fbpx

Episode 207: Giving Back to the Community as a Business with Dominic Hare




Tourism can be a lifeblood especially if the town is in the countryside. It can provide income not only for the business owners, but for it’s people as well. This is the guiding principle being employed by Dominic Hare, CEO of Blenheim Palace, wherein growing the business is as important as giving back to the surrounding community especially amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic. As a landed property, Blenheim Palace under the watch of Dominic Hare, promises to work in cooperation with the people in the years to come. In this episode, Dominic Hare talks with Adam Stott about his journey to becoming Blenheim’s CEO and his important role in its long-term development.

Dominic Hare is the CEO of the landed property Blenheim Palace. Their duty is summed up in three points: to preserve our legacy, a responsibility to continually evolve, and a need to sustain a strong connection with the community. Not only a birthplace for the late PM Winston Churchill, but Blenheim Palace is also related to Prince William and Prince Harry through their mother, Princess Diana.

Show Highlights:

  • The story of Winston Churchill being born in the Blenheim Palace
  • How Dominic met his first mentors working as an accountant
  • Dominic’s journey into investment banking earlier in his career
  • The process where Dominic was selected as the first Finance Director of Blenheim Palace
  • Dominic’s long-term plan for the landed property
  • Helping the local community in the light of the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Understanding the numbers in business
  • Importance of apprenticeship in Dominic’s goal of helping both the apprentice and the Blenheim community

Links Mentioned:

Big Business Events Members Network
If you want to book a tour, check out Blenheim Palace’s website at BlenheimPalace.com

Transcript:

Please note this is a verbatim transcription from the original audio and therefore may include some minor grammatical errors.

Adam Stott:

Dominic here from Blenheim Palace. He is the CEO of Blenheim Palace, which is a World Heritage Site in the United Kingdom in Oxfordshire, so I’m really excited to hear about how he runs his business, how he’s transition from being a finance director to being the CEO, working with the community and lots more different aspects of business so look into without doubt, pick Dominic’s brain and find out, you know what it’s like being a CEO, I think first of all, I suppose we’ll see if somebody manages a World Heritage Site, which I’m sure comes with his own pressures, and I think he’s going to be super fun so Dominic, welcome. I’m really excited to have you on.

Dominic Hare:
It’s great to be here. Thank you for inviting me. 

Adam Stott:
Perfect and really looking to hear a little bit about the story, I mean, how did you come to find yourself where you are now in control of this huge site with massive heritage, I think was the birthplace that create the birthplace of Winston Churchill was that right?

Dominic Hare:
Yeah, actually as an 01:57, there are two things that bless us completely as a place you think about most stately homes and those kind of things they’re usually in the middle of nowhere because if you were a lord or Duke and you had the money to build yourself a large stately home, you’d normally put it in the middle of nowhere because it’d be the two blessings for us is that when Queen Anne delighted at the first Jukes victory in the Battle of venom was kind of poring over a map and go we must award this man with some land somewhere, she points to the piece of land that’s in the home counties is halfway between London and Birmingham, and he’s on the Oxford, Stratford tourist road, so we’re really blessed there and then you go back to the sort of the mid 1800s and Duke young younger brother and his wife are traveling back wife heavily pregnant.

The build is overrun you wouldn’t believe that with you but even in those days builders. And so they diverted to his older brother’s house, which happened to blend them and by sheer chance, Winston was born there, so by miracle fluke of Winston Churchill, our biggest tourist brand imaginable is born at Lenin, and that couldn’t 03:06 

Adam Stott:
You should really bought them 03:08 Churchill’s, you know, some amazing stuff, but… 03:11 

Dominic Hare:
He must come after the 17th of May, we reopened with a big new Winston exhibition that’s been partly funded by the government under the culture recovery fund, and I’ve had the announcements. Some more programs for that last week, so if we big but, yeah, Churchill huge brand for us, and very proud of him and he was very proud of his relationship with 03:32 and so that’s an absolute gem for us that he was born here and he shouldn’t have been born here, got born in the wrong place. 

Adam Stott:
Absolutely and also Blenheim Palace is a 03:44 is that correct as well?

