founder of naked leader

After TED Talks – Brendan Talks

After TED Talks – Brendan Talks

Naked Leader Week 836 – 27 August 2019

Time to Read: 1 minute 30 seconds



For this month’s Leader Feature Clive speaks with Brendan Barns, Founder London Business Forum. Read on for Brendan’s tips. (In case you’re not sure Brendan is the one in the suit in the photo!).

BRENDAN BARNS spends his waking hours thinking how he can best help top leaders to be even better.

As Founder of The London Business Forum (LBF), often referred to by attendees as the crème do la crème of business events, Brendan’s team dedicate their lives to sourcing the most relevant, engaging and sought-after speakers, with the LBF often being their only public appearance in the UK.

Brendan and his team are already planning their 2020/21 programme, when they will deliver more world class events covering issues such as resilience, influence and persuasion and how to improve productivity and performance.

He has three overriding values:

‘The most important thing for anyone, whatever they do, is that they should enjoy it,’ he says. ‘Some people seem to think they are condemned to do something they don’t enjoy.

‘I’m not saying it’s easy, but their lives can often be so much better by just making a change’.

‘The second is, whoever you are, no matter how senior, you don’t know it all. We had Eric Schmidt as a speaker – ex CEO and chair of Google. He spoke about seeking advice from super coach Bill Campbell, who also coached Steve Jobs. That told me that truly successful people always want to be better – to take their powers to another level.

Thirdly, he adds: ‘Transform your rapport skills. Show empathy, trust others more, and care. This is especially important for people promoted for their technical skills’.

Brendan says that LBF delivers three overriding results across every event:

  1. We open up people’s heads, we poke inside their brains and into their thinking and their doing.
  1. We put a smile on their face.
  1. We put a spring in their shoes so when they leave, they feel energised.

‘In the current economic climate I hear people saying because things are uncertain (Brexit), the mentality is it’s best to hunker down and stay in the office and not go to events. I find that odd as whatever happens, whether we leave the European Union or not, people need to be full of ideas and how-tos and be better informed to deliver results.

Brendan is a firm believer in the Naked Leader ethos instilled by founder David Taylor and adds: ‘I first met David 20 years ago. We sat down and he explained the Naked Leader Formula for Guaranteed Success:

Know where you want to go

Know where you are now

Know what you have to do get to where you want to go

Do It

‘It’s strangely simple, and there aren’t enough people taking these simple steps.

‘It also recognises that getting to your outcome might not take you on the most direct route. It requires hard work, dedication and flexibility to keep getting back up again after each and every ‘failure’.

‘For my part I always want to get better at organising events and understanding leadership. I still have so much to learn’

David adds:

‘I am honoured to have known and worked with Brendan for many years, and to have been invited to speak at LBF events. I have learned so much from him and his team, from his speakers and of course from leaders attending the events. The LBF is not Naked Leader’s first choice of events to attend, they are our only choice.’

As always many thanks to Brendan and Clive.

With my love and best wishes



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