Ben Giles, Managing Director, Ultima Cleaning - ex LEAD Wales delegate
Delegate Name: Ben Giles
Position: Managing Director
Company Name: Ultima Cleaning
Ultima Cleaning is involved in many specialised sectors, including: crime scene cleaning, carpet cleaning, high level cleaning and pest control. Ultima now works throughout the UK, ranging from contracts including nine secondary schools in London to ongoing contracts with various police forces.
I Joined LEAD Wales because I felt that I as I started my business from school I had no formal business or leadership training. The link to CMI was a large factor also. I employ a workforce of over 90 and, as such, I was confident that I could make changes that would benefit my staff relations and improve my ability to stop being so involved in the mundane parts of the business and focus on using my skill set to increase profitability.
I found the exercises on the away day fantastic in bonding with my staff. Timelines were such a revelation in getting to know my staff better. I hated and loved the Belbin report! I hated being pigeon-holed but loved the realisation that I now know the people I need around me to succeed in completing tasks within the business. The board you couldn't afford - my cohort was also one of the most powerful realisations I experienced, talking to other business owners about problems was so helpful as part of an action learning set.
I have stepped back from my business, delegated roles to others, empowered some, sacked others and streamlined my business to become at least 40% more versatile, proactive and productive. I now see myself as the leader with a team of well-structured management following close behind me. I have formed business links with cohort members, business links with presenters and feel that the time I spent on Lead Wales was well worth the time and effort.