In the dynamic world of running a small and medium-sized business, effective leadership is the compass that guides you toward success. One key aspect of exceptional leadership is having a clear leadership style—a well-defined approach that sets the tone, shapes the culture, and aligns the team’s efforts. In this blog post, we will explore the advantages of having a clear leadership style in your business and some of the different approaches that leaders can adopt.

The advantages of having a clear leadership style:

1. Fosters alignment and direction:

A clear leadership style acts as a guiding light, providing employees with a clear sense of direction and purpose. The result is a cohesive team that is motivated, engaged, and moving in the same direction, amplifying productivity, and efficiency.

2. Builds Trust and Transparency:

In any business, trust is the currency that fuels collaboration and unlocks the full potential of the team. When leaders are transparent about their decisions, communicate openly, and demonstrate consistency in their actions, trust naturally blossoms within the organisation.

3. Empowers Decision-Making and Autonomy:

In a fast-paced environment, quick decision-making is crucial. A clear leadership style empowers employees by clearly defining decision-making authority and granting appropriate levels of autonomy.

4. Cultivates a Positive Work Culture:

A clear leadership style sets the tone for the wider organisational culture, shaping the work environment and employee experience. When leaders embody and reinforce positive values, attitudes, and behaviours, it creates a ripple effect throughout the company.

5. Enhances Adaptability and Resilience:

Small and medium-sized businesses must be nimble, adaptable, and resilient in the face of changing market conditions and evolving customer needs. A clear leadership style provides a framework for agility and adaptability.

There are several different leadership styles and approaches that leaders can adopt, which all vary in terms of the leader’s behaviour, decision-making process, and level of involvement with employees. Some common leadership styles are explained below:

Autocratic Leadership: In this style, the leader holds complete authority and makes decisions without much input from employees. Communication is typically one-way, from the leader to the employees. This style can be effective in situations that require quick decision-making or in industries where strict adherence to rules and protocols is crucial. However, it may lead to low employee morale and limited creativity.

Democratic Leadership: This style emphasises employee participation and involvement in decision-making processes. The leader encourages open communication, seeks input from team members, and considers their opinions before making decisions. This approach promotes employee engagement, creativity, and a sense of ownership. It can be time-consuming, but it often leads to better problem-solving and increased job satisfaction.

Laissez-Faire Leadership: Laissez-faire leaders adopt a hands-off approach, giving employees a high level of autonomy and freedom to make decisions. They provide minimal guidance and intervention, trusting employees to take ownership of their work. This style can be effective in situations where employees are highly skilled and self-motivated. However, it can also lead to a lack of direction, coordination, and accountability if employees lack the necessary skills or clarity.

Transformational Leadership: Transformational leaders inspire and motivate their team members by setting a compelling vision and high standards. They encourage innovation, personal growth, and the development of individual strengths. This style focuses on building strong relationships, fostering a positive work culture, and empowering employees to achieve their full potential. Transformational leaders often have a long-lasting impact on their teams, driving organisational change and achieving exceptional results.

Transactional Leadership: Transactional leaders focus on setting clear goals, establishing performance expectations, and providing rewards or punishments based on individual or team performance. They maintain structure and order, ensuring that employees follow established procedures and meet predetermined targets. This style works well in situations that require efficiency, productivity, and adherence to specific standards. However, it may not be as effective in promoting creativity or intrinsic motivation.

It’s important to note that effective leadership often involves a combination of different styles based on the situation, organisational culture, and the needs of the team. Some leaders may also employ a situational leadership approach, adapting their style to different circumstances or individuals within their team.

What is the leadership style most used in your organisation? Have you defined it? Are all of your people leaders aware of it? If you’d like support with identifying and adopting a preferred leadership style in your business, get in touch – we would love to help.

At DICE, our mantra is that leadership is not a title, it’s a mindset. Whether you’re a seasoned executive or an aspiring business leader, adopting a leadership mindset is the key to driving positive change, inspiring others, and achieving results. But what does it take to cultivate this mindset? Here are five powerful ways to develop and embrace a leadership mindset that will empower you to lead with confidence and impact.

