All posts by Shona Fletcher

A life long learning enthusiast, Shona is Managing Director of Enterprise Study, Business Transformation Software designers specialising in the Learning and Training industries. Shona has a track record of excellence over fifteen years delivering people focused operational improvements within the broad IT and management training sector.

Liverpool Hope and the Leaders Club Awards Winners Announced


On the 15th March 2018 The Leaders Club and Liverpool Hope University held their inaugural Leadership Awards for the Liverpool and Merseyside region.

Six awards were presented to individuals who have either demonstrated excellent leadership skills or promoted it in others, across the Arts, Common Good, Enterprise, Health and Social Care, Education, and the Uniformed Services.

Leaders Awards 16.3.18

The winners:


Alongside Executive Director Deborah Aydon, Gemma has helped to resurrect the vitality of artistic life in Liverpool since joining the theatres in 2003. The success of the newly revived theatres contributed significantly to the city securing the Capital of Culture title in 2008.

More than 14 years on, and Gemma’s successes can be seen in the reopening of the Playhouse studio, the launch of a reinvigorated and award-winning youth programme across both theatres, and the redesign of the Everyman, which saw the theatre win the Stirling Prize for architecture. The Everyman’s work has also been performed in local communities, has transferred to the West End and New York, and Everyman Company has been launched – an ensemble of 14 actors who will perform shows in repertory over six months.


Steve Faragher has founded and managed several projects in the Kensington community, including Liverpool Community Radio, ONYA Recycled Cycles and The Kensington Bread Company CIC. These projects display his vision for social enterprise within the local community, drive to challenge the status quo, and aim to be a champion for the vulnerable in times of austerity and ‘abdication of social responsibility by business and the Government’.


Tony is the Executive Director of the ADHD Foundation in Liverpool. His proactive, innovative approach has led to the provision becoming the only Third Sector agency to provide the NHS NICE guidelines’ multi-modal service of therapies/evidence-based interventions in the UK.

He has expanded local, regional, national and international awareness of ADHD, and allied neurodisabilities through his ‘bespoke’ response to individual stakeholders, including schools, universities, parents and Clinical Commissioning Groups. The Foundation is now the largest patient-led ADHD service and largest provider of training on ADHD to schools/universities in the UK – training over 4,000 teachers and student teachers annually.


Tony is a well-respected, knowledgeable, established business leader within Merseyside. As an Executive Director of First Ark, he has a wealth of diverse industry experience that is paramount to the success of the organisation.

First Ark holds a front and central vision of ‘Changing Peoples Lives’ through a sustainable business model, which operates to create social impact through the way it works, invests and influences. Tony’s leadership vision means First Ark’s activities directly reflect its social purpose.


Kathy has been involved in the field for the past 10 years, having founded Paul’s Place, offers a unique free one-to-one postvention counselling service for those bereaved by suicide. This much-needed service receives neither Government nor NHS funding; and relies solely on fundraising events and personal donations.

Kathy is a natural leader, willing to offer help and support as well as solve problems. Due to her sheer determination and tenacity, Paul’s Place became not just an idea, but a live project launched in October 2017 and already supporting 30 service users. Kathy was nominated by a service user at Beacon Counselling Trust, who said: “We know that we would not be where we are at now, if it weren’t for the invaluable counselling we have received at Beacon Counselling Trust.”


Within the extremely demanding and complex environment of a prison, Donna has shown great leadership in making HMP Altcourse a safer place for staff to work and prisoners to live in. Donna has worked tirelessly with perpetrators and victims of violence to understand why violence happens.

At a recent inspection of Altcourse by HM Inspectorate of Prisons, the Chief Inspector stated that Safer Custody at Altcourse is bucking the national trend and has made real strides in solving the issues facing the prison.

10 best Leadership books of 2017

Ryan Thames of Pinnacle Publishing has reviewed the top 10 Leadership books of 2017.

Today, I present to you the 10 best leadership books of 2017. Leaders should be readers. Reading has a host of benefits for those who wish to occupy positions of leadership and develop into more relaxed, empathetic, and well-rounded people. Being a leader requires a large drive to learn, which is why I’ve compiled a list of some of the best books on leadership.
See there all here

16 Inspiring Books Women Leaders Need to be Reading

Currently, executive women hold about 4.6% of CEO positions in S&P 500 Companies. The list includes famous names such as General Motors’ Mary Barra, Pepsico’s Indra Nooyi and Oracle’s co-CEO, Safra Catz.

