A business leader for business leaders

 I am lucky to have had such a broad career in business leadership and to have learnt so much through practical experience, albeit often too late! 

I have led six businesses as General manager, Managing Director or Chief Executive. Earlier in my career I led departments, business units and projects. I was responsible for selling and leading numerous corporate transformation projects worth £1M+ as well as leading a division of a well known business consultancy specialising in Hypergrowth businesses.

Three of the businesses I ran were small and I was the owner of two. Three more businesses were medium sized with up to £50M revenues and 500 staff. In all three cases I was appointed to address slowing or declining revenues and enable growth. Of the three larger businesses I ran, one was a corporate subsidiary, one an AIM listed business and one a family business.

I have led the integration of businesses following mergers six times and completed two acquisitions from start to finish.

I have been on 17 boards, ten of them commercial, and seven not for profit. I have created and chaired three trusts, one an employee ownership (EO) trust, the others in the public sector. I was a National Leader of Governance for the Department for Education and have twice been a board advisor guiding the governance of a small enterprise.

I have facilitated over 800 meetings of business leaders, roughly half of them online and the rest in person and engaged in close confidential conversation about business challenges with over 300 different business leaders. I have arranged and hosted over 500 workshops with over 200 different professional speakers.

"Bob successfully led the business through a period of intense organisation change. During this difficult time he displayed a number of strong professional leadership qualities, including dedication and determination. He led the transformation of this company with an innovative and dynamic approach, which achieved the desired results of making the business the most successful IT Training Company at the time."
Sam Long (On LinkedIn 2006)


I am trying to be semi-retired. A goal I am only partially achieving because I remain passionate about practical leadership in real operational businesses. 

I learnt so much the hard way myself and then so much more from the 300+ business leaders that participated in MD2MD.  I have learnt so much more through facilitating over 800 meetings of business leaders. Being party to their debates about the real challenges they face in their business has given me so many insights.  Insights I wish I'd had forty years ago. Insights I feel it's my duty to capture and share as widely as possible!

Sharing useful stuff

My intention now is to

Helping you succeed

My goal is that you, the operational business leader, leave any interaction with me able to

Save time and money 



Become an even more competent, confident and motivated business leader

Are able to lead your business to even more success with even less stress for yourself

My beliefs and values about business

Today’s world is a VUCA world. It is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.

It conspires to confuse and behave unpredictably. We should (as an academic called Nassim Nicholas Taleb and a popular journalist called Tim Harford) suggest, stop trying to predict and forecast and plan so much. Rather than try to plan for all outcomes, and find the one that happens is the one we didn’t plan for, we need to increase the number of tools we have in our toolbag so we can cope with whatever happens.

My belief

We need to focus our efforts on building resilience and the ability to adapt. In ourselves and our business. So we cope and our businesses survive and thrive whatever. I encourage you to spend less time developing complex long term plans, on spreadsheets, on forecasting and on planning and budgeting and more time on learning how to deal with whatever life throws at you.

My learning

I’ve learnt that business doesn’t need to be complicated. The best businesses, the best leaders and the best decisions generally share the characteristic of being clear and simple.

My broader beliefs and values about leadership, business and enterprise

Business should be a force for good in the world, creating value by solving challenges the world faces. Solving them so well that its customers are pleased to pass a fair share of that value on to the business. 

The business in turn shares fairly that value between its staff, its investors and funders, its suppliers and its wider community.

(Where the term business includes all forms of enterprise private, public and third sector as the purpose of all should be to create value and share it fairly.)

Leaders make a difference. The person who has the greatest impact on the extent to which an organisation creates value is the leader of that organisation.

Leadership is a learning journey. None of us is the finished article - the perfect leader. However good a leader we are, we can always be even better. We succeed or we learn.We get things right - and we succeed. We make mistakes - and we learn. Whatever happens we become an even better leader. We learn from experience!

We can learn quicker. By being hungry for ideas from fellow leaders, specialists, experts and thinkers. By sharing best practice and learning from the experience of diverse others. Learning from their successes and their mistakes and they learning from ours.

We are stronger together. Sharing journeys. Comparing experiences. Learning from successes and mistakes. Supporting and challenging. Helping each other to be the best we can be.

We are individual leaders. Equal but different. People of varying genders, races, backgrounds, education, physical and mental characteristics. Leaders at different stages of our career with varying personalities, attitudes, beliefs, values and goals. We have different types of leadership role and operate within a variety of ownership structures and ownership ambitions. Our organisations are at different stages of development targeting different purposes with differing business models in a range of sectors and geographies.

We are all though equal - all peers. Striving to be the best leader we can be. Striving to run the best and most successful business we can.