In the competitive world of business, one successful entrepreneur stands out from the crowd with a unique perspective on leadership. Tom Glanfield, a highly accomplished and respected businessman from the UK, believes that CEOs should embrace their own vulnerability and strive to be the “dumbest person in the boardroom.”
It may sound counterintuitive, but according to Glanfield, this approach is the secret to achieving extraordinary success.
Extraordinary success is no exaggeration. Tom Glanfield is a renowned business consultant and founder of the LHi Group, a multinational company that he reportedly sold for a staggering £100 million.
It’s no surprise that Glanfield’s insights carry weight. In our exclusive interview with him, we delve into his philosophy and discover why being the least knowledgeable person in the room can actually lead to greater achievements.
Be the dumbest person in the boardroom
Glanfield’s mantra, ‘Be the dumbest person in the boardroom,’ may raise eyebrows, but its essence lies in the pursuit of excellence through collaboration and knowledge sharing. Rather than promoting ignorance.
Glanfield emphasises the importance of surrounding oneself with brilliant individuals who excel in their respective areas of expertise. By acknowledging the limits of one’s own knowledge and embracing the brilliance of others, CEOs can foster an environment of continuous learning and growth.
Glanfield clarifies that feeling stupid is not a bad thing; “it simply reflects a genuine willingness to learn and acknowledge the vast expertise of team members. As CEOs, it is impossible to be well-versed in every aspect of the business, and that’s where recruiting and relying on knowledgeable specialists becomes essential. Being unafraid of feeling inadequate in the boardroom allows CEOs to tap into the collective intelligence of their team and harness their diverse skills for the benefit of the company.”
Shedding the ego: A recipe for effective leadership
One of the biggest hurdles in embracing the philosophy of being the ‘dumbest person in the boardroom’ is overcoming the ego. Most CEOs crave respect and authority, often attempting to maintain an image of intellectual superiority.
Glanfield argues that this approach is not only futile but also exhausting. By acknowledging their own fallibility and setting aside their ego, CEOs can create an environment where talented individuals thrive and contribute to the company’s success.
Glanfield explains that “if a CEO is the most talented person on their team, they have not recruited wisely. Building a team composed of exceptional individuals who possess diverse skills and knowledge is crucial. When CEOs relinquish their ego and prioritise the recruitment of top-tier talent, they pave the way for exponential growth and innovation.”
Successful recruitment is the key to successful business
Glanfield stresses that the above theory is only made possible through effective and strategic recruitment. While Glanfield’s philosophy provides valuable insights into effective leadership, the process of recruiting exceptional talent is no easy feat.
To ensure successful business scaling and growth, Glanfield emphasises the importance of recruitment strategy.
“Defining the roles and skills required to support growth is the first step. By identifying the ideal candidate profile, companies can tailor their recruitment process to attract the best talent.”
Glanfield advises adopting a proactive approach by “leveraging multiple channels and partnering with specialised recruitment agencies at the executive level. Finding the right candidates who possess the necessary skills and align with the company’s culture and values is paramount to long-term success.”
The role of directors in recruitment
“Executive and non-executive directors play vital roles in the recruitment process. Executive directors bring their expertise and a deep understanding of the company’s strategic objectives to ensure alignment between candidates’ skills and the business goals. They shape the leadership team and assess potential for growth within the organisation.”
“Non-executive directors or board advisors, on the other hand, often provide even more diverse perspectives and extensive experience, offering an independent viewpoint to ensure that selected candidates align with the company’s strategic direction.”
“Furthermore, non-executive directors contribute to the company’s credibility, making it more attractive to top talent. This is particularly important for SMEs and startups.”
Tom Glanfield’s Ongoing Contributions
Tom Glanfield’s advice should resonate with CEOs and business owners looking to create thriving organisations. Especially those looking to achieve high growth.
“By embracing humility, surrounding yourself with brilliant individuals, and fostering a culture of growth, CEOs can elevate their companies to new heights”
Remember, recruitment is everything. Structure your business properly, and then surround yourself with the right people. They will drive the business forward for you as long as you incentivise them to do so.”
Glanfield continues to contribute to the business world through his role at LHi and his business consultancy services at TEG Capital, where he shares the invaluable lessons he learned while scaling LHi.
With his guidance, other business owners can navigate the path to success and reap the rewards of a well-structured and talent-driven organisation.
“Remember, as a leader, it’s crucial to park your ego and empower those around you. By being open to learning from others and valuing their expertise, you can propel your business forward and create a legacy of achievement.”