Over the last few years, we’ve been asked HUNDREDS of questions regarding the significant and sustainable growth of both business and business owner.

Here, we’ve tried to catalogue as many of those questions as possible, as we believe that for everyone that has asked, there must be at least a dozen more than have thought, but not asked, and many more who haven’t even yet stopped to think!

General Questions (12)

An executive director works for the company (usually full time) and has a senior role responsible for the strategic and tactical management of the division they run. Typically, they are C-suite roles, such as Chief Executives, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Technology Officers, and other executive division heads.

A non-executive director works in an advisory role as a consultant. The workload can vary, but typically it might be 10 to 40 days a year, including board meetings.

Independent director is often used interchangeably with the term non-executive director. However, independent directors are those that do not have any significant relationship past or present with the company (such as being a former employee or a major customer) beyond their non-executive role and can have only a limited shareholding or investment in the company.

So while all independent directors have the same role on the board as non-executive directors, not all non-executive directors can be considered independent directors.

Recruiting a non-executive director can help a small business gain experience, knowledge, contacts and ideas, as well as provide constructive criticism – all of which cannot fail to be of value to a company regardless of its size.

Many people will have heard of ‘Non-Exec Director’s but few fully understand what they are, much less what they can potentially do for a small or growing business.

What a non-executive director can bring to your business:

1. They have experience
Non-Exec Directors can fill a gap in a small business owner’s experience, or can add industry knowledge of a specific sector that the business is targeting.

Most Non-Exec Directors have usually helped a number of businesses find their feet, grow or survive tough times. And, if a Non-Exec Director is faced with a situation they’ve never dealt with before, they’ll probably know someone who has.

2. A fresh perspective
A Non-Exec Director doesn’t work with a business full time and won’t be concerned with day-to-day issues but will instead look at the bigger picture.

What is the direction of the business? Are targets being met? What environmental changes might affect the business? Which competitors should the business watch out for and what are the plans to keep ahead of the competition? They will have the ability to advise with confidence and make unbiased decisions in the interests of the business.

3. Connections that count
A successful business is a connected one, and a great way of making connections is through networking. However, for a small business it can be time consuming and can often prove difficult to build a trusted network of contacts.

A Non-Exec Director, in many cases, can offer an address book of relevant contacts that aligns with their own experience. This could be suppliers, distributors or potential customers to help boost business or a marketing guru or potential partner to add a new dimension to your company.

4. Keeps the management team in check
Many company boards become the victims of bad habits; missed agenda items, conversations being side tracked, and opinions being discounted.

The introduction of a Non-Exec Directors will help to keep things on track, and help to alleviate any tensions.

5. An objective view
Non-Exec Directors can round off a board by not only providing experience and knowledge that other directors may not have, but also by being able to take a more objective view of issues affecting the business and offering a wider sense of the possibilities for growth.

If, for example, your company grows and you consider flotation as a way to expand, they can act as a mediator voicing the pros and cons of such a move. Or, if there’s a financial crisis within the company or your market, they can alleviate stress and bring a voice of reason to the table.

Sure.  I initially studied in Nottingham for an HND in Sociology and Psychology with a particular interest in Communication and Human Behaviour.  I went on to qualify as a social worker with a view to working with disadvantaged children.  However, quickly determined there was far too much politics involved in social work and began looking for a change in career.

Many of my friends at that time had seen all the adverts for “The Army needs YOU” in the run up to the Falklands War, and had joined the Armed Forces.  And by the time I was becoming more disillusioned with my career choice to date, they all had qualified and deployed and were coming home with Money, and Girlfriends and war Stories.

I joined the Army as a Combat Medic, initially with a view to doing the minimum 3-year term.  But quickly fell in love with the work hard, play harder mentality and the fact that no two days were ever the same. I served for slightly over 12 years, rising through the ranks and responsibilities, before a series of ‘incidents’ eventually saw me Medically discharged in 2003.

Since then, I’ve worked at Directorship level for one of the UK’s largest Supermarket chains, At Regional Management level within the Public Sector in both Change Management and Training & Development, before branching out into the world of entrepreneurship.

I’ve either bought, acquired or set up four of my own businesses, and currently sit on the Exec Board for a Rapid Growth Tech Company, and have recently completed a role as Chair of the Board for a Registered Charity.

I am a Global award winning motivational speaker, published author and the founder of the #ADDAZERO Business Challenge.

We are frequently asked about the phrase “The ETHICAL coaching company” as to exactly what we are referring to as ethical.  After all, surely every business operates ethically?

I’m not one idle gossip, but in my experience, people have a very different view on the term ethics, and I’ve certainly come across some business owners who by no means match our perception of the term ethical.

Whilst I know there are many kinds of coaching available, I’d like to share with you our thoughts on the term ethical.  For me, that means understanding that as a coach, my role is to support you and your journey of development, and not simply expect you to purchase one of my programs, follow me and tell you all about what I’ve done in the hope that might work for you too!

I’ve had, (and continue to have) a number of coaches with whom I’ve worked throughout my own business development, and the ones I’ve valued the most, the ones I’ve benefitted from the most, are the ones who have worked WITH me, not me being in some way subservient to their superior wisdom!

