Leadership Lessons from Italy

Exploring aspects of conversation, both personal and professional


Leadership Lessons from Pitti Filati in Florence



[Three Minute Video - transcript below]

Hi Hugh Gyton coming to you from the beautiful city of Florence where I'm actually working for one of my clients at Pitti Filatti which is an international trade fair for the textile industry, more of that later. There are three lessons I want to share with you from my experience here.

Lesson One: Go and do something you wouldn't normally do.
Lesson Two: Be authentic, and
Lesson Three: Tell the story.
So why these Leadership Lessons?

Well Lesson One …

Imagine you're a founder or leader of a ScaleUp organisation. The value of getting out and doing something you wouldn't normally do. I have learnt so much bringing myself out here to Italy at this Trade Fair, an industry that I don't have a lot of experience in and I have not only learnt about that industry but all sorts of things that I will be able to take back and use in my industry and certainly hopefully add value for my client who is hosting me out here.

Lesson Two, Be Authentic!

Guess what ...I am not the man of sartorial elegance I do not have a deep understanding of the fashion industry. I don't pretend to and I have had some wonderful conversations with Designers and Buyers who ask me some very technical questions when they come and see our stand most of which I of course I can't answer and yet that has not stopped us being able to have a meaningful relationship, and in fact starting them on the journey of potentially becoming one of my clients clients.

And then Lesson Three, Tell the Story.

We are actually standing in the KnitClub part of Pitti Filati KnitClub is where all the Knitting Mills hang out. It's a fairly new initiative but the interesting thing is we at K.O.C.O. are the only HandKnit Mill. Our garments are all produced by beautiful ladies in India with knitting needles, no machines used at all.

Everybody else behind me, they are using machines. So as you can imagine, the people coming through this area aren't expecting to talk to a HandKnit organisation.

So how do we engage them?

We tell a story and we share the story of Knit One Change One. Danielle, the founder of this beautiful business is all about changing lives in India. So...

Knit One Garment, Change One Life.

We are giving them salaries. There are 200 ladies employed in India changing lives. And one of the things those ladies have to do, for example, is as they start their apprenticeship - a 7 month journey of learning English, Maths & how to knit. They have to knit these bees and these bees have been really a piece that people here in Italy have really enjoyed. And in fact we gift people these bees in this lovely box with a little card inside telling our story and we say


We'd love to bee your handknit providor of choice."


In the same way, if you are interested in ScalingUp your business and have heard about the ScalingUp Methodology. As a Certified ScalingUp Coach I would love to 'Bee' your partner. If you would like to find out more look at the link below and maybe join me at our next public workshop in Sydney.



SCALING UP BUSINESS GROWTH WORKSHOP - Get your New financial year off to a great start!

If you are interested in further exploring how to leverage simple, actionable, and practical tools to help you Scale Up and make things EASIER why not come along to the Scaling Up Business Growth Workshop we are running on Tuesday 30th July, 2019.


Would highly recommend bringing along members of the Leadership Team to work together on your plan to Scale Up.


Watch One Minute Video More information Get tickets


Alternatively, if you would just like to learn a little more about Scaling Up - grab yourself a copy of the "Quick Start Guide".



Loved reading this story Hugh and love the work you are doing with the women in India. There are so many ways that we can all make a small difference to others that is meaningful. Great lessons learnt.

Annie Gabrielle Crawford

02-Jul-2019 09:35 AM

Thanks Annie for your kind words. You are so right - the power of 'a small difference' can be so under-rated. A simple smile, a 'thank-you', an acknowledgement, being curious, being open to another way of thinking, just being present ... the list goes on. Thanks for reading and taking the time to participate in the conversation.

Hugh Gyton

Hugh Gyton

02-Jul-2019 10:38 AM

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