• Madeleine Bonser

Spotlight on - Stuart Ross

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

At Spotlight, we got the opportunity to talk to Stuart Ross CEO of High Growth. Chatting about drive and determination, top tips for managing a business and overcoming COVID.

Business background

After starting my career as a fashion buyer with Arcadia, I joined leading UK health and

The beauty brand, Boots. Here I was fortunate to have worked in numerous roles including:

  • Leading buying and product development in a number of health and beauty areas

  • Launching Boots.com

  • Launching Boots internationally

  • Heading Format Development

I was then offered the opportunity to lead a fast-growing technology company, which I scaled and sold for the owners. It was after this I launched High Growth (highgrowth.com), a coaching and training company focused on helping companies and individuals to realise their potential. This we do through the provision of non-executives, coaches, training, masterminding and the High Growth Summit. This continues to be the core of what I do, but I also have launched a strategic marketing agency, Glue Marketing (gluemarketingstrategy.com), as well as investing in businesses such as Living Memorial (livingmemorial.co.uk).

Through my corporate career, I was naturally good at leading and inspiring teams. It is this passion for helping people realise their true potential, combined with the experience of scaling businesses successfully which led me to form High Growth.

In the past, I have spent too much time on roles or circumstances where it has been a real slog and no fun. Life is too short – whether you are in a career or scaling a business – always ensure you are enjoying the journey.

Overcoming challenges and setbacks

Throughout my career, I have had challenges or setbacks which have seemed massive at the time, but when looking back seem insignificant now. Yet, each of those challenges or setbacks have provided insights and experiences which have allowed me to accelerate my personal growth. One of the ways I now judge success is whether my problems or setbacks are getting bigger or more challenging – if they are the same or similar to previous, my personal growth is limited. By learning from each setback this ensures I grow from the experience, with the knowledge every setback will pass.

Passion and determination

In my role as a coach and business leader you need to inspire constantly helping individuals, teams and companies move forward no matter what the circumstances. An example of this currently, is where businesses find themselves struggling with the uncertain business environment. As result, I have not only worked with clients but also created with a handful of other business experts the Corona Business Advice group on social media providing the latest insights and strategies to help businesses not only survive but thrive post-COVID-19.

Top tips

  • Set the destination - have a clear vision of what success looks like in each area of your life.

  • Be flexible on how you get to your vision - don't get ‘attached’ to the route. Life will always bring you what you need to flourish and moves you in the direction set.

  • The life you experience is a reflection of you in the outside world – work harder on yourself than anything else.

To anyone looking to start their own business I would say:

  • You will only succeed if you are 100% committed to building a business. Anything less you are likely to fail.

  • There is never an ideal time to start a business – take action and make the leap NOW!

  • Never set up a business with monetary success being the primary purpose. Financial success is a by-product of living ‘on purpose’ and solving peoples problems successfully.

Leadership has got nothing to do with working it out and everything to do with feeling it out. It is an 'awareness.' I don't believe leaders are born; they evolve. And to evolve you must first be self-aware. To develop leadership skills, allow yourself to be open, honest, and real. The best leaders lead through values, vision, and vulnerability. ‘True communication is the response you get’ – in other words if you are not getting the response you expected from a team member, change the way you are communicating with them.

Formula for success

Put simply yes there is one! There are 4 areas which require constant mastery which separates out those businesses that scale successfully and those that don’t:

  • Leadership

  • High-performance teams

  • Strategy

  • Strategy Implementation.

This is the foundation of the High Growth framework which has been used successfully with over 2000 businesses. Download my top-selling ebook ‘The Secrets of High Growth Companies’.

Business during COVID- 19

Focus continues to be on supporting businesses by being responsive to their needs and situation. Additionally, I also have a role to support the wider business community - to this end, we set up Corona Business Advice Groups on social media to provide insights and strategies to help businesses through this difficult time. Membership of this group has now reached 3500.

The need for leaders and their teams to receive coaching and training has never been higher. As a business, we have pivoted successfully to remote delivery achieving greater reach both in the UK and internationally. In addition, we have focused on providing the skills businesses will need to thrive post-COVID-19 such as agile leadership, creating a robust business strategy and operational efficiency.

If you enjoyed this blog click here for more. Learn more about High Growth here.

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