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What do you get when you’re in a room full of First Time MD’s…

Posted over 1 year ago by James Taylor


I woke up this morning full of that excited, nervous, energetic feeling you have when you have a day that is starting off with something new, something that matters to you.

This morning was the inaugural “First Time MD Mastermind” group meeting.

It was important to me for a number of reasons:

  • As a “First time” MD myself, I have lived the ups and downs over the past two years and know how lonely the top job can feel sometimes.  
  • I felt that a group of like-minded MD’s would benefit hugely from one another’s experiences to help provide ideas and possible solutions to our business challenges.  
  • In addition, as MD’s we all (along with our colleagues) decide upon where our L&D budgets are spent.  Very few of us EVER spend any money on ourselves, on our own development yet when you’re at the top, you need to keep evolving, keep developing in order to give those who report to you the room to progress in to.  How does that happen if we’re not learning ourselves?  
  • Finally, since taking on the MD job, I have had the ambition for Macildowie to be viewed as “more than just another recruitment business”.  I believe that this type of event is a perfect illustration that we are walking the walk in that space.  The group isn’t a place for anyone to sell what their business does, or what problems that they can solve, it’s a place to learn.


The main themes from the first session were:

  • It’s so important to have high calibre direct reports.  As a new MD you can’t do everything.
  • There is a challenge for us all when it comes to working “in” rather than “on” the business.
  • Many of us feel guilty when we’re not visible to the operation, having enough “think time” is initially viewed as a luxury rather than a necessity.
  • It’s cliché, but we all talk about the 100 day plan.  That means our ambition for the first 100 days and what we’d like to achieve.
  • It would be better to say, I am going to ask questions and listen in the first 100 days, before I then devise the 100 day plan – this in particular was a real eye opener for me.  Most of us in the room would have communicated more, rather than trying to make a difference.
  • Cultural Transformation remains a hot topic.  Many SME’s don’t have a well defined set of Company Values, or a Vision which means that they don’t know how to articulate their culture, meaning that recruiting the right talent into the business is made harder.
  • Second Tier management are key, recruitment of the right behaviours and development of their skills are super critical to the success of every organisation.
  • Only do what you can do, hire in specialist talent (or outsource) the areas where you are weak – don’t try and be the jack of all trades.


The session lasted for 90 minutes, everyone wanted to go on for longer and we have decided to meet as a group every three months for 3 hours at a time.  This session was more about sharing ideas and networking in truth, but I am very hopeful that we’ll all add value to one another of the coming months and years.  So to everyone who attended, thanks for making the first session an excellent one, I look forward to seeing you all again soon.

To others reading this blog, the great news is that if you want to be involved, that we have another session for a new group scheduled for the 29th November – click here to find out more.

Finally, a massive thankyou to Robyn Evans for organising the event and to Matt Bull for facilitating the group.

Until next time…