Todd Blackadder joins us at The Book Club – Where Leaders Come to Learn

High Growth Knowledge was delighted to welcome Todd Blackadder, Director of Rugby at Bath, to our first ever meeting of The Book Club.

Having chosen Legacy by James Kerr, 15 lessons in leadership from the All Blacks, it seemed a great idea to have an ex-All Black on hand to give a unique, and sometimes highly personal, insight into the life and leaders of an elite sports team. And Todd didn’t disappoint. He was candid and thought provoking in his views, as well as being very generous with his time, for which we thank him.

Kim Jones, in welcoming everybody, said it had been a long-held dream to move The Book Club from our website to the real world. Nick Thompson, who chaired for us, began by describing his experience of running ‘insight clubs’ in many of the companies he has looked after, and encouraged everybody to speak openly, under Chatham House rules, about their insights and their experiences, both as leaders themselves and of applying the ideas in the book.

Nick then asked Todd to give a flavour of what it was like living, working and playing with the All Blacks, before opening the floor to all attendees for questions and comment. Even those in attendance who are not fans of rugby – or particularly of sport – participated in the lively discussion that followed, and many made copious notes.

Here’s a sample of what they said afterwards:

“I just wanted to say thank you for inviting me to such an interesting and thought provoking evening. The book was great and it was fascinating to hear from Todd and others in the room”, Andrew Hopcraft, MD, Helipebs


“Not sure the sports flavour really worked for me but appreciated the dialogue and made lots of notes”, Debbie Lawley, CEO, WillowDNA


“What an inspiring and successful first event! Thank you for inviting me”, Charles Smee, owner, Transaction Focus


“Very interesting, looking at leadership from another angle”, Beverley Ford, MD, Rota Val


“Really original event- very thought provoking and a great way to do modern networking”, Joanna Randall, MD, Purplefish PR


“Thank you … I found it very worthwhile … some great thoughts and ideas that I could adopt in our business provided they are done properly!” Nick Boulton, Sales Director, Channel Communications

170216 The Book Club - Where leaders come to learn

Attendees at The Book Club (from l to r): Les Ashton-Smith, Heber; Andrew Hopcraft, Helipebs; Charles Smee, Transaction Focus; Kim Jones, HGKC; Joanna Randall, Purplefish PR; Nick Boulton, Channel Comms; Pedro Bonillo-Farias, PBF Wealth Management; Debbie Lawley, WillowDNA; Nick Thompson; Beverley Ford, Rota Val; Nicola Ray, Modern; Todd Blackadder; Nigel Laughton

If you run an ambitious small business in the South West and would like to join us at a future book club, or know somebody else who does and you think would like to attend, please contact us here.

Author Peter Quintana