I’m Simon Rhodes, a business leader, Super-tribe builder, mentor, author, former lawyer and father. I am the CEO of Red Heart Blue Head Limited. Here’s a bit of my story.
My story began…
I’m very grateful that my childhood was a very positive experience. I was fully supported and I made a lot of lifelong friends at school. Other than being run-over on a French trip and breaking my hand during an English lesson, I came out pretty unscathed.
I studied for my law and politics degree at Nottingham University. Afterwards, I came South for work and I’ve been here ever since. I qualified as a solicitor and worked as an employment lawyer for 26 years, helping hundreds of businesses to develop diverse and inclusive workforces, positive cultures and more efficient operational performances. I acted as a legal adviser and advocate, but also as a sounding board for ideas and made hundreds of suggestions for improvements myself.
Growing a business
Between 2009-2021, I was Managing Partner and then Senior Partner at the law firm Trethowans LLP, during which the firm which grew from £6M to £20M and doubled its staff. The growth of the firm was down to the positive and inclusive culture we developed, our investment in the future; and our prudent approach to financial management. As a result fo my experience, I understand what it’s like to lead and manage a complex, highly competitive and regulated business.
I’ve created two regional business events from scratch, served as a trustee, committee chair, event chair and awards host. I’ve also been a judge at four separate business awards. I’ve also mentored and supported lots of business, sporting and educational leaders, helping them to deliver success for their organisations. I’m also passionate about education and learning, which is why I love helping Senior Leadership Teams in schools and other educational providers.
‘Building Super-tribes’ and Getting ‘Win Ready’
I’m what I call ‘Super-tribal’ by nature, which is probably why I’m so passionate about sport and business. Having developed a business myself, I now love helping to grow and develop other organisations, turning them into ‘Super-tribes’ and getting them ‘Win Ready’.
What I do now
I now spend a lot of my time inside other people’s organisations, getting to know them and how they tick. I spend a lot of my time in places where there’s a great deal of unfulfilled potential. I’m always searching for ways to improve their prospects of success. My goal is to help turn every organisation I work with into a Super-tribe and get it ‘Win Ready’.
I love hearing an organisation’s story. Heritage and history are often undervalued. The past is as important to success as the present and future. Philosophy matters too. How do you want to operate? What’s your organisation’s approach and style?
I really enjoy getting to know an organisation and then helping to shape its future. The biggest question of all to tackle is ‘purpose’. Why does the organisation exist? Is that really what it’s working towards? That leads to the practical considerations. What’s its current mission? What does ‘success’ actually mean? What expectations are there? Each organisation is different and special. What’s best for it will depend on its past, its present and its vision of the future.
Itemising and prioritising what an organisation should keep and what it should change is crucial. Many aspects of life and work cannot be changed (uncontrollables). Other aspects can be changed, but shouldn’t be (losing controllables). The critical ‘to-do’ list is made up of the elements that can and should be changed (the winning controllables). The key question is therefore which controllables will make the biggest difference to success? That’s where to start.
Teach and Learn
Every time I help an organisation, I pass on what I’ve learned and I learn something new. Every experience makes us better in one way or another. I love the process of learning something new, working out how to use that knowledge and then passing on what I’ve learned. One of my guiding principles is “Teach everything you know, then you’ll have to learn something else”. That keeps me hungry to learn more.
I created the concept of ‘Super-tribes’ in 2017 and I’ve written three books about building Super-tribes and getting teams ‘win ready’ since then. I write like I speak, so if you like the books you’ll probably like working with me. Please see the Books page for details. I’ve also written and self-published two novels (using a pseudonym).
Outside work, I love spending time with my family, reading, watching sport, seeing friends, drinking tea and walking our dog.
More detailed career information about me is available in About Us. You can also watch the short video below.