Getting the Best from your Team

September 24, 2018

Part 1 – the role of the individual

There’s an old saying, ‘You can’t get blood from a stone.’ And equally, you can’t get someone’s best unless they want to be their best, to excel. In Part 1 of this article, we’ll focus on the individual’s role.
Hard work and effort are tiring. When our brains and bodies are tired we can’t give our best. Why then do some people excel? Why do they seem to have almost boundless energy, determination and resilience? It’s because they’re highly motivated.
By luck or design, they’ve managed to align their passion with their choice in career and skill-set. In other words, they’ve completed The Performance Triangle.
Organisations invest significant time and money in setting the direction for their organisation and their people, through visions, strategies, objectives, targets and job descriptions. 
They invest heavily in skills training too, particularly technical and sales skills. And with the UK average employee turnover rate at 15% a year, this delivers a poor ROI for organisations and high frustration for managers.
But how much do organisations invest in motivation? And – is it perhaps the most important factor in terms of performance and employee turnover?
Let’s consider this together. Look at this image and take a few moments to feel what these two people are feeling. Then describe how it feels to be motivated.
I’ve run this exercise with hundreds of people and the answers are invariably: energised, excited, enthusiastic, happy, uplifted, open, excited and focused. The link to confidence, high-performance and being open to new ideas and opportunities is clear. As is the link to well-being and positive mental health.
When someone’s feeling like this at work, how much of their best are they able to give? 80%? 100%?
Now take another moment to look at this image, and to feel what this person’s feeling. Then describe how it feels to be demotivated.
The regular answers are depressed, low, anxious, overwhelmed, withdrawn, sluggish, nothing matters, cautious, mistrusting, tired, confused and energy-vampire.
When someone’s feeling like this at work, how much of their best are they able to give? 20%? 40%?
Put it another way, would you get in an aeroplane that only had 40% of the fuel it needs? Motivation is a form of energy. Possibly the most important form, since it fuels love, creativity and achievement.
‘But what about money as a motivator?’, I hear you say. The research shows that only a small percentage of people are truly motivated by money, i.e. there’s never enough to satisfy them. For the rest of us, money is an enabler to what we really want – security, providing for our loved ones, comfort, status, freedom etc. Once we have enough for this it no longer motivates us to excel. So paying more won’t motivate greater performance. Conversely, if we feel we’re not paid enough for the contribution we make, it will disengage us. That feeling of fairness is a global factor in employee engagement.
So how do we get the best from our teams. Here are three steps focused on the the role of the individual. (In Part 2, we’ll focus on the role of the manager)
1.     We need to identify exactly what motivates our team, and how motivated they are. Our ‘tangible benchmark’ if you will. Take a look at the nine motivators* below, and see if you can identify your highest and lowest motivator. Then consider the role they play in your own performance. For example, if you chose Searcher as your highest – what does knowing you’ve made a difference at work mean to you? And how does your lowest motivator influence how you operate at work? Do you avoid certain things?
2.     Once you understand these (we’d normally look at the top 3 and the lowest), consider how well these motivators align to each individual’s role and skills. For example, it’s fairly common for Director to be someone’s lowest motivator. Therefore, they don’t want to have power and responsibility over others and, therefore, are unlikely to thrive in a management role. People who are highly motivated are in, what we call, the Optimal Zone. It’s where their hard work and effort are constantly refuelled by their enjoyment of their role. It’s like having a rechargeable battery that’s plugged into the power mains.
3.     Thirdly, together with the individual, find ways to increase their motivation which will also benefit your organisation. A win:win, where they’ll contribute more and enjoy it. Another significant point is that skills follow motivation. Consider for yourself how likely you are to excel in a certain skill if you enjoy it. If you do, you’re more likely to be curious about it, and seeks ways to improve and use that skill. So when we identify and, crucially, name someone’s top motivators we help them to increase their skills too. Motivation is well worth considering before authorising that next training course.
In summary, we’ve probably all tried motivating someone who wasn’t interested. It’s exhausting.
Try a fresh approach that not only works, it’s empowering, enabling and feels good.
In Part 2 – we’ll explore the role of the manager.
*Motivational Maps® – the leading profiling tool for motivation and translating feelings into data.
Susannah Brade-Waring is a Business Advisor and Coach at Aspirin Business Solutions.
Aspirin Business specialise in profitable growth and succession planning for family and owner-managed businesses, and motivated performance. Their larger clients include Waitrose & Partners, Merlin Entertainments and ESET.

