Words of Wisdom: Six Influential Business Leaders Interviewed

Learning from those who have a track record of success is a core principle behind all of Spearhead’s training, so we’ve rooted out the biggest minds in business thinking and interviewed them. The result? Invaluable words of wisdom from six influential business leaders that we can all learn from!

Love the People You Work With

Flavilla Fongang is the MD and creative strategist at 3 Colours Rule, a London branding and fashion agency. She also writes for The Huffington Post and is highly regarded as a person of great style and influence. We asked Flavilla for her words of wisdom on how businesses can ensure they attract and keep the right people to help them succeed.

She said: “Treat your employees right. Make them feel valued; the receptionist and the cleaner matter as much as the directors.”

And how does she advise managers do this?

“For bonding, we organise team-building activities where people can get to know each other better. They all matter in the success of our companies and loving the people you work with makes it easier to wake up every morning.”

improving performance

Find Flavilla on LinkedIn

Give People a Future

Nasser Siabi is CEO of MicroLink PC the UK’s largest assistive technology provider. In 2010, he received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of his outstanding work for people with disabilities.

We asked Nasser for his advice on the role of training in supporting business success during periods of rapid change.

According to Nasser training is “Essential to maintain engagement and drive among people” The reason he said was because “They need to feel wanted, feel important and know they have a future. Training will provide all the assurances they need that you want to invest in their future.”

improving performance

Find Nasser on LinkedIn

Grow up!

Sandra Lewis is the founder and CEO of premium virtual assistant service Worldwide101, operating in the US, Canada and Europe with a focus on a high level of service. From admin and book keeping to customer service and marketing, Worldwide101 keeps top talent on tap to help SMEs out as they grow. So what, we asked, was the best advice Sandra was ever given?

“One of my mentors once told me, “Grow up”. It stuck with me ever since.”

Wasn’t that a bit harsh? How did this help her succeed?

“It’s very simple” she said “Building a successful business is going to be tough, it’s going to be lonely and it’s going to be exhausting. You can either whine about it or get on with it. For me, “growing up” is multi-dimensional. It’s not just about taking responsibility, it’s also about giving emphasis to the “up”, the pull to be better and the energy and focus it takes to stay positive no matter what the situation.”

improving performance

Find Sandra on LinkedIn

Don’t Panic!

Rob Hill is the CEO of The Eventa Group and its three brands: The Stag Company, Hen Heaven and Eventa. The Eventa Group was recognised two years in a row in the Virgin Fast Track Awards for the 100 fastest-growing event companies in the UK, ranking 80th in 2012 and 61st in 2013.

improving performance

In 2012, Rob was named Entrepreneur of the Year at the Sussex Business Awards and in 2014 he was named one of UK's most outstanding entrepreneurs aged 35 and under at the Growing Business Young Guns Awards.

Here is what Rob attributes his success as a leader to:

“My ability to stay positive and not panic when difficult situations arise. There will be moments when things could go wrong, from suppliers letting you down to key employees handing in their notice. At the time, it may all seem overwhelming and really bad, but you do end up realising that you just have to get on with it and keep focused on your business.”

Find Rob on LinkedIn

Learn Every Day

Iglika B. Ghouse is the founder and CEO of Uspaah, a unique on-demand mobile spa service in London. After a strong career in finance, Iglika made the push with her own idea so we asked her about the skills managers need to achieve success.

“As a very young manager myself, I am still learning a lot every day. The most important skills that I have found useful have been emotional intelligence, patience, teamwork and the ability to guide and teach my team using positive reinforcement as opposed to criticism. It is hard to be objective if you are the one in charge, but you have to understand that you are doomed to fail without the support of your team, so being able to motivate, delegate and depend on others in your organisation is crucial.”

improving performance

Find Iglika on LinkedIn

Balance Quality and Growth

Gemma Sandy is a director of Business Cost Saving, a specialist cost management brokerage that helps businesses reduce their spend and save money. When asked what challenges she predicts businesses will have to overcome in order to be successful in the future, this is what she said:

“Increased competition and regulation in certain areas sort of go without saying, really, but an area that SMEs don’t always consider is the ability to balance quality and growth. Whether you provide a service or a product, at some point a business must sacrifice in order to grow; you may not be able to personally manage every client relationship or inspect every bearing on your production line any more. Of course, personal engagement and that attention to detail may be what has helped your business become successful. But many small business owners often find themselves tied to these ways, so finding a compromise that allows growth without hurting the brand can be crucial.”

“I also think traditional training areas will always be necessary for your employees, but an area we’re finding challenging is the basic communication skills that some employees present with. Are kids leaving school less able to communicate than the generations who left pre-social media?”


Find Gemma on LinkedIn

We will be publishing more words of wisdom from influential business leaders in future blogs.