CEO Today - January 2023

January 2023 Photo: Wikicommons - HM Treasury

@ceotodaymag @ceotodaymag CEO Today Magazine /ceo-today f t y l n Connect with the Powerful and In uential. Follow uson social media to receive the latest updates, news and online features on the go. EO T O D A Y

C EO T O D A Y For more information, contact Jacob Mallinder 0044 (0) 1543 255 537 CEO Today Magazine is a premium aspirational lifestyle and business magazine. We seek to inspire, motivate and inform the world’s most successful business leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs through our content. Our magazine provides news, interviews and features about the most inuential leaders in the business world and beyond, focusing on topical stories, exclusive content and indepth articles that motivate our readers. Subscribe to receive a monthly hard copy. Price on application for subcriptions outside of the UK £395 *+ VAT if applicable *includes postage & packaging

EDITOR’S NOTE STAY CONNECTED! Follow us on: EDITOR’S NOTE UN I V E R S A L ME D I A Katina Male Editor All of this and so much more - I hope you enjoy the content in CEO Today’s first issue for 2023! Make sure you check out the full list of features and exclusive interviews over the next pages. If you want to stay connected with us until our next edition, visit our website for more, join the conversation on our Twitter (@CEOTodayMag) and follow our LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram pages. Best wishes, KATINA MALE Editor CEO TODAY Copyright 2022 Circulation details can be found at The views expressed in the articles within CEO Today are the contributors’ own, nothing within the announcements or articles should be construed as a profit forecast. All rights reserved. Material contained within this publication is not to be reproduced in whole or part without the prior permission of CEO Today. Disclaimer: Images used in this edition have been done so under the creative commons licenses. For details, see links below. by-sa/3.0/legalcode by-sa/2.0/legalcode by-sa/4.0/legalcode Hello and welcome to CEO Today’s first edition for 2023! As we step into 2023, with new resolutions and hopes for the next 12 months, I’m thrilled to present CEO Today’s January dose of inspiration for the new year! Here are some of our favourite stories from this month’s issue: How to Raise Funds and Stay Afloat in Difficult Economic Times 36. 24. 50. 30. Business Lessons from the 2022World Cup Leadership Lessons from Rishi Sunak 5 Leadership Resolutions for 2023 Photo: Wikicommons - HM Treasury

CONTENTS. January 2023

THE CEO INTERVIEW 12. Creating a Sustainable Empire One Sheet at a Time 16. Amateurs Talk About STRATEGY; Professionals Talk About LOGISTICS 18. The Route to Success According to Abrar Ali Kayani 10. 34. VISION & STRATEGY 36. Leadership Resolutions for 2023 42. Inflation Nation How Can Businesses Cut Energy Costs? 46. Business Transformation Is the Festive Period Perfect for Planning? 48. 5 Ways to Utilise Branding and Outsmart Competition in 2023 50. How to Raise Funds & Stay Afloat in Difficult Economic Times 22. THE DISRUPTORS 24. Leadership Lessons from Rishi Sunak 30. Business Lessons from the 2022 World Cup 54. TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE 56. Dealing with Stress & The Art of Mindfulness 46. 24. 56. 7

8 MONTHLY ROUND - UP NEWS Meta Threatens to Remove News Content in US Meta has announced that it will remove news content from US Facebook if new law passes. This comes after discussions around a new law that would allow news outlets to negotiate fees for articles and videos shared on Facebook. Asimilar lawwas passed inAustralia and led to a brief suspensions of news on Facebook in the country. Meta argues that Facebook, in fact, helps struggling news organisations through driving higher levels of traffic to theirwebsites. The company says that these publishers share their content on the platform because “it benefits their bottom line”. The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), introduced in Congress by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, would allow publishers and broadcasters to negotiate fees with social media companies for a bigger share of ad revenue. “If Congress passes an ill-considered journalism bill as part of national security legislation, we will be forced to consider removing news from our platform altogether,” said Meta spokesperson Andy Stone. Meta earns huge sums of money from news content shared on Facebook, but it argues that sharing news accounts for only a fraction of the company’s revenue. Elon Musk Sells $3.6bn of Tesla Shares Multi-billionaire Elon Musk is no longer the richest person in the world after he sold another 22 million shares, worth $3.6bn in his electric car maker Tesla. This brings the total of Tesla shares Musk has now sold to almost $40bn. The Stories Everyone’s been Talking about Photo: Wikicommons - Steve Jurvetson

MONTHLY ROUND - UP According to financial market data provider Refinitiv, he remains the biggest shareholder in the company with a 13.4% stake. BernardArnault, CEOof luxury goods group LVMH, has nowovertaken Elon Musk as the richest person in the world. His net worth sits at $191bn, whilst Musk’s has dropped down to $174bn, according to Forbes. Sam Bankman-Fried Was Arrested in Bahamas The founder of collapsed crypto exchange FTX Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in The Bahamas and will appear in a magistrate’s court in Nassau on Tuesday 20th December. Police in the Caribbean country say he was arrested for “financial offences” against laws in the USA and The Bahamas. FXT filed for bankruptcy in November, leaving many of the exchange’s customers unable to withdraw their money. The company also owes its 50 largest creditors almost $3.1bn. One of the most serious allegations against the 30-year founder of FTX is that he used billions of dollars of users’ funds to prop up his investment trading company, Alameda. 9


