Neil Laughton: Leading Bravely and by Example

Neil Laughton, Founder, Laughton & Co Ltd

Innovative and impactful leadership is something that is hard to define, but you know it when you see it. If a business leader can create a compelling and inspirational picture of the future, whatever the situation or circumstances, then they will be followed. Neil Laughton’s personal style of leadership involves trying to deliver on the above but also listening to other people’s opinions, not asking anyone to do anything that he would not do himself, and leading from the front. Neil believes in the Latin Proverb: “Fortis fortuna Adiavat” (Fortune favors the brave). He is the Founder of Laughton & Co Ltd. Laughton & Co helps individuals and companies in creating the best strategies for growth and profitability, improving leadership and management skills, and developing happy & high performing teams.

Helping People to be Adventurous

After an underwhelming time at school, “Neil is trying very hard but achieving very little” said one school report. He managed to pass the selection process and become a Royal Marine Commando Officer aged 19 and went on to serve as a Reservist with the Special Air Service Regiment (Special Forces). On leaving the military, he tried various employed jobs but kept failing so decided to back himself and became a self-employed salesman for hire. This led eventually him to forming a commercial interiors business in London which grew organically. After a 17-years journey, this business had a T/O of £40 million and after delivering a high profile £20 million project at Heathrow Airport, he took an offer from a FTSE100 company and was made redundant (but this time on his own terms!) Then he decided to concentrate his efforts on helping people and organisations be more adventurous and started Laughton & Co.

Creating a Dynamic Team Culture

Laughton & Co. is an experiential training, development and events business helping individual business leaders and their people become more adventurous in their outlook, strategies, and outcomes. It does this through the principles of Discovery, Teamwork and Adventure. By continuous learning, creating a dynamic team culture and being adventurous, the company helps its clients achieve better outcomes than they could possibly have imagined themselves. Laughton & Co offers several innovative senior leadership peer group programs, developmental training courses, and unique adventurous retreats in inspirational locations both at home and abroad.

Communicating with all Clients

Being very much an in-person events business, the current pandemic has greatly impacted Laughton & Co’s normal activities. Regular group meetings have had to be cancelled, training courses postponed, and adventurous business retreats delayed. However, the company has reverted to even more outdoor events, kept communicating with all its clients online, and used the extra time to design new training programs and initiatives for when the situation improves. An example would be its brand-new experiential leadership program called “Commando Culture” – a (Royal Marine) Commando Methodology for Winning.

Collaborating with Complementary Practitioners

The learning and development / life & business coaching industry has long been a crowded market and quite a fragmented one with millions of solo practitioners. It is pretty hit and miss whether a client will get value from just one person. There is not a single program that is run at Laughton & Co that does not involve at least one leadership associate helping Neil in the delivery. For example, The Inspiration Programme, the company’s flagship adventure retreats offering at inspiring locations around the world is run by three independent Associates. So, Neil tries to encourage more independent coaches, trainers and advisors to collaborate more often for the benefit of their clients.

Encouraging More Inspirational Leaders

Neil firstly advises aspiring business leaders to let them know that every successful and sustainable organization must have inspirational leaders at every level. It is generally no-good relying on just one or a handful of effective leaders, so Neil encourages aspiring business leaders to step up! Second suggestion Neil gives to them is to do their homework. He believes that not many business leaders can jump into leadership roles effectively without any formal training, close mentoring, or on-the-job practical experiences. He suggests knowing the roles and responsibilities of a Company Director, to ask lots of questions and not be afraid to seek advice from an experienced mentor before making those big decisions.

Working on Principle of Honest Feedback

Laughton & Co works on the principle of honest feedback at every opportunity in order that the company can continue to improve its services and to offer the best training, support and advice. Their clients are then inspired and encouraged to give referrals – the most effective and inexpensive form of client acquisition. With this open, transparent and authentic approach to their work, the Laughton & Co team can concentrate of delivering great value, with the freedom to innovate and to enjoy what they do every day.

Recognized Leadership

‘‘Neil is recognized for his exemplary leadership. Below are the few highlights from that:

2005 – Ness Award for Leadership of Expeditions; The Royal Geographical Society

2009 – You did WHAT? Award for the Skycar Expedition; Wanderlust Travel Awards 2016 – Business Personality of the Year; Brighton & Hove Independent Business Awards

2016 – Entrepreneur of the Year; The Sussex Business Awards

2018 – The Highest Dinner Party, Mt Everest; Guinness World Records

2019 – Top 30 Inspiring UK Entrepreneurs; Business Leader Magazine

2019 – Three Penny Farthing speed / distance records; Guinness World Records

2020 – Most Inspirational Leadership Development Consultancy, England; Global Business Awards

2020 – Best in Leadership Development and Coaching Solutions, UK; Business Elite Awards Recognized Leadership

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