I spend most days talking to people about their previous successes and where they want to go with a career over the coming years. It is a subject which often causes reflection and excitement. When we pause and look back on our careers to date we often realise that we have been very successful and achieved much of what we set out to do originally. There are however things that we can do to increase our chances of becoming successful and having the habits that will assist and deliver consistent performance. I am a recruiter and a career coach at the same time so my success is judged on how I help other people to become successful. I often hear the most wisdom from people who are approaching the end of their careers and wished that they knew what they know now at the start of their careers. The motivations have changed and perhaps the enjoyment out of work is more appreciated. It is easy to tell that you are speaking with somebody at the top of their game as they have clarity on what they have done and where they are going is evident. Success isn’t a straight line and I hear about frustrations and roadblocks that sometimes are temporary but it may not appear that way at the time.  So what does this mean and how can we apply some habits to help us achieve the success that we deserve and that we know?

Number one success should be defined and celebrated

If we know what success looks like and we celebrate every time we make a step forward in the direction of our goals and aspirations, this will help us to become happier and healthier. It is therefore worthwhile taking a step back and understanding your career aspirations and imagine that you have gone forward 10 years from now and are looking back on what you have achieved. Would you be happy with the way your journey has gone and what other things would you be most proud of during this time? It is these questions which will go under our skin and really allow us to understand our true selves. People often talk about the big picture but it is the small successes and the steps forward that really make a person successful consistently. So you need to ask yourself what other small steps and the small wins that will build up over a long period of time to help me achieve what I have set out to do. I’ve had the best conversations with people who understand success is not one-dimensional and this is something that will transcend both across their professional and their personal lives. My takeaway from this point should be to really enjoy and celebrate what we do on a day-to-day basis even if this is expected. At the end of the day careers can head in different directions but we all know that we rarely have time to pause and celebrate. So take that 10 minutes out for a coffee contemplation and see the blue sky through the clouds. The blue sky is always there but sometimes it is difficult to see. Many successful people advocate viewing thins from the altitude of 20,000 foot (to see things in their entirety, as a whole) and when you take this perspective you can realise as you fly through the clouds the blue sky is there and it has always been there and will continue to be there if you look close enough.

Number two success is about the journey and not the destination

I am probably most proud of my graduation from university although the piece of paper at the end is not what it was about. Having the ability to learn every day and hang around with my friends and peers who shared the same journey made this success all the sweeter. If you get a new promotion how will that change things and where will that get you? It is therefore worth remembering that the journey to success is a continuum which will change and evolve over time. We should never be in too much of a hurry to enjoy our work on a day-to-day basis but use the endgame as the motivation to put in the work to get the rewards.

Number three success is a team sport

The way to guarantee success is to support those around you and ensure that they are successful themselves. We interact and work with many different people every day including our colleagues and our clients. If we can work hard to ensure that every interaction is positive and that we are listening and supporting our colleagues they in turn will support us. If we can make our clients successful we will keep these clients and they will in turn make us successful.

Number four success is personal

It is often difficult to personally define success as we get so many external influences and accepted norms. If we are truly to become who we are and have lasting success we need to define success in our personal terms. It is not being true to yourself to join the race in which there is only one prize for first place. If we are in our own race it will have more value and meaning to what we do every single day.

Number five meritocracy of success

Lots of people talk about having a meritocracy but this is often not matched by reality. Having an environment where people progress on their ability and hard work is perhaps what every organisation wants. These organisations are however complex and often prevent a true meritocracy that will allow the most talented to rise to the top. We are in a world where the best talent now has a great chance of exceeding but there are still so many roadblocks and difficulties put in the way. If you are to reach your true potential it is important to operate in a genuine meritocracy. Perhaps your current environment doesn’t offer you the opportunities that it should. If the environment doesn’t allow for progression and excellence, it is time to change that environment or find a new one that will.


What is your answer and habits to being successful almost every day?



Adrian Wright


IMG_1066You can assemble a world-class sales team and yet still fail to deliver and crush quota. Motivation, desire and hunger are the often difficult to quantify ingredients that will really make a difference and impact to the bottom line. If the team has individual members that can self-motivate this will have an impact right across the organisation. Before you can understand how motivation as an impact it is important to understand the individuals within the team. The individual’s life circumstances and outlook will have a huge impact into how they behave and why they put in the extra effort to ensure that they do the work that will get the deals. A great salesperson will still perform well within a poorly run and functioning sales team however often individuals will struggle over a long period of time and mean reversion will take place. Mean reversion is where over performance in the short term will always revert to the longer term average and that average is a result of their market/team.