13 Creating a Sustainable Empire One Sheet at a Time James Higgins Founder of Ethical Bedding James Higgins founded his company, Ethical Bedding, after a highly successful career in FinTech left himunfulfilled.We speak to James about his career pivot, the challenges of building a sustainable empire, and the importance of purpose over profit in business. 13

THE CEO INTERVIEW 14 You left a successful job in finance to start your sustainable bedding company, Ethical Bedding. What was the impetus behind this? Before starting Ethical Bedding, I had known for some time that I needed a change in my life. I had personally become extremely disenfranchised with my work, in part due to the endless red tape, politics and nepotism. For me, life isn’t about what you can take, it’s about what you can give, and I didn’t feel like I was doing enough for myself or the planet. Ethical Bedding was built as a brand which actively engaged in giving back, and showing kindness to our planet, and this was magnified when my son, Rocco, was born. I want him to enjoy the world and nature around us as he grows up, and this means taking responsibility for the planet today. What are your thoughts on “hustle culture” and the effect this has on the mental and physical health of business owners and entrepreneurs? I’m not someone that follows popular media too closely; I prefer to live a more simple life, and am careful about what media and messages I consume. However, I would say that a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs naturally push themselves quite hard – I know that I certainly do! For me, the key to staying well-balanced centres around my understanding of my own body, mind and pillars for happiness. Surrounding yourself with amazing people that you can rely on is also essential. Living a holistically well-balanced life is always more enjoyable, and often more productive – I’m guilty of pushing myself very hard when it comes to my business, but I find ways to manage. Why do you think the importance of taking care of oneself and getting proper sleep is so often overlooked in business? Looking after myself is non-negotiable. I need to be running at peak performance, and for me, this means being at peak physical and mental condition. One of my priorities when it comes to looking after myself is ensuring I eat and exercise well, as everything in our bodies and minds is so connected. I think there is far more awareness around the importance of good-quality sleep and attaining that peak performance needed for success, so for me, prioritising sleep and properly nourishing your body are absolute essentials. You cite a desire to reconnect with nature through the products you make as one of your biggest motivators. Why do you think this is important? Nature is the most beautiful gift we have, Q Q Q Q

THE CEO INTERVIEW and unfortunately, we are as a species slowly destroying it. This truly disgusts and saddens me, and I’d love for nothing more than for everyone to take more time in nature, practice some mindfulness and grow an appreciation of what we have. It’s free and it’s beautiful, so I’ve never understood why people don’t adore it more. Nothing has the power to engage all of our senses as nature does, and with the products created by Ethical Bedding, I hope to help people reconnect with nature, and experience a little of the opportunities for mindfulness and immersion that comes with it. It’s something that I think we could all do with more of in our lives! “Purpose over Profit” is a core mantra of your business. Can you tell us more about this? It’s about doing the right thing, plain and simple. Far too many organisations put profit above all else, and that is so often to the detriment of both people and the planet. With Ethical Bedding, we are setting out to prove that business does not need to be conducted in this way to be successful. We want to bring a little bit of kindness back into business, and prove that there is another way of doing things. What are your thoughts on corporate greenwashing, and how is Ethical Bedding setting a new standard for what it means to be truly sustainable? Unfortunately, it’s gotten to the point where corporate greenwashing is everywhere – it’s almost unavoidable. I hope that policy and regulation changes in the coming years will make things much tighter, and make it difficult for companies to get away with bogus environmental claims. At Ethical Bedding, we commit ourselves to being completely transparent with all of our products. What goes into them, out of them, and how they get to our customers. We also make sure we are transparent and honest about our charitable donations, and where and how they are used. Ultimately, this stuff isn’t very difficult to get right, it just requires more investment from both a cost and time perspective. What are your plans for Ethical Bedding? We’re at such an exciting time with Ethical Bedding. Our first stop is becoming a market leader in our niche within the UK, and then expanding into other parts of the world including the US, Canada and Europe. We have so many amazing products we’re currently working on for the brand, and I have dozens of other businesses and products I would like to springboard into in the coming years. With the highly scalable nature of our products, the sky really is the limit, so you’ll just have to wait and see what else we have in store! Q Q Q James Higgins “ “Looking after myself is nonnegotiable. I need to be running at peak performance, and for me, this means being at peak physical and mental condition.” 15

