We’re delighted that Graham Bourton, the Managing Director of our client’s United UK, has agreed to discuss leadership, in the first in a series of monthly guest articles and case studies.
As well as leadership, these will cover topics such as how to scale your business, creating a positive culture, setting goals – and what it’s like to run your business using the Entrepreneurial Operating System.
- How would you describe the leadership team of United UK and how it functioned prior to starting the EOS journey?
The team had good intentions and ideas, however our discussion rarely resulted in clear actions. When they did, it was often so long before we met again that points of the actions were forgotten or lost. There was a lack of honesty and, in the times when we were honest, this was not well received, and usually taken personally.
2. How would you describe the health of your organisation pre-EOS?
Before EOS, we were not open and honest with each other as a whole team. I think there were fractions of the team where honesty was expressed but not in an open forum.
3. How would you describe the evolution of the leadership team and any changes, now that you are implementing EOS?
Since we began implementing EOS four months ago, the team has become a lot more honest with each other. This was uncomfortable at first and difficult for all of us, however, now it feels more like a healthy family environment.
4. Communication is a big part of leading in an organisation – how has EOS made a difference to this?
Communication has become better. While I still believe we have a way to go, EOS has certainly provided the tools. It is not easy but as we carry on down this path I believe it is getting easier for all of us. Every now and then, you slip back, but when you do you realise quickly and get back on track.
5. What is the biggest benefit or takeaway you have had personally as a leader since you started EOS?
This is definitely how open we now are. There was always a reluctance to say what needed to be said and when someone did they were often left on their own to defend the statement. Some of my favourites parts of this system is that there is no Blaming, Complaining, Defending (BCD), tangent and politicking. This helps us to keep on track without offence.
6. The Five Leadership Abilities help businesses to break through ceilings. How have they helped you and United?
Keeping things simple is probably the best of all the abilities. We previously have had a tendency to over complicate.
Delegation is something that has always come fairly naturally to me, however some of our best assets on the team have been doing too much of the doing. As they refocus I believe we will realise a much bigger benefit from them.
Predicting is something we are working on – the more we do, the better we will get.
Systemise: this is traditionally something we have done, but we have not effectively communicated these processes. We are now doing this and the next step is to create our “core process” on our internal hub so that our staff can go to one place to refresh whenever needed.
Structure: the accountability chart has been fantastic for us. It has helped with delegating and accountability. I believe it will be another 6 months before we have all the right people in the right seats, but we are making progress and we feel like with have good direction.