I struggle to find good leadership books, but luckily Jonha Revesencio at Huffington Post has done the hard work and reviewed the top 16 books to inspire women leaders, starting with my favourite, Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg

Read the full list here


Windsor Leadership

The Leaders Club is delighted to offer a selection of events in partnership with Windsor Leadership. It is a unique charity which specialises in experience-led residential leadership development programmes at Windsor Castle for senior leaders from all sectors of society including business, government, military, faith and not-for-profit. This cross-sector exposure to different styles of leadership, combined with the quality and level of leaders attending programmes, is what makes Windsor Leadership unique. We are delighted that many Leaders Club speakers are Windsor Leadership Alumni.

Windsor Leadership says, “We don’t teach leadership – we create opportunities and the right peer to peer environment to explore and discover personal leadership styles. We focus on facilitated learning and challenging leaders to think about key elements of leadership at the heart of their organisations and society today.”

Windsor Leadership inspires the leaders of today and tomorrow to transform themselves, their organisation and society for the better. To read first-hand accounts of how the programmes are making a difference in the lives of leaders please click to view these impact quotes. For further details, to apply or nominate, or to see the range of programmes on offer please view the website.

De Vere Group

The Leaders Club has an enduring partnership with De Vere Group (now known as The Principal Hotel Company) for several years. for some time. The Board wishes to acknowledge our gratitude and we have sought ways of both organisations deriving benefits for the members and people we both serve.

We have enjoyed meeting at Holborn Bars since 2014 and this magnificent property was originally the Headquarters of Prudential Assurance. It was built on the site of the former Furnival’s Inn and it was here that Charles Dickens wrote his second novel Oliver Twist in 1837. Other notable residents include Sir Thomas Moore and Sir James Matthew Barrie, creator of Peter Pan

Recently we have had the pleasure of also meeting at the Grand Connaught Rooms. This hugely impressive building has huge historical and current links to Freemasonry which is believed to have had a presence on the site since 1774. The building resonates to the many prestigious functions that have been held there over many years.

De Vere offers a Showtime loyalty scheme, rewarding anyone who makes, or enquires about, a booking at one of their locations. If you regularly need meeting rooms in London, or across the country, we would encourage you to check with De Vere/PH and sign up to: in order to enjoy the benefits.

We hope to continue and strengthen our relationship with De Vere/PH Company in the years to come.

Event Summary – Tim Stimpson

It seems likely that when Tim was about 5 his school report included the phrase “Tim is not a born leader, yet!”  Since then through his experience on and off the Rugby field, Tim has definitely become a leader and role model.  Rugby is probably the ultimate “team” game and it is by building high performing teams that you win matches.  We received a brilliant explanation of how through Leicester Tigers and the England squad this can be done. Whether it was through ensuring that everyone gets to play to their strengths, how important it is to “pass the ball” (no command and control here) or how much performing under pressure was all about emotional buy-in and trusting others, we saw how to do it.

I had never seen delegation and empowerment as important in a sporting context: now I understand why the parallels into corporate life as so close.  We must all understand that there is a cost to this approach and trusting those around you is a necessary given before teams can win.

Finally Tim made clear the importance of setting demanding goals but explained these must be progressive.  Perhaps the reason English rugby went into decline after winning the World Cup was that no one set the next high goal.

A great conversation with lessons that went well outside the sporting arena.

Empowering Tomorrow leaders – May 2016

Matt Hyde, Chief Executive The Scout Association

The events started with Martin Goodwill welcoming the Emerging Leaders to the club. The Emerging Leaders initiative aims to provide a two way learning process for established members and guests and the emerging leaders. It also provides networking opportunities that Emerging Leaders may not easily find elsewhere, especially within their own peer group or work setting.

Martin then introduced Matt Hyde, Chief Executive The Scout Association

Matt has been Chief Executive of the Scout Association since 2013, and within this time the movement has seem huge growth in its membership. Iin fact the association has just seen its 11th consecutive year of growth. One in 4 of members are girls, and the association survives off the resources of 15,000 volunteers.

So, how does this sort of organisation, steeped in tradition and possibly stereotyping, keep active and grow in a digital age?

The Scout Association focuses its attention on the non-formal environment that can help to breed leaders of the next generation. Selection of Bear Grills as the “Chief Scout” has been a great move for the organisation, but it is not just Bear’s revere that is help the organisation grow. The leadership of Matt and his team, and how this is trickling through the organisation, is evident.

