Business Matters spoke with Andrew McNeill, co-founder of LX Leaders, a training and coaching consultancy helping leaders and teams to thrive in high pressure environments. We find out more about the business, what they do and what inspired him and his co-founder, Anika Wagner to set it up.
What do you do at LX Leaders?
We help leaders develop foundational skills to improve their capacity to lead and enable them to thrive under pressure. These skills sit beneath the core capabilities that leaders may have already established. The techniques we share improve leaders’ ability to self-regulate, to respond rather than to react, to communicate and make decisions. We offer one to one sessions, team programmes, keynote speaking and facilitation. We work with clients to establish the programme or one off activity that will meet their needs.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
Having experienced high pressure environments and led large complex programmes and teams we had to find techniques to be able to survive and lead effectively. I have also witnessed leaders sink under pressure or lead ineffectively. I have a passion for sharing the techniques and skills we have developed that can help people thrive under pressure and support their teams by leading in ways that we know work.
Who do you admire?
I admire every client I meet! I am constantly amazed by what people manage to achieve despite the pressure they are under. Many organisations have fantastic aspirations for wellbeing and yet the corporate, public and third sector environments we come across seem to be universally tough. The leaders and teams we support work incredibly hard and achieve so much that it would be hard not to admire them.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
I wish I had discovered the techniques and tools that I now use and share with others earlier in my career. I look back and can’t quite believe that I survived for as long as I did without them. But eventually the pressure did catch up with me and I found the techniques out of necessity when I was quite far into my leadership journey. That’s why at LXLeaders we are keen to work with people early in their careers as well as with more established leaders.
What defines your way of doing business?
Honest, accessible and data driven.
Honest: We are straightforward with our clients and speak from experience. The techniques we teach are ones we use ourselves and are proven to be effective when working in high pressure environments.
Accessible: We offer a range of price points to make our services as accessible as possible.
Data driven: We use feedback questionnaires to test what works and continuously look to improve our programmes.
What advice would you give someone starting out?
Take care of yourself. You are the best asset you have and your career is a marathon not a sprint. Also listen to others who have gone before you. Reach out to leaders in the organisation you have joined and ask them about their leadership experience and approach. Most will be flattered to have been asked and these conversations can give you some insights that can help inform your own leadership style
Getting to Know You Profile: Andrew McNeill