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Jake Humphrey

Taking responsibility even when something is not your fault can change your life

When I think back over the past four or five years of our High Performance podcast, there are a handful of lessons that are useful to me on a daily basis. Probably the most important is separating fault from responsibility.  There’s no doubt that for a long time I would say to myself: “Well, that...

Jake Humphrey

Somone playing chess

How to set strategy in an uncertain world

The legendary quantum physicist Niels Bohr once said: “It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.” This sage perspective echoed in my ears as I sat down with the PureGym management team recently to discuss how we should evolve our strategic plan and set course for the years ahead. As one of my...

Humphrey Cobbold

Brendon McCullum looks on during an England nets session at Lord's Cricket Ground

The power of a story: Redefining success in a data-driven world

‘It’s just a story’ – in a business or decision-making setting – is a contemptuous put-down. “We’ve all got a story to tell,” people say, which of course means: “Yes, but where’s the evidence?” (Sometimes this is framed with a harder edge as what does the science say?) The evolution of language reveals this direction...

Ed Smith

The purpose paradigm: Fact or fiction?

As head of a recruitment company that strives to “make work mean more”, I’m no stranger to the ongoing debate on the authenticity of prioritising a purpose-driven approach in business. Is it a genuine commitment to societal good, or is it merely a strategic move to attract and retain talent in a competitive job market?...

Niki Turner-Harding

Steffi Graf holds aloft the Venus Rosewater Dish after defeating Jana Novotna at Wimbledon in 1993

The sweet spot of confidence

Focusing as I do on sustained performance, I am often asked if there is one question that can help identify those who are likely to be able to perform over the long term and stay the distance. Perhaps surprisingly, I believe that there is, and the optimum answer to this question might surprise you too....

Catherine Baker

Map of the United Kingdom made of money and torn in half

The future of UK business support funding: Is it time to take a fresh approach?

The nation’s access to nationally funded and regionally delivered business support is fragmenting. Next month, central government is stepping away from directly funding regional business support strategies as part of a longer-term plan for devolution. This is undoubtedly going to see the disappearance of some Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) who have been given the option...

Emma Jones

A mock up of a billboard with MrBeast and Lil Miquela

AI: Reshaping the future of content creation

It’s my second panel of the day at a tech conference in the Middle East. Glancing at the countdown clock positioned just in front of the audience, I note we have 6 minutes and 20 seconds remaining. Surprisingly, we’ve spent nearly 15 minutes without touching on AI, and I feel proud. We’re probably the only...

Caspar Lee

Rishi Sunak at the podium with Liz Truss and Boris Johnson's images to his left and right

Storm clouds over Number 10: The Sunak dilemma

Politics comes at you fast. Three years ago, Boris Johnson was riding high in the polls thanks to a “vaccine bounce” as Britain emerged from the pandemic with a renewed sense of optimism. The Tories were triumphant in the May local elections, taking control of councils across Red Wall areas in the North East and...

Steven Swinford

Mother working from home on her laptop while taking care of her child at home

Building bridges to equality: The infrastructure investment we’re overlooking

This year’s International Women’s Day theme set by the United Nations is ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’. This occasion calls for a more nuanced exploration of what investment truly means for gender equality, and I would like to put the spotlight on infrastructure. Beyond the traditional scope of infrastructure—bridges, motorways, and power stations—lies a domain...

Zara Nanu

Castore co-founders Phil and Tom Beahon (left) are pictured as The Rangers Store is officially reopened at Ibrox Stadium

Mentorship: Unleashing entrepreneurial potential

I am delighted to be writing a regular column for Business Leader, a publication I have always admired. I will bring a direct and honest perspective from my experience of building Castore, a British sportswear brand and one of the UK’s fastest-growing companies, and I hope that readers find my insights interesting and even better,...

Tom Beahon

A man between two animals

Introducing the new Business Leader

Hello and welcome to the new Business Leader. It is a pleasure to be able finally to write those words. What you are looking at today is the result of months of work, planning and research. All of that was aimed at one thing – to build a new agenda-setting, inspirational and aspirational business publication...

Graham Ruddick

Illustration of Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak

Sunak and Starmer will pull no punches on a rollercoaster ride to the general election

Buckle up. The next seven months are likely to be one of the most expensive, most bitterly contested and longest election campaigns in British history. The state of the polls, with Labour consistently enjoying a 20-point lead, means that the prime minister Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives have little to lose. Vituperative personal attacks from...

Steven Swinford

Illustration featuring a facemask, arms with binoculars and a book

Elite sport shows us how to reach the top and stay there

Like any seismic event, the pandemic has left a lasting legacy. When it comes to leadership, this has been particularly profound. Covid-19, and the chaos and upset that came with it, wreaked havoc on the wellbeing, health and sustained performance of many leaders and entrepreneurs across sectors. And it hasn’t been limited to just that...

Catherine Baker

Illustration featuring the England cricket team winning the 2019 Cricket World Cup

Process has its place but what adds real value is setting creativity free

If we could have bought shares in the concept of ‘process,’ we’d be rich today. Having leapt far beyond its sensible origins in the law – where ‘due process’ protects against hasty errors – process has invaded all aspects of life. Grief is framed as a process. Psychoanalysis insists people commit to the process. Recruitment...

Ed Smith

Illustration of a woman, clock, money and female symbol

Backing women-led businesses is the best idea you can have

In the five years I spent raising money for my tech start-up Gapsquare, I pitched to investors roughly 100 times. Venture capitalists, institutional investors, angels — you name it, I tried it. Despite this, I raised zero capital. Not a penny. Yet, we succeeded in commercialising our product and were ultimately acquired by a FTSE...

Zara Nanu

St Pauls' Catherdral, London cityscape, tube

Getting ahead in the battle to attract and retain top talent

As a firm believer in the power of putting people first, I’m excited to write this monthly column for Business Leader, offering you a candid peek into the challenges and opportunities of recruitment strategies and robust talent planning. I didn’t grow up dreaming of workforce solutions, or of being a chief executive. It was one...

Niki Turner-Harding

Finger pointing a block with other hands holding items

How political parties can win over business and triumph in the general election

As we embark on a general election year, I shall, as will many other entrepreneurs, be looking for the political party that has the most enterprise-friendly strategy. For the past 20 years, I have run Enterprise Nation as a growing business support resource for thousands of start-ups and early-stage businesses. It has given me a...

Emma Jones

Illustration of someone falling, Madonna and a phone v2

Welcome to the brave new world of bio-preneurs

It’s 5 AM and I’m aimlessly scrolling through Instagram as I battle my two-hour jet lag for the sixth night in a row since a trip to South Africa. My circadian rhythm is pathetic, and I don’t have enough self-control to charge my phone in another room. I’ve also broken my New Year’s resolution which...

Caspar Lee

Finger pointing and people running up stairs canvas

Five laws that spell success and can put you on top in a crowded marketplace

There are hundreds of thousands of podcasts around the world. Many of them focus on the areas that we talk about – mindset, business, high achievement and finding your sense of purpose. A question I get asked all the time is, why has my High Performance podcast been so successful? I think the answer to...

Jake Humphrey