“Andy is really engaging and left the audience wanting more which is a rarity when you work in Finance! He is extremely professional and personable and it felt like Andy really knew the topics and had researched the audience. ”
Nicola Hradek, Co-Chair HSBC Balance Employee Network
“Several people were surprised to find out that Andy didn’t work in our sector as he related his knowledge so well and confidently, which was key to getting the audience to buy into his advice. ”
Suzanne Rowse, Director, British Boarding Schools Workshop
“Andy's enthusiastic and interactive presentation at our National conference was very much appreciated by all and his series of workshops for my leadership team has been put to significant positive use. ”
Shona MacDonald, Business Director UK & Ireland, Wound Care. Molnlycke Health Care
“In the three months since Andy delivered his sessions, I've noticed a clear change in the approach taken by everyone who participated. We have already received a number of referrals as a result. ”
Andy O'Sullivan, Head of Sales - Hospitality, Wembley Stadium
“Andy worked with my business partner and me for a number of months as a referral and networking coach. Our business has demonstrably grown due to the new techniques and skills learned through working with Andy. ”
Dan Hall, Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch
“It was the best talk I’ve ever been to. Loved the content, pacing, delivery, structure. Your message was very memorable (imparting that much information can leave listeners forgetting what was said) and you managed the balance between substance, detail and memorability well. ”
Rebecca Aguilar, BBC Worldwide
“I would recommend Andy to come and spend time with any team that wants to maximize the time of its busy people out in the market ”
Tomas Freyman, Partner, Valuations. BDO llp
“As a direct result of Andy’s workshop, we are now implementing a “networking strategy” that is aligned to supporting our key business goal. Andy’s advice/insights have made me re-think all my customer interactions and even in the short term I am getting results. ”
Adam Newman, Health Outcomes Consultant, GSK
“The feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive and we will continue to run the training in other offices in EMEA. ”
Astrid Huijssoon, Senior Marketing Manager Cross Border Trade - PayPal CEMEA
“I found the session with Andy really interesting and helpful. It offered a different perspective to development sessions I have been to before and it made me really think about how I was positioning myself at work and what I needed to be doing differently. ”
Tori Henderson, Senior Public Policy Manager HSBC
“It is great to work with a speaker like Andy who really wants to understand the audience he speaks to and tailors his content to them. ”
Galina Lebedeva, Education & Events Senior Co-ordinator, Wella UK & Ireland
“There are many motivational speakers on the circuit who leave behind them just a short lived glow and then there are the subject matter pragmatic, passionate presenters who can potentially change the long term way their audience thinks or operates. I’d put Andy Lopata in the latter category. ”
Trevor Salomon – Director, Corporate Marketing, IFS
“Andy has a can do and flexible attitude and is happy to develop and shape the content in line with the clients changing needs. Feedback from participants on Andy's workshops has been consistently very positive. ”
Una Murphy, Manager BBC Careerlink
“"I was captivated by Andy's insightful and thought-provoking workshop. You could feel the energy in the room at the end. Several people commented that the event had changed their lives!" ”
Miranda Abraham, Chair, Women in Banking and Finance
“Andy is an energetic presenter who quickly captured our audience's attention. The content of his presentation was excellent and fostered lively commentary and questions. We will definitely have Andy back for another session and are looking for other ways to partner with him. ”
Jennifer Rademaker, Head of Strategy Development Europe, MasterCard
“There is a handful of people who I would consider really an expert in networking, and Andy is one of the few people on that list. ”
Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder and CEO, BNI
“Not only my individual life has had a total makeover after I met Andy, as a result of my personal improvement, the networks that I lead are now making a much bigger impact in the society. I can never thank Andy enough and would highly recommend him any time without hesitation. ”
Ruth Lau, Central Marketing, HSBC Private Bank
“At each stage of the event from planning to delivery to follow up, Andy’s approach was extremely impressive. He spent time at the outset understanding us, the way we work and our key objectives and this continued with discussions with us in the run up to the event to shape the session to our needs. ”
Andrew Kelly, Director Human Capital Services, BDO llp
“I have already received three emails and two telephone calls from attendees who have expressly advised that as a direct result of the presentation they will without doubt be changing the way in which they network. A huge success. ”
Michael Strawbridge, Head of Member Services, Learning and Performance Institute
“Andy certainly made a difference on how I normally approach / perceive events such as this. ”
Ann Azzopardi, Category Buying Manager, Pret a Manger
“The process to gaining the right referrals does not happen overnight, but executing Andy’s strategy into your daily business routine will lead to referral success. ”
Tom Price LLB DipPFS Hodgson Wealth Management
“Andy's 'The Networking Mindset' networking event was fascinating. I've been to loads of networking events over the years which are always full of people who don't quite know why they're there.... myself included. ”
Nicholas Harkin, Head of Risk & Governance at Close Brothers Retail Finance
“Andy, thanks again for making our Balance HK event a huge success. The audience gave you their undivided attention and you could hear a pin drop when you were speaking. I have never witnessed that before, with a room of 170+ people! ”
Maggie Suttie, Chair Balance Network, HSBC Hong Kong
“The feedback we received from members was overwhelmingly positive, making it one of the best sessions we had all year. ”
Aileen Parsons, Relationship Manager - Strategic Client Services, Paypal
“I would not be exaggerating in saying that last night was the most well received and successful event YEN London has had in over two years. ”
Jairo Jaramillo - Chairman, London Young Engineers Network
“Andy’s style suited our company values perfectly as it is very much based around letting people learn at their own pace and be part of the sessions instead of just being presented to. There was a mixture of experience, job roles, nationalities and seniority in the room and Andy ensured that everyone felt this training was directed at them, such is his way with words. ”
Robert Kenward, Global Development Director, Banks Sadler
“Wherever I go, Andy is held in very high regard and I can personally endorse him as someone who is easy to do business with, professional and also great to work with. ”
Phil Jones MBE, Managing Director, Brother UK
“Andy Lopata is a true role model for any aspiring professional speaker in my view ”
Heather Townsend, author of The Financial Times Guide to Business Networking
“In the pre-event correspondence, you were the most professional speaker we’ve ever had. By asking great questions as you did, it helped to make us more professional event organisers. ”
Jackie Barrie, Co-President, Professional Speaking Association South East England
“Andy has successfully elevated networking into more of a strategic arena ...................rather than it just being a "skills" thing. ”
Phil Jesson, Director of Speaker Development Academy for Chief Executives
“'Networking' as a topic can often seem forced... about tools and techniques to 'work a room' or 'get noticed' - Andy's take on it in this talk was so far removed from the glib truisms we've all heard before. ”
Bryony Thomas, Watertight Marketing

