7 Questions with Peter Ashworth
Name: Peter Ashworth
Current title: CEO & Chief Experience Officer
Current organisation: Humanity One
CEO & Chief Experience Officer of Humanity One, a marketing agency for non-profits and human-centered organizations, and CEO of Humanity We, a global charity focused on solutions for generational poverty.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
Building a vision & culture to achieve long-term goals, while deep in the trenches on day-to-day tasks & implementations to ensure daily performance & quality.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I founded, ran and sold 6 marketing agencies, then had an epiphany that I was not fulfilling my personal destiny, so joined a non-profit drilling clean water wells in Africa, realized the hopelessness of 1.2 billion globally people living in extreme poverty, then started a non-profit organization (humanitywe.org) to deliver a smart solution to help small rural villages globally, move out of generational poverty. Then started a marketing agency (humanityone.ai) to help other nonprofits grow, while contributing to humanity and the planet.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Wake up, 454b min walk with dog, work out on Peloton for 1 hour, breakfast with wife, then in office by 8.30am. Multi-task and meetings all day, take 2pm-3pm to read, research or learn new knowledge. Cook dinner for family and family dinner together 7-8pm. Watch a little TV, or paint/creative. Check email at 9pm. Work a couple more hours.until 10.30pm to complete projects or plan for the next day...then do it all over again.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
It's all about culture & people. You can plan culture, but you must lead by having conversations with each person, and communicating clear performance expectations, communicating vision, and being authentic with support and recognition.
My experience has taught me that my professional value comes down to the following:
- I believe that all people want to come to work every day inspired, and that good business leaders create a systemized culture where people can excel.
- I don’t care who gets the credit. We win as a team.
- The best company cultures & leaders, get the best people.
- Effective leadership is critical to execute vision and create a winning culture.
- Dream big, get things done, change the world, and know when to have fun.
- Understand the target audience needs, and know what value your potential customers are looking for.
- Effective storytelling & creativity is a differentiator.
- Brands are important. So is Innovation.
- Success is a consistent series of small steps.
- Great people – ARE the difference.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
A Passion for Excellence. by Tom Peters. It is an inspiring, insightful and paradigm-changing book that completely changed my views about the need for innovation, understanding my customers' real" needs, and the value of visionary leaders.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
I try to look at "every" person in my organization as a leader. I treat them like leaders, give them the ability to make mistakes and make decisions, and look at every person as important in building a culture that other talented people will want to join.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
Implementing a 4-day work week was a major game-changer in staff happiness, quality of life, recruiting, and growth.