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I’m with Seb! Musings on a Friday afternoon

Faye Holland

I recently spent time at a breakfast meeting* where, having had my inner geek satisfied with live hacking from Oli of @Bulletproofsec, I reflected on the keynote speaker Lord Sebastian Coe CH KBE and how familiar his approach is to making things happen.

Lord Coe is a man after my own heart. He self-styled his presentation – from a few key messages he basically made it up as he went along – which meant he kept it real, and also went a little ‘squirrel’**. He warned those who like either sausages and/or the Olympic Games, not to ever watch them being put together (sounds to me like a normal day in the office when we’re juggling strategies, concepts and creativity for our clients!). But there were three things that really resonated which I want to share:

  1. All the best decisions happen in the pub

The London 2012 Olympics basically happened because three people just dared to pursue the idea following a conversation in the pub. Many of the Cambridge ecosystem success stories have started in the pub, not to mention it being imperative to spend down-time with colleagues and clients in a social environment. And if the pub’s not your thing – we at least need time to think and create, away from the daily routine.

  1. The biggest challenge he found was communication

Something that, in our marginally disenfranchised world, seems to be more and more important. Obviously, this is our business so we totally agree – but we also believe that people respond better when communicated with, especially if it can be done with integrity, compassion for differing opinions and, ideally, with a little character. And a special plea, remembering that whatever opinions and beliefs that we have, we’re all members of the human race (the next 22+ days in the UK need to keep this in mind – I will say no more on that matter!).

  1. Find the best in class and do not compromise

Be brave about where you get your team and connections from and do not compromise – trust your instinct. Once you’ve got the right team, set the systems and processes in place and allow them to do the best work in their lives. As an entrepreneur, this is a tough one as there is always the tendency to micro-manage – especially when it’s your name above the door. But, in the long run, this is the only workable approach.

So what do I hope you take away from this?  Trust your instinct, communicate (well) … and don’t forget to go to the pub! Happy Friday!


*Thanks to @KaoDataDC @ServerChoice @InvestEssex

**“Oh look there’s a squirrel” syndrome – something I seem to be afflicted with! @NickyShepard