All posts by Administrator TLC

Rebuilding ‘The Big Society’

TLC was privileged to hear from Sir Stuart Etherington – Chief Executive NCVO on his ideas for reinvigorating ‘The Big Society’ at an event at Holborn Bars London on 7 September 2016.

Sir Stuart’s premiss was that ‘The more the State does the less Society will do’ with three main participants The State, The Market and Civil Institutions all vying for position.
Sir Stuart went on to postulate six areas of Concern:

1. Fortification of Democracy – Recent issues of public concern, fuelled by the media, continue to dominate politics and the public confidence in democracy. Democracy is poorer if the Civil Society is not engaged.
2. Advancement of Regulation – has resulted in an abdication of Individual responsibility leading to risk aversion at all levels of Society.
3. Behavioural Economics – Nudge theory and how does Society move individuals to act for the betterment of Society. How might this be measured? GDP is a crude index of improved performance, are there other indexes which might better measure well being? What is the measure of success?
4. Network Society – The growth of retail companies without any shops (Amazon) taxi firms without any cars (Uber) hotel chains without any rooms (Airbnb) have changed the market and Society. Legal and regulatory frameworks are not keeping up with the change in the market.
5. Importance of Place – Where an individual is from not only shapes them but is extremely important to them particularly in terms of volunteering their time for the benefit of Society.
6. People are not self interested – Individuals today are often motivated to improve their environment and that of others but need to be harnessed with the development of a common will.

Sir Stuart went on to describe Michael Oakshott’s Enterprise and Civil Societies. In an Enterprise Society the State imposes some universal purpose on its subjects and in a Civil Society is a relationship in which laws impose obligatory conditions of action but do not require choosing one action rather than another. So what might a Bigger Civil Society look like? Sir Stuart talked about more mutuals such as Credit Unions in the USA, new ways of delivering public services and a move from private benefit to public benefit. He questioned the impact of technology and the erosion of jobs, the changing relationship between service deliverers and receivers resulting in a citizen dividend in terms of volunteering. So how does Society get more people to volunteer particularly across the generations? He mentioned recognition, tax incentives and asset transfer as potential models. In addition, he mentioned financing voluntary organisations with match funding from public resources with a variable ratio, funding circles and co-financing between the citizen and the State. His final point was that the larger charities of today were becoming closer to the market in terms of their methods, performance indicators and governance which meant they were less able to push forward the Big Society agenda.

Sir Stuart delivered an interesting and informative talk which provoked much discussion and debate.

A Trip for the Brave

The Leader’s Club centenary tour of The Somme

May 2016

Recently returned from The Leaders Club’s fascinating tour of the Western Front, led by Admiral Sir Trevor Soar our four day odyssey was at the same time a stimulating break with friends, historically informative and, for many of us, a deeply personal tribute to The Fallen.

Gazing across the verdant rolling valleys and lush copses that typify North West France, it’s difficult to imagine that 100 years ago this small geographic area saw unprecedented carnage during the Somme Offensive that raged from 1 July to 18 November 1916… Until, that is, you find yourself among myriad rows of carved white headstones in any of the 211 cemeteries for Allied Dead – or in stark contrast, any of only five locations that contain line upon line of multi-occupied German graves. The starkness of this 40:1 ratio disguises that both sides suffered over half a million fatalities in a period of less than five months and, as our superbly prepared guides Malcolm Sperring-Toy and Graham Stow observed, is a sad but understandable dimension of the oft-spoken adage, “to the victor belong the spoils”.

From our comfortable base at the Hotel-Restaurant Saint Claude in Peronne, over three days we criss-crossed the battle lines, gaining insights to the why’s, how’s and wherefores while our expert commentators wove in heart-rending tales of valour, courage and sacrifice.

Their statistics were relentless, harsh and staggering. For instance, we are told that over the 141 days of battle, a 6.5 mile Allied Advance cost 117 casualties per yard: incredible except that on the first day alone, the British lost 19,240 dead and 38,230 injured.

