Mike Jennings trained as an accountant and then worked in small businesses in Oxford for a few years, where he experienced the impact that different types of businesses had on the lives of their staff. He noticed that while many were excited and enthusiastic about their job, often the methods of management held people back.
Staff were trapped by the need to receive the salary that the job provided, and the managers could take advantage of that. If managers were not going to change their attitude, then it seemed the only way out of this dependency culture was to become self employed.
Mike jumped at the chance offered to him by his father to join the family commercial property business. At this time the poultry farm had been converted to workshops for small businesses, and there was opportunity for growth. Mike then built the business as a community based around the business park, where respect for others would become as important as trust and integrity.
Profit then became an outcome rather than an objective. Having accomplished the task, and built a strong team who understand his methods, Mike decided to pass the reins on to his team so that he could spend more time explaining his model, and helping others to develop success by focussing on people rather than profit.
What you’ll learn about in this episode:
- The background to Mike’s family business and expanding from a poultry farm.
- Entrepreneurial manufacturing, the growing model that the family adopted.
- The end of the poultry business then moving into real estate leasing and more.
- Generational businesses in the UK; Mike’s entry into the business in the 1980s.
- The work that Mike did before joining the family business full time.
- Important decisions that Mike has made and the lasting legacy of his father’s values.
- Some of Mike’s ideas around trust and lease agreements.
- The intrinsic role of values and grounding in guiding any business.
- The current leadership set up at J W Jennings and the family structure.
- Mike’s thoughts on building for the future and preparing new leaders.
- The challenges of intergenerational values and the rising tide of new ideas.
- Practices that have helped Mike install the ethics he espouses.
- The current societal transition from brand loyalty to cultural identity.
- Mike’s thoughts on the millennial generation and what makes them unique.
- A little bit about Mike’s most recent book,Valuable, and his ideas for the next one!
- Mike’s forays in speaking and confronting a lifelong fear!
- The karmic effect of building relationships; unexpected and exciting opportunities.
- The future of the Jennings businesses; the next generations and letting go.
- Changes in the emphasis of companies and their leadership structures.
“When people start a business in the UK, they generally start from home.” — @jennings_mike [0:08:02]
“In the team, we are building leaders, literally, and there is a process we go through to do that.” — @jennings_mike [0:25:37]
“Professionals have a tendency to follow rules, entrepreneurs have a tendency to break rules.” — Mike Jennings [0:12:18]
“Our purpose is to create an environment where people can feel valued.” — Mike Jennings [0:30:13]
TEDx Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/mike_jennings_leaders_start_with_trust
Simon Sinek: https://simonsinek.com/