Are you up for a challenge?
Whether you are a prospective client, a client, a member of the UKFast team or even someone aspiring to join our great organisation, you are a valued person in our eyes and I challenge you to help us improve UKFast.
Our leadership style is certainly an unusual one and it does break conventions.
A great many organisations take their leadership courses from the Army and employ Ex-Army Officers to help develop a strong style and well defined sense of leadership.
Like many businesses before us, we did at one point in our history follow a similar route employing a top trainer from Sandhurst, the Officer Training Academy. And yes, we have found some very useful tools which help deliver excellence and build spirit, but at the same time a huge amount of what we do is developed from within and also influenced by a wide variety of sources.
Our leadership is about challenge. Are you up for the challenge? Are you looking for a business that is going to grow and develop far faster than any other business in the UK? If you are, it is highly likely that your business or career is developing at a fast rate of knots too. Consequently you will benefit from partnering with UKFast.
As a graduate or new recruit, you are recruited on the basis of your attributes and values, but you are also regarded as a blank canvas. During your first two weeks at UKFast you are immersed in our Academy. Part of your initiation involves time in our training centre in North Wales, where you will go through the exact training and team building every team member has done before you. The training centre, called Castell Cidwm, is an old hotel and a jewel in the Snowdonian National Park. Gail and I bought it in 2008 and alongside the training facility it's an excellent get away for strategic thinking.
As a client you are only a phone call away from myself or the other directors. I take a lot of pride in helping others. If you genuinely want help we run a series of private round tables and events which are exclusively for friends of UKFast where you can rub shoulders with other top entrepreneurs and find out just what makes the finest entrepreneurs tick. Whatever stage in your business career, this is something you might want to consider. If you are a small business aspiring for your first million, mid sized or even large, I always make time for the people around me and aim to inspire people to reach the next level of their journey.
I'm never happier than when I have a heavy pack on my back, carrying everyones provisions up the mountains. I have a passion for the outdoors and taking people (including myself) well outside of their comfort zones. Jim Collins writes about 'level 5 leaders', people who aren't overtly, outwardly confident, but work hard to empower the people around them. I consistently look to improve myself in order to fit this mould.
Friends and leaders who inspire me include Richard Branson, John Timpson, Chet Holmes and Tony Robbins.
Thanks for visiting our website - Lawrence Jones - CEO, UKFast
13th August by Lawrence Jones
What’s the one thing you need to get your business off the ground?
When I speak with budding entrepreneurs, often the answer I hear is ‘funding’. Whilst this is true, it would be easier to set up a business in the short term if you had an influx of cash to help you to buy what you need, in the long term, I don’t think it’s always the best course of action.
Every month I...
6th August by Lawrence Jones MBE
My incredible wife and our youngest daughter. Adding a new baby to the mix can cause no end of stress – finding balance and having fun is essential.
When was the last time that you truly switched off? When you let your mind wander for more than a few minutes without a mobile phone in your hand.
In today’s increasingly connected world we’re becoming incredible at keeping on top of our day-to-day challenges and working...
3rd August by Lawrence Jones
UKFast teacher Arlene chatting with Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham about our commitment to apprentices.
Kids don’t stay kids for very long, do they? It’s worth remembering that in business too. I’ve talked a lot about apprenticeships recently at various events and in so many conversations. Apprenticeships seem to be the hot business trend at the moment – everyone is doing something or other for apprentices, which, of course, is fantastic.
It is so important to...
2nd August by Lawrence Jones
Having spent 18 years at the heart of the internet, I’ve seen many digital trends come and go. Seen technologies evolve. Watched and many online businesses flourish.
I have learned that all too often the really innovative teams and small businesses don’t get the recognition they deserve. These are the bedrock of our digital economy. They are the unsung heroes of the industry, setting a new standard in our constantly evolving landscape.
It has always...
1st August by Lawrence Jones
I have learned that it’s really important to only pass comment on something when you are an expert.
For example, if you need to know more about house renovations, you speak to a structural engineer. If you want to know about heart surgery, you speak to a thoracic heart surgeon. So it does concern me when the government and Theresa May divvy up responsibilities for highly complex advisory groups like tech because they don’t have...
30th July by Lawrence Jones MBE
Just before boarding the plane to fly back to Manchester, I received a call from the BBC to see if I could pop in to speak about an embargoed story when I landed.
The story was about an announcement the government are making that BT are going to invest between £450m and £600m into their network to boost broadband and guarantee that every house and business gets a minimum of 10Mb. Oo!
Hardly a revelation....
28th July by Lawrence Jones MBE
Are you ready when inspiration strikes?
I am often asked why I always have a little black book hanging out of my back pocket. It’s simple; because you never know when you will need it!
I always have a notebook, a pencil and a pencil sharpener in a bag, in my car, in my pocket, in every drawer…
Sometimes I use it to doodle, to scribble down a sketch or draw something that inspired me...
27th July by Lawrence Jones MBE
One of your most important roles is to make sure that your team goes home on time.
I don’t encourage early starts and late finishes. Whilst when big projects are on, or you have an issue to resolve, these long days can be inevitable, they should never become routine.
Why? Because teams burn out! I would much rather the team come in on time and leave on time, and really make the most of their...
23rd July by Lawrence Jones MBE
What’s the key to happiness? What a question! But its one people ask me every week. So here goes! 5 TIPS GUARANTEE HAPPINESS.
Last week has certainly been a happy one at UKFast with some of our apprentices graduating from their two-year course and we are officially the fifth greatest workplace in the UK – the top in Manchester and top mid-sized tech business – again!
Whilst there is, of course, no ‘one size fits all’...
20th July by Lawrence Jones MBE
Like most of the country, I was shocked to see the massive gender pay gap at the BBC in its Annual Report. In the list of its top earners, there are several like-for-like comparisons between men and women who earned hugely different salaries over the past twelve months. There are just two women in the top 12 earners.
It’s absurd; any two people doing the same role, bringing the same value to a business, should...