Helping a Small Business Leadership Team to run and transform the business at the same time

Chess Piece on chess board


A well-established founder led engineering business was having difficulties managing significant growth opportunities. The overstretched Managing Director was challenged to personally service major clients, manage day-to-day business activities, lead the team and develop a strategy to pursue a significant international growth opportunity for the business.  Given work pressures, the business leader’s home life was significantly impacted.  It felt like the business was running his and his family’s life, there was little time or space for his young family.  A business that should have been a lifestyle enabler was becoming a resented intrusion, impacting mood and quality of life.  The founder realised that he needed help and clarity on how to move forward.

He was relieved to have someone who could listen to him at both a personal and business level.  It became apparent that there were both strategic and structural challenges in the business.  With a team of 40 every issue was escalated to the Managing Director who felt overwhelmed by demands while the management team was left feeling underutilised and remote from the business. We began a programme of coaching and consultancy with the Managing Director and then the wider team.

The Client Challenge

A fast-paced business facing rapid growth without the supports, or structures to manage day- to- day pressures and plan.The lack of internal structures, key support roles, confused ways of working and ineffective communication across the leadership team were all negatively impacting performance

Core Insight

Leadership is about running and transforming a business at the same time.  Sometimes business leaders focus on the wrong things for the right reasons, losing longer-term perspective as they focus on the daily issues.  Without the correct structures and supports, a value adding team, a culture of honest challenge across the leadership, any business will struggle.  The personal impact can be significant.  Leaders need to create the space for themselves to focus, to test and think through the strategy as well as see how well the business is operating day-to-day. It’s important to have the resources and supports in place to ensue the business has the both the capacity and capability to grow. 


Martello Leadership created a safe space for our client to be honest about the challenges of running the business.  Listening, Martello Leadership built trust and helped our client to see the business through a different lens.  Having identified the challenges, we worked in partnership with our client.  Where changes were needed, we helped our client address and execute them.  We worked with the wider management team to help them to function as a stronger team and redesigned the organisation structure and identified key skills gaps that needed to be addressed. 

We helped structure existing roles with clear specifications and reporting lines.  Existing meetings and ways of working were examined to look at internal processes and decision making.  Internal communications and engagement were enhanced to help engage employees and answer their questions.  A critical path and clear milestones were developed to keep the team on track and momentum going.  We worked in partnership with the team collectively and individually ensuring that a high value adding culture became the focus. 


  • A supportive and challenging team began to work very differently.
  • The business and leadership team began to operate very differently once they had the correct supports in place.
  • We helped the team to engage with each other fully and honestly with open and healthy challenge becoming the norm. 
  • Structures were developed to support the delivery of the strategy for the medium and longer term. 
  • Business planning and forecasting became easier for the team as the correct resources were put in place. 
  • The focus of the leadership team became more strategic as the new structures helped shift the business from day-to-day firefighting.
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