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My Top Gun Experience – Gilles Baudet

As you probably know last weekend we took our quarterly Top Gun Weekend in Cumbria; it was massive fun and a terrific chance for some of the best performers in the business to network with people from every office across The Interactive Team. I’ve received a lot of questions about the trip, so I wanted to take the time this week to give my thoughts on the long weekend and share some of my experiences.

 

11203112_629347747165652_23448825850582038_nI think from a business perspective, probably the most beneficial aspect of our Top Gun trips is that with people there from every office you start to realise that the company is bigger than just the city you work in. You see that other people are going through the same Professional Development Programme as you, its comforting and its motivating to know that they’re going through the same stages, the same struggles and the same triumphs as you. It really gives you a sense of the bigger picture of the company, there are a lot of people up and down the country that are working towards our company goals.

I think its really great that after a Top Gun trip people can take that sense of perspective back to their own office, take that scope and that realisation back to their own teams and share their renewed enthusiasm and motivation.

 

Another thing that was great for The Interactive Team was that the activities we chose to do were completely based on team-work and that can only strengthen the business as a whole. The whole weekend was down to teams, we had this terrific competition where for every person that participated we got awarded points and whichever team had the most at the end of the day won. We really had to stick together, at every stage and every obstacle it was always about the team – team spirit was essential, and I have to say Team DWD totally rocked it!

 

Personally I think every single one of us benefitted from the trip. Everyone got to know each other on a personal level, you know doing non-work related team activities really brought people together on a different level – and it was an absolute blast.11201885_629347373832356_2998032484069049371_n

I think everyone really liked gorge walking in particular. It got us out of our comfort zones, doing things I certainly don’t normally do like jumping off cliffs into water – it was really “conquer your fears” type stuff.

I honestly can’t wait for the next trip, I don’t know where it will be, or when we can squeeze it in, but there’s no doubt in my mind that it’ll have had a positive effect on every single person that was chosen to attend.

I expect the people that attended this time to take the lessons they learned about leadership and team spirit back to their offices and gear everyone else up and teach others those lessons – which I don’t doubt for a second that they will.

 

And one last thing, I keep being asked what will it take to get on the next trip? Well this business is a meritocracy, so if you work hard every single day, hit your goals, display a powerful positive attitude that changes the attitudes of the people around you then you’ll have more than earned your place next time – and I can’t wait to spend the weekend with you when the time comes.

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The Interactive Team April Top Gun Weekend

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Long before The Interactive Team was founded, Gilles Baudet had a vision. Now that might sound a little twee but hear me out. The formation of a business can happen in many ways, sometimes you have an idea of a terrific product or service, sometimes you have a vision of the sort of company you want to build, one of principles and innovation, or sometimes you start with a great name and you go from there. Now Gilles Baudet had two out of three, but he didn’t have a set name that encompassed everything he wanted his new business to be. So he went back to the fundamentals, what did he want the business to be about? Well Gilles Baudet wanted it to be dynamic, adaptable and cutting edge and so he chose Interactive. And then he wanted his new company to reflect what was at the heart of his business – people – and so he chose Team. If a business name is to truly reflect who you are as a company it should hit on the things most important to you – and to Gilles Baudet the Team is one of the most important things in his life.

 

10422553_629348150498945_6319728089282066312_nAs the company grew Gilles Baudet made the conscious decision to continue investing in the Team – recognizing it as a central aspect of the business. It’s now become customary to place importance on team building and networking exercises, everyday we take time to learn from each other – in fact new Team members are often surprised that a company our size would sacrifice so much of the day to it – but the truth is our Team is pivotal to our success. To CEO, Gilles Baudet, this investment is a no-brainer – which is why every quarter we select the top (and the up and coming) Team members across the whole company to go away for a Top Gun long weekend. Its always massive amounts of fun – but every activity, though seemingly innocuous, is specially picked and designed to maximize team building and trust.

Last weekend, from the 24th to the 26th the best performers from all the offices, from all the cities we operate in across the UK came together in Deneholme Country House in Nothumberland for three unforgettable days.