Sales managers will know and understand their team members both in the office as well as their personal lives. When I talk about personal lives I mean not the micro details but macro perspective i.e. what really makes them tick. A detailed analysis of an individual’s background can also give insight into motivation and resilience in tough times. A professional that has a hard upbringing and has had to fight their way into different opportunities will often be more resilience as they have built up this strength over a period of time. They will have a point to prove and lack the ego that can often get in the way of hard graft and changing markets. In recruitment we always look at the individual but also tried to understand where they have come from and where they will be going over the long term. A track record of success particularly working for a number two or number three in the market and even a challenger company will show the ability to deliver results against the odds.

I have had the privilege and opportunity to work with many great sales leaders who have helped shaped my career. At the time I may have not realised the reasons for their approach and questioning that now it is understood and clear. A great sales manager is respected and understood but not always liked as they are thinking about the bigger picture and able to make short-term actions which are always not popular at the time. Healthy internal competition will often raise standards and challenge individuals to perform at a level which is consistent with the highest achievers. This is why analysis of sales metrics including activity as well as results will help drive motivate and inform a sales team.

Having an understanding and impact on what business actually does and the impact on the client’s needs to be understood and appreciated. A client’s success means success for the business and a celebration of the impact of the individuals contributors had to the business is important. We often forget and take for granted that our actions as individuals and as a sales team as a whole have a huge impact on our clients who appreciate is what we do and the results that we get.

The motivation is often deep within most salespeople and it is up to the organisation particularly sales management to help the individual understand what they’re striving for and how the business can help with these personal aspirations. We all have the capabilities to do great things but those around us and within our teams can help us to become truly great.

Adrian Wright

I’ve had the opportunity to speak to many world-class customer success managers over the past 12 months and the majority of them are working at some of the fastest growing SaaS companies. The importance of a great customer success manager has been known for a long time within Silicon Valley and has become increasingly important in the UK and European markets. Most businesses will often focus on the sales team to fuel top line growth however if the customer retention rate is low this will be a major drag on future growth and valuation. A well-funded Sass business will often consider bringing on board a customer success manager before they have the critical mass of revenue/clients. This is a shrewd move particularly given the investment often made within sales and marketing. One of the most important tasks performed will be the on boarding of new clients and generally the first 30, 60 and 90 days will determine the client satisfaction along with their likelihood of renewing their subscription. This is a critical time of the customer’s journey and a proactive approach to train and educate new users will increase the adoption of the platform and ultimately the value added delivered to the end-users.

Candidates are now increasingly finding the prospect of developing their career within customer success attractive and very lucrative. We have often discussed the skill set and traits that are required for this job role although it remains somewhat misunderstood and open to interpretation. In a number of companies the customer success is given to an existing department which incorporates the implementation team including technical account managers who oversee projects. Account managers are sometimes given the responsibility of customer success although this will often be a side consideration which gives way to the target of upsell and cross selling an increase in revenue in the short term.

A business’s reputation is often the ultimate determinant in success and companies with great products will get an increasingly large amount of referral business. A good customer success manager will generate more referrals for the sales team whilst building up good customer will. It may seem somewhat old-fashioned but face-to-face time with clients will prove invaluable especially as competitors may try to win the business without the organisation knowing. It also provides an opportunity to listen and understand the clients which can feed into each product development.

A key requirement of many of our clients who are looking to bring on board a key hire of a customer success executive or customer success manager is that the new hire has strong interpersonal communications. This means that they will look for people who come from a customer facing environment which may include face-to-face meetings and presentations. Some of the other areas that are often a prerequisite are customer services, account management, sales, project management, consulting and specific experience within a well-known/respected technology/Sass company. The advantage of bringing on board somebody who has worked in a modern customer success environment is that they will know and understand the best practices which can be implemented into the business that they join. A customer success program is often systemised and has a number of different elements to it to ensure it produces results which are measurable.

I expect many more companies to follow suit and implement well-funded and structured customer success programs will. The best teams will however not be living within the silo and the culture of looking after customers to ensure that they maximise the products and solutions is surely the only logical approach.

If you have done the hard work as a business and brought on board some fantastic clients you will be certainly well rewarded to focus more efforts on ensuring their ultimate success. Happy customers will always keep you in business and ensure you have a line of new customers wanting to get involved.