It both helps and hurts to break down these numbers down by Country or Town of origin; to Armed Service, Regiment, Battalion or Ship; or to consider individually defined relationships – husband, father, sons, brothers and childhood friends. I still feel raw emotion to write about the countless graves we visited… of soldiers, sailors and airmen; from boys to grandads, ratings to generals, farmhands to stockbrokers, and a feted VC hero buried as I recall in the very same block as a disruptive Aussie who was shot at dawn for desertion…

Somme 6Individual gravestones sometimes carry a cherished epitaph from bewildered loved ones left behind. In many places these are outnumbered by anonymous graves to “Unknown” Allies and French “Inconnu”, or those poor souls buried where they fell beside their foes, both now lying unmarked together among the preserved trenches and craters of Newfoundland Park, around the tranquil South African Memorial at Delville Wood, at the Lochnagar mine crater or with the Canadian contingent in the coniferous woods on the hill up to Vimy Ridge.

Tributes to sacrifice and heroism abound when, just as you think you’ve seen it all, the vast and majestic Thiepval Memorial reveals – in reassuringly alphabetical order by regiment – a further 72,194 names of Allied dead whose remains could not be identified and so are left here, commemorated only as one of many lettered details on immense edifice walls…

Somme 2If it seems trite to call this “a lost generation” it is also impossible to capture destruction on this grand scale. Hard too, to comprehend the unquestioning beliefs and reliance in loyalty, service, honour and obedience from a bygone age that, in a way, enabled and allowed such unprecedented losses to occur. Leadership blunders or blind heroics, one wonders if such devastation would be accepted let alone facilitated by today’s generation and social media?

I went to The Somme for its centenary year as a tourist; I return humbled, moved and very grateful for its incredible sacrifices, and that in my lifetime I have only ever known Peace. It is rare for me to find a trip both fulfilling and educational but this one truly was and I would heartily recommend it. Thanks to John Henry Travel of Stafford, for bringing it all together.

 

Julian Childs BA, MA, MCIM, RCDP
Senior Business Developer
Regent’s University London,

For more photo’s of the trip please visit the Gallery

 

Intrepreneurialism event: April 2016

Ever wondered what the word intrepreneurialism actually means? Or the impact if an organisation is full of intrepreneurialisms or indeed has none at all?

Yes, so had I until I attended a first class event hosted by Kerry Holt and Peter Haydock on Wednesday the 13th April at Holburn Bar.  Kerry and Peter took us into a world of what an organisation filled with intrapreneurs would look like having identified such people on a project they embarked on a few years ago.

To give you a brief definition:-

An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

An intrepreneur is a person who while remaining within an organization uses entrepreneurial skills to develop a new product or line of business as a subsidiary of the organization

 

Kerry and Peter talked us through real life experiences and a very interesting presentation, complete with a practical exercise which helped us identify the pros and cons of working with intrepreneurs, and identifying what makes them tick.

Whether we are aware of it or not, intrepreneurs are needed to take organisations forward and help them grow. They are forward thinking people with a constant need to achieve and perform well, they always want more. They are always thinking about the next big project. The down side to this is that they may not necessarily be completer finishers, often leaving the operational side of things to someone else, or indeed leaving the organisation for the next big challenge. They do not cope well with processes or structure, these are people that like to fly freely.  Now contrary to what I thought, education is not really a factor in these people’s lives. What I mean by that is intrepreneurs do not necessarily have degrees or qualifications as long as your arm. On the project that Kerry and Peter worked on, they found the people they interviewed had a big work ethic, they had come from  backgrounds in which they had worked from a very early age e.g. shops, markets, factories anything to earn money. Many had had varied careers working in large and small organisations in a variety of roles and they were happy to fail, because to them, failing is learning. These people thrive on stress, not bad stress but good stress. A stress that is ideal to their performance state. A too relaxed state (low stress) or too high stress (anxious) is not productive to them.  Look around you at work, do you know such a person? Does your organisation need some or indeed more intrepreneurs? You can’t go to a recruitment agency and ask for intrepreneurs as they don’t come with badges. The best way to find them is to ask around, ask your executives to look through their black books, look on LinkedIn and look for the traits I have described above e.g. lots of jobs with different size organisations.