 

Our Head of Recruitment Stacey Smith said, “everyone arrived excited, but understandably nervous for the days ahead, but by the end of it we all left the best of pals”

 

Some of the most fun was had on the second day when the group was split into two teams for an adventure competition day. For every person that participated in the activities the team would gain a point – so to win the trophy at the end of the day it really required everyone to muck in and have a go. By having such directed activities with clear goals, it really gave everyone the chance to open up and get into the spirit of the trip. With every encouragement and every pat on the back the bonds of team-work and trust grew, it was a terrific trip and many Team members are already planning their next quarterly goals to ensure their place on the next Top Gun weekend.

Below are some snaps of the Team enjoying some of the activities, to view the whole album, please visit our Facebook page here

 

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SUCCESSSS

Gilles’ 6 Daily Habits for Success

So I read Izzy’s article yesterday and it got me thinking, while those points are good for when you’re starting a business it doesn’t give you an idea of what its like actually running the business and I thought that would be a valuable lesson to share. These are things that I do every single day – that I feel have helped shape the growth of the business – that keep me motivated and pumped up for the day.

 

So this is a list of what I do daily to help me run The Interactive Team:

 

 

1 I verbalize my goals

Every day I get up, sometimes I’m not in the best mood, there are more than a few sleepless nights with two children under 5 but to make sure I leave the house in the right mood I take the time every morning to verbalize my goals. I get out of bed and I stand at my window and look over the view and I say out loud what my goals are for the day and for my life. I tell it the universe. It’s an amazing way to set a positive attitude for the day.

 

 

2 I take a gratitude shower

Not everyone showers in the morning and I get that, but to me it works because it fits into my morning motivational routine plus it helps wake me up. So to help me get into the right frame of mind for the rest of the day I use the time in the shower to say things I’m grateful for, my beautiful family, how many great people are in the Team, my own personality traits that I’m able to motivate the people around me to help this business grow – I’m genuinely thankful everyday for the people around me and taking the time each day to remember that really amps me up for the day

 

 

3 I listen to motivational music on the drive in

There are some songs that I just love. They really set the tone for the day. I know that Huw used to listen to the Rocky theme every day, its a technique you’ll find a lot of top business people use because music has a way of effecting your mood instantly. I listen to Jack Savoretti every day, but whatever you love and whatever takes your attitude to the next level, make a playlist and hammer it. It’d actually make a great addition to your smart breaks to reset your attitude.

 

 

4 I share my attitude

Once I reach the office I like to take the time to talk to everyone I can and help them gear up for the day, share my passion and get everyone into the same mind-frame. I don’t see my time as my own in the morning, I’m with whoever needs me, whoever wants to learn from me or jam with me. Then I run the morning meeting and we spend time every time learning about how and why the business works and what each person need to do to take it to the next level.

 

 

5 I keep my energy up

Because my day is so packed, if I don’t take the time to eat I wouldn’t get through it all. We hold so many meetings in the kitchen that we bought a board table to accommodate us all. I love sushi, and I try to eat fruit too – I think its really easy to slip into bad habits with food so I’m always conscious to buy fresh ingredients when I’m out and then I’ll make myself sandwiches throughout the day. Of course, I do have the occasional espresso – but it’s without sugar – so I don’t feel too guilty about it.

 

 

6 I prepare for the next day

Every night I spend about 1 to 2 hours preparing for the next day. Its essential when running your own business, especially one with multiple offices across two countries, that you stay organized. I prepare the brief for the next morning, I review all the emails I’ve been sent during the day, I check our numbers and make sure the business is on track and hitting its goals. You’ve got to take the time each day to take stock of what you’ve achieved and what you’ve still got to do to reach your goals.

 

 

I’m not saying that if you do these things your own business will be successful, I just now that over the last three years of running The Interactive Team I’ve done these 6 things every single day because they suit me and they’ve helped my business grow. If they can help you change your own habits and improve your own start-up then I am more than happy to have shared them with you – and I hope they bring you as much focus and success as they’ve brought me.