Dominic Hare:
Spencer Churchill’s and Lady Diana Spencer is if you go without for generations and then track across, she is loosely related which means strictly speaking, our Duke is very loosely related to William and Harry the 04:02 so that’s a nice connection for us and in fact, I think we redrawn the family tree to make it really wide.

It does actually capture it but there wasn’t that that drew me to blend in, because my background was as a while I originally was a washer upper college. And then, then I worked for, you may be too young to remember this chain, Tandy, you remember Tandy?

Adam Stott:
04:29 electrical show. 04:34 

Dominic Hare:
I worked there across the counter and then that wasn’t going terribly well for me so I trained as a chartered accountant got really lucky that I met the first of a couple of guys who were amazing mentors to me.

This was a guy called James 04:49 who was a corporate finance specialist and he set up a new corporate finance team where I was working, and he was determined not this was in Liverpool, he was determined that we wouldn’t just be doing management buyouts and acquisitions in Liverpool and the area he wanted to be known for something so he chose football teams. And so James advised on some of the very first big name Football Club acquisitions like 05:16 Lee buying Man City, the Johnson family buying avatar and then he went on to advise a whole bunch of 05:21 and so that was a period of great learning for me as I was being stretched out to shape. 

And then, after my son was born, we moved back down to Oxford, where my wife was based, I joined a French Investment Bank Corp 05:35 

Adam Stott:
Familiar with them as well, yeah.

Dominic Hare:
Lovely it was a great back to work at, and again by pure chance, although it was really small. There were three or four teams that were really world class at what they did and one of them was the media and telecoms team where I met some amazing people including another guy he was a great mentor boot camp Goldsboro, and bizarrely Perry back that points to the stride, the world of financing cable TV and mobile telephony and all that kind of thing. 

So I joined them and got the chance to be really entrepreneurial and I specialized in a stints down there with Perry Barr and Barclays Capital in things like commercial radio and children’s visual content so I did by pure chance I end up helping Chris Evans by Virgin radio. 

Oh well I can remember, I couldn’t have been taken aside by my then boss’s boss very wise French guy called Pascal Boris, he said, came in the next morning really bleary eyed and he said Dominic, you have to remember, not every deal you do will be the front page of the firm. The time lead story on the nine o’clock news. 

Dominic Hare:

But so I came out of investment banking, Having learned a huge amount. Around 2000 to three, you had the 06:49 bubble burst, a lot of media financings, just stopped happening. And so I took some time off, came back to Oxford, discovered my children who were like at that point four or five and getting interesting. And decided very arrogantly that I’ll just stay in Oxford and become the the finance director of a local business. Who wouldn’t want me Chartered Accountants investment banker, etc.

And it turns out the list of local companies who didn’t want to me was was long and glorious and included anyone who thought that any Finance Directors should have at least one day’s experience of being finance director before they joined, and I didn’t because I was just about to give up on that when I saw this takes us back to the old days of job hunting. We opened the local paper on a Friday morning the Oxford times where the jobs were advertised. And I kind of do several people in the coffee shop or looking at the same time when I saw this job advert for the first ever finance director at plenum.

Dominic Hare:

I’ve got to be me right so I raised up the hill, took out my presentation my pitch deck that all investment bankers had to have, despite the fact that it hadn’t worked anywhere else. And so I adapted it sent it off, within an hour, I guess, and I got back 10 minutes later I got a really surprised phone call from plenum from a nice lady saying we’ve advertised this new job this morning and you’ve applied already. I said no I said, yeah, I’m very keen and I think I’d be spot on for the job. I said well we think we’d like to meet you when you free and I said I’ll be there in about 15 minutes and choked on the tea or coffee and we eventually agreed to meet the next week but I went there for my first interview, I was the first of what turned out to be about forty people who were interviewed but I came away from that first interview convinced that would be offered the job, and I did the work to this amazing man called John boy who had great experience in the area. 

And so, for 13 years I was finance director at the time when plenum was blossoming from being a very old fashioned stately home, and the world of London estates the stately home was not an entrepreneurial world at that time it was still very much. It was run by the oldest son of the previous person who ran it, and that’s great for some kinds of stability but most of the entrepreneurs you listen to follow you probably won’t be picking this, the lessons and the lessons from the management team. 

