Saturday, 18 September 2010

Learning from the Dragons: Theo Paphitis

In my third report about what I learned by reading a book about the stars of Dragons' Den, I will share the ideas of my favourite Dragon, Theo Paphitis.
Theo Paphtitis
  • Describing when he took on the struggling business of Ryman, Theo says, 'First and foremost, I had to bring everyone on side. I needed to get them buying into my dream, my ambitions for the company and get them buying into my dream, my ambitions for the company and the brand before I did anything else. If I couldn't do that I knew I would never succeed.' This is very much the case when trying to share a vision with your staff. Everyone has to buy in to the vision so it is important to be dynamic and visionary and pull people in the same direction.
  • He explains that he had to 'gain the confidence of the suppliers, restock the business and make sure that we provided the service that our customers needed. And then, hey presto, the results started coming through.' This could be a message about teaching our pupils the right way - learning about their needs and then providing them appropriately. The results will then start coming through...
  • He offeres good advice for taking an interview: preparation. 'Do your homework and know your business and there is nothing that will come up that you won't be able to answer with style.' Before an interview you should research the school and position you are applying for so that your answers are relevant to your potential employer. Make reference to things you've seen in the school or what you've learned from the school website, Ofsted report and other research.
  • His best rules for success are:
    • Keep it simple, stupid! - 'Simple communication means everybody buys into what you'r trying to achieve'. Great advice!
    • Don't Scrimp on the Technology - In an every changing world, technology is a part of everyday life and it's important that your staff have the right training and the best equipment (this includes admin staff).
    • Don't let things stagnate - 'You've got to be constantly looking at how to be ahead of the game. Put in new initiatives, set new targets each year. That way your staff will get more experience, and the business stays fresh and moves faster.' Great advice I think!
The book Dragons' Den: Success from Pitch to Profit can be purchased here: Dragons' Den: Success, From Pitch to Profit

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