  1. Embrace personal growth – leadership begins with a commitment to personal growth. Cultivate a mindset that thrives on continuous learning and self-improvement. Seek out new knowledge, invest in your development, and embrace challenges as opportunities to grow. Adopt a curious mindset, actively seeking feedback and embracing constructive criticism. Remember, a leader who is constantly evolving sets the stage for growth and development in their team.
  2. Foster a positive and solutions-oriented attitude – in life, it is inevitable that we face numerous obstacles and setbacks, but what sets some people apart from others is the attitude you have when these occur. Embrace a positive mindset that focuses on solutions rather than dwelling on problems. Try and see challenges as opportunities for innovation and growth – let go of the need to control everything and focus on the action you can take towards something more positive. Persevering in the face of adversity is the epitome of having a leadership mindset.
  3. Lead with empathy and Emotional Intelligence – understanding and connecting with others on a deeper level helps you to lead with greater empathy and Emotional Intelligence. Practice active listening, seek to understand different perspectives, and show a genuine understanding of the experiences and emotions of those around you. When you lead with empathy, you create a culture of trust, collaboration, and inclusivity.
  4. Develop a vision and inspire – leaders embrace strategic thinking and long-term vision toward where they want to go. Clearly articulate your goals, communicate your vision with passion, and inspire others to join you on the journey. Engage your team by connecting their individual roles to the bigger picture, empowering them to contribute to a shared vision.
  5. Help others to succeed – leaders take the opportunity to help other people grow and develop, as well as themselves. Seek opportunities for colleagues, peers, and other members of your team to shine. Foster a culture of trust and autonomy, empowering others to take ownership of their work and unleash their full potential. A leader who empowers their team fosters a high-performing and engaged workforce.

Adopting a leadership mindset is a transformative journey that starts from within. Remember, leadership is not confined to a position; it’s a way of thinking and behaving. Embrace these five ways and unlock your full leadership potential.

If you’ve enjoyed this blog and would like to know more about the work we do to help leaders succeed, get in touch at: to find out more.

Culture is the heartbeat of a business, shaping its identity, values, and behaviours. It influences how individuals collaborate, communicate, and work towards common goals. It is the invisible thread that weaves together the collective beliefs, attitudes, and practices that define how work is done. 

There are several different elements to organisational culture, which can be divided into four key areas: 

1. Values and Beliefs:  

Culture is deeply rooted in the core values and beliefs of an organisation. Values such as integrity, innovation, collaboration, or customer-centricity provide a compass for employees to align their actions and behaviours. When they are truly embedded into an organisation, they become guiding principles that shape the ethical standards, priorities, and decision-making processes within the company. 

2. Norms and Behaviours:  

Culture influences the norms and behaviours that are considered acceptable within the organisation. It establishes the unwritten rules that govern how people interact, communicate, and collaborate. These can include practices related to teamwork, accountability, leadership style, or work-life balance, among others. 

3. Communication and Language:  

The way communication flows within an organisation reflects its culture. Open and transparent communication fosters trust, collaboration, and a sense of belonging. The language used, both verbal and non-verbal, helps define the culture’s tone, inclusivity, and overall atmosphere. 

4. Rituals and Traditions:  

Rituals and traditions are symbolic actions that reinforce and celebrate the organisation’s culture. They can range from regular team-building activities, annual events, or reward and recognition programmes. These rituals create a sense of shared identity, promote camaraderie, and contribute to the overall cohesion of the workforce. 

When these things are done well, culture can have a significant impact on the success of an organisation. A positive culture fosters a sense of belonging, purpose, and pride among employees, thus engendering greater employee engagement. It creates an environment where individuals are motivated to contribute their best, leading to higher levels of engagement and job satisfaction. A strong culture also attracts and retains top talent, as individuals are drawn to organisations with values and a work environment that align with their own. 

In addition, when shared values and behaviours are aligned with the company’s strategic goals, it drives employee collaboration, innovation, and productivity. A positive culture promotes effective teamwork, open communication, and a focus on continuous improvement, leading to enhanced performance and competitive advantage. 

Culture plays a vital role in shaping an organisation’s external reputation and brand image. A strong and positive culture enhances the company’s credibility, as customers, partners, and other stakeholders recognise and appreciate the values and principles upheld by the organisation. A culture that promotes ethical practices, customer satisfaction, and social responsibility can be a significant differentiator in the marketplace. 

