Academy for Chief Executives Blog Rotating Header Image

Success Recipe – by Jo Haigh

Jo Haigh

Jo Haigh

Creating an exceptional business has much in common with the highly regarded and hugely unexpected success of The Great British Bake off.

Who would ever have thought that the combination of the right set of ingredients could not only create a wonderful consumable product, but also take the stars of the show into unexpected stratospheric elevation presenters and contestants alike!

In the business world some things are unexpectedly successful and what a joy that is to experience it.

Other projects which would seem to have all the key ingredients don’t seem to quite make it to the finish line, and often for unexplainable reasons.

It could be that a post mortem will reveal that the magic dust wasn’t in the mix or perhaps it was added too late, but it could just as easily be that the world you were operating in just wasn’t receptive to the opportunity at this time.

Cremated or raw neither makes a palatable dish and like most things timing is vital.

Equally no one can have gourmet qualities immediately unless they are very fortunate indeed.

The best advice I have ever been given in business is AKA Winston Churchill’s famous quote, “Never never never give up”

In both the kitchen and the board room, I have had a number of successes and perhaps an equal number of shall we say less than desirable outcomes.

So here is my latest recipe for success in the business.

Take a large spoonful of self-confidence.

Add a sprinkling of a good idea.

Stir in a good dose of common sense.

Slowly introduce a measured amount of good management and a large dollop of humility.

Mix with a graciousness spoon.

Simmer slowly in a warm and friendly environment.

Check regularly in case it needs attention.

Enjoy with care and love.


Jo Haigh is head of FDS corporate finance services and the author of The Financial Times Guide to Finance for Non Financial Managers. You can reach her at


For more information from the Academy for Chief Executives, please follow us on Twitter –@academyceo. You can also find out more about us at

Leave a Reply