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Elite leadership mentor urges 'self-awareness' in managers

Phil Ferrar

Managers need to gain an increased understanding of their own characteristics and the impact it can have on others before they can begin to lead effectively, according to a mentor whose clients include coaches of top performing US elite sports teams.

UK-based The People Academy, which also counts BMW among its clients, provides an insight into how to create top performers by first understanding how others perceive you when its director Phil Ferrar (pictured) takes to the stage at AM’s People conference on June 16th.

Hosted in conjunction with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), the conference, now in its third year, once again precedes the prestigious AM100 Dinner which takes place at the same venue, the Park Plaza River Bank, London.

Ferrar said: “Understanding how to rally a group of people and bring them together to operate as a cohesive group is a key component of leadership whether you’re an elite sports team or a business.

“By raising self awareness of the individual as a leader, they begin to understand their impact on other individuals and how others perceive them. They can then adapt their behaviour accordingly to the individuals within their team with dramatic results.

“At work we follow processes but people don’t respond well to being processed. Grasping what makes different people tick and how they respond to your management style are crucial for success.

“People have genuine lightbulb moments and suddenly realise why a certain person is not responding and ultimately not performing.

“Once we’ve appreciated how others may perceive our approach, we can adapt according to the individual which, in turn, brings out the best in people and improves performance.

“We have the skills and knowledge we need to do the job, but often what’s lacking is our understanding of other people and how to engage them.

“This can be especially true of sales people who are often positive and friendly.

“They need to be liked, by their customers, their boss, their peers and their team.

“They don’t realise others can find this irritating and superficial.

“Others are perfectionists and could be seen as pedantic or even nit-picking which can be tiresome for those who work with them or for them.”

He added: “Being able to fathom how people approach things differently and interpret things in a different way is a real skill which will be continually refined, but the first stage is self-awareness and this is incomplete if it doesn’t include an understanding of how others really see you.

“From there people can work out how to turn the gas up or down on their behavioural characteristics, depending on the individuals concerned. We can then implement a more tactical approach to get the best out of people”


Tickets are available to dealers and manufacturers, with a limited number of supplier tickets on sale. To book, please contact Nicola Baxter on 01733 468289, email  or visit


Park Plaza River Bank, London SE1 7TJ


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