Finally, having a resilient culture enables organisations to navigate change, uncertainty, and adversity. When a culture embraces learning, agility, and innovation, employees are more receptive to change and can adapt quickly to new market dynamics. A strong culture provides a solid foundation for resilience, allowing the organisation to weather challenges and seize opportunities for growth. 

If your organisational culture isn’t where you’d like it to be – we can help. Get in touch to find out more about our cultural improvement programme. Call us today at 01244 667 191 or email us now on

Business consulting, mentoring, and coaching explained.

At DICE, we often get asked whether we are coaches, consultants, or mentors. In actual fact, we move between these three roles all of the time, but we know that understanding the differences between the three types of support can be confusing, so in this blog, we are going to demystify and explain them in turn so that you can understand which one best suits your organisational needs and objectives.

Business Consulting:

Business consulting involves engaging with a professional who provides expert advice and solutions to specific business challenges. Consultants are specialists in their field, armed with extensive industry knowledge and experience. They diagnose problems and offer tailored recommendations to achieve desired outcomes. Consultants often work on a project basis, focusing on strategy development, process improvement, or organisational restructuring. Their primary role is to provide expertise, drive change, and support an organisation in delivering measurable results.


Mentoring is a relationship-based approach that focuses on personal and professional development. A mentor, typically a seasoned professional, acts as a trusted advisor and guide. They share their knowledge, experiences, and insights to help mentees navigate their career paths, overcome challenges, and achieve their goals. Mentoring relationships are built on mutual trust, respect, and shared values. Mentors offer guidance, provide support, and serve as role models, helping mentees develop skills, expand their networks, and gain self-confidence.


Coaching is a transformative process that facilitates personal and professional growth. Coaches work with individuals or teams to enhance performance, unlock potential, and achieve specific objectives. Unlike consultants and mentors, coaches do not provide direct advice or solutions. Instead, they ask powerful questions, actively listen, and facilitate self-reflection. Coaches support clients in clarifying goals, overcoming obstacles, and developing strategies for success. Through a collaborative partnership, coaches empower clients to tap into their own wisdom, leverage their strengths, and make sustainable changes.

The key differences between each intervention can be explained in four ways:

  1. Focus:
  1. Expertise vs. Experience:
  1. Solution-Oriented vs. Development-Oriented:
  1. Direct Advice vs. Self-Reflection:
  1. Timeframe:

In summary, consulting provides expert advice and solutions, mentoring offers guidance and experience sharing, and coaching focuses on personal and professional development. We hope you find these definitions useful. There is a time and place for each type of support, as each offers unique approaches to helping individuals and organisations in their quest for growth and success.

Whether you seek expert solutions, experienced guidance, or transformative growth, at DICE, we are ready to support you on your business journey. Get in touch to find out more: call us on 01244 667 191 or email us at

5 benefits of using a coaching leadership style for organisational success

Leadership styles have evolved over the years, and one approach that has gained significant recognition is the coaching style. This style emphasises collaboration, empowerment, and continuous growth for both individuals and organisations. In this blog post, we will explore five benefits of adopting a coaching leadership style and how it can transform your team and drive organisational success.

1. Fosters individual growth and development:

A coaching leadership style places a strong emphasis on nurturing the potential of individual team members. By providing guidance, support, and personalised feedback, leaders inspire employees to reach their full potential. Through coaching conversations, leaders identify strengths and areas for improvement and assist employees in setting meaningful goals and developing strategies to achieve them. This focus on individual growth fosters a sense of empowerment, ownership, and commitment within the team.

2. Enhances Employee Engagement and satisfaction:

Engaged and satisfied employees are crucial for an organisation’s success. A coaching leadership style cultivates a positive work environment by promoting open communication, active listening, and mutual respect. Leaders who adopt this style encourage employees to share their ideas, concerns, and aspirations, creating a sense of belonging and value. Through regular coaching interactions, employees feel supported, challenged, and motivated, resulting in higher levels of engagement and satisfaction.

3. Builds stronger relationships and trust:

Effective leadership thrives on trust and strong relationships. A coaching leadership style emphasises building meaningful connections with team members. By demonstrating genuine care and interest, leaders establish an environment where trust and rapport can flourish. Through active listening and empathy, leaders create safe spaces for open dialogue, where individuals feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, concerns, and challenges. This trust and rapport foster collaboration, encourage teamwork and ultimately lead to higher levels of productivity and innovation.

