Skip to main content


Performance, Culture And Taking On The Terrorists

By Coaching Culture Interviews No Comments

Seeking a high-performance culture, with the highest output is often a top priority in many businesses and the same probably goes for yours.

The stronger and more competent the staff prove themselves to be, ultimately become solid indicators of who you want working for you and contributing to the success of your business.

Who doesn’t like a hard-worker, especially one that produces results at an incredible rate?

In providing my clients with a high-performance culture that has hard-working staff, I make sure to tie-in a soft, nurturing culture that is inviting to the employees; which should be on the top of any business-owner’s priority list.


Culture And Performance Matrix 

Most business-owners want to attract high-performance, high-output staff; with fewer people on their pay-roll and that work much harder at building the company, as opposed to having a shit-load of employees where output and performance varies.

In choosing a healthy balance, though, the culture that exists within the business is just as important as the measured performance thereof.

If you ran a business that only had an environment of high-performers, there would be heightened levels of boredom and a looming disinterest in the company and the people running it. So, in combining a nurturing culture that caters to employee relationships and building strong teams with varying levels of comfort would be just as important to the momentum of a healthy operation.

In the following matrix that I provide for my clients, I divide the staff into four different quadrants that look at their different levels of competency, as well as the involvement of company culture. I make sure to put emphasis on the star employees that make the most significant contribution to your business.

On the top right quadrant of the matrix, your best performers and most productive staff members are seated within an appropriate environment of culture and performance. These are the people you should throw money at, they are the future leaders of the company and your best employees. Your goal is to move as many staff into that quadrant.

Conversely, the bottom left quadrant indicates the staff or employees with the minimum performance potential and very low levels of culture; these staff are easily recognisable and have a low productive output, which are better to try and get rid of. They ultimately impede on the performance of the business and can end up driving you mad. In other words, these people must go.

In the bottom right, you’ll find quadrant three, which has what I call the terrorists of the business. They are a great culture fit and are very well-received by the rest of the staff, but are low-output performers. These tend to be the riskiest staff members to have, as they are engaging, humorous and build a strong rapport with the rest of the employees, but, more often than not, motivate other employees to adopt their lackadaisical approach.

Due to their lack of performance, they are often a good target to get rid of, however they affect the rest of the staff in such a way that you’ll be questioned or have to deal with unpleasant rebuttals, as they leave good impressions on the rest of the staff. Complete terrorists, I tell you.

The quadrant to the top left are where your most malleable staff sit; those that have high potential and should be massaged into the right company culture – making them suitable candidates for the first quadrant of high-performing, high-output staff. Love and nurture these employees, find what motivates them and push them toward the first quadrant.


High-Output And Strong-Culture Staff Are The Most Suitable Candidates 

A wonderful way to approach this is in the way Jim Collins does with the best of his employees, “we hire five, work them like ten and pay them like eight.”

In using my method and honing in on the right attributes to look for in the staff, you should make a habit of reviewing where it is that your employees sit, especially when doing KPIs or performance reviews.

Cycle through the different categories of employees so that as many of them can reach the level of your most optimal performers, those with a strong culture and high-output. Try to get rid of the terrorists and the poorest performers, while finding the right methods to motivate the best of your employees.

Plot out which employees sit in which quadrant of your business and try to ensure they are a good culture fit and not just high-performing. Ask yourself if they are a right match for your vision.

This is a new way of looking at your staff and you should constantly reflect on the quality of your employees at any given time. I make sure to always apply this tactic as a business coach when working with my clients, as they often struggle with team cohesion and analysis.


If this makes sense to you, If it resonates with you, And if you need help to achieve such a cohesive and high-output environment:


I’m the right business coach for you.

Hit me up, grab me for a quick cup of coffee, a Zoom meeting, use me and abuse me, I’m a call or email away:

+2783 253 3339

Seeking Out Talent And Culture In Hiring New Staff

By Business Coaching Interviews Motivation No Comments

In most businesses you’ll find a lot of emphasis put on skills and experience during the hiring process and in selecting the most ideal candidate to employ.

