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Blog 3

It’s a notable month for Altus Partners: we are all incredibly proud to be celebrating our 10th anniversary and sharing our journey with you. “Never could I have imagined in 2009 what we would achieve and just how much we have grown, on so many levels,” said our founder Ed Chamberlain. Growing as a team, in coverage and profits as well as in reputation is really inspiring, especially when considering that over 90% of businesses fail within the first ten years.

While it has undoubtedly been hard work, we are grateful for the encouragement and recognition that we have received from our clients and within this industry. We were honoured to have won no less than 3 awards in 2019 including PE Wire’s, Best Executive Search Company, AI Magazine’s Best Specialist Buy-Side Executive Search Firm earlier this year and proud to see our founding Partner, Ed Chamberlain win the CEO Today Global Award 2019.

To celebrate this significant milestone, Ed decided to share 10 valuable life lessons that he has learned throughout his time with Altus Partners.

1. Put family first

Founding Partner Ed could probably describe himself as a workaholic. However, in recent years, he has worked on successfully shifting his focus and adopt a more balanced approach to work and personal life. As a father of four brilliant children and husband to an amazing wife, he’s starting to see life flash by. His children grow up more quickly day by day. That unique time becomes rarer as they grow in independence, making every moment with them precious. He also knows he couldn’t have done any of this if it hadn’t been for his wife’s support, and therefore valuing and prioritising time to invest in all of them is key to a happy and rewarding work/ life balance. Ed is proud to share his realisation that not even the greatest ambitions or aspirations in the world are more valuable than quality time with one’s family, and therefore they should always come first.

2. Stay true to your passion

In a business world that bombards us with ‘gold rush’ stories, ‘get rich quick’ schemes and companies seemingly worth billions in just a few years, it is easy to be distracted by this and not value sustainable growth. At Altus Partners we are still proudly independent in an industry dominated by multinationals and companies relying on substantial outside investment. We find value in a thriving team made up of individuals rather than numbers and continue to grow organically. This also allows us to be more flexible when facing potential hurdles, embrace ideas from the bottom up and be able to make the right decisions for our clients.

3. Keep an ethical mindset

Don’t let success and ambition make you stray away from the ethos on which you’ve built your company. At Altus Partners, we’re proud to maintain an ethical mindset, from our suppliers to the charities that we support, to the collaborations that underpin the company. Ed is a passionate recruiter and appreciates how the work that he does can have a positive impact on other people’s lives. While the recruitment industry often applies an impersonal, cookie-cutter approach when it, we believe that the individual should always come first: appreciating their unique value can still allow you to run a high growth and successful company.

4. Read, read and read some more

Like Billy Connolly says, “the great brains are there to be picked: books are your ticket to the entire world”. Ed has invested heavily in increased reading and appreciates the value that can be found in constantly expanding our knowledge. Since the average CEO reads 65 books a year, Ed has set himself personal targets to meet with business-related books in the next few years. “Reading everyday sparks ideas, keeps your mind healthy and makes you want to get up at the crack of dawn with positive motivations,” he explained. While business life can undoubtedly be hectic, we encourage you to make the most of practical tools such as audibles and bite-sized reading rather than being tempted to find excuses such as not having enough time. 

5. Empower others

Remember that every employee is unique and brings their own set of talents and ambitions. Rather than relying on the traditional leadership idea that focuses on applying the same universal and dogmatic approach with the whole team, Ed is confident that a leader’s job is to mentor each individual employee and help them become the very best that they can be. By celebrating their uniqueness and focusing on personal awareness and growth, you can nurture a stronger team and even maintain a clear vision in adversity.

6. Think long term

Instead of focussing on finding quick sales and end up failing in the delivery afterwards, we are proud to build and develop relationships over the long run by nurturing and improving them regularly. We encourage you to bring value to your customers by putting yourself in their position and understanding what they would want to experience. This will not only result in successful long-term relationships but in a better understanding between both parties, too.

7. Do something different

Leading a business is an exciting opportunity to make a difference and promote change in our unique way. This doesn’t necessarily come from just what we do as an external force in a large industry and society, but also within the very employees that we build and grow. At Altus Partners, we cherish the privilege of waking up every day to act upon ideas that will make a real difference to how things look tomorrow.

8. Celebrate difference

We are glad that diversity and inclusion are now an active dialogue for businesses worldwide and proud to have encouraged and started numerous discussions on the topic. However, it’s also eye-opening to realise that many still struggle with this concept in reality. “For me, it comes down to inclusion and engendering this within the very fabric of your business,” explains Ed, who has embedded this ethos in the Altus Partners’ DNA. We will always give equal opportunities for all, empowering the voice of many over a few, embrace differences and celebrate the positive assets that a diverse workforce can bring.

9. Listen to the right people

Accept the fact that there will always be someone trying to bring you down or distract you from your goals and focus, but understand that you don’t need to let their negativity affect you. Instead, work on your inner critic and surround yourself with a trusted team for honest, constructive feedback. As the saying goes, “those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”.

10. Laugh

It might sound cliché, but laughter really is the best medicine: its therapeutic power can help you relieve stress, boost engagement, creativity and even well-being. We all know that running a business can be extremely hard, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy it.

On this important milestone, Ed and Altus Partners want to seize the opportunity to thank everyone that has shared this inspiring journey with us: we are certainly looking forward to celebrating another anniversary with you.