4. Encourages continuous learning and innovation:

Coaching leaders embrace a growth mindset and encourage their team members to do the same. They recognise that learning and innovation are catalysts for success in today’s rapidly evolving world. By asking thought-provoking questions, challenging assumptions, and supporting experimentation, coaching leaders create an environment conducive to continuous learning and innovation. They empower individuals to explore new ideas, take calculated risks, and contribute their unique perspectives, thus driving creativity and adaptability within the organisation.

5. Develops future Leaders and successors:

One of the most remarkable benefits of coaching leadership is its ability to develop future leaders within an organisation. By investing time and effort into mentoring and guiding their team members, coaching leaders not only enhance their employees’ skills and capabilities but also cultivate a pipeline of potential leaders. Through coaching, leaders impart valuable knowledge, share their experiences, and provide opportunities for growth and development. This approach ensures a sustainable leadership succession plan, creating a robust and agile organisation ready to tackle future challenges.

Embracing coaching leadership is not just about achieving short-term results; it is an investment in long-term success, enabling individuals and organisations to unlock their full potential and achieve remarkable outcomes.

If you would like to embed a coaching leadership style in your organisation, we can help. Get in touch today to find out more.

Keeping your people motivated

If you are a manager of people, you will know that one of the most important parts of your role is to keep people motivated so that they can go the distance, put in the work, and achieve results. In this blog post, we’ll explore several ways people leaders can keep people motivated and create a culture of growth and excellence.

Provide meaningful feedback and recognition:

Providing meaningful feedback and recognition can really help motivate and lift people up. Regularly acknowledge the efforts and accomplishments of individuals on your team. Offer specific and constructive feedback to help them grow and improve. Recognise their unique strengths and contributions, and let them know that their work is valued. By offering genuine praise and feedback, leaders boost confidence, motivation, and a sense of purpose among their team members.

Foster a culture of trust and psychological safety:

Create an environment where team members feel safe to express their ideas, take risks, and learn from mistakes. Encourage open and honest communication, actively listen to their concerns, and value their perspectives. When people feel heard and respected, they are more likely to contribute their best ideas and efforts, leading to increased engagement and personal growth.

Support professional development and growth:

People leaders have the responsibility to nurture the growth and development of their team members. Provide opportunities for learning and skill-building through workshops, training, or mentorship. Encourage individuals to set personal goals/objectives and help them create a roadmap for achieving them. Offer guidance, resources, and constructive feedback to support their professional growth. A leader who invests in the development of their team members not only lifts them up but also cultivates a high-performing and engaged workforce.

Empower and delegate:

Delegate meaningful responsibilities and empower team members to make decisions and take ownership of their work. Give them the autonomy to explore new ideas, experiment, and learn from their experiences. When people feel trusted and empowered, they are more likely to step up, contribute their best work, and unleash their full potential. A leader who empowers others creates a culture of ownership and accountability.

Be a role model:

Embody the qualities and values you wish to see in others. Show empathy, kindness, and appreciation for the diverse perspectives and contributions of your team members. Lead by example and inspire others to strive for greatness. Your actions and attitude will set the tone for the entire team.

If you’ve enjoyed this blog and would be interested in finding out more about the work we do to support people managers with motivating their teams, get in touch with us:

When you run your own business the buck stops with you. You must make tough decisions, you have to keep people happy, make sure everything is on track. But perhaps the most important thing is to manage your own mindset.

It’s something that isn’t hugely talked about but when we work with clients it is something we get into quickly because what we see is that if a business owner’s mindset isn’t in the right place, it usually shows up on the balance sheet somewhere.

In life, perspective is everything. The way we think and perceive ourselves determines who we are, who we become, and how well we do – it is this perspective that we mean when we use the word mindset.

Your mindset is your outlook and way of thinking. It determines what you do, whether you take risks, and ultimately if you will succeed or fail. The saying goes ‘Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right’.

So how can you manage your mindset? We often talk about the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset when we are coaching leaders on this. A fixed mindset is limited, static, and unchanging. It thrives on phrases like “I can’t” and is filled with limitations, self-doubt, and fear of failure. 

