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Business Guru Steers Furness Firms to Growth

Published at 22:25, Thursday, 26 September 2013

International business leader Kevin Gaskell, who made his name with U-turns to success for both BMW and Porsche in the UK, shared his routes to growth and greater profitability with company bosses, entrepreneurs and students from local schools at a free masterclass held at Furness College.

The event on Thursday organised by the Cumbria-based Centre for Leadership Performance and sponsored by BAE Systems attracted more than 150 people who wanted to hear the secrets of success Kevin has applied to dozens of businesses.

He is currently CEO of four businesses including a company in South Africa selling multi-million dollar financial software packages, a UK manufacturer of luxury boats with £2 million price tags, and a garden centre started in partnership with the young man who used to cut his lawn.

Away from business he has trekked to the north and south poles to raise money for cancer treatment, approaching every task with the same drive and enthusiasm.

Kevin impressed his audience at Furness College with insightful and deceptively simple basic rules about getting the best from a workforce, and empowering them to turn around businesses.

He enthused: "It is all about having a vision and engaging the workforce to help achieve it. Encourage ideas, listen to the people who do the work and invite them to help identify the way forward. Share a clear vision of where you want the business to go, and how you are going to get there. Being part of a team that achieves something extraordinary is the best feeling in the world, and I want as many people as possible to share that feeling."

Jackie Arnold, Head of Strategy at BAE Systems was delighted with the Masterclass and the feedback from the audience afterwards. She said: "With the Astute programme secure and the successor nuclear deterrent programme moving forward, we are looking at increasing our own workforce by around 1000 over the next few years and there is other good business news for the area with the GSK plans for Ulverston.

"This is the time to encourage local companies to grow and diversify, to create stronger businesses that are equipped to take full advantage of future opportunities. Good leadership is a vital part of that vision for the future of Furness."

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In Cumbria, September 2013

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