After 20 years of running his own business Malcolm Yates knows there’s one thing that keeps him going – his passion for developing other people.
In October 1993 Malcolm launched S&M Training Services which was run from his dining room table while his wife cared for their children and did the administration. Since then the company has been through several transformations.
Now called Focus Management for Business and based at Ransom Wood Business Park it employs six other people besides Malcolm.
No matter what changes have occurred, the constancy of Malcolm’s vision for the business and his passion for bringing out the best in people has never wavered.
“Essentially we operate on two levels, we either work with teams to make them work or we help members of teams to become leaders.
If you want to achieve anything with any organisation whether it’s in the private, public or third sector you need two things – team work and leadership. All of our courses are geared toward making teams work and putting the fire in leaders so they achieve their own and shared goals,” says Malcolm.
Over the years Focus Management for Business has worked with a wide range of clients big and small but irrespective of size Malcolm believes it is his understanding of what makes a team tick that turns them into effective units.
“We had one team come to us from a local authority when the management realised they were not working.
It was anarchy! There was no consistency of communication, standards were out the window; it was a “team” full of mavericks.
When they applied for a Charter Mark they were actually laughed at. We spent time taking them apart and actually kept them up till 4am until they understood what was wrong and how they could fix it,” says Malcolm.
Over a period of weeks the Focus Management team stopped them concentrating on the negative and created an environment in which they could all talk constructively about things they were not good at.
After two months the managers began to see dramatic improvements in performance and after four months the team was awarded the Charter Mark.
Effective teams still need leadership, and bringing that out in people is what really drives Malcolm. “I take the view that I grow leaders. Leadership can sit like a power cell inside someone, I nurture it until that cell becomes a unique being in its own right.
A leader needs to find his or her own style, there is no template that suits everyone. A good leadership coach will spot the style and help the leader develop it. When I do that with someone it gives me a great sense of satisfaction as I know he or she will become a positive leader,” says Malcolm.
According to Malcolm becoming a leader is not natural and sometimes not even wanted. He believes that very few people aim to be leaders, it’s usually an event or occasion that sparks someone into realising they have become a leader.
It’s then that they need the techniques and strategies to make them effective.
“People often come to us wondering what to do; how do they lead their business or community organisation? That’s where I come in and can help to shape their future and help them lead better. I have the desire and passion to succeed and want to bring that out in other people,” says Malcolm.
Malcolm is a regular attender at The Tuesday Club networking meetings where he goes to meet other local businesses and where he won this write up about his business.
Focus Management for Business Ltd runs courses from its dedicated training centre, to find out more call 01623 664 510