Adrian Wright

The world of sales and marketing has been coming closer together over the past few years and the job roles of both sales and marketing professionals will continue to evolve. These changes have been driven by technology and also the increasing importance of social selling and personal branding. We can now instantly find more than we could ever in the past about an individual and also assess their reputation quickly. Almost every business now also operates within a global marketplace so as the opportunities get greater so does the competition.

Reputations are often built up over many years and through repetition of contact and dialogue with customers and prospects. We have now entered the era of the super salesperson and super marketing professional. The brand of the individual is often stronger than the companies that they have worked for. This brand value can be carried forward from organisation to organisation where in the past people’s identities and contributions were more opaque. Working in the world of executive search and recruitment in a privileged position to really understand what’s going on with the new digital world we live in.

The real value with social media and online branding comes when we are able to engage with people on a one-to-one basis. These tours do give the opportunity of one too many communications but still as individuals we thrive on dialogue and feedback from others. Salespeople used to pride themselves on the quantity and quality of their Rolodex. The value of these connections is less than it was as anybody is able to reach out to anybody. However the branding and reputation individuals have will determine the response from the outreach. The new Rolodex is actually your connections that you make every day online and with social media. An employee who has been with an organisation for a long time and has interacted and built up a reputation and respect remains a valuable asset for both their current company and their competitors should they look outside.

The digital world often provides an opportunity to measure track and calculate return on investment will. It is much more difficult to measure trust and respect within the marketplace. Net promoter scores and other ways of checking can be useful but is not an exact science. References are still heavily used in the recruitment world and often at a point in time where decisions have already been made. The new way of doing things is to check and evaluate people’s reputation through their recommendations and endorsements before commencing the recruitment process. Everybody now has a valuable opportunity to build up their own brand which includes being known, being liked and ultimately trusted.

More than 600 banks have closed in the UK in the past 12 months according to figures obtained by the BBC. 3,000 branches have shut over the last decade which leaves around 8,000 now.  The changes have been driven by technology including internet and mobile banking meaning customer have easier access to banking services 24/7 which is location independent. A similar fate has happened to bookshops in Britain which havehalved in number over the past seven years due to the rise of e-books and the consumer downturn, research for The Daily Telegraph has found.  There has however been a resurgence in book shops in recent years with Waterstones successfully changing the format of their stores.  They how present themselves as destination experiences and often offer coffee shops so they become a place for people to relax and socialise.

A number of new banks are launching distributive business model that will offer all services through mobile and no access to a branch network.  Atom Bank became the first digital only bank in the UK claiming they will have fewer costs and be able to offer better rates for its customers. They look to simplify banking and make things more personal through digital.  This means setting up accords and accessing services can be done in the matter of minutes and you can even name bank what you want.  You can login using face and voice recognition is moments and have issues with having to remember password (this should also make the experience more secure).

Virgin Money are doing things differently and have created some remarkable branches.  The bank now has over 3 million clients and has been voted the most trust worthy bank in a recent survey.

“Virgin Money Lounges are a unique concept in UK banking – interesting, stimulating and, above all, comfortable places where customers and local communities can come together. Lounge visitors can choose to put their feet up and enjoy the facilities, use the Lounge for an informal business meeting or, if a customer decides they want to, they can undertake their personal banking.

The Sheffield Lounge takes the customer experience on offer elsewhere to a new level, offering a games area with two full-size ten-pin bowling lanes, table football, a pool table, air hockey and children’s play area. There is also a quieter floor featuring a library and bar area with complimentary soft drinks and refreshments, as well a specially commissioned steel sculpture from Yorkshire artist Anita Bowerman.”

There is plenty of opportunity for the challenger banks to make a big impact. If we start from a blank sheet of paper the possibilities are better as we don’t have to deal with the legacy issues that are now broken.

virgin money


Acorn Computers where once called the British Apple and one of the leading computer companies in the 1980s.  They originally developed the processor designs that are now used in 98% of the world’s smart phones and about to make the next big technology revolution possible.  Steve Furber and Sophie Wilson where the software engineers who designed the instruction set of the ARM processor which changed the world and led to the creation of the most successful British technology company ever.  In November 1990 Advanced RISC Machines Ltd was formed to further develop the Acorn RISC Machine processor, which was originally used in the Acorn Archimedes and was selected by Apple for their Newton project.  The project was a collaboration between Acorn Computers, Apple Computers and VLSI Technology.  Acorn computers needed the partnership as they had run out of money to develop their new chip. ARM Holdings Plc listed on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ with a market valuation of £264 million in April 1998.

