December, 2016

Bonnie Hacking


Bonnie Hacking leads the breakfast workshop on leadership.

Bonnie Hacking is Enterprise Adviser in the Careers Centre at the University of St Andrews and teaches in the School of Management. She was the speaker at the January 2017 breakfast meeting of the Club.

Bonnie is passionate about people and provides skills training, coaching and advice to entrepreneurs. She’s worked with entrepreneurs who’ve built children’s homes in India, sold bicycles online, provided temporary summer storage for students, manufactured food items and a whole variety of web-based ventures.

Bonnie is also a Director with Enterprise Educators UK and University Adviser with Enactus UK.

Prior to joining the university, Bonnie was Management Development Officer for Oxfordshire County Council and People Programmes Manager for the Unipart Group of Companies.

In an interactive workshop involving the audience, Bonnie led Club members and their guests through the importance of leadership, particularly in the uncertain times we face and for SMEs. You can download Bonnie’s Powerpoint presentation here.

First, Bonnie asked the participants to consider people they thought have demonstrated exceptional leadership and identify the behaviours, characteristics, skills and traits they have in common before going on to talk about why leadership matters.

Research findings

Bonnie explained that BIS Research Paper 211 “Leadership and Management Skills in SMEs: Measuring Associations with Management Practices and Performance” published in March 2015 looked at the performance effects of a set of leadership and management dimensions in 2,948 SMEs in England with between five and 250 employees.

The dimensions considered were:

The research found the associations between skill sets, management practices and performance effects were:

Which businesses can gain most benefit from improved leadership?

Bonnie then explained that the research found:

Bonnie went on to explain the fundamental bases of different leadership theories (Slide 9) and how vision, inspiration and momentum make up the essence of leadership (Slide 10) before discussing the aspects of leadership (Slide 11), how an effective leader uses their skills, qualities and behaviours in the context of the organisation and their staff (Slides 12 and 13) to get results.

Leader or Manager?

Next Bonnie handed out three cards to each attendee with leadership and managerial tasks on them and challenged them to see if they could swap them with others in order to end up with three describing effective leadership. She then revealed the ones which are required for leaders and those needed by managers (Slide 15). The difference between the two roles was summed up with a quote from James Colvard’s Managers vs. Leaders: “A manager takes care of you where you are; a leader takes you to a new place.”

Bonnie then challenged the participants to consider questions about their own leadership and management practice (Slides 17 to 19) before sharing recommended free online resources to further their learning and development (Slides 20 & 21).

Finally, in answering questions, Bonnie said research has shown personal leadership qualities aren’t fixed and can be developed. Also the leadership style used to manage each individual subordinate should vary based on their needs while keeping in mind the need to manage their performance.

For more information about University of St Andrews, go to


Chris Marr

Chris Marr is the founder of The Content Marketing Academy, the UK’s largest membership organisation of its type. He was the speaker at the February 2017 evening meeting of the Club.

Chris is the leading voice of the growing content marketing movement in the UK. His pioneering work has helped countless organisations grow through content marketing.

Like all educators, Chris is also a dedicated student. He’s interviewed and facilitated events with many of content marketing’s most notable thought leaders. The knowledge he’s learned from the likes of Jay Baer, Ann Handley, Marcus Sheridan and Mark Schaefer has been shared freely with the members of his growing community.

Chris told Club members and guests how to use content marketing to make their business stand out.

The key points Chris made were:

To replay the Facebook Live broadcast of Chris’s talk, click HERE. Members can request a copy of his slides by emailing the Club.

The Content Marketing Academy’s annual conference, TCMA, takes place June 8 and 9. For more information about it, content marketing and The Content Marketing Academy, go to


St Andrews Business Club