As a coach that works closely with business owners and entrepreneurs, I always recommend that my clients widen their scope a little bit more and pay attention to a few important aspects to consider when employing new people into their businesses.

We know that skills and experience are tried and tested – it gets the job done and gets the position filled – but, it isn’t enough to find employees that can really make a true impact.


Talent, Culture And A Paradigm Shift 

If you’re building a business that requires people, which most businesses do, one of the most important processes will be your ability to find and hire quality people and retain them for a long time.

It’s certainly a crucial part of running a business, but what tends to happen is that most businesses will only interview for both skills and experience – which, we can all agree, is a bit outdated.

Skills refer to what the person studied, learned and whether or not they can do what it takes to produce results in their field; while experience refers to what jobs they’ve had, how long they’ve been in the workforce, which businesses they’ve worked for and what they’ve been exposed to in those environments.

It’s easy to measure these two attributes, as you can check who they’ve worked for and the duration; you can take a look at their body of work to get a sense of what they’re able to produce; and you can check their character through references.

But what often tends to happen is that when these people join the business, there comes a realisation that they’re not a good fit, culturally speaking and that they don’t have the right talent often required by the business. Talents can be considered one’s ability to do things naturally, their ability to learn and ability to take and adapt to criticism.

These attributes need to be paid far more attention when choosing the right staff and during the hiring process to get the best out of the people that help operate the business.


Incorporating Value Into Your Business Through It’s People 

The first step that needs to be taken is to identify what your business culture is and what your company values are and being aware of this will allow you to have a stronger sense of the people you require to complement your business.

In the second step and during the interview process, you need to figure out how to test the culture and value that the person can bring to your business – figuring out whether they’re a great fit and that the candidate and company will comfortably dovetail; you need to ensure that you’re inclusive of both talent and culture.

I’m not saying that you should discard the current factors that are looked for in potential employees, but to pay more attention to attributes that might bring extra added value to your business. Make use of all four (culture, talent, skills and experience), rather than the traditional two.

If you had to do a proper test for these pieces, you could make the final decision as to how you would implement them: my suggestion being 25% for talent, 25% for culture and 50% for skills and experience – you decide what becomes more important in the right fit for your company.

By taking the traditional route, you could run into the risk that you employ someone who can do the work, but can’t communicate; or that can do the work, but doesn’t want to learn more; or who can communicate really well, but doesn’t want to do as much work.

You’re trying to find people with a natural ability to learn and adapt to new processes, that take on challenges and learn from them; what you’ll find is that talent and culture can’t really be taught, where skills and experience absolutely can.

More often than not, you can teach people the skills of the job that need to be done, but the ability to be a self-starter, to be autonomous, high-performing and to have a strong work ethic – are all things that can’t be taught; they either have it, or they don’t.


Honesty, Hunger, Humility, Happiness

 The email delivery powerhouse, SendGrid, applies a healthy combination of what they call the “4 H’s” when hiring new staff and it’s worked wonders for them.

There are 4 cards and each one is rated from 1-5 to measure where they fit in with those attributes in the company. It makes the hiring process a lot easier and you’ll find more emphasis put on talent and culture, rather than just skills and experience.

In the workplace, you should look at employees that bring, or have a sense of:


Hunger (enthusiasm);



These are obviously not the be all and end all in measuring who should or should not be an employee, but it is a pretty good start.


The Rotting Banana In The Car 

A story that is etched into my brain, which gave me a nice chunk of insight into how skills and experience don’t necessarily correlate with values, talent or culture is the rotting banana story.

A few years back, I had a national key accounts manager that sat in on an interview with a potential employee that he considered hiring. The interview went well, I thought she had all of the necessary skills and experience for the job, so naturally thought that she’d be a great fit.

This is when it got interesting. Instead of simply thanking her, finishing the interview and letting her be on her way, he insisted that he walk her to her car.

I was expecting him to come back up to the office saying how brilliant she is and that we should pull the trigger and hire her. To my surprise, he said without hesitation, “we’re not hiring her.” I thought why not? She has the right talent, skills, a great network and ticked all of the proverbial boxes.