Matt has a strong and shared believe in the power of leadership to transfer organisations and economy. He has an honest and dedicated team around him, many of whom have worked with in previous careers. Matt shared his view with TLC that lifelong learning is key to leadership. He has a good foundation of academic learning mixed with experience in the charity and volunteers sectors as a leader, and take advice from those around him. A notable recommendation from Matt was for Steve Radcliff, Author of Future – Engage – deliver

Matt has had 360 appraisals throughout his career. This, combined with this absolute believe that Mentoring, Coaching Action Learning Sets and Support Team Champions have shaped his ability and to learn and grow as a leader.

The scout moment enables the countries it is active in to build social capital. It builds resilience and leadership qualities within its members. In fact, Matt classes the Scouts as the world’s largest leadership development programme! The weight of research proves that those that do activities outside of school are those that go on to achieve the most in life. The association also demonstrates its beliefs – 3 of the Board of the Scout Association are between the ages of 18 – 25.

Matt gave a truly engaging talk to members of TLC and I certainly came away with solid Leadership tips as well as more knowledge about a fascinating organisation. Many thanks for Matt in giving the Club his time and such an enjoyable talk.

TLC Networking
Networking prior to the event

Cultural DNA – The Psychology of Globalization Written by Gurnek Bains


Our global world is pushing cultures together as never before. Getting under the skin of other cultures is key to success for both business and political leaders. In this thought provoking book, Cultural DNA, Gurnek Bains, a leading global thinker, presents ground breaking original research and the latest evidence from neuroscience, behavioral genetics, psychology and history to enable people to understand, empathise with and engage people from other cultures in our increasingly connected world.

Bains argues that much previous work in this area has just scratched the surface and he examines the deepest instincts of eight key global cultures to help readers understand the psychological themes at play in regions such as the U.S., Latin America, Europe, China, India, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa and Australia. Evidence from a range of interdisciplinary sources is backed up by insights from an extensive database of 30,000 leaders. The book looks at how cultures are changing and influencing both global politics and business by posing and answering questions such as:

  • Why are Americans so positive?
  • Why is China a world leader in manufacturing and India in IT?
  • Why do overseas firms struggle in the U.S. market place?
  • What are the emotional forces driving current events in the Middle East?
  • What are the psychological roots of the Eurozone crisis and how this is likely to play out?

Bains is co-founder and chairman of YSC, one of the world’s leading corporate psychology consultancies. YSC has 20 offices around the world and works with 40% of FTSE100 companies, leading U.S. multi-nationals, as well as a host of companies in other regions. He is listed in HR Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People.

In his latest book, Bains meticulously explores the deep attributes that each culture has developed over thousands of years to address unique environmental challenges. He argues that, “This essential DNA drumbeat from the past reverberates through each society and as globalization marches on, we ignore it at our peril.”

Furthermore, he suggests that we can learn important lessons from the world’s distinct societies and that cultural instincts may be literally more embedded in people’s DNA than we think. For example, genes related to adventurousness or rebelliousness are evident in over 50% of Latin Americans and in 30% of  people from the U.S. but are at rates close to zero in the Far East. Huge variations are also seen in a number of other “psychological genes”.

For far too long cultural intelligence has been underestimated, but it is now harder to ignore its economic value or importance for creating a harmonious international order. Through this book, business and political leaders will understand how each region’s cultural DNA influences:

  • Its economic and political institutions.
  • People’s underlying consumer psychology.
  • The soft skills needed to lead in that environment.
  • The challenges for leaders from different regions as they move onto the global stage.
  • How to best release people’s potential.
  • The issues that need to be managed to anticipate and solve problems as each culture engages a globalized world.

Every now and again a new book comes along that is a must read; Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point or Seth Godin’s Tribes. Cultural DNA by Gurnek Bains, by virtue of its depth, originality and ambition, is that very book for all global leaders.


More About The Author

  • Gurnek Bains has worked with organizations across a wide range of industries for 25 years and remains a trusted advisor to some of the most senior leaders in international business. He is the chief author of ‘Meaning Inc: The blueprint for business success in the 21st century’ (Profile Books 2007), which draws on his extensive experience working with leaders and brings to life the ways in which sustainable success is created through a meaningful sense of purpose and by creating the right environment in which individuals can flourish. Gurnek is regularly asked to speak at conferences and leadership summits and has appeared in HR Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People. He has a doctorate in psychology from Oxford University. For more information about YSC visit the website
  • For more information about Cultural DNA, please visit: Wiley