16 THE CEO INTERVIEW Originally from the Dominican Republic, Mario Medina moved to the US at the age of nine. He received his undergraduate degree from Nova University and has worked for Fortune 500 companies before co-founding Moveo Technologies. CEO Today talks all things Moveo Technologies with him over the next pages. FatCat Studios, Inc. 410.534.8700 Amateurs Talk About STRATEGY; Professionals Talk About LOGISTICS Mario Medina Co-founder & CEO, Moveo Technologies

17 THE CEO INTERVIEW 17 Please tell us more about Moveo Technologies. Ground has always been a bit of a stepchild of the passenger transportation industry - air, sea, and rail receiving all the plaudits. Our company Moveo Technologies Corporation was envisioned to bring sophisticated logistics to the passenger ground transportation industry. In the process of moving away from the fax machines, spreadsheets, and phone lines, we needed not only to eradicate these, although they were essential, but we also needed to introduce a proactive dispatch system, which was capable of viewing and managing all ground logistics globally. A number of initiatives were undertaken to achieve the lowest incident rate in the industry, chief among them are ISO 9001 certification (a game changer for us in quality management), using machine learning and AI on our in house developed platform, and offering our back-end technology, without charge, to companies serious about passenger transport (e.g., Carnival Cruise Line and a Major League in the US). What makes the company unique? It is a combination of the projects we take on and our vision as a company, both of which put our focus on managing serious logistics. The implications of this extend from the individual business traveler to the US Army’s OAW (Operation Allies Welcome), during which we provided logistical support and managed ground transportation for more than 30,000 stateside passengers. General Bradley says it best: “Amateurs talk about strategy. Professionals talk about logistics.” What are your favourite things about the sector? I love the fact that the industry has become so receptive to innovation and the appreciation we receive from customers when they get what we do. What are the challenges you Frequently face and how do you resolve them? The biggest challenge by far is managing growth after COVID. We have grown 20 times larger as a company in the last two years. Even though COVID was a major challenge when business dropped off a cliff, the resolution was realising that we had an opportunity to make fundamental improvements that would position our company to scale. We invested heavily in research and development, focused on machine learning and predictive AI algorithms, to improve our logistical processes. Coupled with a new ISO certified quality management system, we secured the logistics and service for managing, scheduling, and transportation officials to all Major League games when they were not able to fly. What are your goals for the future of Moveo Technologies? The two most important ones in the pipeline are a planned expansion to 250 metropolitan service areas by the end of 2025 (we currently serve 100 MSAs domestically and internationally). Furthermore, we plan to offer a high-end air, land, and sea travel as part of an ‘uber’ (pun intended) service line. AN INTERVIEW WITH MARIO MEDINA “Even though COVID was a major challenge when business dropped off a cliff, the resolution was realising that we had an opportunity to make fundamental improvements that would position our company to scale.” 18 The Route to Success According to Abrar Ali Kayani Abrar Ali Kayani Consultant & Entrepreneur We introduce you to Abrar Kayani – strategic consultant, serial entrepreneur and the CEO of AAK & Co. We had the chance to sneak into his success story and asked about the unique character traits individuals require to get to the top of their field. Abrar is widely recognised by international experts in the business and consulting field and has won multiple awards including four prestige international business awards just this year alone. He is a distinguished speaker and has regularly been invited to numerous events as a subject matter expert. He regularly writes articles for leading publications and journals. Abrar is a successful business consultant & seasoned entrepreneur, who has helped clients with the development and implementation of growth strategies for almost two decades and has been involved inmultiple successful ventures throughout his professional career. He’s worked with prominent experts across three continents supporting his clients over the years. He is also incredibly passionate about start-ups and helped several successful ventures to thrive. Abrar is a chartered management accountant by profession who earned his postgraduate degree from the Accounting & Finance School of the University of Strathclyde in the UK. He is a Fellow member of the Institute of Financial Accountants in the UK, as well as the Institute of Public Accountants in Australia. He has a Fellowship with the Institute of Cost & Management Accountants of Pakistan and the Pakistan Institute of Public Finance Accountants. Abrar is an Associate Member of the Association of International Accountants in the UK. Abrar’s passion for entrepreneurship and consultancy has burned within him since a young age, leading him to work with internationally respected leaders, sharing the experience with the brightest minds in the fields. He’s always been intrigued by solving complex problems and delivering results. “I started my career just after graduating,” he explains, recalling how much of the decision-making process, fresh out of college, was guided by having a passion for entrepreneurship. “After almost two decades and being involved in tens of companies, I still have an unquenchable thirst for new projects.” With a background anchored in finance, corporate and strategy, he says he is always excited by the challenges the strategic consultant and adviser roles present. THE CEO INTERVIEW


