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Why joining a peer to peer forum was the best decision of my life

I wanted to open our blog with an insight into why I decided to start The Academy of Chief Marketers. I have always believed that the marketing function in organisations has never been fully understood or appreciated and where there are lots of organisations out there to support CEOs there are few that support marketing people at a high level.


Read my story

A long long time ago… somewhere in London

I came across an extraordinary man who at the time I had no idea would become my business mentor, coach and a very good friend. This gentleman told me about the Academy of Chief Executives an organisation that helped business leaders grow by sharing their experience, and together finding the right answers.

At the time I had just taken over a family run design and marketing agency and having little business education I thought this could be a great opportunity. I signed up and never looked back. Every month a small group of 10-15 CEOs would have the privilege of a meeting being presented to by World Class speakers on a wide variety of subjects. This included both soft and hard skill speakers covering workshops on everything from ‘Stress Prevention’ and ‘Pitch Perfection’ to ‘Adventure Psychology’ and ‘Personal Power’. These speakers present all around the world usually too far larger audiences so having them in a small forum was priceless. I worked out I have experienced over 200 workshops which have equipped me with the skills to both grow my businesses and help clients and colleagues do the same.

Some of my favourites takeaways have been the equation for life E+R=O and the SUMO scale. If you want to know more feel free to message me!

The afternoon sessions are based around challenges that may be being experienced in business. The challenges are tabled and using a variety of processes the other CEO’s operate as a kind of non-executive board to help provide ideas on potential solutions. There is no other way to get 15 experienced CEOs around a table all focused on my success with no agenda other than to support each other. We once worked out that the afternoon sessions would cost north of £15k to get that kind of help in a room!

I can’t start to explain how much help I have had from those sessions over the years. I’ve covered everything for sales strategy and staff issues to strategies for finance and managing shareholders.

The final part of membership was my monthly mentoring sessions from the chairman. Although this started as business focused mentoring, after several years it became more coaching oriented around personal life. My life seems to have been one long personal development road which has been both fruitful and fulfilling.

I swapped groups about five years ago and not only do we carry on the normal process of a board you could never afford, but I have made excellent friends who each year share in privileged experiences like Ice Driving in Norway, Goal Setting in Marbella and Segway Tours around Lisbon, Barcelona and Paris!

The idea of bringing this sort of personal development, friendship and business learning to the marketing world became a desire that I couldn’t resist. After several years of learning coaching skills, and decades as a marketing practitioner, professional speakers and business owner I decided to set up The Academy of Chief Marketers.

I am bringing the value of my network of World Class speakers all with a focus around skills that people in a senior marketing role will need. Add to this the senior marketers around the table all providing ideas to help you succeed in both your strategy, campaigns and career and I hope to be on the same winning combination that has helped so many CEOs over the years.