The evening gave us food for thought and we all left wondering if we had or currently do work with intrepreneurs and did we know of any in our social life.  A very fascinating talk indeed.

 

Summary by Jane Stokes, TLC Board Member

 

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About Kerry and Peter

Kerry Holt

Kerry is an HR Director and Organisation Development specialist. She has 27 years’ experience in a variety of industries including building supplies, media and advertising and, more recently, retail.

Kerry is an HR generalist with specific interest and experience in Organisation Development.  Her most recent role was as HR Director for Carphone Warehouse (now Dixons Carphone), where she worked for ten years.  Kerry’s passion is around building the right capabilities to enable the organisation to fulfil its aspirations. She has a BA (Hons) in Business Studies and is a Master member of the CIPD.  She has recently decided to focus her career in the North West and take a short career break before pursuing new opportunities as a freelance consultant.

Peter Haydock

Peter is a Leadership and Organisation Development consultant, having spent 20 years in industry in a variety of roles, many of them as a senior business leader.  He has worked in many functions from commercial, procurement and logistics to strategy and HR.  Peter’s experience as a consultant spans large and small organisations across different sectors, with widely varying governance models. Peter has a Masters Degree in Management Learning & Leadership from Lancaster University, has trained with the Tavistock Institute in the field of the psychodynamics of groups (exploring the relationship between leadership, power and authority) and is a certified practitioner in a number of psychometric and behavioural profiling tools.

 

House of Lords event – Wednesday 18th November 2015

house of Lords

The Leaders Club was privileged to hold its final event of 2015 at the House of Lords, hosted by Baron Alton of Liverpool. Before receiving his peerage at John Major’s request, David Alton was the Liberal MP for Liverpool Mosshill (and previously Liverpool Edge Hill).

42 members and guests actually turned up on time although the threat of exclusion for late arrivals probably had something to do with it.

Before dinner we had the opportunity to buy gifts from the House of Lords Gift Shop. Everything from Malt Whisky to golf socks was available for purchase, all with the House of Lords portcullis on them. If you’re related to a TLC Member, I can predict what you’re getting for Christmas – but you’ll love it. I have to say that I was unable to establish if they actually charged 5p for the carrier bags though.

Before dinner, Lord Alton invited us, rather than saying grace, to have a minute’s private contemplation, given the tragic events in Paris and the fact that November is Remembrance month.

(c) Palace of Westminster; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Palace of Westminster; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Dinner was held in the Attlee Room, a beautifully appointed room with wonderful paintings. The artist was Michael Heseltine – who knew that he was that talented?  Clement Attlee was the founder of the Welfare State, referred to in Lord Alton’s after dinner speech. I couldn’t help reflecting on how sad he would be to see what we’ve done with his legacy

The Loyal Toast was proposed by Jake Moores, Lord Alton was introduced by Stephen Fletcher and the Vote of thanks given by Sir Trevor Soar.

During his speech Lord Alton was able to give us some of the history of the House of Lords, detail about Clement Attlee and some of the paintings on the walls. All in all, it was a fascinating insight into the second Chamber of our democracy.

After dinner, as part of a brief tour of the House, we were lucky enough to sit in the gallery for a debate in the chamber. Only around 19 Peers were in attendance, the debate was about the EU Referendum and was rather dry fare but it was a privilege to be there and contemplate how beautiful and historic the chamber is in the flesh.

