Keith is passionate about inspiring people. His extraordinary journey has taken him from a Nottingham council estate to a Lt Col in the Army, commanding soldiers in Iraq and navigating Brussels as an advisor to the European Military Service (EUMS), all effectively blended with success in business. Having climbed the ladder from the first rung in the army and civilian employment, he challenges ideas of what it takes to be a leader and manager, crucially how to inspire staff and grow amazing teams.
Finding inspiration from the most unlikely people, he overcomes bias based on his background and education, escaping a life where the expectation was to work the production line in a local factory. Keith’s success came as he made values-based leadership a life choice, not something left in the office at the end of the day. Nearly four decades ago, the small insignificant, bullied young man in a rough inner-city school could not have dreamt of achieving this or the amazing journey of discovery he was about to embark on.
Keith was born in Nottingham, the youngest of three he grew up on a council estate on the city boundaries, he experienced a tough school life often bullied and isolated he left with minimum qualifications and stumbled into his first career becoming a qualified horticulturalist. An unusual profession to discover his ability to lead others, a steady start with small teams enhanced by joining the Territorial Army he rose rapidly to management, learning on the job he won contracts, rescued failing business teams and developed a flair for IT.
The next chapter involved him becoming an IT professional, with qualifications from Microsoft and Cisco, including the hard to achieve ITIL Managers Certificate, combining this with a flair for project management he never failed to deliver a project on time or under budget. His ability to improve the process and gain maximum effect with minimum resource was his trademark. His working life had always been shared with the Army developing the core values for leadership and providing a valuable training ground, this was never truer than his deployment to Iraq as a Major in command of 130 infantry soldiers, being challenged and growing every day with the weight of 130 lives sat on his shoulders.
With itchy feet, he spent a short time training potential Officer Cadets for the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst before embarking on a more permanent challenge committing to serve for a short period (now a decade on) living the values and standards he holds dear and key to leadership. The last decade has brought promotion to Lt Col working in the Permanent Joint HQ, advising Brussels on Military use of British soldiers, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of Europeanpolicy on using nominated soldiers, with the most challenging of developing and rewriting European Military Service processes for using military forces.
He has gone on to command a Reserve infantry unit of 550 soldiers based over nine counties developing it into the most successful during his time. With the more recent accolade of developing and implementing Army strategies for cultural change to inspire young people.