Ability to integrate into the client company
Tom came into the company at a particularly low and difficult point and was able to very quickly change peoples perspectives and re-energise them with his decisive, pragmatic leadership style. From all the possible candidates, we were looking at to join us as Chairman – Tom uniquely understood our circumstances. Right from our first meeting, Tom’s passion for what he does was clearly evident. He totally mirrored our own long-term passion for what we do here and our objective to make the business we have built over 12 years worth some money. It was critical to understand the strengths and weaknesses of our 12-year-old print business, what to preserve and what to let go. This is something that Tom excels at. After an initial overview, Tom ascertained how the business worked, defined and then split the joint managing directors roles to give the business clarity. In 18 hours we agreed and prioritised the 5 point strategy, capturing what needed to be done to get the business back on track. Tom’s instant understanding of both the business and the culture enabled him to gain everyone’s respect. This became an extremely solid foundation to get ownership of the ideas and plan to cascade to the team to start implementing them.
Impact on the business/bottom line
Tom’s major impact on the business was to provide simplicity and complete focus, organise it and shape it into a more efficient way of working through better business practices, and gain a better handle on the ‘cash’ side of the business. The company now has a far better understanding and complete control of the financials, cash, overhead, profit and margins with regular reporting. This has resulted in us being able to better maintain a consistent margin on our output know exactly what’s going on, to create the space, become as an executive team far more pro-active in our thinking, enabling the supporting team, therefore, to get on with their roles.
Overall contribution/achievement of objectives
After the initial work to create the plan, Tom is only physically in the business for one-half day a week This half day is always a highly productive day. We shape the agenda for the coming week and identify what needs to be achieved and delivered. When not in the business his communication via email and phone helped to keep things moving forward at the required pace and provides the right 1-1 support to plug the sales, marketing financial, motivational, strategy or operational gaps. Toms complete commitment to our cause has ensured that this project has been driven in the way it needs to be. And we are completely aligned to the same outcome over the next 2 years. From a very tough start, we are now on target to double our sales this year at a consistent margin and really take our customer relationships and value we bring our customers to the next stage. Next year we target to do the same.
Tom is not afraid and sees I as his responsibility to thoroughly, constructively and continually challenge our thinking. This was exactly what we were looking for when we brought him in. His ‘straightforward’ style was exactly what was required to effect quick, productive change and really liberate and motivate the team to take and grow the business to the next stage.
Leadership/people management skills
His ability to mentor and guide people has given us and the team a new found ability to have confidence in their decision making. His continued guidance allows us to grow our confidence and capability top down and at team member level and make the supporting team a more effective fully engaged members of the team.
Any other comments about the manager
I‘d certainly highly recommend Tom to anyone needing to effect quick, decisive change within their business. He is aligned to the support the transition over a number of years to open the option of a sale in a couple of years or leave us to build on the platform we have created.
We have given Tom equity in the business. In this way, we are aligned to realising exactly the same successful outcome in 2 years