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Revive: Post-Pandemic Leadership with Tony Brooks

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On this episode of The Business Mastermind Podcast, Gavin is joined by Tony Brooks to talk about leadership, specifically what leaders should be doing differently in SMEs and corporates and where thy need to be putting their focus and attention.

We’ve been through a mammoth period of disruption with remote working, people being on furlough, and we’re now phasing back into the office, engaging with hybrid work patterns, there are people who have been on furlough for more than a year, some are reluctant to come back – much to the incredulities and frustration of business leaders. How do we get back to some form of normal and start to claw back the profits we were making 15 months ago?



  • It’s become complex recently and a lot of leaders and companies, to some extent have been in a more reactive mode over that last 15-16 months. Now is a really important time to shift back to being more proactive. But, be ready, willing and able to take feedback from their people, those on the frontline who have seen shifts and changes and engaging with customers and ask them what they think.
  • It was – and still is – an unpredictable environment, going into and out of a recession. I believe that the majority of us and the majority of businesses get way too busy with their heads down doing the do. Without standing back from things and examining how you’re thinking about your world, your people, yourself and your marketplace, you will not change the way you see things and you’ll continue to do things in a similar way. That’s a truism for life as well as business.
  • How do we adapt our culture to a world that has, potentially, changed forever? How do we need to lead people differently to get the best out of them in this new world? We’ll never go back to how it was 15 months ago. Use HR expertise to advise, in terms of how to handle things sensitively and the terms and conditions because it’s going to be choppy waters to navigate through to deal with people’s anxieties and the few people who are using it as an excuse. 
  • We are fundamentally quite tribal people and we like having leaders, rather than being solitary creatures. Even if you plan to have your staff working from home for good, have a physical meeting with them all at least once a month, bring everybody together. Start thinking about a social event in the second half of the year and perhaps make it a more regular thing. Think about how you’re going to employ people, because they won’t be able to get a feel for the role as they won’t see a busy office and may not feel a part of a team.
  • Companies need to remember that one of the things that retains people is that they have friends that they’ve made in the company, not just colleagues and the longer they’re at a company the more friends they make and the less likely they are to leave. Keep wellbeing practices up, we’re social creatures and it’s risky not to take that on board.



‘Some companies have had a rougher time than others, but now’s a good time to stand back and see it’s a different climate out there, where are you going to take you business?’

‘Recalibration could lead you back to the same place, but there could be some really important shifts in thinking and strategy.

‘We have to appreciate that people’s anxiety levels are all different. Leaders need to be sensitive to that fact. There needs to be a sensitivity, but a line has to be drawn.’

‘Zoom has been amazing for communication, but you miss certain subtleties in body language and energy that’s there in the room. Perhaps, going forwards, it makes sense to have an initial sales meeting over Zoom to assess whether it’s worth sending salespeople across the country.’

‘People, for the most part can be trusted to get on a do the things they need to do and balance their work. But we need to be careful that it doesn’t swing too far the other way permanently.’



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Tony Brooks is a leadership psychologist with over 14 years experience working within the SME sector. Through his work as a motivational speaker and trainer, he has an enviable record of significantly raising the performance of leaders and their people, delivering sustained profitable growth and positive company culture.

He’s a speaker on leadership and leadership mindset and he’s the author of the book PI Leadership: The 7 Positive Insight Steps To Peak Performance Leadership, which is a practical guide to applying positive techniques to the way we view ourselves, our situations and other people, to achieve greater success and fulfilment.




Gavin Preston

Gavin is an inspirational Speaker, Business Strategist, Business Growth Mentor, Trainer and high-performance Coach.  He works with Business Owners and Entrepreneurs and has a strong track record in creating the creative strategies to accelerate growth of their business. He has helped hundreds of SME business owners and leaders improve their performance and that of their business and a comparable number of executives and employees in blue chip corporates over the last 20 years.

Gavin’s energetic, insightful and yet down to earth and practical talks, workshops and coaching is in demand with high growth business between £250,000 and £30 million revenue and with multi-national organisations at all levels from Board to frontline Managers. He is an expert in Business Growth Strategies, Peak Performance Mindset, Persuasion & Engagement, Marketing, Productivity, Leadership Development, Team Development & Motivation, Leading Change, Stakeholder Management, Personal Effectiveness and Behavioural Change. 


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