He said that I had to see the state of her car; that a black, rotting banana peel sat on the front seat and was just baking in the sun, probably emitting all sorts of foul odours. He was horrified at the state of her car and said that it meant she was disorganised, messy, can’t keep her head clear, that she doesn’t represent herself well in front of clients and that she’s put on a really good sales front for the interview and that deep down the car is a reflection of who she is.

I thought to myself, “that’s madness”, then he asked me if I saw her nails, which he pointed out were half-painted and half-worked. He firmly said, “she doesn’t take care of herself.” He pointed out that you want someone in sales that takes care of themselves, as they also represent you, or the company and judging by the state of her grooming and car, she’s not a good culture fit for the company.

This taught me the valuable lesson of always paying attention to how well potential employees take care of their car and of themselves. Sure, some people might have an off-day, but those small things can tell you a lot about a person and how they would fit in with your company.

Just in case you were wondering:

I keep myself well-groomed, healthy and fit and know how to best represent you and your business.

So if you’re in need of a great business coach, that also rocks up fresh and energetic – get in touch.


+2783 253 3339


Shit! This just reminded me that I need to go get that damn banana out of my car.

The joke is on you, because I have a kickass motorbike, just so I can avoid bananas.

Spillly business coach

What is a Business Coach?

By Business Coaching Coaching Interviews No Comments

Spillly business coach

A business coach is someone that helps business owners and their management teams proactively approach defining their business growth objectives and then assisting them in the strategic thinking and planning to achieve their desired outcomes. Business coaches should be objective to their clients’ targets only and persuade them to learn the academic means to better themselves and make their organizations smarter. A good coach should become your theoretical silent partner who is always a call and mail away. They are the propellant to your business growth and should assist you in making the right decisions that will impact your business positively while inspiring and motivating you and your team.

What is the difference between a coach and a mentor?

Mentoring is unstructured, unaccountable and subjective. Mentoring is often just someone you know and respect that has “done it before” who is offering you advice and guidance without being paid for his/her time. There are no timelines and goals set when being mentored while coaching is a structured approach, over a set period of time with clearly defined goals being adhered to. The coach is paid for his time and must remain 100% objective to your needs and goals and is non-advisory. [This means he/she will not give you any leading advice but will help motivate you to find your own solutions and keep you on the path to achieving your dream].

And the difference between a life coach and a business coach?

The coaching mechanisms remain the same; objectivity, paid for and non-advisory but with business coaching the conversation revolves mostly around building the business, its strategies, processes and policies etc. while with life coaching, the tools used help the individual become a better person and find what they would describe as “happiness.” Life coaching uses far more psychology than business coaching although they both do require a healthy understanding of the human psyche.

How do you define yourself and how did you get into the field?

I’m a business coach that sit neatly between coaching and consulting, meaning I do offer advice where the client is needing solutions to improve the pace to achieving their own growth targets in their business. I focus primarily on the media, advertising, communications and technology sectors giving me a great oversight of larger industry trends, opportunities and threats in the space that business owners may not see while working in their business.

What are the tools of the trade?

If you are not constantly reading about the space in which you play and not improving your own skills you are “dead in the water.” In my opinion it’s essential that you remain relevant to your client base by knowing more than they do, at every stage of their business. This relates to the operations of the business and not necessarily their product or service. Having experience in multiple industries and having seen many ways in which businesses have succeeded, failed and been mediocre gives a coach perspective that is invaluable to his/her clients. Its valuable to have a formal business education as well as exposure to psychology as business coaches will deal with the academics of running a business as well as the softer aspects like motivation, depression and anxiety.

What are some of the myths around life coaches and coaches in general?

Not everyone can be a coach, although everyone feels that they can be. It takes a certain kind of mind-set and patience to be able to operate at the multiple speeds of individual clients. I often get told that it must be easy being a business coach when the opposite is in fact true – on a daily basis you are problem solving in other peoples businesses and dealing with extreme emotional states where often the stakes are high and peoples lives and livelihoods are in the balance. Coaching is a calling, not a career.

