Name: Peter Tyler
Title: Non-Executive Director/Chair/Mentor
Organisation: Black Dog Leadership
I am a Non-Executive Chair, Non-Executive Director for Private Equity and privately owned companies, Portfolio Director, Virtual Advisory Board availability, Business Coach, Board Advisor and Mentor in the remote sensing & monitoring/IoT, Marine, Power, Industrial, Environmental, Offshore Wind, Advanced Composites, Oil & Gas, Manufacturing, Technical Plastics and polymers sectors.
I possess a strong commercial background in International Business Development aligned with Senior Leadership experience across Strategy, M&A, People Development, Sales & Marketing, Business Development, Manufacturing Operations and Global Logistics. I have held Board roles in the UK, the Netherlands, Slovakia, the USA and UAE.
I have also acted as a Sector Advisor for Lower Mid-Market and Mid-Market Private Equity companies.
I champion the development of high-performing teams and in the principles of Customer focus, Quality and Excellence in all activities.
I am currently a Non-Executive Chair for a privately-owned company in the Environmental Products & Services sector. I am also a Non-Executive Chair for a PE held Digital Kiosks/Solutions manufacturer and for a VC/PE held AI/Composite tooling solutions company.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
We’ve gone through the interviews and asked the best of the best to come back and answer 7 MORE Questions on Leadership.
I hope Peter's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. As a leader, how do you build trust with employees, customers and other stakeholders?
I firmly believe in Authentic Leadership. Integrity is key of course, but doing what you say you will do, being consistent, being open and communicating frequently are essential. It is also important to be visible and approachable.
2. What do 'VISION' and 'MISSION' mean to you? And what does it actually look like to use them in real-world business?
Vision and Mission are so often confused or indeed mixed up.
I've always sought to explain them as this:
Vision = THE WHY. It's where the company is going and why. In essence it is an aspiration, and it focuses on the future and on a long term objective.
Mission = The HOW. Focusing on the present and near term and laying out the steps that need to be taken to move towards the end objective.
In terms of actually using a Vision and a Mission statement, then it is essential the Vision leads and the Mission is derived from the Vision. The Vision needs to be clearly defined to drive a sense of purpose and must mean something to everyone in your team. The Mission needs to be time-based and lay out realistic and achievable steps in the journey to achieve the vision.
3. How can a leader empower the people they're leading?
Too many Leaders want to control everything and take all the decisions. This type of Leader is Autocratic, does not take feedback well, fails to listen, loses talented people and ultimately is ineffective.
Empowering your team enables them to grow and develop. Start with clarity around goals and expectations. Lead by example and step back, encourage initiative, foster collaboration and delegate the appropriate authority. It is also important to schedule check in meetings along the, actively listen, help to remove barriers, support where necessary and celebrate milestones.
4. Who are some of the coaches or mentors in your life who have had a positive influence on your leadership? Can you please tell a meaningful story about one of them?
I consider myself lucky enough to have had three different mentors who have helped guide me throughout my career. Two are my own former leaders who have inspired and developed me in different ways and the other is a commercially minded CEO of a major Business Consulting firm who I consider a friend - all three know who they are.
One of the pivotal decisions in my career related to having to take a decision to either lead an MBO of the company I had led as MD for two years in an industry I had 15+ years experience in an area I had lived all my life OR move my family, step out of my comfort zone and take on a brand new challenge in a business arena I was not that familiar with and which was under US Private Equity ownership.
It was a real head vs heart decision.
I talked to both of my former Leaders at length and separately they both strongly encourage me to take a leap of faith in my ability and take the brand new challenge on.
it was the single most important decision I made and it took my career and leadership to a whole new level and I have never looked back.
5. Leadership is often more about what you DON'T do. How do you maintain focus in your role?
This is an area I frequently come across when I mentor Board members, Founders, Entrepreneurs and CEOs.
I always lead by explaining that the word No is as important as the word Yes in business.
I always go back to my objectives, re-introduce my purpose to myself and and essentially assess if what I am login or about to do contribute to and take away from me achieving my purpose and goals.
If it does not positively contribute then I either delegate it to someone more appropriate or even decide to not have it done at all.
6. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Everyone plans differently. How do you plan for the week, month and years ahead in your role?
This is something else I again cover frequently in my own mentoring work.
As Leaders, we have multiple and often conflicting demands on our time. However, it is also important that we retain the ability to be agile, dynamic and flexible.
I spend the last hour on a Friday drawing up my schedule and 'To Do' list for the following week.
First thing on a Monday, I quickly assess if the weekend has affected the plans already drawn up and adjust appropriately
if needed. At the end of each day I assess what I have completed and move anything that has not been done and re-prioritise if I can.
My schedule has at least an hour a day of time for myself, for thinking etc and at least 20 minutes of exercise.
For a monthly view, I look at the main targets for the month an plan the deadlines - these then contribute to the year which is planned more holistically with a 'helicopter' view. I only try to look at the following year when I am mid-way through the current one unless there is a critical reason to look further ahead.
7. What advice would you give to a young leader who is struggling to delegate effectively?
I would start with the fact that we have probably all been there at some point in our careers!
This is another area I regularly help with in mentoring work.
First and foremost I try to get the leader to understand their purpose in the organisation and to articulate what it is they do that makes the most difference.
We then carry out a log of work over a week and and bullet point each task that takes 15 minutes or more into one of 4 columns. Column A is for the tasks they they as Leaders absolutely MUST do ie the non-negotiables. Column B lists the taks that the Leader likes doing but does not necessarily have to do themselves. Column C is for tasks that the Leader is doing but KNOWS they should NOT be doing. Anything else goes in Column D.
We then work through and endeavour to remove Column B by either moving the task to A (the Leader must justify this) or to C.
We then run through C and put a name by each task - this is who the Leader will delegate these tasks to. We then review Column D and in the use majority of cases the task in that Column can actually be stopped completely as no-one needs the outcome, or again it will be moved to C and delegated.
I then get the Leader to set objectives around the tasks delegated in Column C so that they can manage the process moving forward.