World Class Leadership Conference 2018

Thursday, 01 Feb, 2018

08:30am - 05:30pm

Business Design Centre London, UK

Navigating Unchartered Territory

In partnership with

What does the future hold?

The last couple of years have taught us that the landscape can change dramatically overnight. The only thing that we can predict with any certainty, is that the world is becoming more uncertain.

How do you lead a team through uncertainty? How can leaders enable their teams to successfully navigate uncharted territory? It’s a challenge that many organisations face today.

During “World Class Leadership 2018”, we will learn from a diverse range of World Class performers, all of whom have led their teams through extreme challenges in volatile environments. We’ll discover how they enable their teams, not only to survive, but succeed in an ever changing, increasingly dynamic and unpredictable world.

Polar expedition leader, Ann Daniels, shares how her team manage ‘moving ice scenarios’ as they cross a frozen ocean.

Former Director General of MI5, Dame Stella Rimington, shares her insights and experiences of leading counter-subversion, counter-espionage and counter-terrorism teams in complex situations with enormous stakes.

Special Forces units often perform in environments where they literally don’t know what will happen in the next five seconds. Former SAS Major, Floyd Woodrow, explains how.

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race throws up extreme challenges. It’s a tough race for a professional crew, never mind a group of amateurs. Skipper, Brendan Hall, shares his experiences of leading his team to victory.

As a former fighter pilot and Executive Officer on the Red Arrows, Justin Hughes is no stranger to performance under pressure or environments plagued by ambiguity, imperfect information, conflicting priorities and time pressures. He will explore how to prepare for situations where no rule or process exists, and how to cope with the unknown and unknowable.

Simon Hartley share insights into the characteristics that differentiate the very best teams and leaders in the world from the rest, and how we can all adopt these simple principles.


The Schedule

08.30 Registration, coffee & networking
09.00 Welcome – Simon Hartley – “On… Challenges, Uncertainty & The Unknown”
09.15 Brendan Hall
10.00 Floyd Woodrow, MBE
10.45 Coffee
11.00 Ann Daniels
11.45 Justin Hughes – “Would you rather be approximately right, or precisely wrong?”
12.30 Lunch
13.15 Simon Hartley – “World Class Leadership”
14.15 Dame Stella Rimington
15.15 Coffee
15.45 How to put all of this into action – Simon Hartley
16.15 Summary & Close


With thanks to our sponsors



The Speakers

Floyd Woodrow, MBE.

Floyd is a former Major in the Special Air Service (SAS). He was one of the UK’s youngest soldiers to be selected for the elite Special Air Service at the age of 22. During this time he served in many different operational areas globally. He was awarded a DCM, the UK’s second highest gallantry award for bravery and an MBE, for his exemplary services whilst in Afghanistan. Floyd published his first book, Elite! in October 2012 and followed this up with, The Warrior, The Strategist and You. He currently consults to a range of corporate and sporting clients across the globe.

Ann Daniels

Polar Explorer Ann Daniels is a world record holder and one of Britain’s leading female explorers. She has led many teams to success in the most difficult conditions on earth. In 2002, Ann became the first woman in history to ski to the North and South Poles as part of all women teams. Experiencing temperatures as low as -50C and dealing with various encounters with Polar bears, she has sledge-hauled over 3000 miles, in the most inhospitable environments in the world, completing over 10 polar expeditions and surviving over 400 days on the ice.  She understands the importance of good planning, hard work and a positive attitude in the most difficult circumstances. As a Polar guide and the only leader of all 3 Catlin Arctic surveys she is living proof that good leadership, teamwork and a positive mental attitude counts and does make a difference to the success of a team.

Brendan Hall

At the age of 28, Brendan skippered the winning boat in the 09-10 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. The Clipper race is one of the toughest in the sailing world, encountering the most treacherous conditions and most dangerous seas. The added challenge for the skipper, is that they’re leading a team of amateur sailors that have never crewed together before. Brendan wrote, Team Spirit, as a narrative of the challenge. Brendan still sails professionally, skippering yachts across the world’s oceans.

Justin Hughes

Justin was a military fighter pilot with the UK Royal Air Force, becoming the Executive Officer of the Red Arrows, with whom he flew over 250 displays worldwide. He is now the Managing Director of Mission Excellence, a consultancy that specialises in accelerating team and organisational effectiveness. He built the business from a zero base; it now delivers consulting and development services around the world to organizations across the spectrum of commercial, public sector, not-for-profit and professional sport. Justin is also a renowned speaker on operational excellence, decision-making, risk and safety culture, and leadership. He is also the author of The Business of Excellence, published by Bloomsbury.

Dame Stella Rimington

Dame Stella Rimington is the former Director General of MI5. The first woman to take the post and the first DG to be publicly named, Dame Stella has extensive experience of the Security Service, having led all three divisions: counter-subversion, counter-espionage and counter-terrorism. She was a Non-Executive Director at Marks & Spencer plc and BG Group plc, Associate Director of CPS, Chair of the Institute of Cancer Research and Trustee of the Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Trust. Incredibly, she is also a best-selling author and a highly acclaimed international speaker, sharing her views in a uniquely open and personal style.

Simon Hartley, MSc.

Simon Hartley is a globally respected sport psychology consultant and performance coach. For over 20 years, Simon has worked with gold medallists, world record holders, world champions, top five world-ranked professional athletes, Olympians and championship winning teams.

Since 2011, Simon has published seven books, including How To Herd Cats; Leading A Team of Independent Thinkers and Stronger Together; How Great Teams Work.

During the last 10 years, Simon has also applied the principles of sport psychology to business, education, healthcare and the charity sector. This has included projects with some of the world’s leading corporations and foremost executives. He is also an international professional speaker, delivering keynotes throughout the world.

For more information on Simon, please visit