Summit given lessons in people from entrepreneurs

MORE than 200 people attended yesterday’s inaugural Connect Gazelles summit and heard key business lessons from entrepreneurs including DFS founder The Lord Kirkham.

Other speakers included Paul Walker, former chief executive of The Sage Group, and Martin Penny, a co-founder of Yorkshire hair products company GHD.

Whilst the three speakers discussed their various approaches on how to grow businesses and the different lessons they learnt, they all concurred that having the right people was the most fundamental and important aspect for business growth and success. 

Lord Kirkham said: “There are no magic beans or magic formulas, but there are magic people; it is a giant mistake for companies not to recognise the need for good people.”

Mr Walker said: “It’s vital to hire for fit, not for purpose; I guarantee that choosing those who fit best will perform the best.”

And Mr Penny told the audience: “Rather than being suspicious about their employees, many companies need to recognise that most people turn up to work wanting to do a good job and crave thanks and feedback on how well they are doing.

“Rather than the odd thank you, managers need to sit down with their staff and give them praise and honest appreciation.”

The speakers agreed about the need for entrepreneurs to have other entrepreneurs to support them.

Nick Butler, chief executive of Connect Gazelles, established to allow fast growing businesses to learn from established entrepreneurs, said: “It was a privilege to hear from such eminent businesspeople – they were fascinating and gave great insight into some of the necessary steps to succeeding in business.

“The feedback from members has been incredible; we are delighted that our first Summit has been such a resounding success and we look forward to providing these types of initiatives to help support Yorkshire business and help in their quest for growth.”