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Endings and beginnings by Brian Chernett

Brian Chernett

Brian Chernett

For many people, as the calendar moves into December with January not long in coming, this is a time for reflection and renewal – a time of endings and beginnings. As we approach the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, the break between Christmas and New Year offers many of us an opportunity. It is a time to reflect on what has happened (and what hasn’t) in the past year and a time to visualise and plan what will happen in the coming year.

This December, I have a very personal ending to consider – and some new beginnings, too. On Jan 1st, I will step down as Chairman of The Academy and hand over to a consortium of Chairmen and Members led by Andrew Morris. There will be more on this in the Newsletter and in a blog on this site towards the end of December. For now, I’d like to reflect on my endings and beginnings.

I founded The Academy for Chief Executives in 1996 from The Executive Committee (TEC) Groups that I ran. As I wrote in my book, The Entrepreneur Within –

An opportunity came up to join the UK operation of an American organisation called The Executive Committee (TEC) which developed leaders. I joined as chairman of a group and eventually became the top chairman within the organisation in the UK, running four groups, and won several awards from America for my work. After four years, I was asked to become managing director and it was something I really wanted. This was at the age of 59. The UK franchise holder then changed his mind and, after subsequent discussions, I decided to resign. The groups that I was very successfully running decided to help me to start up on my own, which, with the agreement of the franchise holder, I did. I then began building the Academy for Chief Executives.

The learning through the whole of this period has been profound, particularly when I reflect on the thousands of leaders that have passed through my hands. Many of them have become millionaires. As the whole business is dedicated to learning, I feel I have to be a model for that learning and therefore spend a lot of time on my own personal development. Even at my current age, I am still learning to bring value to people and I intend to continue doing that for many years to come.

I will be handing over a vibrant organisation ready to move forward with the new team and I have every confidence in the direction they will take it.

My involvement with the Academy will change but will not be severed. I will still be running my Academy Group as Chairman. I will have continuing role in developing The Academy internationally and I will always be founder, of course. In addition to those activities, I will be developing my own private coaching and mentoring service under the name -Wisdom Forums. I am also launching a new charity – The Ella Foundation – to mentor and coach Chief Executives of charities using the Academy format. So no pipe and slippers for me at present! I’m still looking forward to new beginnings, new challenges and new achievements.

2010 had presented its challenges to the world and business has not escaped them. Nevertheless, businesses have grown and developed and businesspeople have learned valuable lessons that will be useful in the years to come. In this time for reflection, why not ask yourself – what has 2010 meant for you and what will you be doing in 2011 – and beyond?

Now is the time to start thinking about it because the time to act is not far behind.

Brian Chernett is founder of The Academy for Chief Executives (ACE) – He has 43 years’ experience as managing director of private and public companies, including subsidiaries of Booker Bros McConnell, the Landmark Group, and several other major companies. Find out more at

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