise a profile. In order to choose the right people to fill these roles, you must be familiar with and have a good understanding of each profile.

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Nothing is as Enjoyable as Telling Someone Else How to Run Their Business!

10/15/2014 posted in Leading, Not Managing, Being a new CEO, Vistage

Some 23 years ago a simple request from my wife literally changed my life.

She telephoned me at my office, where I ran my business consultancy and asked me to pick up the Manchester Evening News on the way home, which I duly did.

At that time we read the MEN on a regular basis, approximately once every six months, so Hilary looked through the paper to catch up on some local news.

She said "This looks interesting" and showed me a classified advertisement for ‘Chair for Groups of Chief Executives, part time’.

It did interest me so I applied and after two or three interviews a telephone call from the then CEO Ken Satrese told me that I had been successful. Of course, I was excited in my new role, but at the time, I did not know that answering that ad would genuinely change my life and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to become a Vistage (then called TEC) Chair.

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Why Business Leaders Need to Put on Their Oxygen Mask First!

10/3/2014 posted in Business, Leading, Not Managing, Being a new CEO

How many of you have flown in the last couple of years on a plane? No doubt you’re familiar with the safety announcement. It always says, "If there's a drop in cabin pressure, the oxygen masks are going to come down.” But then it says something really interesting, which is this: “put your own on first before you help others." Or, in other words, help yourself before you help others.

Now actually, as a business leader, this mindset of helping yourself before you help others can seem counterintuitive. Often, in our daily life, we're so busy trying to make customer service right, work on employee engagement, and be a great parent, or a spouse, we're so busy putting on oxygen masks for other people, that we don't always take time out to put our own on.

But when you think about it more, not putting your own oxygen mask on can be critical to the strength of the business. How can it flourish, if its leader is struggling to breath?

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The Family Business, Defined

9/17/2014 posted in Business, Leading, Not Managing, Family Business

When you think of the term "family business," you may initially think of the mom and pop store in your neighborhood—you know, the kind of small business that supports and is run by a single family. You rarely think of large, successful, global organisations.

The fact of the matter is that "family businesses" come in all shapes and sizes, from the small convenience store where father orders the merchandise, mother does the books, and the kids run the cash register, to the large corporation that provides income not only to the family members who own or control it, but to thousands of other families as well. Some of these businesses are governed by family members only, while others rely heavily on outside influences. Some family businesses employ a "hands­-on" philosophy, while in others family members merely play an advisory role.

My point here is that there is no one "blueprint" that these businesses must follow. That being said, when I refer to "family businesses" in my book, you can assume four things to be true:

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Where Should SMEs Go for Great HR Advice?

9/12/2014 posted in Business, Leading, Not Managing, HR


As I speak on employment law related people issues to CEO groups around the country, I get asked about the various ways that SME organisations can ensure that they get good HR or employment law advice.

Of course, the obvious answer is ‘phone me on 0161 9283213 or go to our website, but usually the questioner is looking for something a little less biased!

So, what are your options? Here, I’m going to explore the strengths and weaknesses of six options including ‘insurance based’, HR consultancies, law firms, employer’s organisations, ‘no cost’ resources and ‘in house’ provision. 

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