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Mark Ashton

Founder and Principal at Resolve Gets Results

UK

In a business career spanning 35 years I have discovered how little I know, how little I can achieve by myself, how often and how catastrophically I can fail, how desperately rare and hard won true success is, and how the right people matter more to me than anything else in life. In short, I have been broken and humbled.  

But I am more excited about the future than ever before, and happier in my own skin than I have ever been.  My mission is to help others to be the best they can possibly become - this is pure joy.
 

Who I am is encapsulated in the values I have adopted for my business, Resolve Gets Results:

1) Service: Putting greater purposes and deserving others ahead of self and tribalism
2) Commitment: Striving to improve and to create value in every situation
3) Courage: Opposing cynicism, deceit, hubris, hypocrisy, ignorance, insincerity, mediocrity and nihilism
4) Enjoyment: Enjoying life - we only get one shot at it, so don't leave anything on the table
5) Honour: Always aiming to do the right thing with character, humility and integrity.

Mentor's story

What do you do today?


I am an executive and team coach and mentor based in the UK, working mainly with privately-owned businesses who are seeking growth in the UK and North America. I have been in business-to-business sales for 30 years and build long-term working relationships by providing exceptional value.


My current roles:

  • I am a coach/mentor to leaders and management teams in the UK, and I mentor in the .Cocoon program in Estonia.

  • For over 20 years, I have been a business consultant. I help companies to win more business from new and existing customers. I also help them to solve difficult problems, which stop them from becoming great performers and from developing great leadership skills and a high-performance culture. I have conducted many successful projects which have required creativity, original thinking, logical analysis, and strong people skills. My work has often had a vital impact on the client organizations I work for.


How did you get there?


My career has been nearly 40 years. I started work in engineering as a management trainee before I went to university. I graduated in 1984, and after 4 years in software development, I took a sales role in a company that built high technology textile machinery. After two years, they sent me to the USA, where I ran their sales and service business for five years. I returned to the UK, took an MBA (Masters’ degree in Business Administration) for one year, and worked for a management consultancy for 8 years in the UK, USA, and continental Europe. I set up Resolve Gets Results in 2005.


My business purpose is to develop leaders and teams, help them make better decisions, build stronger business relationships, and grow their companies.


I've studied in depth the radical attitudes and behaviours of the most consistently profitable companies. I'm passionate about implanting these great habits to enable leaders, future leaders and companies to be the best they can be, especially when the going gets tough.

Why do you do what you today?


The big WHY, the cause, is that I want to change the way business is done and how it is seen by as many people as possible. The most successful long-term businesses are healthy, creative places where people feel psychologically safe, happy, and inspired to achieve things they never believed they could do. These businesses all have a compelling purpose beyond profit – they meet a need, they have a positive impact on the world, and they are never driven by fear or greed.
I believe passionately that great businesses need humble, selfless, fiercely determined leaders who act for the greater good and develop other people to be the best they can be. They need great people with strong positive values, and a powerful focus on something at which they excel, for which they have passion, and which meets an economic need. Great businesses require commitment, discipline, clear insight, and the ability to solve difficult problems creatively.


All these aspects of great businesses are confirmed by major independent research studies all over the world, so there is powerful empirical evidence to support my belief and my cause.


When I was employed by other companies, I found they had many weaknesses. Some of these were practical – they needed better business processes, better ways of measuring performance, better computer systems, or better policies. But the biggest problems were due to poor purposes, values, attitudes, and behaviors, especially from top managers or owners of the business. They behaved with ignorance, prejudice, and opinion, not based on empirical data. They were usually motivated by money, power, and status, and they often behaved badly and mistreated other people.


I hated the values and behaviors of the leaders of the two companies I worked for periods of eight years. They were arrogant, bullying, corrupt, greedy, hypocritical, intimidating, sometimes harsh, and unpredictable. They exploited others and abused their power. They were disliked and distrusted by many people, but they still seemed to prosper, though their personal lives were often a mess.


I choose carefully whom I work with and for. I believe that the world is changing in favor of my cause. Wellbeing and mental health at work is now a huge crisis. It damages productivity and profitability, as well as people. Many people of my generation are sick of the way they have been managed. Millennials do not want to work for unethical, bullying leaders, and companies. So I think there is a large, growing target audience for my big game, and I think and act with a long-term perspective.




Where are you going? What’s your vision?


I see Resolve as a ‘family business.’ I have no genetic family members working with me, but I see my colleagues, business partners, and even some of my clients as ‘family.’ Like most family businesses, Resolve thinks and acts long-term and has strong values beyond making a profit. Profit and cash are necessary, but they are outcomes of doing things well, and they are a means to an end. They are like blood and oxygen – necessary for human life, but not its purpose.


Where I am heading is to grow this ‘family business’ called Resolve and the big WHY behind it so that it becomes a loved and respected force for good in business. I want lots of people to speak of Resolve as a source of inspiration, and I want the company to live long beyond me with that enduring reputation.
Resolve is still an early-stage business. In the next few years, I plan to nurture it like a child until it ‘grows up’ and becomes strong and healthy. That means it needs strong finances and great people. It also means systematically applying to Resolve the empirical findings and principles from the research studies into the most successful long-term companies.


Currently, there are two interconnected parts of Resolve’s business:

Inspiring and delivering great results for clients by using the principles from the research studies into the most profitable long-term companies;

Helping the UK and North American companies to succeed with transatlantic business. We are experimenting with different consulting and coaching products to develop better leaders and healthier, more sustainable organizations.

 

Meantime we are helping clients to find new business in the UK and North America using our selling and export skills and strong business networks. We are also investigating if there is a niche that we can fill by providing more valuable employee assistance programs (EAPs) to improve employee wellbeing and mental health. We may form a joint venture with one of the leading providers of EAPs in the USA, McLaughlin Young, led by Dr. John Young, a close business partner of ours.    

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