The throne from which Her Majesty the Queen delivers the Queen’s Speech is impressive when viewed on TV – the only option for most of us – but in real life it is truly magnificent. Small wonder that Churchill, during WW2, told firefighters that, if the Houses of Parliament were bombed, they should allow the Commons, as a ‘modern’ addition, to burn but at all costs to save the Lords.

As we left the Houses of Parliament via St Stephens Hall, where many former Monarchs have lain in State prior to their funerals, it was difficult not to be totally overwhelmed by the history of this place and, frankly, proud to be British.

As Kay Fletcher said later ‘History envelops you when you walk into Westminster ‘.

Martin Goodwill

Lord Digby Jones – Holborn Bar Wednesday 3 June

Both as the Director General of the CBI, then as the Minister of State for UK Trade & Investment and more recently as a business and political analyst and TV personality in the new “Trouble Shooter”, Lord Digby Jones has become well known in the public arena especially for his candid, forthright attitude in his many media appearances.

Last night Lord Jones lived up to this description and more. Under our Chatham House Rule, a large turn out of members of the Leaders Club were very privileged to hear from Digby an entertaining but incisive and honest analysis of British and European politics in a talk entitled “What happens Now”.

He gave a personal account of his encounters and discussions with current and previous Prime Ministers and key Ministers of State with an in-depth evaluation of the recent election. Digby often referred to “leadership in politics” and was very clear that our political system lacked many fundamentals of leadership and welcomed organisations like The Leaders Club that had a deliberate focus on improving leadership across all sectors. In addition he gave some very supportive views on Europe that were well articulated and explored by members in an extended question time. He so enjoyed the interaction that he stayed for some time at the excellent venue at Holborn Bars continuing the lively discussions with members over a convivial glass of wine.

This was an event greatly enjoyed by the Club and Digby’s passion and consistent message was all about putting the “Great” back into Britain.

Thinking clearly under pressure – Deloitte Academy

Thinking clearly under pressure – 4th March, 2015 – Deloitte Academy

26 fortunate attendees heard Mike Carson and Chris Recchia discuss different perspectives on “Thinking Clearly Under Pressure” and leadership across the Premier League, the Armed Forces and Industry.

Mike Carson – author of ‘The Manager – Inside the Minds of Football’s Leaders’ and Partner at Aberkyn

Imagine that every time your team fails to meet its objective, it’s headline news with odds on how long before you lose your job. Imagine that every tactical decision is subjected to the scrutiny of 40, 50, 60 or even 70 thousand people and those same people come into your place of work and make strong protests for you to be removed from your job. And imagine having to deal with a prima donna workforce with eye watering remuneration packages that dwarf your own. That’s the life of a successful football manager and, while it’s often very well rewarded, the pressure is almost impossible to imagine. And yet, in the middle of all of this, it produces managers who may well be among the best leaders in the world.

Mike Carson interviewed more than 30 top football managers (including Alex Ferguson, Walter Smith, Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho) about how they deal with the pressure and still come out as winners.

Through his interviews, Mike identified 3 key characteristics that were common themes across these managers (all equally applicable in most leadership situations). They are:

  1. It’s all about people
  2. Showing humility appropriately is crucial
  3. Many successful managers are ‘unconsciously skilled’ (they do what they do instinctively, not through training).

In addition, there were 3 leadership skills that he identified that made them successful in their leadership roles:

  • The art of one on one. There are 2 elements to this – empathy and steel. Empathy in dealing appropriately with individual players and steel in the ability to take unpopular decisions and stick with them until it’s categorically proven that a different approach is needed. Mike found that successful managers were world class at one of these but also good at the other.
  • Use of three leadership styles (Command/Leadership/Management). Command is used in a crisis but is short term only. Leadership is used for a step into the unknown but it’s important to be inclusive if there’s a strong and influential sub-group to consult. Management applies where there is no crisis due to the application of process. The key is to strike the balance between them.
  • Sustained Leadership. This is about building for the long term through succession planning. Liverpool Football Club enjoyed sustained, planned success over a long period during the Shankly/Paisley/Dalglish era. Manchester United had sustained success for a long time under Alex Ferguson but it only lasted until he retired. The key for sustained leadership is to build something greater than you.