The 2018 Aspirin Business UK Motivational Maps Conference

April 25, 2018

You’re Invited to attend the the next Aspirin Business 2018 UK Motivational Maps Conference!

Event Information

Date? –     27th September 2018

Time? –     9am for a 9.30am Start, finishing at 4.30pm

Where? –  At the Hamworthy Club, Canford Magna, Wimborne BH21 3AP

Parking? – Lots of onsite FREE parking

Lunch? –  Ticket Price includes a hot a lunch.

Who is this conference for?

This is our Second UK Motivational Maps Conference and is open to all Motivational Maps Practitioners, Business Leaders, L&D and HR Leaders and Managers, Coaches and Trainers that want to know more about this Unique ISO Accredited tool called Motivational Maps.

Come and meet like minded people that are already using Motivational Maps within their businesses to great effect, both with internal clients and external clients.

Hear from Senior Practitioners

Susannah Brade-Waring – Aspirin Business

Kate Turner – Motivational Leadership

Bevis Moynan – Magentacs

Jane Thomas – Premier Life Skills

Carole Gaskell – Full Potential Group

Mark Turner – Youth Maps

And let’s not forget about:

James Sale – Creator of Motivational maps!!

Ticket Price is £45.00 each

Eventbrite to be set up soon and details will be emailed to all that RSVP

Please RSVP To: 

T: 01202 801187

M: 07727 284592



Employee engagement specialist targets Australian expansion

March 5, 2018

A Dorset business advisory company specialising in employee engagement has begun expanding its services into Australia and New Zealand.

Aspirin Business Solutions’ first client in Australia is Canberra-based Curijo Pty Ltd, an Aboriginal professional services provider specialising in cultural services and business consultancy.

The expansion follows the award of a coveted licence to distribute an increasingly popular diagnostic and performance improvement tool.

Aspirin Business is a Poole-based firm, and one of just five Senior Practitioners of the tool, Motivational Maps, worldwide.

The ISO-accredited self-perception inventory, based on in-depth personal profiling and data analytics, is designed to strengthen personal and team performance and employee engagement through motivation, so boosting business performance.

As in the UK, target clientele in Australia and New Zealand includes business leaders and managers with ‘train-the-trainer’ licensing available for in-house HR and employee engagement teams and coaching and training companies.

Led by Managing Director Susannah Brade-Waring, Aspirin Business has built a fast-expanding UK client base including leading brands Waitrose, John Lewis, Merlin Entertainments and internet security experts ESET.

Susannah moved into business advisory from a career as a Finance Director in the environmental technology sector.

She said: “I was part of a team that grew a start-up to over £10m turnover and through a management buyout.

“I recognised the significant value gained from engaging hearts as well as minds, and embarked on developing my coaching skills.

“Eventually I started my own company, Aspirin Business, focused on taking the headaches out of building successful businesses through shared best practice and creating high-performing cultures.”

“The Motivational Map licence enables us to deliver both hands-on work and to license and train other Practitioners.

“We already directly support around 50 Motivational Maps Practitioners in the UK.

“This new opportunity in Australia and New Zealand enables us to work with an additional 40 Practitioners there and develop the business even more.

“We’re taking this opportunity to launch a new division called ‘Motivated Performance’ to provide greater focus to this side of our business.

“Over the past two months we’ve spoken with many of the current Practitioners in Australia and we’re fired up by their desire to work with us, their calibre and their enthusiasm for Motivational Maps.”

