In the run-up to this year’s Business Awards as sponsor of the Lifetime Achievement Award, we explore the link between good leadership and business success among previous winners. 

This week, we review the 2015 winners of Small Business of the Year award – Class People. 

I first met Lynis Bassett, CEO of Class People, back in 2014 when she enrolled on our LEAD™ programme - an intensive leadership development programme for owner-managers and directors.  LEAD™ aims to help people become the best leaders they can be, by bringing together peers from other companies to learn, share, reflect and support one another as they work on real life business issues – so that they feel equipped to deal with whatever is thrown at them. 

Class People supplies temporary teaching staff to schools and educational institutions. In its early years the company had experienced a staggering rate of growth, but as this slowed Lynis became concerned as to what to do next. 

Through LEAD™, and the network of leaders that this introduced her to, Lynis began to appreciate her blindspot’. She took a step back to review company operations and procedures, and realised that she needed to redefine the company’s whole approach to productivity.  

By sharing her concerns and experiences with her fellow cohort membersgaining reassurance that she wasn’t alone, and being armed with the tools she needed to support her, Lynis felt equipped to tackle these changes.  

We often find that increasing self-confidence is the key to unlocking leaders’ potential.  Recognising and appreciating your skills as a leader and being willing to work on those areas that you wish to improve identifies practical, actionable steps. Therefore, it’s vital to stop, reflect and seek feedback from peers.  This is something that works particularly well on our LEAD™ programme, where leaders feel comfortable to be able to openly discuss issues with like-minded individuals, often gaining comfort by the commonality of the situation and support from those who have also ‘been through it’. 

Through the programme Lynis also realised the importance of investing in her team and of succession planning and so enrolled her daughter, Naomi Howells, Operations Manager, onto the LEAD™ programme to support her leadership development too.   

Together, this mother and daughter leadership team have maintained a diligent approach to continual improvement - which not only helped secure them the rightful Small Business of the Year Award win back in 2015 but has supported the company’s continued growth and success today. 

The next LEAD™ programme begins in November 2019, when we’ll be bringing together another small group of MDs, owner-managers, directors, senior managers and partners to explore their leadership and grow their companies. To see videos from like-minded leaders and discover whether LEAD™ might help you with your leadership development, visit 

Over the next five weeks we’ll be looking at a range of previous winners from the Gloucestershire Business Awards recognising some of the skills, traits and attributes that their leaders have.   


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