Shan Dassanaike

Shan Dassanaike

The Leith Group
Lytham St Annes

Notable Achievements

  • LCGBNI - Member of the Leaders Council of Great Britain & Northern Ireland
  • FISM - Fellow of the Institute of Sales Management
  • FAPS - Fellow of the Association of Professional Sales
  • Founders 4 Schools - Member and Speaker
Shan Dassanaike specialises in providing Sales and Operational expertise to companies in the UK and overseas. Shan is a driven, conscientious and creative person who understands the important balance of exceeding the requirements of shareholders and wider stakeholders and meeting the fluctuating operational needs of businesses.

Shan is a strong believer of balancing hard work and quality family time.  Shan has two daughters who keep him on his toes, and believes that no matter who you meet through life, or what situation you encounter, there is always something positive to learn. 

Career Overview

The Leith Group

As the Chief Operations Officer for the Leith Group, I am responsible for defining the operational strategies required to ensure growth across the group is stable and sustainable. I specialise in commercial sales and contract negotiations.

My role as COO within a fast growing and dynamic group has required a detailed yet fluid assessment and delivery plan for organisational design and workforce planning. 

Navigating the complexities of balancing the boards plans with the needs of the various teams on the ground, to ensure we could scale and grow the group was challenging but very rewarding.  The delivery plan included a careful restructure to deliver the organisational capacity needed to adequately service clients across new sectors.  It focused on the following:

1.     Does the individual know what we view peak performance is for their role?

2.     Do they have one touch access to the information, systems and tools necessary to achieve peak performance?

3.     What non-essential info/tasks/meetings can I clear off their desk?

4.     Do our performance metrics monitor all criteria we need to monitor?

5.     Does our Operations methodology work such that we can identify the status of any task without a conversation?

This experience enabled me to go on to advise my clients on how best to develop and execute the operational level skills needed to bridge the gap between the Boards goals, the “big ideas” and the tactical level of “boots on the ground”.  The end result has been successful, and The Leith Group has now secured clients and partnerships on a global platform, providing a full and creative suite of services across multiple sectors.


I act as the Chief Global Operations Officer for CREA IDEA LAB SL. CREA IDEA LAB is a global Think Tank and Smart Tech consultancy for advanced smart cities. It has its own R&D department and start-up incubator where innovative companies are supported to develop solutions for the Smart City market.

NARL - North American Rugby League

I advise the Board of the NARL on operational matters and commercial strategy.  The North American Rugby League is scheduled to be the only professional rugby league club competition in North America. At launch, the league announced fourteen teams; twelve from United States and two from Canada.

Key Skills

Operational Strategy and Risk Analysis

Client Management and Dispute Resolution

Expanding new services, securing the right board expertise, strategic partnerships and wider teams

Board leadership

Defining and executing successful sales strategies for a range of different companies within the Leith Group

Advising overseas investors on the acquisition of UK based businesses across a range of sectors, including advising on the ongoing management of the business beyond completion of the purchase

Hobbies and Fun

I enjoy rugby, boxing and golf and enjoy spending a good amount of my spare time either cooking or enjoying quality time with my family.

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Charter of Principles

  • To treat all colleagues, customers and clients with the utmost courtesy and respect.
  • To make every conceivable effort to deal exclusively with organisations and individuals of repute.
  • To commit, wherever possible, to making a positive social and environmental impact.
  • To do everything in my power to keep colleagues, customers and clients safe.
  • To conduct my affairs not just for the benefit of my own organisation but for the benefit of my sector and country at large.

Shan Dassanaike has committed to The Leaders Council Charter of Principles

It is Leaders Council policy to suspend or permanently remove any individual who we discover to be flouting these principles.

If you have reason to believe any of our members are not adhering to the principles, please contact us at

If you hold a leadership position, we would be delighted for you to sign the charter.

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