Chris Recchia – Partner, Deloitte and lead for the Deloitte Military Transition and Talent Programme
Deloitte launched the Deloitte Military Transition and Talent Programme (DMTTP) in 2012. The programme aims to support members of the Armed Forces to transition into a commercial career. Since 2012, over 700 people have attended ‘Insight into Professional Services’ events.
Servicemen and women are trained to deal with the pressures that their jobs entail. But what happens when their military career comes to an end? If one of your key skills is to handle high pressure, sometimes life or death, situations, how do you transition back into the ‘real’ world?. And how do you merge people coming from a highly disciplined environment with those where the mindset and discipline are somewhat different?

Chris identified three key elements important for former military personnel who have successfully made the transition. Ex-servicemen and women need to show humility when entering a new work environment, learn to adapt to a new environment (rather than necessarily look to change it) and learn to articulate the value they can bring to organisations outside the military (the issue of identifying transferable skills is a key one for anyone changing careers) . This is what Deloitte’s programme is designed to teach and promote and Chris showed an excellent video of former military personnel who have been helped by the Deloitte approach.

Simon Boyle – Chef, owner of The Brigade Restaurant and Founder of The Beyond Food Foundation

Some members of The Leaders Club together with the Board arrived at the The Brigade, Tooley Street, London on the 11th of Dec, to celebrate Christmas over a delicious meal and also meet and get to know a little bit more about Chef Simon Boyle. Simon is the owner of The Brigade and founder of the Beyond Food Foundation. Simon gave us a heartfelt, compassionate account of the idea and birth for the foundation.
Having started as an apprentice chef aged 16 at The Savoy, Simon has lead a highly respectable career since, working for Saudi Princes, taking Head Chef roles on 5* Cruise Ships, becoming the first ever Culinary Ambassador for the global giant Unilever and running his own Private Catering and Events business.
Simon told us that The Brigade not only serves up outstanding food (which we experienced later in the evening and it is true!) in a unique setting, the old Fire Brigade in Tooley Street, it also creates new skills, new experiences and offers life changing opportunities for people less fortunate than ourselves by providing the venue for the training school for his apprenticeship programme – Beyond Food Foundation. He went on to explain that the Beyond Food Foundation was an idea he had when he returned from Sri Lanka in 2004, where he had been working to support a relief camp after the Tsunami. He wanted to share his passion for food with people who he thought would benefit from his energy and enthusiasm for cooking, thus the birth of the Foundation. Since 2004, Simon has worked tirelessly to help homeless people across London to rebuild their lives, using food as a catalyst, imparting his passion, skills and knowledge of cooking and food on to them and encouraging them to move their lives forward.

Simon explained that Beyond Food works with people who have been at risk of or experienced homelessness to motivate and inspire them to gain meaningful employment via his apprenticeship programme. This life changing opportunity provides qualifications and personal mentoring helping apprentices find sustained employment.

The setting up of the foundation was not easy, and along the way had many knock backs, including the DWP not wanting to get involved in the venture initially and the entrepreneurs on Dragons Den who all declined to invest any money into his idea. Having said that, Simon goes to great pains to explain that whilst the dragons all declined to invest, they were all very generous off camera with their business advice, a lot of which Simon took on board. It took Simon another 6 years of relentless hard work before he managed to make head way with the foundation forging partnerships with companies like PWC, and the Homes and Committees Agency along the way. Simon worked hard and still does to ensure that the Beyond Food Foundation is one part of a three-way partnership between the private, public and third sector to help employability, and social and community inclusion in London.
To date the foundation has helped many homeless and under privileged people find employment and also housing through the foundation.
To say that Simon is a little shy when talking about himself and his achievements is an understatement. Simon himself is a total inspiration. His passion for the Foundation is palpable and despite having endured his own personal adversity (read his book) in the recent past he is still working tirelessly to help and encourage people to join the scheme and make a success of their lives. One cannot fail to be impressed with Simon and what he has achieved. He is giving people a priceless asset, a unique sense of worth in their lives, how many of us can say that?