It is the belief that talent, brainpower, and abilities are pre-determined, and everyone has faults that can’t be improved. This viewpoint restricts the possibilities and outcomes of a business. Ultimately, we want to seek out any people with fixed mindsets in our businesses and help to coach them towards a growth mindset – otherwise we simply will never push forward!

The good news is that most people can be coached into having a growth mindset and see things from a positive perspective (we say most because not everyone can!).

A growth mindset encourages employee improvement and doesn’t pigeonhole people with preconceived notions of what they can or can’t do. Unlike a fixed mindset, this positivity encourages creativity and innovation. Leaders who encourage a growth mindset amongst team members empower people by clearly defining goals and letting team members come up with creative solutions to achieve them.

So how does a business embrace this positive potential? It starts with a strong leadership style, growth-oriented thinking at the top, and the right people. Here are some top tips:

Ultimately your business success will be determined by your mindset and the leadership shadow you cast as the owner. If you would like any support with your mindset, we can help. Get in touch to find out more about DICE Coaching:

Are you harbouring a secret desire to run your own consulting business? If you are, this is the post for you!

Working for yourself is an incredible privilege – one that gives you time freedom, uncapped earning potential, and the chance to make a significant impact.

We live in an incredible time when people who have a business dream have the tools and technology to make it happen – without financial backing from investors. But it’s easy to get lost if you don’t know where to start on your entrepreneurial journey.

If you have proven experience in a career and have been considering utilising it and moving into the field of consulting, this post is for you. We want to share our experiences so that you can learn from our mistakes! 

Starting DICE Business was overwhelming at first – we didn’t know what we ‘should’ be doing, and we were stuck wondering what exactly to offer and how to find clients. Kate had already spent a year in what she calls ‘the wilderness’ trying to establish herself as a consultant, feeling lonely, confused about what to do, and ultimately scared of failing. If she hadn’t found Steve and they hadn’t been in it together getting DICE rolling, there’s no way she would have carried on.

Running your own business successfully takes determination and you can fall into so many traps along the way if you’re not careful – whether it is analysis paralysis working out who your ideal clients are and how to craft the perfect offer to get them to buy, or comparisonitis looking at other people in your field and thinking everyone else has worked it out and is further along than you.

These feelings are more common than you think but it doesn’t have to be that way! You can choose to follow a proven business model that works. You can choose to join an ambitious, growing team of dynamic professionals who love what they do and are rooting for your success.

You could come and roll with us as a franchisee, learn what we do and get to work growing your own business consultancy in your own locality. You’d be in business for yourself but not by yourself – that is the beauty of it!

If you’re ready to roll and want to find out more, we would love to hear from you. Download our prospectus here: Your Franchise Opportunity – Dice Business

There’s nothing worse than experiencing conflict in the workplace. It is something we can come across in our client’s businesses and be asked for help to resolve the issues. Whilst every situation is unique, we can find it helpful to refer to one of our methodologies which helps a team to understand how to collaborate so that differences can be overcome to ultimately support the team’s effectiveness.

Someone’s conflict behaviour in the workplace is usually a result of both their personality and the conditions of the situation in which they find themself. They might naturally be someone who comes at a situation with a confident stance, or it might be that they are working with someone very different in personality style to them and they are struggling to put their opinion across constructively. When there is a conflict situation between two or more people, there are two dimensions to their behaviour:

There are then a variety of more specific positions which can help to work out where each person is coming from in terms of the conflict situation: Competition, Avoiding, Compromising, Collaboration, and Accommodating.

Competition is assertive and uncooperative—an individual pursues his own concerns at the other person’s expense. This is a power-oriented mode in which you use whatever power seems appropriate to win your own position—your ability to argue, your rank, or economic sanctions. Competing means ‘standing up for your rights’, defending a position which you believe is correct, or simply trying to win.

Accommodating is unassertive and cooperative—the opposite of competing. When accommodating, the individual neglects their own concerns to satisfy the concerns of the other person; there is an element of self-sacrifice in this mode. Accommodating might take the form of selfless generosity or charity, obeying another person’s order when you would prefer not to, or yielding to another’s point of view.

