Since writing a few weeks ago, we have seen an unprecedented level of violence and horror across the UK. As each new situation unfolds, we each experience our own, personal reaction to such large-scale loss of life. Many among us begin to question the motives and causes of these seemingly incomprehensible events.

In a form of public recognition of such unfortunate experiences, many of us draw comfort from the heroic acts of individuals during these exceptional circumstances; the emergency services, or members of the public who step in to help where they can. On the News, in newspapers or on social media, those directly involved often say how comforted they are by the words, messages and acts of support from not only the community around them, but often strangers at other ends of the country and beyond.

On a day-to-day basis, we often fail to notice or interact with the community around us. As leaders do we engage with everyone in our own businesses, not just the Executive team around us? In our normal routines, it can often feel strange to engage with those we don’t know. How do you react when a stranger starts a conversation with you in a shop, or on the train? I recently read about the experiences of a musician who was compelled to talk to a stranger on public transport and how the interaction left her feeling electric, ready to write a song about the experience. It seems odd to think that in our busy lives, many of us are uncomfortable and suspicious of engaging with those who live and work around us, purely as they are someone we don’t know.

Sadly, it’s often not until we experience our own challenges, that we in turn truly appreciate the community that surrounds and supports us. We may normally take this support network for granted, or fail to notice it’s there until an emergency comes along. Yet, Academy members often tell me the tremendous support they feel, knowing other members are there for them, outside the monthly meetings. Their peers who’re ready to go above and beyond to help them when they need them. The gratitude felt knowing, if and when, they need it, they can pick up the phone, email their group, or ask someone directly for advice is huge. The power and benefit of talking to someone in business, or from our personal development groups is clear, especially if we often feel isolated or lonely at the top of our own organisation. Simply knowing that if you need it, someone is there to support you, can often be the underlying factor that keeps us moving forward, ready to engage with the next challenge to appear over the horizon.

Ian Price is Chief Executive of the Academy. He has a reputation and track-record for growing profitable businesses rapidly. His affable demeanour and relaxed style of working hides an exceptional talent at being able to focus on what makes a business tick.

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