“Antoinette wins key person of influence award.” My word! That’s not a statement I expected to read or hear. Let me explain a bit more.
Over the last 9 months, I have been “walking the talk” and investing in my own professional development. In March 2016 I embarked on the Key Person of Influence Programme, hosted by Daniel Priestley who wrote the best-selling book Key Person of Influence
The Key Person of Influence Programme is a 40-week business accelerator that runs across the UK, USA, Australia and Singapore. It helps participants focus on how to use their Key Person of Influence status to add value to their clients and communities. Over the last 9 months we have looked at applying five best practices – Pitch, Publish, Product, Profile and Partnership.
Each Programme culminates with Pitchiest, an opportunity for participants to show what they have learnt by delivering a pitch on how they bring value to their clients. After all, you may have a great product, service or idea, but if you can’t communicate it, your clients won’t know how you can help them.
So on 16 December 2016, my fellow participants and I gathered in a hotel in Covent Garden ready to pitch first to each other and then to the public. To describe the experience as nerve-wracking is an understatement! But like most experiences that put you outside your comfort zone, it was incredibly rewarding and I learnt a lot. And I was delighted and honoured to be one of three joint winners who achieved scores of 36 out of 40.
Antoinette wins Key Person of Influence award
You can see my award-winning pitch here.
If you prefer to read rather than watch, here is the transcript:
Hi everyone. I’m Antoinette Oglethorpe. I run a professional training and coaching company. We specialise in developing leaders and leadership teams for fast-growing, high-tech companies.
I have over 25 years experience developing leaders for companies like P&G and Accenture. But my passion lies with mid-sized, high tech companies. A defining moment of my career was when I helped start up Avanade, a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft. I was employee number 3 in Avanade UK and helped grow the company to 100 employees in its first year and then 40% a year after that.
What I learnt from that experience is that fast-growing, high tech companies face some unique challenges. Often they’ve grown quickly because they’ve got brilliant technologies, products and solutions. But when they get to around 60-80 employees, they’re in danger of growth stalling. They face 3 key leadership challenges which I call the 3Cs:
- Capacity – They don’t have enough leaders at all levels of the organisation. And they’re in danger of losing their best people.
- Capability – Their leaders lack experience and don’t have the skills and confidence to grow the business.
- Culture – They don’t have a strong culture of leadership through the organisation.
There is no shortage of theories about leadership. But there is little practical advice available on how to develop leaders and address these challenges. I’ve combined my start up knowledge with my understanding of the corporate world. And I’ve translated my 25 years experience into LEADER a practical six-step system for developing leaders in fast-growing companies. LEADER is an acronym.
It starts with Level. What level are your leaders at and where do they need to be?
Then Envisage the leaders you need to be successful.
Assess the leadership potential of your people
Develop new leadership skills and behaviours
Embed those behaviours into day to day work
And Reinforce leadership throughout your organisation processes and practices.
When you work through the LEADER system and put these steps into practice, you will start to build leadership throughout your organisation. You will develop leaders with the skills and confidence to grow the business. And you will create a culture of leadership, innovation and growth.
I do this because I believe there has never been a better time to be in a high-tech business. Technology is the future. It can make the unusual usual. It can make the good better. It can turn dreams into reality. But good technology on its own is not enough. You need strong leadership to turn good technology into a successful business. My vision is for all mid-sized, high-tech companies to realise the leadership potential of their people so together they can create the future.
Today, I’m looking for introductions please. If you know any CEOs, senior leaders or HR Professionals of mid-sized, high-tech companies, please let me know. If they’re committed to developing their leaders I promise my company can help. We will demystify leadership development for them. After working with us they will no longer feel stuck and overwhelmed. They will feel confident they can develop their leaders, deliver their strategies and drive results. We believe if they grow their leaders, they’ll grow their companies.
Hopefully, that helps you understand how my company brings value to our clients. Click here to find out more about the LEADER System and the services we provide. If any of it sounds like it may be helpful to you, please get in touch.