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About Mark Ashton

Mark Ashton is a UK business leader, developer, entrepreneur and consultant whose passion is starting, growing or restoring great businesses that outstrip customers' expectations. His leadership mettle and die-in-a-ditch, selfless business principles were first forged in the early-1990s in the US, where in 4 years he led 250% growth of a 2 year old textile machinery sales and service company against a backdrop of industry decline and fierce, entrenched competition. Since then he has led and advised on start-ups, turnarounds, and growth, strategy, improved business metrics and customer-driven Lean (continuous improvement) projects in SMEs, mid-sized and large corporates, in widely differing industries. He brings strategic insight, courage, honesty, common sense and motivational skills to help businesses survive, avoid pitfalls and grow sustainably. Over the next 5 years he and his close-knit team of C-level experts intend to build a hands-on, long-term investor company that will apply tried and tested, winning principles of enduring Top 1% businesses to create exceptional shareholder value. You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn here.

Author Archive | Mark Ashton

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Leadership: Can You Master It?

Great leadership is fine art, not painting by numbers. During a recent conversation, I asked one of my closest colleagues, an outstanding leader:  “Do you know the secret of great leadership?”  His response was an excellent one, “Humility?”  I said, “No, that’s important but not it. It’s the willingness to work with people better than […]

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High Business Growth: Gold at the end of the Rainbow?

In 1980 and 2008, the US Government’s Small Business Administration (SBA) found that high growth companies–so-called “gazelles”–were just 4% of total firms. In 2010, the US-based Blueprint Growth Institute determined that only 387 (3.5%) of 11,000 companies going public since 1980 had achieved over $1 billion (UK£620 million, €790 million) in sales. Whilst that sounds a […]

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10 Reasons to Stick your Neck Out!

Eight years ago, I called my business “Resolve Gets Results,” because the world “resolve” connotes both the determination to succeed and the problem solving mentality essential in business. When I first started blogging 8 months ago, I didn’t know where it was going to take me or quite why I was doing it. I had a gut […]

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How Top 1% Businesses Measure Their Success

Many of us have heard the old adage “What gets measured gets done.” Organisations are awash with KPIs–key performance indicators. Variously attributed to 19th Century UK Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and American author Mark Twain the oft-quoted phrase, “There are lies, damned lies and statistics,” reflects justified cynicism about the cult of measurement. The greatest […]

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Are Women Good for Business?

Do women or men make better leaders? Recently, McKinsey republished an article from 1976 entitled ‘Sex bias – still in business’ with the following 2014 introduction: Despite much talk of equal opportunity for women, discrimination persists in business. This 1976 McKinsey Quarterly article, part of a series celebrating our 50th anniversary, shows how companies should correct […]

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Business Is a Contact Sport

Too many businesses, young or old, struggle or fail because they never understand that you have to practice, practice, practice, then get in the ring and fight as if your life depended on it! Business is a brutal contact sport for five main reasons, and it’s getting worse.  You will not survive, grow and prosper: […]

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A Strategic Framework for Lasting Excellence

In my teens and twenties I was an avid hill-walker (hiker) and occasional mountaineer (ice axe, rope and crampons).  Nowadays time, dodgy knees and lack of fitness limit my adventures, but my fascination with mountains and mountaineering history is undiminished.  18 months ago I was lucky enough to make my first trip to Nepal to […]

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