THE CEO INTERVIEW 20 Tell us about your career and the things that have led you to consultancy. I started my first venture straight after finishing my studies and it was there that I honed my skills in strategy and consulting. I was attracted by the huge opportunity for transformation – every new project presented new dynamics. While there was always the potential for significant innovation. It was also a complex space and not something everyone wanted to spend time on and this challenge attracted me. This client-centric approach which consistently drives innovation led me to become a consultant. And I’m still here 20 years later! I think I started with the expectation of staying in this field for only a couple of years just to gain some learning insight, without appreciating the depth and breadth of the opportunities that await. What excites you about your work? In my time, I’ve worked across multiple divisions in addition to finance and have enjoyed these exciting challenges to move around the businesses. Not only has this meant there has never been a dull day, but it’s also helped me to broaden my skills and diversify my expertise. The holistic insight I have into the businesses is really valuable for me as a consultant and has also equipped me with a competitive edge. What is your philosophy about hard work? How has the pandemic affected this? I always come with my eyes wide open in any new project and I’m always keen to observe how hard the senior managers of the company are working to achieve what they have achieved. I also monitor how much value I can create. The trajectory to excellence is trying things that are difficult and I believe in the philosophy of always pushing your boundaries. Of course, working and surviving through a global pandemic might be the very definition of hard work but thanks to the array of incredible technological developments that are currently available, most businesses were able to shift to remote working without losing focus on what truly matters. What are the challenges the new digital age presents for your work? In today’s digital world, most companies operate in international markets and even small businesses have exposure across borders. This brings in an extra challenge for anyone working on these projects to meet ever-changing clients’ demands. Many of the clients I work with have a multinational presence, which means we need to coordinate and deliver services in multiple countries where they do business and it is always an exciting challenge within a challenge. Historically, that was not the case! Do you embrace or steer away from Artificial Intelligence in your work? The industry is changing rapidly, and external catalysts are overwhelming business models. The consensus appears to be leaning towards the idea that artificial intelligence can replace the role of human services across all segments of any business. There is no doubt AI plays an important role in decision-making and refining views and I do seek assistance from it when needed but the question is: Can AI ever replace personal experience? I think we’re not going anywhere in our industry. This is an incredibly important aspect of client relationships where the footprint of human interaction in the strategic decision-making process is the key ingredient Q Q Q Q Q

THE CEO INTERVIEW 21 for success and almost all the clients I work with fully understand this. How do you encourage younger people who aspire to pursue leadership roles? I believe role models are important and we should work out to spotlight them and their experiences. It isn’t a naturally comfortable spot for me but I do feel the responsibility and recognise the role that I can play by talking openly about my journey, my vulnerabilities, and my experience to help others in the industry. On an individual level, mentoring is incredibly beneficial for success. I’m lucky that I’ve had some incredible colleagues and mentors from a range of backgrounds and experiences to learn from throughout my career. Their support has not only encouraged and helped me to navigate my career but it’s also fuelled my aspirations and ambitions. Finally, I am a strong believer that one should not shy in voicing his or her ambitions and asking for support when needed. How do you create successful relationships with clients? I always say that proactivity plays a crucial role in the enduring success of the client relationship. Our best clients are ones that we are proactive with, who always think to make the first phone call for solutions in any given complex situation. For me, a successful advisory relationship is really about being at the forefront of the idea, providing proactive leadership and insights on the relevant subject. As an adviser to clients, I can rethink how things are being done in their present state and fully enhance it. This is very important for thriving relationships. What inspires you about your work? The opportunity to be thoughtful and add perspective to help move forward with various projects is always thrilling for me. Everything I am involved with will exist for years to come. That is what keeps pushing me forward. Q Q Q Abrar Ali Kayani “ “There is no doubt AI plays an important role in decisionmaking and refining views and I do seek assistance from it when needed but the question is: Can AI ever replace personal experience?”


Chris Underwood Managing Director at Adastrum Consulting Leadership Lessons from Rishi Sunak How Can Leaders Restore Organisations in Turmoil? Leadership expert Chris Underwood, Managing Director for executive search specialists, Adastrum Consulting, discusses how new leaders can restore and transform a struggling business. 24 Photo: Wikicommons - HM Treasury


