People Can't be Shoehorned into a System


Phil, Kareena & Nicole

Matt: So Phil, tell us about yourself.

Phil: I live in Guernsey, which is a small little island near France and part of the territorial UK. I've lived and worked here for many years. I cut my teeth in the finance sector so I'm a trained investment manager. I live here with my wife and my daughter who’s twelve years old.

Matt: Should everybody be coming to Guernsey for their summer holidays?

Phil: If you're expecting ripening palm trees, sunny, sandy beaches, amazing hospitality—then absolutely, yes!

Matt: You are now in the people business. What have you learned about helping businesses invest in their people?

Phil: Three things: first, that people are the fundamental factor that will make your business work or not. That's not a revelation. We all know it, but we tend to forget it in the midst of the stresses and strains of work.

Second, that all of our people are wonderfully unique, creative and fabulous. People can't be shoehorned into a system, procedure or whatever. So leaders need to understand how to harness their own uniqueness and engage their people's uniqueness.

Third, that as much as I'd love motivation to be really easy, it isn’t. Motivation—consistent motivation—takes effort, intention and a whole range of things. It doesn't just happen by magic. It takes intention to lead well.

Matt: You invited me to Guernsey to help you get going with your book. How did that work for you?

Phil: There are a couple of reasons. One is that we like you, Matt. That's not flattery! We like it when you come to Guernsey. The other was that we had no clue about how to publish a book. An idea was forming and we can write but didn’t know how to publish. So rather than just a quick phone or video all, we do believe in the power of relationships. Matt, again, thanks to you for some of your thinking in that space. We spent the day together conceiving and planning out our book from beginning to end. You really did help us set a framework for our book.

Matt: You’ve written the book with two colleagues. Why is that?

Phil: I’m determined that our business isn’t the Phil Eyre show, because we believe in the power of team. So everything we do should be collaborative. So if we're writing a book, it should be a collaborative effort.

Matt: What are the big themes of your book?

Phil: Excellent leaders are morally courageous leaders: they’ve worked out how to apply their values in what they do. The second is that they’re authentic and trustworthy which creates a tension between being transparent and discreet. Thirdly, they have a living legacy-mindset that isn’t obsessed with quarterly results but see much further ahead.

Matt: That sounds powerful! So what is your highest hope for your book?

Phil: There are two peaks. Peak one: anyone who reads the book will be helped. Even if it's just one idea, that sparks a better decision, or a better attitude, or a better approach to their people and organisation. Peak two is that we hope that our book helps convey who we are and what we're about and engages some clients that don't yet know us. Hopefully they will invite us into their organisations to share more or to help with their leadership teams.

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