BUSINESS leaders will need the “well of resilience” many of them discovered during the pandemic as they face ever bigger challenges, a top speaker will tell a Dorset audience.

Paul Spiers, who hosts the podcast The New P&L – Principles and Leadership in Business, focuses on how leaders can rediscover their purpose in their businesses.

He will speak at a lunch next week held by Evolve, the Poole-based community for business leaders and entrepreneurs. It is sponsored by Azets and Ellis Jones Solicitors and backed by the Daily Echo.

Mr Spiers said: “The topic is why we need more audacious and resilient leadership more than ever.”

He said digital evolution was adding to the challenges presented by the pandemic.

“Those seismic changes require a seismic shift in the way we feel things, do things and act as business leaders and as businesses,” he said.

“Businesses have always had challenges but when you look at the size, scale and spectrum of these challenges they both feel bigger and are bigger.”

Mr Spiers, who founded the New P&L Brand Purpose Institute, said he would talk about what people could do in “everyday business life to be braver, to be more resilient”.

And he said leadership should be felt at all levels of a business, not just left to the chief executive.

“Over the last two years, lots of business people in the UK have found a well of resilience inside of them that they probably never thought they had because they were never put in such a critical position as they have been in the last two years,” he said.

“I believe we need to tap into that well of resilience to act on some of the challenges we meet as we move forward.”

His own examples of audacious leadership include Patagonia, the outdoor clothing brand known for its environmental activism, and Who Gives a Crap, the toilet paper company that helps tackle poor water and sanitation.

Mr Spiers said leaders need to be self-aware and “work with someone outside yourself and outside the business – a coach or a mentor”.

“I do believe there’s a transformation going on out there in business. More leaders are becoming more acutely aware of all the soft and hard skills they need as a leader,” he said.

“It’s a transitional moment. There are more leaders that have self-awareness, that are conscious of the impact of their words and actions on others but we’ve got a long way to go.

“I want more empathy and more awareness and understanding in our leaders but there’s still a cultural recognition for that kind of desk-thumping leader, the strong leader.”

Mr Spiers – who has surfed in Bournemouth and once considered moving to the town – said the so-called “great resignation” spawned by the pandemic showed people were looking at the purpose of businesses.

“That’s more people having the time to wake up and realise the vision of that business they work for isn’t there, the purpose isn’t there, the leadership isn’t there – and they’re trying to find more purpose and meaning, both within their job and within the company they work for,” he said.

  • The Evolve leaders lunch is on Thursday, May 5, at the Marsham Court Hotel in Bournemouth, and places can be booked at