Mike Wilson is the Life President of St James’s Place Group, the FTSE 250 wealth manager. He was formerly chairman of the Mental Health Foundation and a non-executive director of Vendome Luxury Group.
What would make UK boardrooms more effective?
We should move the culture and emphasis of the role of NEDs away from simply ensuring that the company is compliant with regulatory and corporate governance issues. The norm should be that everyone in the board room adds real strategic value and makes a difference to the running of a business.
Who do you go to for advice?
During my career I have had three main mentors: Sir Mark Weinberg, co founder of St. James’s Place, we have worked together for over 40 years (which sadly gives away our ages!), Dennis Stevenson (Lord Stevenson), and Joel Joffe (Lord Joffe) who taught me that you should give back to those less fortunate than yourself.
What advice would you give your children in business?
Start your own business to be more in control of your own destiny, and if you have a partner (or partners) check that you have the same values.
When employing people remember that relationships are key and that people perform best when they feel valued, respected, cared for and appreciated. They won’t perform when they are taken for granted.
You will find that what you create in life will be more rewarding than what you make financially.
What is your golden rule?
I have three!
Never forget that leadership is about getting results through others, it’s about “winning”: winning and retaining talented people, winning support, winning hearts and minds, winning followers. It’s not about your position in the hierarchy.
Differentiate your company and yourself from your competitors — to avoid being “me too”.
Avoid complacency at all costs. If you ever feel you’ve arrived then you’re past it!