Samantha Poole has been an MD for over a decade. She signed up to the Academy for Chief Executives 18 months ago, joining the newly established Manchester and Lancashire region.
“Meeting the new ACE group was really interesting. At first I was thinking, ‘I’m really busy, have I got the time?’ but it’s proven so useful, if not a little surreal, to take a real step back and look into your business”.

Whether it’s the monthly one-to-one with the ACE Group 81 Vice Chair David Briggs, or listening to an Academy speaker, Samantha says the whole experience encourages you to look differently at how you manage yourself and your business. In her current role at Acrobat Carbon Services, Samantha manages the operational teams and the performance side of the business. The company is fast-growing and specialises in creating and delivering carbon and energy based schemes for energy companies to help them achieve their obligations.

“The Academy is so useful because it’s a small group where you develop trust and build relationships with the other members. There’s real support and the members are a useful sounding board for ideas. You’ll always get honest feedback and they’re not going to tell you what you want to hear. I can’t always talk to people in the business as there’s a natural bias from working together.”

Samantha reveals the Academy has also had a direct impact on how she leads and manages the different teams at Acrobat Carbon Services. She says she delegates more, empowers her team and allows them to develop at their own rate.

“If you don’t allow people to demonstrate their potential, you’re not going to get the best out of them. If they don’t get the opportunity to show what they can do they won’t develop and learn and that’s bad for any business.”
For potential members who might be reluctant to sign up, Samantha thinks the trial membership is a great idea.
“I’ve been on Leadership courses before, on my own, but you don’t have the input of your peers. At the Academy, you get the personal touch as you build relationships with other members and the support is fantastic. Often, people will have experienced what you’re going through in your business and share their solutions on how they dealt with an issue.

‘The Board You’d Love To Afford’ is a great way of getting instant and honest advice from people you trust and whose opinions you value. The Speakers are also part of the ROI of joining the Academy. The issues are always relevant and I often take away something they’ve said that stays with me and I implement either in the business or in my personal life, like achieving a work-life balance!”