 Why should someone see a business coach?

My first business coach always said “it’s lonely at the top!’ and being a business owner and entrepreneur is almost always hard. Having someone that can guide you, help with decision-making and call you out on your bullsh*t is invaluable to quickly navigating an uncertain growth trajectory. A great business coach can help you make more money, save money, define and grow your business to where you want and ultimately help the business serve your needs.

I am someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.

To find out if I am the right coach for you please email me and we can set up a virtual coffee at your convenience.

The Gig Economy with Kojo Baffoe on Kaya FM

By Freelance Interviews Radio What The Freelance

Last night, I had the opportunity to speak to the Kaya FM audience on the #LifewithKojoBaffoe show. The topic was centred around the current economic climate and how this is growing the small entrepreneurs and the freelance economy. 

With Kojo being a freelancer most of his life, the conversation was frank and honest pointing at the clear need that business skills are lacking in the independent professional space, something our What The Freelance book and course at Vega School is certainly helping with.

If you tuned it, great, if not – what our Facebook page for the next interview coming soon…

8 Ways to Make Your New Staff Onboarding Process better.

By Coaching Entrepreneur Interviews Motivation Skills

Hiring is good–it means you’re growing. But when a company doubles or triples in size in a short timeframe, onboarding new hires can quickly derail the schedules of your managers and existing employees. How can you make sure you’re training hires to make the right decisions without slowing down the entire team?


1. Record your foundational materials and assign each employee a mentor.

The biggest thing is to record the foundational training that repeats for each new employee. There’s no reason to have your company’s trainer do live trainings one-on-one or even in small groups when a video can do just as well. Transcribe these video and audio recordings. Reading is still the fastest way to take in information, so organize your training library so that employees and contractors can go back through multiple times at their convenience. Repetition is the mother of all learning, but repetition has to be done right–otherwise, it’s a waste of your company’s resources.

Once the employee has gone through the foundational training material, assign them a mentor. They’ll address unique questions and give insights into the trainee’s specific role and how best to fill it.

2. Create a web-based one-stop shop for new hires.

A membership site is a great way to get new hires acclimated quickly. This should be a destination for new employees to find everything they need to know about working at your company, including standard operating procedures, what technology the company uses (e.g. performance tracking apps and communication tools), company values and even the most popular post-work hangouts among coworkers. You can also include quizzes for tracking progress.

The idea is to make the onboarding process as smooth as possible and set new employees up for success by giving them vital information before their start date. By the time they do get started, they should be able to hit the ground running.

3. Slow down and test before you hire.

Hiring is difficult. The best answer is to slow down. If you try to take on too many people too quickly, you will inevitably hire people who are not in sync with your organization’s mission and values. People are the life force of any organization, and if you make a mistake it can cost you far more than if you slow down the process to find the right people.

At my company, we rely on a best-in-class intern program that is operated in association with institutions such as the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The interns have access to the executive team, the board and our partners. The program allows us to field test potential employees by offering each intern a real-world problem to solve.

4. Clearly articulate your vision on day one.

Be very explicit about your company’s vision, values and culture. By doing this you’ll know that new team members align with your vision, and they’ll be able to contribute more quickly. You need to give new employees a good foundation based on your vision and then empower them to make decisions about how to achieve that vision.

5. Train your employees to train others.

Time is the most important asset we have in our lives, and especially in the business world. Highly skilled employees can transfer their knowledge to new hires, expediting the process that it would normally take a new employee to get up to speed if they are only trained by management. Allowing new hires to “pick the brain” of senior employees is beneficial to both the employees and the company as a whole.

6. Hire multiple people at a time.

As an entrepreneur, there is nothing more important than your time. So whenever my company hires, we hire in multiples of at least two. By training multiples of the same position, you maximize your time and provide an environment that promotes sharing and learning together. We have found that these employees make a much quicker impact than hiring/training one at a time.

7. Don’t skimp on having a leader do some training too.

Your other team members can help a new hire get up to speed, especially with company culture and day-to-day basics. However, you or a manager should spend some time in the first week or two orientating the employee and drafting up the first order of business for the new hire.

