Sandra Sampson…… It all starts with you!

Written by Tracey Duke, Photography by Pip Andersen Inspirational & emphatic, Sandra Sampson exudes a positivity & razor-like focus, unlike any other. There is simply no barrier, no obstacle that she believes cannot be overcome; a mere 20 minutes in her company will have you reaching for the stars and eating them for breakfast. I caught up with one of the city’s most influential and respected coaches, at the Hotel Du Vin, and kicked troublesome worries into touch along the way.    Sandra, if I were to write a list of the most influential women in Exeter today, your name would very […]

The Power of Starting the Right Business, For the Right Reasons

Written by Phil Sampson Why does anyone want to start a business? Is it for financial gain? Is it a lifestyle choice? Or is it just because someone has a talent, or idea, that they consider valuable to others? We ask leadership expert Phil Sampson for his thoughts. It’s not often that an entrepreneur takes the proper amount of time to explore the reason for starting a business. They often do not take their choice and reasons seriously enough and that is why so many start-ups fail.  I often say people plan their holiday more seriously than their businesses in […]

How do you motivate the 21st century employee?

It is often said that people are an organisations greatest asset. But it’s not people, it’s talented people who engage, own issues, out-perform peers and have reach for the future that are an organisations greatest asset, whatever generation they come from.  Retaining talent is not only good for performance, it is good for profit. A replacement employee with all the associated costs and loss of productivity will cost a business between £34K to £85k. A modern organisation needs to do four things if it is to retain its greatest asset, its talent and maintain its profit levels: Attract great talent: […]

5 steps for SMEs to help prevent cyber attacks

The myth that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) don’t face a threat couldn’t be further from the truth. For a hacker, SMEs are seen as easier targets as they believe less is being done to protect data. This data might be information about clients, customer details, bank details or it might be a way into one of your customers’ systems where you are linked through e-commerce, by email or in some other way. A report from PWC commissioned the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills confirmed that 74 percent of SMEs reported a security breach. However, only seven percent of small businesses expect information […]

Strong and stable leadership Mrs May?

Lessons on Leadership From the Election:  Not having a closed shop? Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill were Theresa May’s key advisers in her flawed election campaign where she succeeded in scraping a hung parliament from the jaws of a vastly increased majority.  There are some important lessons in leadership that we can all learn from the Conservative campaign and I intend to write a blog everyday this week on those lessons. During April of this year, Theresa May, most would say came over as a very credible leader, it was reported on the 11th April that she had a 37 […]

CEO Stress, will you cope?

We all have experiences which help forge the sort of leaders we become. One of mine came early in my first CEO role as Director of an International charity. I left the public sector to take on this role which back in the 90’s was still a place of stable, if sometimes stagnant, job security. Within a few months of starting in my new role and after full exposure to the accounts, I had to go to the chair of the board and tell him, we were essentially a Champagne organisation on a beer income. We simply could not go […]

Are WE able to help in defeating terrorism?

The answer is yes! Police budgets are declining, terrorist attacks proliferating and terrorism casualties increasing; so how can you help? Sadly we live in a world with increasing threats to our societies and unfortunately they don’t seem to be diminishing. So how should we as the public start to help ourselves? Being alert and aware saves so many lives when it comes to household fires so perhaps it’s time we applied a similar philosophy to combating terrorism. We feel the opportunity to support the agencies that are responsible for protecting us has never been greater. How can we help those […]

Leading A Charity

Having worked with several charities I have found that the leadership, team cohesion and motivation and the leadership challenges are very different from those we have experienced when working within the corporate sector. Charities are businesses in their own rights but they work under a different and more challenging set of rules and circumstances. Where a leader in the corporate sector just has the conundrum of balancing stakeholder profit with customer value and societal/brand expectation. A leader in a charity has to balance trustee requirements, fundraising requirements, employees and volunteers, societal expectations and the end user service/value. Let’s start by looking at […]

Leaders Behaving Badly

What do Lord Rennard, former Barclays boss Bob Diamond and General Petraeus, former head of the CIA all have in common? Answer – they all left their positions as a result of inappropriate behaviour. All three were extremely clever and competent, able leaders, yet they all misbehaved in a way that cost them or at least contributed to their losing their leadership position. It is interesting that moral courage, self discipline and trust are becoming more and more important in life as societal values change.  The common denominator in the News of the World phone hacking, the BBC and Jimmy […]

A NEW FORM OF LEADERSHIP

We have entered the age of empowered individuals. Leaders use potent new technologies and harness social media to organize themselves and focus interest on their agendas and activities. Most are ordinary people with access to new information tools that can virally create large global audiences for their messages. The more traditional hierarchical institutions of modern developed societies, whether they are governments or companies, are not prepared or ready for this new social power or leadership as the riots in London and the recent occupy campaigns in cities around the World exemplify. This power has resulted in the emergence of a new […]