The Basics of Building a Successful Team '...and Death Came Third!' 10th Anniversary Blog

Ten years ago, in 2006, Peter Roper and I published the first edition of ‘…and Death Came Third! The Definitive Guide to Networking and Speaking in Public’ on Bookshaker. The book was a big success with over 2,000 copies sold in the first 48 hours alone, a second edition published by Panoma (formerly Ecademy) Press in 2011 and a separate edition published in Malaysia and Singapore.

We have consistently been amazed by the affection held for ‘…and Death Came Third!’ by many readers, reflected by the emails and comments we have received from people from a range of backgrounds. The book really focuses on the basics of networking and presentation skills, giving readers simple approaches to working the room at networking events or giving their first talk.

To celebrate this, each day over the month of September will see a new guest blog exploring the basics of business, from the basics of confidence and attitude to negotiation and strategy.

Today's blog is written by Mike Southon and is about the Basics of Building a Successful Team

 

Business is a Team Game

Success in business is not about great ideas, only about your ability to deliver. Any idea can potentially be turned into a successful business; you just need to build an effective and harmonious team

TIP ONE – Find a Foil

It starts with you; the first stage must involve an honest and deep assessment of your own strengths and weaknesses; your mentors can help you with this sometimes-challenging process.

Once you have identified your own deficiencies, then the next step is to find a Foil: someone with the opposite set of skills to yourself who enjoys doing those tasks you find distasteful or boring.

An example of two foils would be an extrovert and a realist. The extrovert is good at making promises, while the realist is someone good at the detail, overcoming any obstacles and then is responsible for delivering your products and services

Paul McCartney and John Lennon illustrated this perfectly in the song Getting Better.  Paul (the extrovert) says “It’s getting better all the time”, while John (the realist) retorts, “can’t get no worse!”

 

TIP TWO – Find Your Cornerstones

Then it is about finding the Cornerstones for your business. Sir Richard Branson has a top tip here: “Always hire people better then yourself”. These are the people responsible for three key business roles: Sales (more optimists), Delivery (more realists) and Finance.

Finance people can be easily identified: bookkeepers, accountants and other people good with a spreadsheet. They will prevent you going broke (typically by managing cash-flow) and build the systems necessary to scale the business.

 

TIP THREE – Find Your Dream Team

Finally, you find your Dream Team: energetic, enthusiastic people who always over-deliver. They may not stay with your enterprise forever, but if they do, they may become Cornerstones one day.

The acronym we used in my first start-up was SWAN: Smart, Work Hard, Ambitious and Nice. I always say that there is no point going to work if you do not enjoy the company of your colleagues.

You can build a company to around 150 with a couple of Entrepreneurs, some cornerstones and the rest made up of Dream Team. At some stage you may hire people who just want to go to work, do a good job and go home in the evening without being so emotionally attached to the venture as the others. In our Beermat books, we refer to these people as your ‘Employees’.

 

  Mike Southon is an entrepreneur, business mentor and professional speaker

He can be contacted at www.mikesouthon.commike@mikesouthon.com

 

To celebrate 10 years of ‘…and Death Came Third! The Definitive Guide to Networking and Speaking in Public’, we have reduced the price of the Kindle edition to £1.99 or $2.99 for the entire month of September! Get your copy now!

 

 

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