The Australian in-road has created a further opportunity for expansion as Susannah is already an Accredited Facilitator with the global business advisory solution providers, Mindshop, headquartered in Melbourne.

“Much of the value we bring for our clients lies in building knowledge networks,” said Susannah, who won the European ‘Rising Star’ award for her Mindshop activities last year and will be attending the organisation’s Australian conference on the Gold Coast in May.

“Thanks to Mindshop, we’re already building a trusted network of contacts throughout Australia and New Zealand.

“Now, through Motivational Maps and Mindshop, we are able to provide even more clients with direct access to world-class tools for personal, team and organisational development.”

James Sale, UK-based Creator and Founder of Motivational Maps, said: “Aspirin Business Solutions has been really successful in developing Motivational Maps here at the coaching, consultancy, SME and corporate levels.

“We’re delighted to have appointed them to manage ‘motivational mappers’ in Australia and New Zealand and develop further these exciting, fast-moving markets.

“This is a significant step for both Motivational Maps and Aspirin Business. It will help consolidate our growing, world-wide reputations as go-to solution providers for all people, performance and productivity issues.”

For more information on Aspirin Business and Motivational Maps visit

What is True Leadership?

December 1, 2017

It was an honour to write the first guest blog for the DCCI.  My desire to do justice to this question was high, so I ‘asked a friend’.  In fact, I asked nearly everyone I met last week and several I didn’t.  And the answers were surprising, both in content and in consistency.  Virtually everyone from the UK to Australia said the same thing – “true leadership is not about the individual – but what happens around them.”

True leaders put service above self. They transport us to somewhere else in our heads. Everyone around them gets smarter, more capable, and they achieve extraordinary things from ordinary people.

True leadership it seems is a powerful blend of ambition and humility.  Their ambition creates a relentless drive to achieve the best possible results for the greater good, and their humility never lets their ego or personal ambition get in the way and yet is never downtrodden.  A combination that inspires, motivates and drives them and their people to give, be and achieve more than they thought they were capable of.

True leaders possess a clarity of thought, a certainty in what needs to be achieved.  They are slow in planning and fast in implementing – bringing their team aboard early to debate key decisions vigorously, before making the final decision.  They are unafraid to make tough decisions and have difficult conversations – even when it hurts. And yet they will act consistently and fairly with respect and empathy for all.  A true leader can also time travel; they can race ahead to check out the future, and they can walk with someone in pain.

In short – true leaders are hard but fair, great communicators and listeners, trust others and know there is no blame, only learning and ownership.  They are decisive and collaborative, inspire greatness in others and laugh at themselves. They support and challenge, and they attract talent and help them move on.

And the litmus test of a true leader?  It’s the legacy they leave – were they a genius, or a genius maker?

Stephen R Covey said “People are often overworked and underutilised.  Organisations that figure out how to better access the vastly underutilised resource won’t just be more enjoyable places to work; they will outperform their competitors.”

By Susannah Brade-Waring, Managing Director, Aspirin Business

NEW: Developing Strategy in Volatile Times Course

December 1, 2017

Our Learning & Development partners at Mindshop have created a new course, based on the knowledge gained by Mindshop Advisor, Mike Burke’s successful completion of the ‘Strategy in Competitive Markets’ course at the HAAS School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.

We’re looking for three business leaders to trial this 15 module online course.  Each leader must provide us with constructive feedback based on how they applied this course to their business.

You will consider the global impacts of change, including technology, competitive landscape, cost reduction and opportunity.  You’ll learn how to test the strategy, increase the likelihood of successful implementation.  The 15 modules include:  Share of Market Spend, Technology Impact, The Blank Canvas, Future Competitors, Standing out from the pack – Developing your SCA, Global Opportunity, Change Success Model and Measuring and Policing your Strategy.

If want to help Susannah trial this course, get in touch.