Dominic Hare:

It’s just the world in which he’s landed the state for getting real competition out there, whatever things they do, and Lenin kind of blossomed up, opened up, we had a lot of fun we started new businesses we made existing businesses, a lot more competitive. We invested, there was a big thing, we invested, and it was all going swimmingly.

John, suddenly announced his intention to move on and the trustees asked if I would step into his role and it was weird moments because I probably was quite close to leaving to me John didn’t notice but I’ve been there for 13 years, it seemed like a really long time, and I sat down and thought about it thought, I don’t want to just be chief executive here, if it’s just carrying on, what am I doing before. I want to believe there’s a point to a land estate. I want to believe this stuff that a landed estate can do that no other kind of business can do and don’t want to believe that we’re conglomerates just a random assortment of businesses all owned by one person or one suggestion holders. 

One of those moments where you pull on every strand of your life experiences and the books you’ve read in the business heroes that you’ve worshiped and kind of studied and that just pulled on that together and really kind of had this aha moment. I remember calling a guy who’s our property director now who joined just after me and saying you got to come around right now, I want to tell you what’s in my head at this point. And it was about trying to identify what the real core purpose of a landed estate was what was unique about it, and… 

Adam Stott:
10:47 passionate about it, which is a key to, you know, key to success is having that passion, you know, especially over 13 years, where you’re passionate because you are now getting to the point where you potentially have some control so sort of make your own decisions, but that was what was exciting.

Dominic Hare:
I think was twofold that there’s always a strength that was landed estates and stately homes get under your skin, lots of people who work with them kind of it’s a more personal connection than I worked for x, for years. But the second thing was very much, I felt we’d alighted on a formula that made sense of what was truly unique about a lambda state and if you can identify that element of any business, why it really makes sense what it can uniquely do that other things can’t do, then you’ve got the formula that can adapt and flex but will always point you on the path to growth and success.

We’re not a visitor attraction, yes we attract visitors, we’re not a property business, yes we own and build properties but it was kind of identifying, we’ve been in this spot for 300 years, we fully intend to be doing what we’re doing in 300 years’ time, that’s an awfully long time horizon and if you if you compare us to Vodafone near neighbors was huge in Newbury. Will we be huge in Newbury in 15 years’ time? I don’t know. I mean, that business has changed to 12:11 

Adam Stott:

12:13 plan, longer term and would you say you know, knowing that you’ve got that that long history, but how important is it to keep bringing innovation to the table?

Dominic Hare:

Well it’s not a history point per se, it is to say we have a connection to this location. There is no chance, Vodafone could move tomorrow, though. Lenin is a very physical place, no one’s gonna wake up and go, oh, we’ve worked out if we outsource the whole place to Eastern Europe, we can save a whole bunch of money. No one’s gonna say plenums are really kind of energy intensive thing to run your navigate to be efficient, let’s move to a nice new build in Wiltshire, no one’s gonna say those things, we will be in this spot. 

So it’s that identification that long term thing that says, right. If you know, without doubt, that you’re going to be in this location and 300 years’ time, what opportunity does that give us because you think about the world of our competition, you’ve got commercial enterprises, you’ve got government bodies and you’ve got the third sector, you have charities and social enterprises. Now, we are without doubt, commercial enterprise. We invest capital for profits, but like a public sector body. We are completely grounded our location. So, public sector bodies can’t generally invest. So we potentially on this intersect of investing capital for profits and having a permanent title, location, which means we can invest for the very long term in this spot, completely confidence that we will be the ones to eventually reap the benefit because we will definitely still be here. 

Dominic Hare:

If you look at our purpose which you describe as being, we want to be the lifeblood of the local economy. We want to enhance the lives of local people, we want to share and protect this extraordinary place. That’s all about trying to articulate what will be in our long term interest. If we have even as a visitor attraction or as a property business or anything else, if we have a booming local economy, and an ecosystem of businesses and jobs that depend on us as well as us depending on them, then we will do very well if people want to move to this place, if people want to bring up their children in this place, if people want to set up more businesses on the back of the million or so visitors we draw to the area each year, then, that actually is a wonderful virtuous circle for us because it will attract more people. 

