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Ingredients for success: A soufflé rising

09 November 2016

Alex Hayward - Wealth Strategist

On the eve of the US election, the world ruminated on the election of Donald Trump. With an uncertainty much greater than when the British Bake Off moved to Channel 4, we wondered who would rule the big white tent come January.

Set against this uncertainty, the LGT Vestra Private Office hosted a private dinner for 30 leading entrepreneurs to discuss and reflect on the keys to their success, on a night entitled ‘Ingredients for Success: To Have or Not to Have’.

With speakers Michael Tobin, who turned the Telecity Group into a £1.6 billion empire, Oliver James, the author of Affluenza and How to Be Succesful and Stay Sane, and Robert Rowland Smith, a philosopher from the School of Life and an expert in leadership development, the lively debate distilled the following Recipe For Success:

Step 1: Before adding ingredients, acknowledge the role of luck in whatever you are going to make.

Step 2: Set the ethos of your company to the highest level. A strong corporate culture, led by the founders, is needed to keep things on course.

Step 3: Remember to look up, vision is more important than strategy and as Tobin stated, you won’t “find a rainbow if you are looking down”.

Step 4: Select Ingredients, choosing where possible:

a) Life in the present over the past

b) Two Way Communication over Dictatorship

c) Insight over Arrogance

d) ‘Playfulness’ over ‘Playing with People’

e) Vivacity over Hyperactivity

f) Authenticity over Sincerity

Step 5: Mix thoroughly and actively seek to smooth any lumps, such as tension among senior staff.

Step 6: Bake.

When examining what has then been made, the debate explored how happy a person can be with the resulting rate and height of success, the appetite for more, and the value that is placed in sharing success with others.

If the soufflé failed to rise, it was strongly felt that lack of success is an important part of recalibration and learning: To quote Tobin, “There is no way of ‘uber-ing the uber’ without getting things wrong.”