Getting To Know You: Chris Charnock, Vistage Chair & founder, Chartside

Chris Charnock

Chris Charnock is a Vistage Chair and founder of chartside building powerful leaders, here he tells us the inspiration behind the business 

What do you currently do at Vistage?

As a Vistage Chair I challenge Business Leaders to get the best out of their lives and their businesses…to be the best version of themselves in both arenas!

What was the inspiration behind your business?

It’s a lonely place being ‘The Boss’. So many problems, so many opportunities, so many choices!

Imagine if you could have clarity for yourself and your business… and if you could give this elusive gift to your people. How good would that feel?

Whilst this aspiration is tough, it’s certainly not impossible; I achieved it for myself and, as a consequence, was inspired to pass on this opportunity to Business Leaders who are genuinely open and willing to learn and grow.

Who do you admire?

The man I most admire, though, sadly, he is no longer with us, is Stephen Covey Snr, author of the best-selling Personal Leadership book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Stephen’s approach to life and work has shaped my own path and has helped me to make the really big decisions in my life and my role as a Leader.

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

Yes, I would have started to work for myself earlier in life. Whilst I was busy climbing the corporate career ladder, I was neglecting my wife and my children. I believed, at the time, that I was “doing it for them,” but I was kidding no-one, not even myself.

Now, I help others to learn from my mistakes…you can’t get time back, once it’s gone and, before you know it, your children are adults and you have missed the opportunity to have a hand in their growth and development and to share in the fun parts of being a parent, as well as helping them to deal with life’s challenges.

What defines your way of doing business?

It’s personal. I genuinely care about the people I’m working with, whether I’m supporting them or challenging them. Their commitments are my commitments and I do everything in my power to help them deliver on them.

People in any organisation need to be clear on what is expected from them. They also need to have the desire and commitment to perform. Finally, they need to have the necessary capability to be able to deliver the required results.

I help them to achieve all three, as my mantra shouts out…

…”Clarity, Accountability, Results!”

What advice would you give to someone starting out?

Firstly, do something that you are passionate about, not just something you like doing or are good at. You need to be inspired by what you do; otherwise, how are you going to be able to inspire others?

Secondly, be clear and focused. Too many people, when they’re starting out, do just about anything to build revenue; they operate as a Jack of all trades,” instead of being a Master of one.  As Confucius, the Chinese philosopher once said, “Man who chases two rabbits catches neither!”

Finally, work hard, really hard, to build your business, but remember that your role as an aspiring Business Leader, whilst important, is not the only role you have…you’re also, potentially, a partner, a parent and a friend. Do ALL of your roles to the best of your ability and prioritise. As Stephen Covey said, “Put first things first!”