So, for us that long term identification of our fundamental connection to the area is the secret in each of our businesses and so.

Adam Stott:
14:46 interesting thing to the audience doesn’t have that benefit whether they haven’t got that most of the time, is what I said here is you’re asking questions of the business. And I think that’s what a lot of people don’t do is trying to get to the core of what you are, you know, and I think that that gives you once you get to that core of what you are then gives you the opportunity to really kind of give you that confidence in your mind so the guy there make better decisions.

Dominic Hare:
15:11 not just for us to make for me to make better for my immediate cohorts, but it’s actually a way of empowering everybody in the business to understand why we do the things we do, why we don’t do certain other things, and to give them the confidence in any situation, whether it’s a one to one issue with a customer or potential customer, or whether it’s to discussion with suppliers or local authorities or anyone else, it gives them that certainty of insight they can see into the hive mind, they know, why are we doing what we do, they know what we’re likely to want and value. They also can see instinctively what wouldn’t appeal to us what we wouldn’t value.

Adam Stott:
And real clarity about what your organization wants, likes and dislikes almost gives everyone a real easy way of understanding how they’re performing is that 16:01 

Dominic Hare:
It’s true on two levels. I mean firstly, there was an actual moment when the trustees have approached me when we’ve articulated this vision, and we suddenly say so these ought to be our goals and if we can achieve these goals this business will be several times the size quickly this is great. And so I described that purpose I described those goals, and the ideas to our trustees and said, look, this isn’t the right or wrong thing. But this is exactly where my mind goes, so if you’re looking at this and shuddering slightly, then I’m not the right chief executive, you’re absolutely bang on I’ve got the right one. And that’s not a problem, we’ll figure that out, and we’ll get we’ll have a good handover it’s not a problem. But if you, if it does appeal, this is exactly where my instinct will always take me, so there’s that, on that level is true.

16:51 I think, landed estates can sometimes be perceived as a little bit out of time and space, they come from this or aristocratic areas not very democratic and all the rest of it. And there is a feeling that they need to find their feet in the modern era. And like I say, because I think there are unique things landed the states could do, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t find that feed so I think the discomforts around inherited wealth, and all these things to the extent is there is replaced by a kind of certainty, you know what, if there’s any, for example, any entity out there that, as well as running a visitor attraction would want to promote the whole area for visits, including the competition, that it’s blame them. 

If there’s any property business out there that wants to figure out how to do affordable property even better than housing associations that will be blend them, and it’s in our interest to do this is our interest 17:47 

Adam Stott:
17:49 reading in your from the location signs of feed into other business interests essentially.

Dominic Hare:
Oh totally because if our rival visitor attractions in the area flourish to that brings more people to the area in total, it means there are more small businesses around trying to serve those people, whether that’s hotels, restaurants, shops, whatever, all of those things and having all those people wanting to be in our area, not just doesn’t just turbocharge our own visitor attraction business, but it means our property business for example, will have people wanting new buildings means people looking to move into our homes in the area, they will come to an area where they will all have jobs and opportunities but then they can also say, and our children will grow up with world class training opportunities of 18:35   

Adam Stott:
I’m a big fan of 18:38 village by the way. 

Dominic Hare:
Me too, yeah. The purpose thing crystallizes an awful lot, but it also allows you to deal with bumps in the road to, including Coronavirus and I think what was great was, there were no, there were lots of people in the business, right through it, who could see the ways 19:00 could help the local community.

At this time, and just know reliably predict that we would support them in doing so because they would go well, if that’s our purpose to enhance the lives of local people. How could we not do this this help? We do and we do so it gives it gives the kind of guiding lights, that’s a short term business trend cons a short term business bank can last you a few years, but this purpose, is a kind of touchstone, against which you can measure, much longer term plans, and that I think for a lot of people in the business. As I said early on, 19:34 gets under people’s skin and it does. Yeah, the number of people we’ve got to 19:38 and we’ve done 40 years’ service.