Following former Prime Minister Liz Truss’ swift exit from 10 Downing Street, all eyes are now on new Tory leader Rishi Sunak to restore his party and lead the United Kingdom out of an economic crisis. A party described as ‘ungovernable’, a strong pointing finger from the opposition, and anger from the British public, Sunak enters Parliament at a time where definitive decision-making and strong redirection are demanded. Now, Britain awaits the fulfilment of Sunak’s promises to restore integrity and provide confidence in the government’s agenda, acknowledging that “trust is earned”. Leaders like Rishi Sunak, who enter an organisation on its knees will in no doubt discover immediate hurdles of damaged trust, lost direction, and weakened stakeholder relations. So, what is the best approach to such challenges, and what should be prioritised? Step 1: Rebuild trust Whether it’s a series of managerial changes, scandals or financial fiascos, periods of uncertainty inevitably weaken trust in organisational relationships both internally and externally. The new Prime Minister must gain confidence in his competency from both his party and the British public. A stable future sits on a foundation of stakeholder confidence from all angles, meaning leaders like Sunak must prioritise rebuilding this first and foremost. Internally, low employee trust presents itself as poor motivation, productivity, unity, and collaboration. A culture of fear could be running rife; in times of uncertainty, the inevitable human response is to resist change, “ which in this case is new leadership and ways of working. To encourage a sense of security, ensure employees feel valued under new leadership; cultivate an environment that encourages two-way open communication and welcomes employee feedback and input. Here, it takes advanced leaders to effectively extract and process information from others and use this to inform new bold strategies to move forward. Regular internal comms on the vision, plans and progress will only continue rebuilding trusting internal relationships by demonstrating honesty fromtop levels of the organisation while fostering a sense of belonging within the team – “we’re all in this together” is a muchhackneyed phrase but getting this buy-in is essential. Once employees begin to sense camaraderie and shared purpose, leaders will experience greater internal engagement and support in their decision-making. After all, a team’s unity, ability to collaborate and motivate all stem from a shared faith in the leader and organisational direction. Externally, reduced consumer confidence, investor disinterest and unhappy suppliers are all red flags pointing to signs of low trust. For the new Prime Minister, a key challenge will be restoring Britain’s national credibility following the Bank of England’s recent intervention over Truss’ failed ‘mini budget’. Without restoring reputational damage, leaders will not secure external support for future decisions and strategies, which threatens thefinancial andcompetitive security of the organisation. Unlike employees, external stakeholders are less concerned with a firm’s managerial capabilities but instead base trust on the leadership team’s technical competence. To earn trust with these audiences, new leaders must focus on demonstrating THE DISRUPTORS “Take Christian Horner, for example. Recently discussing his first day as Principal for Red Bull Racing on ‘Diary of a CEO’ podcast, Horner describes a disgruntled workforce, a secretary in tears and a half-drunk coffee on the desk of his predecessor who was fired earlier that morning. As the youngest Formula 1 Principal of his time, it required months of engaging and listening to his workforce to gain their respect following a “revolving door” of managerial changes.” 26

absolute integrity and treating each stakeholder group as a separate entity; whether it’s proving quality and value to customers, delivering financial security and projected growth to investors or ensuring prompt payment to suppliers. Step 2: Develop adaptability As technology rapidly advances, leaders must move with pace. A pivotal lesson Covid-19 left us with is the importance of responding quickly to external environmental factors. Whether it’s a global pandemic, the rising cost of living, climate change or war, business’ can maintain their competitive edge through organisational adaptability. “Resilient agility”, a combination of adaptability, grit, fortitude and emotional resilience, is a crucial leadership trait. It enables organisations to respond quickly to fast-changing situations while still delivering against corporate objectives. Furthermore, no matter what the macro environment throws at a business, an adaptable leader who can build teams with a flexible and positive outlook on change will mitigate the ambiguity and complexity of an uncertain environment. To ensure resilient agility becomes widespread throughout the organisation, emotional intelligence (EQ) is fundamental for establishing the trusting relationships required and projecting gravitas and calm authority during difficult times. Step 3: Never waste a crisis Promptly leading with a ‘business as usual’ strategy after a challenging period will only prevent learning opportunities and risk its recurrence. Instead, impactful leaders will reframe crises as opportunities for growth, identifying where bold adaptations should be made by thorough investigation of the core issues unveiled. Rather than interrogating and finding blame, leaders operating a ‘fail fast’ strategy upon their arrival will immediately begin fostering an environment that encourages curiosity, experimentation and exploration of new concepts. Fear of making mistakes will only discourage contributing ideas to avoid risking their personal reputation, ultimately hindering the innovation required to transform the business and gain competitive edge. Step 4: Build vision and look ahead A leader with vision is no use without the ability to win buy-in from the people who land it. An inspiring speech won’t be enough to win over a team after periods of severe uncertainty and failure. Take Christian Horner, for example. Recently discussing his first day as Principal for Red Bull Racing on ‘Diary of a CEO’ podcast, Horner describes a disgruntled workforce, a secretary in tears and a half-drunk coffee on the desk of his predecessor who was fired earlier that morning. As the youngest Formula 1 Principal of his time, it required months of engaging and listening to his workforce to gain their respect following a “revolving door” of managerial changes. Identifying a ‘blame culture’ between departments that prevented unity and collaboration, Horner was able to build a greater sense of purpose by focusing on providing the technical direction needed to redefine Red Bull Racing’s winning mindset. Moreover, new leaders should avoid asserting power over sceptical stakeholders – such as Elon Musk’s recent ultimatum to Twitter staff over his new working terms. Instead, a shared vision throughout the business and long-term support of decisions can be earned by working alongside teams to gain a better sense of how to transform the business to be a thriving organisation. To conclude, new leaders must be prepared to face immediate hurdles and hostility upon arrival when entering organisations in need of change and transformation. People are at the heart of every organisation, and so engaging with internal and external stakeholders to rebuild trust, reputation and purpose will enable a leader to turn around a business and work through periods of uncertainty. THE DISRUPTORS About the Author Chris Underwood is the Founder and MD of Adastrum Consulting, an Executive Search and Leadership Development consultancy, which focuses on bringing in talent to manage organisational transformation and drive business performance. The company has advised FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies, professional services organisations and venture capitalbacked start-ups and Private Equity scale-ups to appoint the right and most appropriate talent. W: 27

