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Council 'failing business', claims leader ship coach.

Byline: Neil Hodgson

A LIVERPOOL business leadership coach says the city council has lost direction and is failing the region's firms.

S director and founder of Liverpool International Coaching Academy, John Haynes, last month delivered a leadership development course to civic leaders in Mombasa, Kenya.

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He posed six key questions from Harvard Business School's Growth Matrix which gauge how business friendly a city region is, and said Liverpool was weak on several, such as "do we have dynamic political and entrepreneurial leaders who promote free enterprise and unite the city with an exciting vision?", or "are the public and private sector united in this?" and "is the city using its economic and political powers to the maximum to attract new investment and business?" Mr Haynes quoted IBM president TJ Watson, who said: "It's all right to fail, as long as you are failing in a forward direction."

He said: "I believe, after 30 years of studying and practising leadership, our own city leaders are not failing in a forward direction and have stopped learning from past mistakes.

"Author Ambrose Bierce said: 'The sure sign of insanity is to do the same things and expect different results'.

"Our city leaders are acting the same way Bierce predicted, and still expecting different results.

"When was the last time you heard them say, 'I made a mistake, I am sorry, I was wrong?' In my humble opinion, they have stopped learning, growing and developing their true skills of leadership. This city and country must demand, and should expect, only the very best people in office.

"They seem to have moved from playing in non-league football to premier football without changing their thinking, behaviour, or skills.

Unfortunately, they are still habitually saying, doing and playing the same old non-league game."

However, Max Steinberg, Liverpool Vision chief executive, rejected the claims, listing Liverpool's achievements and links with private sector partners, including a UKTI/CBBC award for its work in building the business relationship between China and the North West as the only UK city to attend the World Expo in Shanghai with the involvement of 150 businesses and organisations which, he said, over the next 10 years has been independently assessed to potentially deliver up to pounds 50m of GVA growth.

He also highlighted the private sector's presence within the council's cabinet.

Mr Steinberg added: "As a city which, in partnership with the private sector has established an 'embassy' in London; as a city which engages with the private sector through a strong network of business leaders' forums focusing on identifying opportunities for growth and removing barriers to growth, the evidence for this would seem to be weak."

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Business leadership coach John Haynes - claims Liverpool council is failing the city's private sector
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 16, 2011
Words:461
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