Advice to Business Leaders

Dr Alistair Turner Here are some insights relevant to all business leaders but particularly to those who are taking on a significant challenge, not least the creation of a new business:

  • Tough decisions come with the territory – so make them they won’t go away.
  • Pinot Grigio and dinner might be great fun but you only really get to know people by working with them in anger
  • Hold your nerve – it is a brave thing to set out to be the leader, there will be many critics, actual and imagined, along the way
  • Harness the collective brain but don’t become a slave to consensus – I am constantly amazed by the insights that come out of talking through issues with colleagues but the value is often in the idea; the detail requires an individual to take responsibility and make it happen.
  • Ruthlessly focus on the customer perspective – as you know your business so well it is very easy to focus on explaining how it works rather than what the customer is interested in. ‘Benefits not features’ may be a hackneyed phrase but it works.
  • What works is what matters – pragmatism is everything! A great strategy framework, visioning process or business planning approach is fine but what matters is creating direction, momentum and results which are sustainable.

Dr Alistair Turner has worked with business leaders for the past 20 years and is the founding partner of LCB – the leadership coaching business. He also has a doctorate in Leadership Coaching and is Chairman of Nest.