My TrueNORTH, prides itself on having some award-winning programs of coaching, which we bespoke to aid the individual client, rather than expecting everyone to buy an off the shelf package and hope it fits!  After all:

“One size fits nobody!

I often find it interesting when this question is asked, as to what they are REALLY asking!

Within my career, I’ve worked in various organisations managing teams of people and responsibilities. Within my military career, I managed almost 100 people, within my corporate (post-military) career several thousand people. In my largest business, 37 people were on the team, at the point where I sold and exited.

Within the My TrueNORTH nucleus, Mia is my PA / Events Coordinator and looks after everything to do with my diary! James is my accounts manager and looks after everything with a number attached to it! Amanda heads up our marketing and looks after our brand and company message! and beyond this, we have trusted Partnerships, Joint Ventures, and outsourced Professionals. Leaving me to provide the coaching, mentoring and consultancy work.

Personally, I live in Warrington, Cheshire – UK. The My TrueNORTH offices are in both York and close to my home in Warrington, which is where we host our Pathfinder Masterclasses.
Our Explorer Mastermind groups currently run across Northern England.
As a 1:1 consultant, I operate across the world. and for everything else,…….there’s www.zoom.us

I guess my initial answer would be, like what?
I’m not saying we can’t or won’t offer bespoke, I just know that from the years of experience in both business for myself and as an award-winning coach, we do tend to have a program that caters for the mass majority of business owners.
The best thing to do, would be to talk to us, so we can determine together as to whether My TrueNORTH is the right provider for you?

This has to be a two way street right, and so its important to also know what you can expect from me. Firstly my discretion. Coaching is an exceptionally honoured, humbling and trusted career. To gain the trust of a business owner to share their business with you is something I value beyond words. Once this trust has been gained, it must be maintained, and so you can remain assured, I take nothing more seriously that the information to which we share. Secondly, you can be assured of my honesty. I simply wouldn’t be a coach if I ‘sugar coated’ the truth. Therefore, there may be times when your not so happy with the tact I take, don’t feel comfortable answering my questions, feel challenged by my approach. The fact is; I’ll be asking the questions nobody else is asking, so you can find the answers nobody else has considered. If I’m not pushing you to achieve more, then I’m not fully achieving everything we have set out to achieve. My role is to stretch you, and sometimes that may feel uncomfortable, but without it you simply wouldn’t get to where I’m going to help you achieve.

In order to get the very best from your coaching, there are a few things I need from you. Firstly a signed agreement to confirm we are both in agreement as to what shall be covered throughout our time together. It’s hugely important both of us are fully aware and in agreement as to the nature of, and parameters in which we are both working together. I also need you to be honest with me and share everything there is to know about you and the business. I can only work with what you present, so failing to admit or share certain aspects will only skew the help, guidance, the support I can provide. Remember, I’m here to support you to achieve YOUR success summit, it’s not going to be possible to do that if I’m not aware of everything which could affect either you, the business or the outcome. I’ll be signing an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) when we start working together but do need you to share with me everything that’s relevant and not just the ‘good bits!’.

Well, that depends on the coaching program you have chosen, coupled with your own requirements.
Our JSOV program runs monthly for 11 months a year for 60mins each time.
Our Pathfinder program also runs monthly for 11 months a year and is for one full day (9.30am – 5.15pm)
Our Explorer program runs Bi-Monthly and is for 23Hrs! (Tuesday at 7pm – Wednesday at 6pm) Explorer also includes a Bi-Monthly 1:1 meeting which lasts 90mins each.
My 1:1 coaching is usually offered by either Telephone/Skype/Zoom or Face to Face. Telephone/Skype/Zoom coaching is often 30min sessions. Face to Face are either 60 or 90min sessions.
Whilst these give you a rough breakdown of the various different options, as an ethical coaching company, these have to be able to be mutually beneficial and so can be tailored by mutual consent to each client’s requirements rather than a strict off the shelf solution. In this sense, I have some clients who prefer fortnightly coaching, whereas others require 5-6 weeks to implement everything we have discussed and agreed.

GREAT question. I find the best way to work with a new client is by first offering a complimentary 30min consultation. From this we can get to know a little of each other, answer any questions you may have (If they are not already answered here) and discuss what you are aiming to achieve through our time together. I’ve got a few questions I’d like to ask myself about you, the journey you have taken to date to get you to where you are right now, and where you’d like to be. From this, and if we have decided we are both a ‘good fit’ I’ll send you our FIRST THINGS FIRST workbook. It’s quite a detailed workbook, and something it may take you a little time to complete. But, it’s been put together to help both of us to determine WHAT is required to ensure every session we have together is highly valuable and beneficial to us both. Once you’ve had the chance to work through the booklet, you simply return a copy to me, and in return, we’ll use this to determine the terms on which we’ll be working together, and send over a confirmation document for you to look through. Within it, we’ll clearly lay out what you can expect from working with me, and in return what I’ll be asking for from you whilst we work together. Sign and return the form and we can get your coaching sessions booked in, it’s as simple as that.


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