Adam Stott:
19:40 your culture would you say I mean, the culture and the association of being a part of something that is a heritage site is something that really draws people, I mean, say you’re a small business owner and you’re listening to what we’re talking about now I’m seeing between the lines of, you know, the innovation that you come up with the wanting to work with the community helping the communities flourish, looking at the bigger picture 20:04 we’re where we are, this is what’s all around us right geographically, how can we draw more in from the geographic location where we build them out, we build ourselves.

So it’s a more, you know, strategy with more innovation in it, with somebody that’s a smaller business and being somebody that has got a finance director background and then has gone on to be a CEO, can we talk a little bit about the numbers, how important for you the numbers in business, understanding the numbers are maybe really interesting to hear because there’s probably background. Would you say?

Dominic Hare:
So that a couple of things that jumped into my head that you asked that the first is, I know. Businesses attract similar kinds of businesses and the number of purposeful businesses I know who are led by people who used to be accountants, it makes us smile sometimes and it’s not unique to accountants, but I do think, to win the kind of the intellectual arguments with your stakeholders about why we should adopt a particular path, a finance director background, gives you a real kind of credibility in saying this isn’t just me having a loopy dream this business should be fluffy and nice. 

Yeah, this is based on logic will happen to our values, led to value our assets, what will happen to the way customers viewers, all that kind of thing so that having failed to articulate in numbers, what ought to happen if we do certain things is really important to us, and the number of businesses around us that adopt the same approach is true. And actually if you are the owner of a business and you’ve got the management team approaching you and saying, we’d like to be quickly, or something here. That’s a hell of a jump, to have the credibility to be able to write numbered business plans based on these ideas and set very clear targets which are quantitative, that gives us a lot of confidence and gives our owners lots of confidence. 

The other thing is, if you’re a small business you don’t have to have a massive purpose, I mean, we talk a lot about apprenticeships and we have some very ambitious goals on apprenticeships, but if, as a business, you want to feel you are contributing to the community around you, and the economy around you the easiest thing in the world you can do is apprenticeships, is something like an eight times payback to every pound of business spends on apprenticeships and of course. 

Adam Stott:
22:22 especially like, you know, we haven’t worked with 1000s of businesses many don’t embrace of mentorships, but we’ve got a full list worth me now that won’t be for 10 years, that kind of throws that really well. 

Dominic Hare:
It’s invaluable and actually what we discovered very quickly was the apprenticeship was as valuable for blending people as it was for the apprentice, they got so much from feeling that they were nurturing someone, and teaching them skills the kind of skills that will allow that individual to go out and make a living for themselves. It gave them such pride as well.

And so, apprenticeships are a permanent part of our business but the paybacks amazing, especially when you consider, right now the government essentially paying for almost all the apprenticeship under the…

Adam Stott:
23:07 Kickstarter scheme in my referral for other businesses that is a powerful frame, you know, we’ve embrace that, because we can bring young people in give them a chance we just got somebody on the Kickstarter program and you know what I think is such a sometimes a business almost crazily looks down on something like that and it’s not going to get the best people, but the reality is you get great people coming in, having a chance. There’s a lot of good people out there are big smart people, you know.

Dominic Hare:
Oh, yeah, it’s completely right Adam, you really are and there’s any number of people 23:40 who would say stand alongside you and say exactly the same thing and it’s not just the technical skills training, it’s the attitudes that many of these apprentices bring in and actually that bleeds back into your business in a good way because when the kind of old sort of cynical staff, see younger apprentice 23:59 

Adam Stott:
One of the things I learned many years ago is that you want to change your business, really bringing new voices because of a business for a long time has become static and new voice, and otherwise, a welcome bring that push it sounds a little bit like that. When you came into CEO role, you know, another thing that I’d like to ask which you think is important. You’ve got a business that’s been there three to 300 years is amazing in terms of to look stunning. You know, it’s got a lot of history, It’s a world heritage sites. 

A lot of businesses don’t realize that they could make connections with a business line but it sounds to me they also work with local communities. A lot of business owners don’t reach out, outside of their own front yard almost, and they could go and build a relationship with a powerful place can they absolutely. Is that something that you know you do a lot and how does that work do you go and seek businesses out or they come to you and say look you know we’d like to, you know, what can we do here, how does that work?

