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Event digest: Building a Strong Team

As part of NatWest’s offering for businesses, it provides support in the form of local events. One series of its events is being delivered with ActionCOACH, a business coaching firm that was first established in Australia, but now has more than 1,000 offices in 64 countries.

NatWest In Partnership With ActionCOACH has already been launched across the North of England, but is due to roll out nationwide. The aim of the series is to distil business coaching topics into short, easily digestible seminars. Yesterday’s event, at Ziferblat in Liverpool, focused on ‘Building a Strong Team’.

Led by ActionCOACH Business Coach Andrew Cussons - who himself has worked as a qualified accountant, turned around a failing car parts company and led a $30m IPO for an internet start-up - it covered how to attract, recruit, reward and retain great people to help grow a business. Based on the ActionCOACH definition, that means “a commercial, profitable enterprise that works without you.”

Everyone can get on board with the idea of creating a business that runs successfully without necessarily needing them to be there all the time, so it’s a compelling proposition. Andrew explained that the ActionCOACH theory behind achieving this is straightforward and has been proven by repeated application, but that it requires hard work and nerves. On multiple occasions, recounting his own experiences in businesses, he offered the admission “it was pretty scary.” Here are some more of his insights:

“Systems, systems, systems. They’ll stop you being kept awake at night and getting ill. Seriously. – On what makes businesses run effectively.

“Time is your most valuable asset. Understanding how to invest it is a key to success.– Many businesses struggle with knowing what to prioritise. Cracking this can help you to see the wood among the trees.

“A lot of people in business for twenty years have done one year twenty times. – If you don’t learn how to develop your business, you’ll make the same mistakes repeatedly.

 “You used to get business coaching if you were a basket case – now it’s to give you a competitive edge. – You wouldn’t try to drive a car without the right knowledge – why try to build a business without the right knowledge?

“Get a good accountant. There are lots of bad ones. – Make decisions based on fact.

“You get the people you deserve. – Bad recruitment creates bad businesses.

“Your business will only rise to the level of your competence. – Do you want a cuddly culture or a high-performance culture?  Ultimately, your business is a reflection of yourself.

“You need new systems in multipliers of three employees– Review the systems you have in place after three employees, nine employees, twenty-seven employees and so on.

“A business owner shouldn’t be looking after the business, the team and the customers. - They should look after the team, which should look after the customers, which should look after the business, which, completing the circle, should look after the business owner.

Andrew also provided some book recommendations for business owners and leaders:

  • Marshall Goldsmith - What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful
  • Marshall Goldsmith - Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action
  • Verne Harnish – Scaling Up
  • Michael Gerber – The E Myth: Why Most Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It

And, finally, a Ted Talk recommendation: Simon Sinek - How great leaders inspire action.

As part of its Boost series, NatWest is also running the Regional Boost Conference in Liverpool on 27th June, 8am – 12 noon. Held at the Hilton hotel, the event is free to attend and will business optimisation presentations from Google, Gary Millar and WorldPay. You can find more Liverpool City Region business events on our events listings page.