To find out more about Simon and his work with the Foundation click the below link.
http://www.thebrigade.co.uk/about-us/beyond-food-foundation

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Jayne Stokes, Director, The Leaders Club

Kevin Vaughan-Smith, EY Leadership Development Director, presentation to TLC

Catching the Growth Wave
By Kevin Vaughan-Smith
Leadership Development Director
EY

Introduction
Steve Fletcher welcomed members to EY’s inspirational building right next to HMS Belfast, which will be the centre of a lot of attention on Friday, the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Kevin treated TLC members to a fascinating insight into the way in which large, complex organisations can come out of a deep recession and chart a path to future growth.

It was interesting that it appears that ‘Recession’ is a disease. Although EY performed better than would be expected, with consistent growth through the longest and deepest recession arguably of all time, the business acted as if there was a crisis, introducing travel bans, cutting down on Leadership and ‘soft-skills’ development and freezing recruitment.

It is also notable that people are still talking in terms of the ‘current economic climate’, despite the fact that the UK is currently in a period of 3% plus growth, although it is yet to achieve the 2008 activity level in total.

Mark Weinberger arrived at EY with a different, progressive and ambitious vision. The so-called ‘moonshot-thinking’ of JFK – NASA in 1963 had 104 goals. In one speech, these became focused on just ONE – to get a man to the moon and back safely. This way of thinking has now overtaken the cautious, timid and risk-averse recent history in EY. The result is a vision encapsulating the EY Brand, business performance, leading to a historically record recruitment of partners as well as other ‘staff’.

The nature of EY business is that of the 4 key pillars – Assurance, Advisory, Tax and TAS, when one or other reduces in business, others will be increasing, so on average there is a platform for growth.

However, there are other metrics that will cause the achievement of this bold vision. Those are the dynamics of people engagement. By lifting the blinkers off people’s working expectations, enabling, rather than being suspicious of flexible working, by putting engagement back with the staff (Kevin also pointed out that the name ‘staff’ may not be the best to describe the EY people of the future), there is a huge upside opportunity.

As Kevin outlined, highly engaged organisations outperform others significantly. In fact in 2009 a study of 50 organisations and 664,000 people, the highly engaged employees achieved a +19% growth, the low engagement -32% shrinkage.

As a former Franklin Covey Director, Kevin uses simple, short organisational and behavioural models to deliver change. The SEE-DO-GET, a virtuous circle of change created by Thomas Kuhn. By focusing on the EY values, the opportunity is for a true win-win (possibly with more wins added too).

Another plank of the change process is to identify people on the basis of their ability to achieve the numbers and their adherence to the values. Those who achieve both are rewarded, who achieve neither are removed (after a year of opportunity to change), those who have values but do not achieve the results are developed and those who achieve the results without the values are warned and given the opportunity to change or they, too would be removed. This sounds dramatic, however it is in fact a very reasonable way of increasing the bar on both performance and ‘doing it the right way’.

The vision of ‘Building a Better Working World’, employee engagement events and the continuous reinforcement of the message is helping people to accept, welcome and embrace change. In conjunction with the message of values WITH performance, this will achieve the overarching goal.

One cohort who will provide challenges are Partners. Where organisations have an aspirational level of role which has ‘ownership’ as well as status, there is a danger that these people can become intransigent. This is experienced within the NHS – Consultants, in Supermarkets – General Managers- and is only less visible in the military because the tenure of positions is restricted to approximately 2 years. Clearly the breakthrough in EY will be as much a result of these people embracing the future – if not more so, thus Kevin’s challenge is complex and yet potentially rewarding.