In July 2016 SoftBank announced it will acquire Arm Holdings Plc for £24.3 billion as they aim to become the leader of the “internet of things”. Arm founded 25 years ago and employee’s just 4,000 people is the largest acquisition of a European technology business.  The company has tremendous operating leverage and licences its technology so earns on going royalties. The numbers are like no other company with revenue in 2015 of £968 million and a healthy operating income of £406 million. The excitement around the internet of things where everyday objects have network connectivity allowing them to send and receive data.  Masayoshi Son the Chief Executive Officer of Softbank is making a big bet that the internet of things is going to be a much larger industry that analysts and the market are forecasting.  If ARM controls this market and is it is as large as he is expecting then this could be a shrewd investment. Masayoshi has been right before with investments in Alibaba and Vodafone (Japanese arm). SoftBank has said they plan to create 4,000 new highly skilled jobs in Cambridge over the next five years. It therefore might be time to sit up and take notice of the “internet of things” and how this will feed a new ecosystem of opportunity.


Adrian Wright

Wahoo Recruitment

UK & international Executive Search



Andrea Leadsom has published a revised CV after claims that she exaggerated some of her experience. A number of details have changed from earlier version including downgrading the seniority of one role. She has stated in a BBC interview that she ran large teams, a claim which her former colleagues at Barclays and Invesco Perpetual have disputed.

In a connected world the truth about experience often comes out and can reduce the credibility of a candidate if they have exaggerated their achievements. I also noted that Andrea Leadsom does not have a LinkedIn profile that would have added credibility to her campaign unlike the current Prime Minster of the United Kingdom David Cameron who has 2.3 million followers (although he work experience listed only covers his recent past).

  • Andrea Leadsom was born in Aylesbury in 1963
  • After studying polictics at Warwick she joined Barclays as a debt trader
  • Worked with the Bank of England to deal with the fallout of the Barings Bank collapse in 1995
  • In 2010 she became the MP for South Northamptonshire
  • In 2014 she was promoted to Treasury Secretary a year later and she was made Energy and Climate Change Minister



Andrea Leadsom – CV

● 1984-85 Canadian/Chinese corporate finance company: junior support

  • 1985–87 EF Hutton: trainee broker, London Metals Exchange

  • 1987–97 BZW / Barclays

BZW – sterling commercial paper

Barclays – treasury, Sydney

BZW – swaps

Barclays – managing investment banks business

Barclays – deputy financial institutions director, managing global banking network

Barclays – project director, preparing bank for the euro (including payments and cheques)

  • 1997–99 De Putron Fund Management: managing director

  • 1999–2009 Invesco Perpetual: senior investment officer and head of corporate governance



Adrian Wright

Wahoo Recruitment

UK & international Executive Search

You may have recently noticed an increase in mobile phone zombies around town and wondered what they are up to. It is more than likely that they are using augmented reality game Pokémon GO which allows you to travel between the real world and the virtual world. The game has been a phenomenal success and is likely to lead to more innovation and acceptance that the mobile can act as a link between the digital and physical world. In less than a week the mobile game Pokémon GO has become the most downloaded app in Apple’s App Store.


The original idea was conceived back on April Fools’ Day in 2014 and combined a mashed up Google maps and Pokémon. Google Maps: Pokémon Challenge video went viral and quickly had over 8 million views. John Hanke was running a project inside Google at the time called Niantic which was developing mobile games using argumentative and mixed-media reality. He spotted an opportunity and thought “Why not try and make it real?” The rest is as they say history! The idea is now a reality two years on and the business has spun out of Google to become an independent company.


Augmented reality is perhaps the future of software and is set to deliver what has long been promised. This technology is set to change the gaming market, mobile commerce as well as the productivity and work methods within business. The gaming experience has now become inherently more sociable and perhaps has the unintended consequences of better health. The popularity in the game has shown some of the limitations as vast computing resources are required. These limitations will quickly be overcome and perhaps the quirkiness has turned the game into a cult. Augmented reality has become possible due to reliable and fast networks, a new generation of computer infrastructure along with smart data collection.


Pokémon GO has made augmented reality mainstream and will see a paradigm shift in what is possible and what is expected by consumers across a spectrum of industries.