Avoiding is unassertive and uncooperative—the person neither pursues their own concerns nor those of the other individual. Thus, they do not deal with the conflict. Avoiding might take the form of diplomatically sidestepping an issue, postponing an issue until a better time, or simply withdrawing from a threatening situation.

Collaborating is both assertive and cooperative—the opposite of avoiding. Collaborating involves an attempt to work with others to find some solution that fully satisfies their concerns. It means digging into an issue to pinpoint the underlying needs and wants of the two individuals. Collaborating between two people might take the form of exploring a disagreement to learn from each other’s insights or trying to find a creative solution to a relational problem.

Compromising is moderate in both assertiveness and cooperativeness. The objective is to find some expedient, mutually acceptable solution that partially satisfies both parties. It falls intermediate between competing and accommodating. Compromising gives up more than competing but less than accommodating. Likewise, it addresses an issue more directly than avoiding but does not explore it in as much depth as collaborating. In some situations, compromising might mean seeking a middle-ground solution.

Each of us can use all five conflict-handling modes but certain people use some modes better than others and therefore tend to rely on those modes more heavily than others. We find that the key in coming to a positive resolution between individuals or within a team environment is having someone outside of the team to help facilitate discussions and try to work towards everybody having an equal voice, being understood, and most importantly, being respected.

Having a team with different personalities and diversity of opinion is proven to be valuable in helping organisations gain a competitive advantage but when it tips into a conflict situation it can be very stressful for everyone involved. If you ever find yourself needing support with this, we can help – reach out to us at: to arrange a confidential call.

It’s been five years since Kate Cousens and Steve Lloyd were introduced to one another by the owners of HM3 Legal who were looking to develop a business consulting arm for their successful 70-year law firm.

The combination of Kate’s marketing skills and senior leadership experience with Steve’s operational expertise and knowledge of turning business strategy into bottom-line profits has proven to be a perfect recipe for success. Through utilising Kate’s creative communication skills, they have translated a vast amount of business theory into easily understood, tangible client-facing materials across five service areas:

Each service has a suite of bespoke materials and methodologies which support business owners and leaders to address organisational challenges such as employee engagement, performance management, talent development and succession planning.

Kate and Steve both share a passion for helping businesses to succeed and having proven their approach, they are now focusing on their own growth of DICE business, choosing franchising as the method to do so and working with franchise expert Patrick Burge from Lime Licensing to help them.

Explaining why they have chosen franchising as their route to growth, Kate said: “I have always been interested in franchising as a business concept and experienced first-hand how successful it can be when I worked for McDonald’s. Steve and I realised that the materials we have developed together over the last five years are a real asset to other professionals who might be looking to set up and grow their own consulting businesses.

“In 2022 we on-boarded our first franchisee to test the concept and the feedback on how useful the materials and methodologies have reinforced what we believed! We know first-hand the value of having a professional by your side to help your business grow and after shopping around, we found Patrick and knew instantly that he was going to be the person to help us find our next tranche of franchisees. We are excited to find our next franchisees to come and roll with us!”

The Covid-19 pandemic has left many people disillusioned with work, whether it be down to redundancy, the threat of redundancy, a lifestyle change, or the feeling of wanting more. There’s no wonder then that according to statistics from, the keywords on Google exhibiting the highest searches since the beginning of the pandemic in the UK have been ‘how to start a business’ (22,000 people per month) and ‘business ideas’ (24,800 people per month).

The franchise industry is thriving, as people look towards following their entrepreneurial dream through business ownership whilst minimising their risks. Whilst there is no shortcut to business success, when you take on a franchise you can be comforted by the knowledge that the franchisor has already made mistakes, refined the service offering and created tried, tested, and trusted ways of working to help you get your business off the ground quickly so that you can focus on finding your first clients and start earning money. When you combine this with your hard work and determination, it is hard not to become successful – a stark contrast to the unpredictability of starting up a business on your own.

Becoming a DICE franchisee allows you to get a head start as you will be supported every step of the way by Kate, Steve, and the rest of their HQ team. You are in business for yourself, not by yourself! So, whether you want to gain back control over your own career, make use of your redundancy package, or just pursue a new challenge, a DICE franchise might be the very thing you are looking for.

To find out more, visit: Your Franchise Opportunity – Dice Business

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