While you don’t need to hand hold, it’s imperative that you invest a little time upfront to help them fit in. You’ll waste much more time and money with a high turnover rate, so it’s worth a little extra time at the beginning. In fact, many HR and retention research validates this point. After they’ve got some orientation, make sure to draft up some work they can get started on so they’re busy and feel like their work is meaningful.

8. Develop a comprehensive training program now.

Give every new employee a ramp-up period to get up to speed with your product, the market and the nuts and bolts of their specific role. You should also have comprehensive training materials ready for every employee you bring on. These materials should include information about the competition, functional learning and Q&A sessions with other relevant members of the team. Having a great training program also helps attract the best employees, as these are the ones who want to learn and grow along with your company.


This article originally appeared on

The Law of Three: You should know this!

By Business Coaching Interviews Skills

When you start the process of interviewing for new staff members, you should always refer back to the Law of 3:

  • Interview at least three candidates for a job, comparing and contrasting their qualities and characteristics. Check their suitability against your stated requirements. You would be amazed at how often people forget to do this.

  • Interview the candidate you like three different times: the true person is revealed once you get beyond the initial interview.

  • Interview the person you like in three different places. Brian Tracy of the American Management Association says that people have a “chameleon complex.” They appear a certain way in your office in the first interview and then seem to act and react differently when you move them to different environments.

  • Have any candidate that impresses you interviewed by at least three other people on your team.

  • Check at least three references from the candidate. Ask specific questions around their strengths and weaknesses and whether the referee can tell you anything to help you make a better hiring decision. Ask them whether they would hire the person back. If the answer is not an unequivocal “yes,” be cautious.

  • Check references three deep. Ask the given reference for the names of other people the candidate has worked with and talk to those people, too. You may be surprised at what you learn.

Interviews are the start of the most important function in almost every business and should be taken seriously and never rushed.

Should you want more info on building a successful interview process, please contact me here

Get Shit Done.

By Coaching Entrepreneur Interviews

I have heard it several times from numerous successful business owners and MD’s that they would unquestionably always hire Grit over skills and experience.

It was Justin Spratt who once told me that in his interview process he tries to establish a high GSD factor. Being a business coach I should know what a GSD factor is but decided to eventually ask. Justin laughed and said its a “Get Shit Done” factor.

To establish a “GSD factor” you need to ask questions that are several questions deep. Personality index tests can also assist in this process but often it’s in the interview where you can best tell the personality and culture you are looking for and if the candidate has the GSD you need.

It often starts with questions that are about their person lives and hobbies.

  1. Are they obsessed with something?
  2. What lengths were taken to complete a “pet project” or to acquire something they desperately wanted?
  3. Do they start and stick to good habits?
  4. Do they push themselves at places like gym?
  5. What do they do that is consistent over a long period of time?
  6. What experiences have they overcome that shows mental toughness?
  7. Do they call one friend every day to catch up?
  8. Is there Consistency of Interests?
  9. Do they often set a goal but later choose to pursue a different one?
  10. Do New ideas and new projects sometimes distract them from previous ones?
  11. Do they become interested in new pursuits every few months?
  12. Do their interests change from year to year?
  13. Have they been obsessed with a certain idea or project for a short time but later lost interest?
  14. Do they have difficulty maintaining focus on projects that take more than a few months to complete?
  15. Have they achieved a goal that took years of work?
  16. Have they overcome setbacks to conquer an important challenge?
  17. Do they finish whatever they begin? Example?
  18. Look for sayings like “Setbacks don’t discourage me, I am a hard worker, and I am diligent.”
  19. Do they cultivate growth and keep learning?
  20. Do they improve their skills on a micro level?
  21. Do they ask for support? Examples?
  22. Do they have a clear meaning and purpose of life?

You want to see what character traits a person has and if they are the type of person who has the grit and drive to complete tasks almost at any cost.

Skills and experience are always essential to a good hire but throwing in a high GSD factor makes the candidate the right person for the job.