Leadership lessons from Italy

Some leadership lessons learnt from Hugh Gyton's trip to the Pitti Filati Show in Florence.

Published June 29, 2019

Watch this three minute video

Pitti lessons



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.

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 and 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

In the same way, if you are interested in Scaling Up your business and have heard about the Scaling Up Methodology. As a Certified Scaling Up Coach I would love to be 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.

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Scaling Up Business Growth Workshop
April 23, 2020, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

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