No Longer a One Man Show…

Many of you reading this blog will remember the feeling. It’s one of the biggest decisions you ever take in business and it starts with a simple realisation: if I’m going to achieve what I want to achieve, I’m going to need some help.

TAB York has been successful. And I’d like to thank every Board member past and present who’s contributed to that success. But for a while I’d been conscious that there were only so many hours in a day, and I was spending more and more of them with clients, potential clients and my laptop – and rather less with the two boys that made me start TAB York in the first place. But at the same time the demand for the services TAB offers was continuing to grow…

It was time for some help.

And as some of you know, I’ve now been joined by Julia Sutton-McGough and Jackie Mathers. To say I’m delighted is an understatement of considerable proportions. They’re both lovely people (always a good starting point), have a wealth of experience and will bring a huge amount to TAB. I’m absolutely certain that Julia and Jackie will allow me to give the business community in York and the surrounding area a peer-support and business coaching service that would be envied anywhere.

But enough of my thoughts. Let me formally introduce my new colleagues. And in the time-honoured tradition of this blog, Jackie and Julia have submitted themselves to ruthless interrogation. This week, Julia Sutton-McGough…

What made you think joining Ed in TAB York might not be a bad idea?

Ed and I live in the same village and were introduced through friends. As I came to know Ed socially and understand what he did and the concept of TAB, I realised it was something I’d like to be involved in – and something where I felt I could contribute. And TAB also offered me the chance to develop my own skills.

What did you do before TAB?

I’ve worked in the pharmaceutical industry, in the charity sector and with the NHS – and I’m building my own consultancy business. So I’d like to think I’ve both a wide range of experience with big business and an understanding of running a much smaller business – with all the problems and opportunities that brings.

What qualities are you looking for in your own Board members?

The key word is probably ‘open.’ People who are open to new ideas and open to sharing their expertise and experience with others. Enthusiasm and a commitment to achieving their goals – personal and professional – are obviously going to be important. And a sense of humour…

And what qualities can you offer them?

It’s always difficult to answer a question like this, but I do think I’m good at helping companies and organisations find solutions and identify goals and directions. I was a board member at Sue Ryder in a time of significant change for them and being organised, identifying what we needed to do and what direction we needed to take, was absolutely crucial. So without resorting to clichés I do think I can see the bigger picture and help business owners reach the goals they’ve set for themselves.

I also believe in keeping score – as the saying goes, ‘you get what you measure.’ So I hope I bring vision – and enough experience to know that goals are no good without monitoring the steps along the way. And I’m not afraid of hard work…

What can you contribute to TAB that Ed can’t?

Hmmm…there’s a dangerous question! I think the key thing is probably several years’ experience in specific industries. As I mentioned above, I’ve worked in pharmaceuticals, health and social care, and I’ve worked with the NHS – so I’m obviously looking forward to working with businesses in those sectors. And this previous experience has also given me a range of skills that will be applicable to any business or organisation.

One of the most exciting things for me is that Ed, Jackie and I all come from very different backgrounds so between us we’ve an enormous range of experience and knowledge.

Finally, what are you most looking forward to?

Meeting people, helping them, my first Board meeting – all the things you’d expect. I don’t want to sound too corny, but what I’m really looking forward to is the first time a client says, ‘Thanks. I couldn’t have done it without you.’

Next week Jackie will be answering the questions – but as TAB York enters an exciting new phase of its life, let me finish for this week by echoing the last sentiment. Thank you – I couldn’t have done it without you.



  1. Gill · September 27, 2013

    It’s really funny but I came to that very same conclusion just recently. I did not realise what a huge decision it is to recruit and that realisation you are spending more on the business than your children…and the realisation that you can’t just stay at this level, it would be a great personal disappointment and that you just need HELP! So I too am recruiting Ed, and have to say am thrilled with the growth of TAB, it’s inspiring to say the least. So THANK YOU

  2. simonjhudson · September 27, 2013

    Though I have said it in person, I’d like to extend welcome to Julia and Jackie here too.

    Sacrificing time with my family to provide for my family has always been an issue that I have struggled with both philosophically and practically and Ed has reminded me to seek the balance on important occasions – so it’s encouraging that he lives by his own advice.

    Working with Ed has been a joy, a relief, an eye opener and a comfort. I’m sure others will benefit equally from the extension of TAB (and leave more time for Ed’s family and for me when I need him!)

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