Aspirin’s 2017 Roundup

December 1, 2017

Wow! It’s been a very busy time at Aspirin Business in 2017.  Over the past few months, we’ve created and hosted the UK Conference for Motivational Maps, repositioned the business, updated our brand and launched a new website.   And of course, continued to create high-performing cultures for our ambitious big-hearted clients!

Our global employee engagement project for Merlin Entertainments, whose attractions include LEGOLAND and Sea Life, will start to be rolled out over the next few months, with the objective of embedding employee engagement into the daily activities on each site.  We’re in our 8th successive year of delivering Leadership and Management Development for the John Lewis Partnership.  We’ve delivered 8 Motivational Map Accreditations, increasing our total to 50 Map Practitioners, and we’re delighted that, with Heath’s TLC, over 80% of the organisations we’ve accredited over the past 7 years are regularly using Maps.

We’re delighted to be working with both existing clients and new clients.  December brings our 7th quarterly Leader’s Academy, and the opportunity to recognise and share achievements with a delicious meal at The Tickled Pig, before visioning for the success we each want in 2018.

Our ‘Junior Aspirin’, Kyle Brade-Waring, has re-joined our team having completed his volunteer year in South-east Asia and started his degree in Biological Sciences at Brighton Uni.  Kyle’s eye for detail is a fantastic help with our accounts and client support work.  And, of course, our Map Practitioners provide us with many strong coaches and consultants who’d love to work with us, and we have no shortage of Associates with a range of specialities – including, of course, Paul Kinvig.

Hot off the press! We can also announce that – with one of our Practitioners, we’ve collaborated and secured an order for 600 Motivational Maps with a well-known large organisation.  This further affirms Motivational Maps rising position as a breakthrough development tool.

Have a wonderful Christmas break and we look forward to us all having a prosperous 2018.

Best wishes from Heath and Susannah.

Why Culture Eats Strategy in Dorset!

October 5, 2017

Ian Girling, Chief Executive of DCCI, recently joined Aspirin Business Leaders’ Academy to explore why 60% of leaders think culture is more important than their strategy (according to a PwC study). Aspirin Business was formed in 2008, by Susannah Brade-Waring to take the headaches out of growing and managing successful business. Their Academies bring together leaders and managers to learn, share and encourage each other in this pursuit.


A number of organisations including Waitrose, Poole Housing Partnership, ESET and Douch Family Funerals, came together recently to explore how change is affecting organisations of all size and type.  Together they discussed and shared ways to change their culture (aka – the way things are done around here), and how to adapt their leadership and management styles for each individual and situation.  And they had fun developing their abilities to coach and ask great questions – all skills essential for managing change.

” I thoroughly enjoyed the morning session (including my interview!) and found it very useful share thoughts and ideas around the importance of culture. This is an area that I find extremely interesting and where I have tried to focus in my own role as Chief Executive of Dorset Chamber. It was a very informative and interesting morning.”  Said Ian

Susannah explained.

“Being a leader and manager can be tough and lonely, and I love seeing our leaders generously share insights from their own lives and organisations to help each other – both inside and outside of the Academy. We really enjoyed having Ian with us and our members appreciated the insights Ian provided of the challenges and opportunities Dorset business are facing in 2017. It was a great example of the Chamber actively engaging with its community.”

When the Senior Team Doesn’t Want to Lead

September 11, 2017

Have you ever considered how your business would run without you?

People often ‘joke’ how their work would be much easier without their bosses (or customers). But the reality is the business would soon founder without the direction the Senior Team provide. Read more

The Business Leader of the Future

September 11, 2017

The Business Leader of the Future – Do you Have what it Takes to Succeed?

World strategy guru and author, Gary Hamel in his best-selling book ‘The Future of Management’ points out that traditional ways of managing a business are coming to an end. To quote him directly:

New problems demand new principles. Put bluntly, there’s simply no way to build tomorrow’s essential organizational capabilities—resilience, innovation and employee engagement—atop the scaffolding of 20th century management principles.

Read more