Christy Kulasingam Business Lessons from the 2022 World Cup There is no shortage of comparisons between sport and business. And rightfully so. There are many lessons that business leaders can take from pivotal sporting events like the football World Cup. The sporting world is constantly innovating, uncovering new tactics and investing in the next generation. The business world often struggles to keep up with the pace of change. In an economic climate that is squeezing budgets and damagingmorale, innovative business leaders would do well to look beyond the traditional spheres towards sport to seek out that winning edge. The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has provided many transferable lessons for businesses. Within this article, we delve into a few of these that may inspire you to drive real business benefits. 30

“Results matter in business and sport, but people come first.” 31

Societal change requires staunch commitment backed by action The subject of Diversity and Inclusion has been raised at almost every game of the World Cup. Before the tournament began, Qatar’s women and LGBT human rights record had been called into question. Similarly, many pundits’ decisions to commentate and host the TV coverage has also been subject to criticism. We also saw a number of teams including England and Wales told not to wear the pro-LGBT OneLove Armband during games after FIFA threatened sporting sanctions. However, throughout the tournament, we have also seen a number of individual protests. Ex-England International Alex Scott wore the OneLove Armband during her live BBC commentary and the German team protested FIFA’s armband sanctions by posing for their team photo with their hands over their mouths. Similarly, the Iranian team showed their support for antigovernment protests in their country by refusing to sing the national anthem in their opening encounter. England have also continued to take the knee before their games. These individual actions are important to progress. But they need to be supported by wider institutional, systemic and global change to have a real impact on policy and our day-to-day lives. No business can say they embrace diversity if they are willing to drop their values in the face of challenge. Taking a stance requires renewed commitment. Not just from individual employees, but meaningful actions right from the very top. Business leaders and their institutions can — and should — play a meaningful role. Poor leadership needs dismantling Unfortunately, elite sport is often a place to look for poor leadership and governance practices. The corruption that reigned at the heart of FIFA has been widely-documented. In 2015, more than 24 officials and associates all the way up to highest management were implicated in a 24-year self-enrichment scheme said to involve bribery and corruption. The serious question marks over the legitimacy of Qatar holding the tournament have continued throughout the event. When leaders’ missions and incentives are not aligned with those of stakeholders’, things go awry. But leadership structures are rarely designed to self-correct. Those in charge often talk a good game. But more often than not, impactful change does not follow. Pressure from outside and inside needs to be applied if dysfunctional leadership structures are to be dismantled. “ Use diversity and mentoring to build success Performing on a global stage like the World Cup would be daunting for any seasoned professional. Imagine what it must be like for players who are still in the early stages of their career. Germany’s Youssoufa Moukoko is the youngest player in the 2022 tournament. He had just turned 18 when he played against Japan. This places a key responsibility on the more experienced squad members to step up in amentor role for their younger teammates. After England’s win over Senegal in the last 16, Captain Harry Kane said he felt like a “proud older brother” to the younger teammates and commented on the blend of youth and experience within the current England squad. World Cup success — and high performance in pressurised situations — is not all on technical skills. Much of the success comes from handling the intense pressure to perform at your peak in each game. The ‘been there and done that’ knowledge experienced players can offer is invaluable. They understand exactly what it feels like to be at your first World Cup or have the expectations of a country on your shoulders. Successful teams tend to build around a core of experience and youth. Businesses should too. Those who have been in the THE DISRUPTORS On the flip side of these unexpected wins, there is a top-rated teamwith high expectations that will feel like they let themselves, their fans and their country down. These feelings can quickly impede future success and personal progress too. 32

