Grow Your Geeks – A Sneak Preview

I’ve been delighted at the enthusiasm for Grow Your Geeks.  I’ve had a lot of people say how much they’re looking forward to reading it so I thought I’d share a sneak preview.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

The High-tech Sector in the UK has grown by the equivalent of one new business every hour for the last five years.[1] But these fast-growing companies face unique challenges. There are the pressures of constant change, the urgency of speed to market, the risk of uncertainty and the demand for agility.

If you’re a leader of a high-tech company I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is the Tech Sector is still in good health and there is plenty to smile about. The bad news is that a shortage of leaders could stop you from growing any further.

High-tech companies attract the best and brightest people who are driven by ambition and individual achievements. There was a time when being a ‘geek’ meant you were boring, square, as far as you could get from being ‘cool’. Now, geeks have the potential to rule the world. Geek is cool. Dare I say, geek is chic.

But geeks may not be seasoned, proven leaders. And that’s a problem.

Having strong leadership and skilled, motivated employees is critical for the successful growth and competition of any tech company.[2] Perhaps more so than for any other type of business.

As Steve Jobs said, ‘To turn really interesting ideas and fledgling technologies into a company that can continue to innovate for years requires a lot of disciplines.’

The demands placed on people in fast-growing and high-tech companies are significant. They include the following:

  • The rate and pace of change
  • The complexity of integrating different systems, processes and applications, which often result in major outages and instability issues
  • An ongoing need to innovate
  • Threats to the business, particularly cyber security and privacy-related issues
  • Gaining and retaining competitive advantage through technology and information systems
  • Anticipating and responding to client demands.

Without good leadership and proper support, employees can become overstretched and under motivated. All too often, good people burn out and leave.

High-tech companies are hugely dependent on the creativity, productivity and dedication of their staff. It has never been so easy for staff to find other jobs and move to other companies. The ‘war for talent’ is real in the High-tech Sector.

The big question is ‘How can you develop leaders who can keep up with and drive the growth of your business to ensure long-term success?’

That’s what I’ve designed this book to answer.

Grow Your Geeks is for busy leaders and HR professionals in fast-growing high-tech companies. Your company has probably grown quickly because you’ve got brilliant technologies and products.

But you’re in danger of getting stuck because you don’t have enough leaders with the skills and confidence to grow the business further. You’re finding it hard to develop leaders, keep them engaged and create a culture for innovation that fuels future growth.

Leadership development is an important part of a company’s ‘growing up’ process. In Grow Your Geeks I’ll show you how to develop more and better leaders. I’ll show you how to enable your leaders so they have the confidence to make decisions and take action. And I’ll show you how to get your leaders to take ownership of leading people and the organisation. This book will help you develop the leadership capacity, capability and culture that you need to deliver fast, sustainable growth.

I’m going to share with you the practical six-step LEADER system I’ve developed during my years of experience working with high-tech companies. I’m going to give you the practical tools and techniques to answer fundamental questions:

  • What are the critical skills that leaders of fast-growing high-tech companies need to succeed?
  • How do we recruit, keep and develop the right people in a competitive high-tech market?
  • How do we test the capacity and capability of current leaders to scale with future growth?
  • How can we ensure that an employee with great technical skills will be a great leader or manager?
  • How do we give people the support they need to enable them to perform at their best?
  • How do we develop agile career paths that give people the opportunities they’re looking for so they stay with the company?
  • How do we build the ability to innovate and respond to changing technologies and markets?
  • How do we create a culture of growth that everyone buys into?
  • How do we preserve the positives of the company culture as we grow?

This system didn’t hit me like a lightning bolt. It came through countless hands-on experiences, and I’ve been refining it, one lesson at a time, in the real world for over twenty-five years.

I’m still learning.

If that has whet your appetite and you’d like to find out more, please go to


[1] KPMG (Dec 2015), ‘Tech Monitor’

[2] Culture Amp (2016), ‘New Tech – Benchmark Report’


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