Dominic Hare:
Well, we probably try on every level because you’re absolutely right, it is difficult to break down that barrier which works two ways businesses tend to be quite inward looking and people see from outside, but it’s difficult to get in. So we have a very positive set of programs including, I mean, every three months with every parish council in our area, just to tell them what we’re doing and that’s not just because they’re interested in their own right but because parish councils comprise individuals, many of whom are in business in the area, or that’s very helpful we write, we write newsletters which get door drops to every house in our area, a couple of times a year, telling them what we’re up to. 

We have our frontline our first goal of our 10 year goals is to treble our contributions to the local economy, independently measured by a local university. 

And we have several strands of in fact of how we try to accelerate that contribution. One of them is to 25:53 startups challenge where we go out with several business networks, and we buy all new businesses, less than two years old to pitch in a kind of almost like a Dragon’s Den thing except they get a whole bunch of coaching on the way and they get several days of coaching from some really seasoned entrepreneurs, including Gary Frank, who was one of the founders of the fabulous bacon brothers, and they get a bunch of training and coaching then they come and pitch and then the top one or two.

We will really work with very hard to say, not just to begin to buy from you, but we’ll take all the different bits we have a 26:25 and any bits that can help you, we will deploy it to help you, whether that’s help with your web stuff whether it’s helped with marketing, whether it’s what we do. We’ve got our conference and banqueting team that will help them run launch events or thank you events for their early customers, will we had…

Adam Stott:
26:42 because so many businesses like your business, and this is what I’m really interested in this interview particular because you know you’re in this place, and someone says untouchable, unreachable, but actually there is reach there and I think there’s opportunity there, especially if anyone’s listening from Oxford they should be listening going oh, you know, how can I get involved with that, you know, how can I how can I become a part of that and I think that a lot of businesses just don’t look at what’s available to them from a community aspects. And from an actual, you know partnerships or joint ventures. Just look at what they can go and do is someone that is essentially a much bigger fish than they are, but they could certainly get some good recognition maybe some of they are off the back of that as well. You know some really good big 27:27 for that challenge and they want to be really good for that business right?

Dominic Hare:
Again they get a lot of publicity, and we’re not the only landed estate this is starting to look at this stuff and we Chatsworth who are really good friends of ours are doing something very similar in terms of really trying to penetrate the local economy and work a lot more with local businesses, for the same kind of reasons we are both that is makes economic sense but frankly also, it’s part of the social contracts we have the world around us. We are the land of the state, we’re pretty blessed. We have to recognize that. So giving something back. 

Adam Stott:
28:00 and that’s good that you do recognize that, because we offer, 28:04 because not everyone is, and then you open your doors to that that’s really quite nice isn’t it. 

Dominic Hare:
The only thing we do 28:13 is just participating in the local business networks where you tend to get much better penetration particularly of newer businesses who are still not very hungry phase, and making ourselves as open as possible through those networks, and we never when we get an inquiry in from someone local will always meet them or he meets them or whatever, even if it doesn’t look on the face but like there’s anything we can see we could do because you just never know. And, and frankly, encouraging people on the same entrepreneurial journey is by itself, hugely valuable to us.

Adam Stott:
Absolutely, there was another thing that I just picked up on this and that you were friends with another state 28:54 how important is that for a business owner to actually know other people in their industry?
Dominic Hare:
Oh my words, they weren’t where I was thinking about. But when I talked to someone who’s leaving and I’m kind of giving them these other things I want you to know, as you leave. One of them is, it’s easier with friends. Everything is we’re not on solo journeys here, and I’m very lucky that in the world of land in the States, because we’re geographically separate from each other.

We’re not in any competition. And that’s understood rightfully the land, the state’s world. so 29:27 we talked before about mentors in my life I’ve been very blessed but one of them is the guy who runs the Northumberland estate, nowhere near here, and 20 times the size of us have a guess at something like that, but an incredibly wise man who’s walked these roads 10, 20 years ahead of us. And that’s true of many overland states we’re very close to the Eden Project to Bewley to what is then to a castle to the clue and things like that. 

The time we share online or face to face, talking about the challenges we face and it isn’t just where we face identical challenges, it’s just learning how people like us have found their way through a problem, you never know when that’s going to chime with you.