business or industry the longest should be encouraged to guide and mentor those just entering the industry. It doesn’t have to be a formal mentoring program, although the structure can support personalised development plans. Similarly, those just stepping up could bring new, innovative approaches which could be weaved into current practices through reverse mentoring. Put humans first Results matter in business and sport, but people come first. Before England’s Round-of-16 tie against Senegal, it was announced that Raheem Sterling would not be available for the game. It later came to light that he flew home to be with his family after an armed robbery at his home. When pressed on whether Sterling would be returning, England Coach Gareth Southgate was fully behind Sterling’s decision to return to the UK. He demonstrated his commitment to player wellbeing saying he gives Sterling “as much time as he needs”. Luke Shaw also shared that his Grandmother had passed away before England’s first game and Southgate offered him the opportunity to take time away but Shaw opted to continue with the team. The pandemic and the current costof-living crisis have demonstrated the need for businesses to put humans first. We are all dealing with unique circumstances that impact our whole selves, including our ability to work. Managers and leaders should have flexibility, empathy and understanding to support team members through personal challenges. Learn new tricks - nimble Davids can beat Goliaths The World Cup is famous for its shocking and unexpected results. In the group stages, we saw Saudi Arabia stun Argentina and Japan beat both Germany and Spain 2-1.Morocco reached the semifinals for the first time in the country’s history. It’s a clear example that with a nimble approach that is able to adapt to the working style of each competitor, smaller teams can overcome the giants in the footballing world. This is true in the corporate space. Startups that embrace ‘grown-up thinking’, learn from the mistakes of those before them and embrace new tactics can surge past their competitors. Control what you can control On the flip side of these unexpected wins, there is a top-rated team with high expectations that will feel like they let themselves, their fans and their country down. These feelings can quickly impede future success and personal progress too. As much as you might be highly favoured, you ultimately cannot control what the other team does on the day. In business, your customers, stakeholders, partners, and investors can go against you on any given day no matter how much preparation or crisis mitigation you do. Focus on what you can control, rather than being consumed by what you can’t, like competitor actions or wider economic forces. You are the only one in control of your personal performance. The choices you make should be to empower this position, not ones based on the actions of others. Business leaders can create an environment where preparation and excellence are celebrated, not results outside your control. Conclusion Sport has plenty of inspiring stories and transferrable insights that can be applied in business. These lessons from sport can be powerful catalysts for change in your business. But don’t just leave it here. Invite people involved in elite sports into your business. Bring them in to share their inspirational stories with your teams — not just on keynote speeches and hosting clients. Invite them to the boardroom to facilitate, brainstorm, and inspire on business-specific issues like DEI, high performance and product innovation. Involve them in focus groups, ask them to be part of your advisory team, and allow them to mentor your highfliers. You never know what solutions you could uncover by bringing elite talent from the world of sport into your inner circle. THE DISRUPTORS About the Author Christy Kulasingam is an experienced business strategist and founder of In•Side•Edge. A portfolio entrepreneur, he was born and raised in Sri Lanka until 18 years old, Christy then moved to the US where he achieved a double major in Computer Science and Economics, which fuelled his curiosity for marrying the two subjects in business. After a successful 14-year consulting career with Andersen and Deloitte, Christy founded Radbourne Consulting in 2009, where he delivers strategic business advice to blue chips, scaling businesses, entrepreneurs, and investors. Christy also brings hands-on operational experience as the founder of multiple ventures and as an interim executive. His most recent venture is In•Side•Edge, a boutique consultancy and innovation studio that helps businesses tap into the world-class insights of sporting elites. More information can be found at 33


for 2023 36 Leadership Resolutions

As we close the book on 2022, it’s time to start looking ahead to the new year and setting goals for ourselves as leaders. 2023 presents a unique opportunity for growth and development and making a few resolutions can help us make the most of it. By making a commitment to these goals, you can become a better leader and help your team achieve even greater success. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a new manager, these resolutions are designed to help you take your leadership skills to the next level in 2023. 37

The number one resolution for business leaders in 2023 should be to ensure that their big goals are broken down into everyday actions. Research shows that fewer than 25% of employees can articulate the company’s strategic priorities. Fewer still are clear about what they need to do to help meet them. The gap between strategy and execution is growing. The key to improving performance in 2023 is to help individuals and teams focus on the right small steps they need to take every day to progress towards their big goals. Help them to focus on these actions; avoid distraction; and become individually accountable for playing their part in progress. If we can get hundreds or even thousands of people doing the right small things regularly, the compound effect of consistency will see us smash our goals…and some. The new zeitgeist is to think small to deliver big. Jeremy Campbell is the CEO of performance improvement and technology business Black Isle Group and an expert on behavioural change. It can be easy when responding to the day-to-day demands of a busy leadership role to get caught up in the whirlwind and not pause for breath. This can lead to feeling exhausted and can trigger feelings of imposter syndrome. This year, schedule in short moments to stop, ground and re-charge yourself. Take a breather – 5 breaths in and out, with the words: “I am enough, I do enough”. With each inhale focus on the energy that you bring to your leadership role, and with each exhale focus on something you feel grateful for. Do this between meetings, on the way to work – aim for three times a day. Reminding yourself that you are enough and taking time to breathe is a great re-set for busy lives. Becky Hall is an accredited life coach, leadership consultant and is the author of The Art of Enough. THE DISRUPTORS vision & strategy Break down goals into everyday actions Remember that you are enough 38

