Richard Tice hit out at London Mayor Sadiq Khan today in the latest example of leadership figures coming in for strong criticism over Covid-19. Responding to Khan's pleas for the government to make face coverings mandatory in all indoor public spaces, the Brexit Party chairman told the Mayor to use his own initiative.
“Make the decision yourself for London,' Tice said, 'stop blaming others. I believe masks should be recommended guidance better than mandatory in busy areas. But you are the leader, so act like one.”
In other examples, Donald Trump was today branded 'missing in action' by the Guardian, and Boris Johnson was accused of 'dangerously suppressing debate' by The New Statesman. Both men have of course faced much more strongly-worded criticism near enough every single day of the pandemic.
Indeed, Covid-19 has put leadership under the spotlight like never before. It is one of the main reasons why The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has spent so much of the pandemic speaking (from a safe distance, of course) to leadership figures from across the country.
In these discussions, it has been consistently stated that a leader is only as strong as his or her team. This was certainly the view of PAGE Media's managing director, Mark Hughes.
Responsible for a team of design specialists for print and digital media in Essex, Hughes oversees a cohort who work to provide creative design and intelligent advertising for their customers. Their list of clients ranges from Warner Brothers to Penhaligon’s, bareMinerals to First, and everyone in between.
In an interview with The Leaders Council, Hughes examined how his past has best prepared him for his present.
Having founded the company in the 1980s, Hughes notes: “I was one man and a drawing board when I first started out.” At one time responsible for a staff numbering over 65 in The PAGE Media Group alone and over 300 staff across all his businesses, he considered it to be “fairly significant growth in a relatively short space of time.”
The considerable growth of PAGE Media could, by and large, be attributed to Hughes’ specific style of leadership. He breaks down his process for building a strong team into three key aspects: “I try not to treat people as employees, I try to treat them as part of the business. I look for people who consider the business their own, and I work to find people who are better at their job than I am.”
The importance of establishing a business based on an employee-stakeholder model cannot be understated, especially during the pandemic. Hughes’ model is supported by a recent Forbes piece, which states that: “The truth is employees are the greatest asset of almost every business. Treat them as less than that, and the impact can usually be felt by every other stakeholder, investors included.”
While Hughes’ is well versed in what is required from his own business to succeed, he notes that the recent “period of stagnation and indecisiveness that has made life really difficult for everybody in business.”
Yet for Hughes, the future remains bright. He concludes: “I’m going to look to other areas, to try and help other people and we’ll see what happens. I’m certainly not the type to sit and do nothing.”