Right now, I’m sat in Sri Lanka at the end of a wonderful family holiday, reflecting on 2017 both professionally and personally and full to the brim with excitement on what 2018 will bring.
I’ve run businesses for seven and a half years now and have seen some of them grow from my bedroom (literally) to decent sized SME’s, split between London, Dubai, Hong Kong and now Singapore.
I always had a burning desire (ask my Mum) to run a business and as it happens the advertising, communications and talent industries were what I fell in love with and have always remained involved in.
2017 was an interesting year, some of our businesses performed brilliantly and others had a tough time, but here’s a snippet of some of the things I’ve seen and learned as a leader over time.
- You learn more about the quality of your business, product and people through times of adversity. The good times mask the cracks.
- Have faith in your product and your ability to deliver, look after loyal employees that believe in the business and want to stay and grow with you. If someone wants to go, let them, as long as your product is strong, you can withstand it and no one person is greater than the business.
- Embrace technology, don’t be afraid of it, the pace of change in business is so fast that if you’re not careful your industry will be disrupted, with your core product damaged and you could soon be out of business!
- As a CEO; you have to be ok with risk, but you also have to understand that sometimes you will fail. You will experience success and failure regularly, but you will be a better businessman for it.
- The world is a small place, go see it and understand it, don’t be afraid of it. Like Dubai and Hong Kong did for us, it can change the fortunes of your business.
- Give credit to those that work for you, a good CEO knows where and when to delegate, make your team feel appreciated, that will in turn attract more and more people to your team and create a great company culture.
- When things are going well, make sure you enjoy them, embrace them and celebrate those victories together. Likewise, when things go bad, don’t pick a fight and play the blame game, assess, learn and move on. Anger brings out the worst in us.
- As a leader, I’ve always practiced what I preach, if you think your staff need to work harder or if you expect them to dig deep, then don’t be the last in and first out. Show them what your made of and what needs to be done, show them that there is life in the old dog yet!
- Work with clients that respect you and pay their bills on time. I’ve learned that too many clients expect something for nothing and think they can treat you as they please. Turn your back on these people, there is enough business out there and you can soon make your next buck from someone that values and respects what you do.
- What goes around comes around (especially in recruitment). Reply to those that matter and take the time to reply, if you don’t’ then one day that may well return to haunt you.
These are just some of my tips, as a leader and as a businessman. I’m not afraid of failure and I’m lucky enough to have had plenty of success. I’m hugely excited about 2018.
I lead a group of companies with big ambitions and bags of potential, and better still I have an amazing family around me that give me that support that’s always required, just at the right times.
As ever, I’m always interested in people’s thoughts on this piece, and if you’re reading this and want to join us on our exciting journey, then do please get in touch.
Here’s to a tremendous 2018 everyone. Live your dreams and enjoy every moment, love what you do.