If you are a decision-maker, you already know the basics to achieve results and thrive in your business. This success can be accomplished by a good action plan, a follow-up, and the measurement of results. As you already do this for your company, make it your resolution to apply the same strategy to yourself. Before your 9-5, clear your mornings, and set an action plan to focus on your health, mindset, or productivity. Then create a morning routine that will drive you to those goals and stick to it. Follow up and measure the results, and in consequence, you will experience achievements and exciting benefits in your professional and personal life. Adrian Gonzalez is an entrepreneur, life coach, and the author of Morning Zen. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a composite of multiple skills. From understanding your emotions - ‘self-awareness’, being able to manage your emotions - ‘self-regulation’, wanting to change -’motivation’, being able to ‘empathise’ with others, and ultimately improving your ‘social skills’. This unique combination of attributes, when considered together, provides for a well-rounded leader that is able to manage and lead at the highest level. Research shows that those with higher EQ skills are more successful in their careers and have leadership qualities in line with top-level management, which in turn nurtures a happy, healthy and high-performing company culture. EQ isn’t a fixed asset, so leaders should keep working on it. For example, keeping a diary and making note of your emotions throughout the day, practicing mindfulness to be more present with your emotions, or being brave and talking about how you feel are 3 ways to develop your EQ. Oliver Henry is a workplace wellbeing expert and the cofounder of WorkLifeWell. vision & strategy Set up – and stick to – a morning routine Develop your EQ 39

2022 has been a year of challenges and uncertainties for many companies, but whether we like it or not, the conventional rules and actions are making little progress in improving the business landscape. It’s time CEOs get out of their corporate comfort zone and start thinking – and acting – more counter-conventionally, more entrepreneurially. Many successful entrepreneurs exhibit mindsets that fly in the face of traditional business wisdom, allowing them to challenge assumptions, overcome obstacles, mitigate risk, and break the conventional rules. By thinking outside of the box, they can take full advantage of new opportunities that drive growth and innovation, turning ‘no’s’ into ‘yes’s’ and changing the world from the outside in. Consider how you would tackle customer problems or the latest digital project if you weren’t limited by established conventions. A ‘break-the-rules’ mindset will provide different results, so be your organisation’s leader in identifying how to challenge conventional thinking and build a culture where the entrepreneurial mindset can thrive. JohnMullins is an internationally recognized thought leader on entrepreneurship, professor of management practice at London Business School, and best-selling author of a new book Break the Rules! The 6 Counter–Conventional Mindsets of Entrepreneurs That Can Help Anyone Change the World (Wiley, £21.99). Think & act like an entrepreneur THE DISRUPTORS vision & strategy 40

In the ever-changing consumer market, where trends come and go, and market competition is becoming increasingly stiff - having an iconic brand is more than a perfectly designed logo placed above your shop entrance or featuring on your products. nflation Nation Ro l Decneut Chief St ategy Officer at Lansweep r I How Can Businesses Cut Energy Costs? As more and more stories emerge of rising energy costs crippling businesses, with some increasing by five-fold over the space of just a fewmonths, many are starting to take drastic efforts to reduce their bills. But asmuchof theworkforce split their timebetweenthe office and home, it’s not a simple case of installing more energy-saving lightbulbs and solar panels anymore. Sure, many could drastically cut their tech stack, such as moving from on-premise to the Cloud, but employees still need the tools to do their jobs. Waging a war on obsolete tech such as floppy discs and fax machines might work if you’re in Japan, but are we really at a point where we start taking away second screens and wireless keyboards? Businesses are dependent on a backbone of technology, and with so many requiring devices to be running on an almost constant basis - from laptops and smartphones to printers and servers - it’s time to get smarter on how we use it. 42

Energy costs leaving businesses in the dark With inflation increasing costs across the board, businesses are looking to reduce unnecessary spend in all areas. Every little helps, they say, and by becoming just a little bit savvier with their energy use, businesses could make a big difference to the bottom line. But it doesn’t mean having to work in complete darkness. Simple ways to reduce energy bills include lowpower lightbulbs, switching energy supplier, or even moving to more sustainable options such as solar or wind-powered energy. Some businesses are choosing to install smart meters to constantly monitor their energy use and figure out ways to reduce it, while others are starting to ditch air conditioning units and other forms of equipment that are both energy-intensive and less environmentally friendly. For IT devices, simply unplugging laptops when they’re not in use could save just under £5 a year. While this won’t make a large difference on its own, for businesses with thousands of devices - including servers constantly running in the background and ‘vampire devices’ such as printers and monitors which use up energy even when not in use - the savings could soon add up. It’s important to remember as well that one way to reduce energy costs isn’t to encourage more staff to work from home. Shifting costs onto staff while many are being hit with inflation isn’t a smart move. Indeed, many employees are now starting to ask for contributions towards their home bills to support increases in home working. Can businesses reduce IT running costs without disrupting operations? One way to reduce costs without affecting productivity and efficiency could be to look into how devices are used, for how long, and how much power they’re taking up - like smart meters, but specifically for IT equipment. Although it’s currently impossible to track the energy use of certain equipment, IT asset management (ITAM) software can provide an overview of how many devices are actively connected to networks and in use - including many that businesses might not even know about that secretly run up energy bills. THE DISRUPTORS vision & strategy “It’s important to remember as well that one way to reduce energy costs isn’t to encourage more staff to work from home. Shifting costs onto staff while many are being hit with inflation isn’t a smart move.” 44

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy Mjk3Mzkz