And even today, I talk about, especially when I’m talking of younger people, that as well. When I’m talking to younger people, some people think learning is something that stops when you leave school or university, my God, I keep saying, no, it starts up to that point they’re spoon feeding you the learning. Active learning starts the moment you’re out there.

Adam Stott:
Active learning, you know, really good way of phrasing it because you know the reality is as a business owner, business 30:41, as you go into it usually you only know a few little pieces of the gang. And if you want to get better, but active learning needs to take place around the numbers who certainly one thing around relationships is another marketing model which you mentioned.

Dominic Hare:
That’s true. I mean even today I’m part of a group, let’s just call them random business leaders is nothing grander than that brilliant business leaders from the area from completely different areas, but first company here, a pharmaceutical company, they’re a district council over there. And we take part in something called an active learning set. Each week we’ll spend two hours, examining a problem that one of us is facing but you’re not allowed to give the answer, or even what you think is the answer. You have to help that person ask the right questions to find their own way to answer you got to and it’s incredibly challenging, whether you are the one on the receiving end, or actually hearing about some of these problems and asking the sorts of questions, 

Adam Stott:
31:37 the mastermind revolves dominant. 

Dominic Hare:
Yeah, exactly like that and it’s incredibly valuable.

Adam Stott:
31:43 it’s brilliant to that coming for someone like yourself is such a great place is the value of the mastermind This is huge for people. 

Dominic Hare:
Totally and I also think mentors are incredibly valuable and I owe so much to those who have mentored me. And actually I look back through the kind of weird career history and go, How much different my progression, might have been, had they not been supported at keep or inspired at key moments, it’s a very precious thing indeed. 

And actually, although they never said that I talked about purpose and start with why the famous Simon Sinek book. While none of those mentors ever talked about that with me. They live it.

Adam Stott:
32:30 right, you know, I think having done this a long time now I’ve interviewed so many people, so many different real quality people from different backgrounds, different walks of life, the principles of success almost are almost the same that in issues that different language of how those principles come out, you know, active learning, but that is a principle that you know, never, ever stopped improving, you know, constant never ending improvement right.

All of these principles and line when it comes to success, it’s just the way it’s described sometimes right. And I see that running for every interview I do and I think the audience, you know, for the people that are listening, you’ve got to look and you got to hear the train go see the trends, because if you went, if you listen to 1000 interviews, you can listen to you can see the trends of what people that are successful, and how they think and the actions you take things and it’s really interesting that you’re saying is that your career to have a different time and a lot of the time people’s careers don’t flourish as much.

The reason they don’t flourishes as much is probably because they haven’t met the right people to open the right doors or get the right opportunities or embrace the relationships. But where you say it’s twisted externally met different mentors and you are where you are now a lot of that will come from actually, you know, proximity and opportunities taking opportunities I’m willing to go there to the interview in 15 minutes where some people think about applying for the job for two weeks, rather than doing it in the second you know, get things done, it’s all about taking action.

Dominic Hare:
At the right moment for sure, I mean my wife would laugh if she heard you now saying that you’d never get things done straight away. But life is sometimes about those key moments that you say it’s spotting that opportunity or that potential relationship, and just going out of the way out of the way, direction now, because I can spot where it might take me and I don’t want to spend hours days weeks months years, correcting the fact I didn’t make that real change, as it were.

Adam Stott:
Absolutely, brilliant stuff. Well, I have been really interesting chat 34:34 is there anything you want to share with business owners will come with it some advice from your experience, your work into business hours a minute listening today, you know, the things you should be doing to grow their businesses.

Dominic Hare:
Yeah, I mean the first to share, I mean I think the pandemic has been a complete horrendous experience I think for all of us. And I know there are businesses that have wonderfully flourished through it because they were in the right business, and there’s many more businesses that I’m full of admiration for because they absolutely entrepreneurially seize the moment or just spotted a need wasn’t even an entrepreneurial thing they just went, this area needs X, I’m going to stop making it or doing it. And I’m full of admiration for those I don’t feel, you know, blend them was quite so quick off the mark means lots of individuals that 35:22 and work but it took us a while of kind of covering up and taking the punches before we went, hang on. If we believe what we believe we’re going to fight back and fight our way out to this. 

