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6 Top Tips for Managers: From Gold Winner Paul Phillips CBE

As part of our UKBA White Paper, I had the chance to interview Paul Phillips CBE, Gold Winner at UKBA 2020. As the Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College, one of the top-performing general further-education colleges in the UK, he was a deserved winner in two categories last year.


In addition to winning the Health & Wellbeing category with Weston College, Paul also triumphed in the Inspirational Leader category, where he was recognised for his outstanding management during the coronavirus pandemic. In our interview, he shared his top tips for managers looking to succeed in challenging environments – and there are some real gems in here!


You can click here to download the full White Paper, but for now, here are Paul’s top tips for business leaders in a nutshell:


1. Take stock


Look at what you’re doing and what you can continue doing successfully. When you can’t succeed, rather than accept defeat, you should change strategy dynamically.


2. Don’t be afraid of digital


It’s a must in times like these; an entrepreneurial digital solution can have a major effect.


3. There will always be surprises!


We found that with some of our more vulnerable learners, who didn’t always engage as well with face-to-face teaching. They embraced the digital agenda and have had greater success than we might have expected. So, there must be a “value-added” approach to everything you do.


4. Cut your cloth accordingly


This year, I’ve had to restructure parts of the business. Where I cannot deliver, I’ve had to say: “Here are the new products: do you want to adapt to this new world?” Most people do, but if they don’t, I have to let them go.


5. Change is exponential


Although the vaccine will change things dramatically by late summer, we won’t ever go back to what we had previously. So, when you’re strategically planning as a leader, you’re still planning for a new world. And that new world will be very focused on specific technological skills from which we can’t shy away.


6. Look after your staff


The importance of wellbeing is enormous, and it’s the issue that’s least understood in the workplace today and least understood by the government.


These lessons have brought great success to Weston College – but what techniques have you been using to lead your team? The Inspirational Leader category is the perfect place to outline your management philosophy and wow the judges with the results you’ve achieved – enter now!