He summarised by saying:

• Simple things work best
• Change the mindset and behaviour follows
• Engaged people find ways out of problems, disengaged people find roadblocks
• If we can unlock the potential for engagement, the 2020 vision is ‘in the bag’

Nigel Allfrey thanked Kevin on behalf of The Leaders Club and Steve looked forward to the exciting calendar of events ahead, with Google the next London attraction on the 16th July.

Counselling for Toads – A Psychological adventure – Robert de Board

Ok, I’m going a little off Piste with this one as it’s not a leadership book per se but bear with me. It is my belief that if you understand yourself better, you will have a better understanding of your impact on others, why you react the way you do with others and how you can change it for the better to benefit you and the people you live with or work with on a daily basis. Therefore, becoming a better leader.

I was recommended this book many years ago by a friend of mine, an expert in learning and leadership. She explained how it had opened her mind to analysing her own feelings so I just had to give it a go. Whilst the book suggests it is appropriate for anyone approaching counselling, whether as a student, client or counsellor this book will appeal to adults of all ages whatever walk of life or sector of business you are from. In my experience as a leader, a manager, a friend and a mother, I have had to do a lot of involuntary counselling in my time. This book makes you look inwards as well as outwards. It is my opinion that the book would also benefit anyone willing to learn more about emotional intelligence, as again in my opinion, being a good Leader is about knowing when to use your IQ or your EQ or both!

I detest long laborious books that waffle on, but this book is short, only 153 pages long, easy to read and compelling enough that most people – even those who are easily bored by books, like me – would finish it! I found the book humorous in parts, captivating and very thought provoking.

The story’s characters are taken from the Wind and the Willows. Each chapter is devoted to one of Toad’s counselling sessions with Heron. The method used by Heron is ‘transactional analysis’. Toad learns that he has suppressed the anger he felt as a child and therefore Heron helps him through a process of reflection and change to recognise and discard the Child Ego State that Toad is constantly in and make positive progress in his life.

In a simple and easy to understand way, the book introduces some basic concepts about the different psychological states that exist within our heads and how they can affect our day to day lives, beliefs and our interactions with others. It starts to show you that by recognising why you react the way you do, you can change the way you behave for the better.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. As I said, not your straight forward badged ‘leadership’ book, but one that will make you stop and think as an individual, a parent, a manager or a leader!

Jayne Stokes
Company Secretary
The Leaders Club

Leadership in the new working environment

In the summer members of the Leaders Club were fortunate to spend an evening with Raja Saggi at the unique and impressive Google Headquarters in London.

We asked Raja, a Founding Member of the Leaders Club to get out his crystal ball to predict how he saw the next 5 years from his own personal observations, and what trends and changes he foresaw to help us ordinary mortals to plan for the future.  Raja has been Head of SMB Marketing position at Google for over 3 years working on AdWords and other Google products with UK & Irish SMEs through partnerships and online/offline channels. His team also manages flagship programs such as Getting British Business Online (GBBO), Think and Google Engage.

After a fascinating lecture and discussion during the question session the leadership impact of both outsourcing and teams working away from the office was raised.  The fundamental question of “how do you lead diverse teams or individuals who will quite often be working virtually, away from the office and potentially in another country?”

We all know how important “human contact” can be but if you are leading a group of people working remotely how do you communicate and connect? How do you inspire them or motivate them for the Unity of purpose required to deliver overall?
How do you ensure you are seen to be strategic and making the right timely decisions?

How do you give recognition to their contribution and how do you develop and empower them appropriately?

How do you set an example and act as a role model?
The Leaders Club will develop this debate and I look forward to your contributions and thoughts on an issue which is already here and if Raja is right with his crystal ball gazing, is something we need to actively think through and develop.

Sir Trevor Soar is Chairman of The Leaders Club  And is also a Director of TRUE Leader