And I hope, for example the communities around Glennon will be more tied together for a long time to come because of the experience they’ve gone through and the way they have set up support groups spontaneously across social media and things just to make sure that neighbors got shopping, neighbors got medicine people would be looked out for, but I think it’s okay to say we’ve struggled. I think the idea that the myth that a successful business flourishes whatever the world throws at it is just that it’s a myth. And if you if you convince yourself, if you pitch the story oh we flourished, you’re missing a great learning opportunity. We struggled I struggled really badly in the pandemic, the fact that almost any simple decision you could make certainly had consequences or problems associated with it, which would never have happened in a normal time. 

Everything has fell hard yet we have stuck together as a group, we have mentored each other. We have tried wholly new things that we would never have thought of trying before, and there are so many positives, we can take out of that, but I think it’s okay. Sometimes, all of us struggle. And it’s okay to put your hands up, even when you’re in teams and say wow, I’m wading through treacle right now. It is a team game, and a couple of members of my team have been absolutely immense in the last three months, and kind of seizing the moment.

Adam Stott:
Absolutely.

Dominic Hare:
Totally and that’s the way a team sport works so you have a Manchester United fan who’s not enjoying the last five or six years but in the last year or so. Generally, someone has popped out of the morass to do something impressive and gets us through a game, and I think that’s very much true in business, I think the challenges of the pandemic means more businesses will go back and think about why they do what they do.

That’s a really healthy thing. I urge people to read Simon Sinek start with why or look around them for purposeful businesses be corpse, all those things, see how they light on their vision and how they then pursue it because these businesses are not bad businesses they’re not kind of people going, well, we’ll make a bit of a profit but we want some nice fluffy bit on the side there will actually be successful businesses that are unified by something, if you’re a complex business like 37:54 and that there’s all sorts of about 10 different business lines, doing different things. 

You tried to unify that without purpose they went in, it’s really difficult. But when everyone understands the direction we’re all heading that makes that makes life so much easier, and I am optimistic for the future, but it’s not particularly a vaccination point, but I actually think people in this countries have shown such resilience such compassion for each other.

Our next challenge is to go up and lift that next generation those who’ve left school and university in the last four or five years who’ve been really tripped up by this pandemic they’ve had their social relationships fractured. They’re the people who we can’t say we could work as well at home as at work because they’re still at the point of forging those relationships that make it easy for me to sit at home with my colleagues because we’ve worked together for 15 years in some cases, they haven’t 38:47 we have to lift out with a lift up for younger people and give them the opportunities that Kickstarter helps with but it’s not the only part of the solution. I thank all that is 39:00 for the fact that we can talk today online that, hopefully, the people we care for, have been safe right through the pandemic and that we have an economy that’s not waking you up, and many jobs preserved, that might not have been.

Adam Stott:
Do you feel there’s going to be a bounce back to the economy? 39:18 

Dominic Hare:
I’m very positive for, especially in the visitor attraction business which is quite kind of sensitive. 39:25 

Adam Stott:
Everybody’s been wanting to get out and everybody’s been wanting to do things and 39:32 
Dominic Hare:

We’re blessed, if you look up 39:32 think about 39:34 with, you know, as you’ll think green spaces so people start off with the assumption that, you know what, even if we’re social distancing we can social distance by 20 meters at 39:43 if we need to. I’m very positive that it will be in domestic market so the 20% of our visitors who come from abroad. Coming, not this year but I think we’ve all been cooped up for so long that people will flock to the safest places and we’re big open spaces, and I think people will regain their confidence coming to places like London. 

Adam Stott:
40:03 if you need an awesome coach for program that you want somebody to help you out with I’d be really keen to do that as well.

Dominic Hare:
We should talk after this call yeah for sure. 

Adam Stott:

Brilliant stuff, well, I think you’ve been a wonderful guest, amazing things for business owners to take out in the conversation is 40:23 shadow of a doubt looks interesting to get some such a different business. We should really use a different business and see their perspectives and actually look at that longer term visions, there’s a lot of secrets there for the audience, so thank you very much for being a guest, Dominic. You’re brilliant.

Dominic Hare:
Thank you for having me.

 

 

Leave a Comment