Metattude: The importance of leadership training in small business

“You’re not born a great leader. But we are born with the potential to learn how to become one,” says business mentor and difficult people specialist David- Deane-Spread.

Coming from a military background, this piece of advice was instilled in David early on. And crossing over into the business world, he has spent more than two decades through his small business Metattude coaching executives and small business owners to become great leaders.

“My boutique leadership consultancy, Metattude, is where I coach and train CEOs and their direct reports to really be the best version of themselves for the business,” says David. “So far, we have provided solutions for more than 150 business owners across Australia, helping them achieve greater efficiency and cutting out the guesswork from their business processes.”


Small Business Owner David Deane-Spread

Dealing with difficult people

At this point you may be asking what does it mean to say that David is a difficult people specialist? Well, David says one thing that you’ll still have in business even after sorting out your personal leadership and systemic business problems is difficult people.

“These are the people that cause most the problems and are difficult to work with,” says David. “They may also be rainmakers or high-performing people, and many businesses don’t know how to deal with that.”

David says that rather than spending time putting out fires and dealing with discontent within your team, business leaders need to put the focus on promoting positive behaviours across the organisation.

“Learn how to deal with difficult people and turn them around to get them back on track quickly. That’s the area that I work with,” says David. “This is covered through the first stage of what I call the Business Vortex.”

Dealing With Difficult People – by Relevate

Focusing on the business vortex

While good leadership can be a hard quality to quantifiably build for some, David’s tried-and-tested framework aims to realise a 20% performance improvement in 90 days.

“I focus on what I call the vortex of their business,” he says. “That is where everything happens and where success emanates from.”

The business vortex can be broken down into four stages:

1. Attitudes and Behaviours

The first stage is addressing the attitudes and behaviours of everyone in the business but particularly the leaders.

“Everything depends on those attitudes and behaviours because that’s where everything comes from,” says David.

This is also where business leaders can learn to deal with difficult people.

2. Meetings

Meetings are where all decisions are made and agreed upon and information disseminated.

“We need meetings to be run well across the business,” says David. “From my experience, most of them are not.”

3. Alignment

 Leaders need to be deeply aligned in their values and goals.

“Many business owners think of this step superficially, promising that they are aligned and then doing their own thing,” says David. “This causes a huge amount of confusion for the business and needs to be addressed.”

4. Delegation

We then get to the point of needing to delegate work. If delegation is not done effectively and thoroughly, work processes break down and deadlines are not met.

“Everyone in the business needs to understand what the delegation process is. We make sure that not just the leaders understand the delegation process, but everyone in the business has the same understanding of what detail needs to go into delegation,” says David.

“Questions like who can be delegated, what can be delegated, and what can have to be retained by the leader all need to be answered.”

Wise words for small businesses

While the business vortex aims to improve business processes, David’s coaching strategies, which help owners and executives become good business leaders, are what ties the process altogether.

And despite working across industries from military units to government departments across the world, it’s the Australian small business space that he loves to help build.

“SME business leaders have real skin in the game,” says David. “It’s often their money and idea at stake, so they are usually more receptive to improving their processes.”

For small business owners starting out, David recommends always to approach your business as a constant learning journey.

“You want to learn to be flexible in your approach and humble in your attitude,” says David.

“You also must be self-aware and ask for help when you need it. You can’t be an expert in everything, but you can be an effective leader and delegate responsibility to the experts that do.”

This is why David recommends BizCover as it’s simple for businesses like Metattude and his customers to get their business insurance needs sorted out through the platform.

A customer since 2015, David gets his Combined Professional Indemnity and Public Liability policy through BizCover.

“My experience with BizCover was fantastic. Very quick and easy – extremely competitive pricewise.”

Interested to see how David and Metattude can help your small business perform better?

Book a call with David to discuss leadership coaching or visit:



*This information is a general guide only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice. © 2022 BizCover Pty Limited, all rights reserved.
ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769

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