Honesty and fear lead the agenda
Sunday 13 August 1995
This is hardly the sort of talk that a company seeking to win business from senior executives might be expected to utter. But, then, Francis Macleod is not one to shy away from blunt talk.
His business - as its name, Foundation Team Building, might suggest - is dedicated to going back to basics in management development. Its courses are aimed at the "over-cours- ed - those who have done MBAs etc", according to Mr Macleod, and the focus is on such issues as fear, trust, honesty and openness.
The problem of course - as Mr Macleod recognises - is that both those offering the course and those looking to attend it have got to be prepared to practise what they preach.
And Mr Macleod and his three colleagues know a little about this difficulty, since they were, until late last year, involved with running the Leadership Trust. The organisation, based in a former hotel outside Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, is still in operation, but, as was reported in these pages last November, their defections were prompted by concerns over the way it was being managed - the very thing it was seeking to teach clients.
Mr Macleod, a barrister by training, became involved in executive development when he moved to Herefordshire in 1988 after giving up the law. He met somebody who worked at the trust and signed up because he had always enjoyed "people issues". He became chief executive last year.
Although he set out to update what, in the words of one participant, had become "rather stale and fuddy-duddy", he maintains that "there is a lot of good at the Leadership Trust". What he and his colleagues are doing is to update that.
As an organisation with lower running costs than those that set themselves up in smart premises, Foundation Team Building claims it is not dependent on high numbers of participants. But by the end of this year, it reckons 160 people will have attended its open courses in a Midlands hotel.
"We're seeking to differentiate ourselves," says Mr Macleod. "We're sending a laser beam out into the market."
The emphasis is on "helping people implement what they learn", and the focus is on just those people who do not always rate the ability of lesser mortals.
"People at the top have to realise that people are a lot more perceptive than they give them credit for," he adds. Then they would know why there is such scepticism about such in-vogue concepts as mission statements. "Everybody is different and everybody has to be handled in different ways. But that doesn't mean you have to pussyfoot around people all the time."
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Russian hack of President Obama's emails worse than previously admitted
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Nepal earthquake: US Pastor Tony Miano sparks outcry by suggesting Nepalis should convert and not rebuild their 'pagan shrines'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...