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How does coaching help leaders?
“Leadership is a fine thing, but it has its penalties. And the biggest penalty is loneliness” said inspirational leader Sir Ernest Shackleton. A business coach can be a friend in difficult times, provide a sounding board for ideas and offer impartial advice if required. Sometimes you do all of these things in a short period of time. Managing Director Justin Lowe of wedding caterer The Gourmet Chef came to see me in a bit of a rut. It did not take long to identify the problem areas and after encouraging Justin to implement some significant strategic changes, his business has seen turnover and profit grow by nearly 1000% in the last four years.

What makes a good leader?
A good leader is someone who can provide a compelling and inspirational picture of the future, then persuade others to follow them there. Our Inspiration Programme takes senior leaders to remote locations in the UK and abroad where they can reflect on their effectiveness as leaders. Stuart Richie leads a team of 5,391 people at Utility Warehouse and recently spent a week with us in South Africa. “We undertook deep reflective work, goal-setting both personally & professionally and enjoyed the wildlife, all set in unbelievably beautiful surroundings.” 

How can a business sustain long-term growth?
Long-term growth requires good strategies, inspirational leadership and effective teamwork. Very few businesses survive without people working effectively and productively together and this is always a challenge but something that can be practiced. At our off-site facility in the South Downs National Park we run Team Development Training workshops. Local Estate Agents John Hilton recently brought their team down for the day. “After spending some time with Neil, the team worked like a well-oiled machine, supporting each other, exchanging ideas, updating systems. The difference was extraordinary”, said Manager, Jo-Ann Stafford.

How has your background defined you as a business person?
My military, entrepreneurial and adventuring background has undoubtedly defined and shaped me as a businessman. I’m not frightened to take risks, my communication style is forthright and I’m both competitive and ambitious. This does tend to rub off on my clients. Jeff Halls, Managing Director of construction company 20Six said recently: “Neil’s motto is Ordinary to Extraordinary and it is his positive, optimistic and no nonsense approach that has helped us treble in size in the three years we have been working with him.”

What services do Laughton & Co offer?
We offer bespoke training and development programmes for business leaders and their teams. Clients include Virgin Atlantic, B&Q, BP and local businesses such as Brighton CCTV, Silver Star Cleaning and Focus Group. Our monthly Business Support Group sessions are always well attended and is where business leaders meet to learn from an expert guest speaker, share ideas with each other and leave inspired to grow their businesses.

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