3 Common Leadership Challenges, 3 Solutions


Like a stone tossed into the water, the ripple effect of the work we have done over the last couple of years means that our consultancy arm is growing.  We are delighted about this.  Following our belief that helping more people makes us a happier business, below we share three challenges that we have helped clients overcome.We then set out an indication of the solutions we have provided. 

If you can relate to any of these, then please get in touch info@sportandbeyond.co.uk

Challenge #1

A better People Strategy


A fast growing IT business, with a need to be more proactive and strategic in terms of ensuring that the right people are in the right roles, and being used in the best way possible. Currently the business is too reactive in this area.


A session with the Leadership Team to:

  • review the organisational structure necessary to ensure sustainable growth; and

  • develop a more strategic approach to recruitment and onboarding, as well as continued training and development.

Much of the success in a session such as this is down to: correct analysis of the actual problem (often what we think is the problem is not the actual challenge that we need to be solving); asking the right questions in the session; and ensuring action points are agreed and followed.   A simple tip to help the leadership team’s discussions during the session is to get them to focus on where they need to get to, and work back from there. So for this team we asked the question: “imagine that in two years’ time you have in place the perfect organisational structure to execute your strategy. The business is efficient, proactive, and staff members are clear on roles, responsibilities and development opportunities.  As a leadership team, you have a great balance of strategic and operational responsibilities. What does this structure look like in terms of roles and responsibilities?”

Challenge #2

More productive Senior Management Team Meetings


An established distribution business, whose management team meetings have lost their mojo. The business is facing some new challenges and so it’s vital the senior management team provide direction and use their time as efficiently as possible.


Time with the CEO helping him to clarify:

  • what is the purpose of the Senior Management Team?

  • what is the purpose of the Senior Management Team meetings?

  • How can you best structure the meetings to ensure you achieve these objectives?

The meetings now focus much more on strategic (rather than operational) matters, and at each meeting members of the Team only bring issues to the table that pass a ‘materiality threshold’ (with criteria including for example whether or not the issue is cross-functional). The meetings are shorter, with greater clarity of purpose, enabling the Team to continue to drive the business forward.

#Challenge no. 3

Strategy Planning


A Senior Manager in a sports organisation had to prepare for a significant meeting, where the issue being discussed would have big implications for the sport.  He wanted to ensure he had prepared as effectively as possible to achieve the desired outcome.


Time with the individual, clarifying what the key challenge actually was through a process called Backwards/Forwards Planning.

This led to clarity on the overall desired outcome, and the specific objective around the meeting.  Using the OST planning formula (Objective, Strategy, Tactics) we then talked through the strategies he would employ to meet this objective, and what tactics this would involve on the ground. 

So much of this type of work comes down being clear on what you need to achieve, and why.  So much of what we do is not rocket science, but it is about asking the right questions.  And having support from someone external to your business can really help you see things differently, and more clearly. We’d love to help you too – just get in touch on info@sportandbeyond.co.uk

Catherine BAKERComment