Adrian Wright

Wahoo Recruitment

UK & international Executive Search


Psychology plays a large part on the behaviour and price action of financial markets and has a bigger impact on our daily lives than most of us realise. A better understanding of this psychological phenomenon can helpers to understand other people better and therefore take actions that will be beneficial to us in the long term. Following the referendum result in the United Kingdom there was an immediate reaction within the financial markets which were pricing in the new information but also adjusting as a consequence of what traders now expect to happen. This was particularly pronounced within the housebuilding sector that saw price falls of up to 30%. The Financial Times have estimated that this adjustment is due to an expectation that house prices will fall by an average of 5% over the coming year. The danger about these expectations is the impact that it has on consumer behaviour and therefore how people just their actions according to what they think will happen. These changes in action will therefore mean that the prediction will actually become a reality. People will try to make rational decisions based on their expectations and therefore these expectations have a knock-on effect to the real economy. If a consumer was looking to purchase a property they will therefore defer their decision-making until the expected price action has taken place as they potentially will benefit from a drop in house prices. If an investor is looking to purchase a property for £1 million they can obtain the same property for £50,000 cheaper if they are able to predict and time their purchase correctly. If enough people in the market take these actions they will cause sellers to have to reduce their asking price in order to sell their property. This cycle will continue until there is a new equilibrium within the market and the price of buyers and sellers is matched. Therefore a self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that causes itself to come true due to the simple fact that the prediction was made. This happens because our beliefs influence our actions.


There are many examples of how this self-fulfilling prophecy has helped sports stars, politicians and professionals reach the top of their game. In many interviews of successful people they have often had clear goals and objectives about how they see their future and what they will have achieved. As managers if we expect the most of people and provide them with confidence they are more likely to deliver and meet the expectations. The Icelandic football team have shown how a self-fulfilling prophecy can deliver amazing things and if I the odds and expectations of others. This year’s European football Championships in France will be remembered for the “Viking thunder-clap” that was exported by the Icelandic nation. It is somewhat hypnotic watching the perfect timing of the Viking thunder-clap and how a small number of supporters can make themselves heard throughout the stadium. There is clearly a special bond between the fans and the players that has led to believe and the confidence to attack with purpose.  There is a saying in Icelandic that means “‘everything will be OK” or “it will work out”. There is no real class system in the country so Icelanders learn to look after themselves. The manager has concentrated on “discipline, focus, hard work” and created a football team that is inferior as a collection of individuals the superior as a team.  The head of the national Football Association Geir Thorsteinsson has said that:


“We always believe we can perform at the highest level, whether it’s sport or music. It’s something in our mentality”.



Dare To Dream

(By: John Turnipseed, Director of People Services at Southwest Airlines)

Some people only look at life through eyes that seldom gleam
while others look beyond today as they’re guided by a dream
And the dreamers can’t be sidetracked by dissenters who may laugh
for only they alone can know how special is their path
But dreams aren’t captured easily;
there’s much work before you’re through
but the time and efforts are all worthwhile
when the impossible comes true
And dreams have strength in numbers
for when a common goal is shared
the once impossible comes true because of all who cared
And once it’s seen as reality a dream has just begun
for magically from dreams come dreams
And a walk becomes a run
But with growth of course comes obstacles
and with obstacles come fear
but the dream that is worth dreaming
finds its way to the dear
And the dream continues growing
Reaching heights before unseen
And it’s all because of the courage of the dreamers
and their dream.


Adrian Wright

Wahoo Recruitment

UK & international Executive Search


The Job Interview starts on 12th of July at 9 PM on Channel 4 and has been described as a cross between The Apprentice and First Dates. The show will take a fascinating look behind closed doors and show what really happens during the interview process. This is often a nerve wracking experience and one which is surrounded in much mystery and can install trepidation in many. Each episode will track two employers as they interview candidates for real jobs and then decide who to hire. Job adverts were placed and a shortlist of candidates were drawn up by the bosses. Real people will be interviewed for real jobs and the outcome is unpredictable.


The programme promises to reveal many of the mistakes made by interviewees and perhaps the interviewers as well. I’m hopeful that it will be a useful program to candidates and hiring managers alike whilst being enjoyable and entertaining to watch. Discrete cameras are used in a standard meeting room and the intimate moments are be captured. There will be 10 jobs in the final cut for the TV series which will be across the United Kingdom with small and medium companies with salaries ranging from £15,000-£45,000.


I will be watching the series with interest and hope it lives up to the opportunity to inform and educate. We are likely to see candidates that are passionate about getting jobs and in today’s climate the performance that they have during the interview can ultimately determine their long-term career. I will also be interested to see on the quality of the applications that have been selected by the managers and if they have made the right decisions on who to invite to the interview. The job interview can be a life changing moment for those that are prepared and ready to put their best foot forward.interview