Richard Watts OBE

Who does it

Current Country of Residence: UK

Languages Spoken: English & French

As a highly experienced leadership and strategy consultant Richard enables clients to align their strategy and execute plans through improving leadership behaviours and developing high performance cultures. Richard built his commercial experience in leadership and strategy consulting as director of a global consultancy, McKinney Rogers International, from 2006 to 2013. During this period, he worked with international corporations and public bodies, including the University of New York, coaching teams to align their strategy and leaders to develop the necessary skills to lead their teams. He led on developing an award-winning Leadership Academy to develop future leaders for Walmart on a $7m contract over 3 years and trained 250 leaders a year.

Subsequently, Richard founded Nileus Consulting to build high performing teams and coach their leaders. Recently he has led the development and implementation of a major leadership development programme, focussing on practical management skills and leading teams, for a global chemical business. Previously, he served for 25 years in the Royal Marines, where he led a Commando battalion and was a Chief of Staff on operations. He was awarded the OBE for inspirational leadership in Iraq.

Q&A

How does your career in the military and private sector inform your work at Nileus?

My military leadership experience required delivering clear, understood and cascaded mission plans – executing highly complex operations in the most demanding circumstances. I have had the privilege of developing leaders in both military and business contexts, and I find it very rewarding to pass on my skills to clients. It is crucial that senior corporate leaders achieve alignment by ensuring all business members are committed to a clear and commonly understood goal. Creating a shared understanding allows teams to anticipate next steps and carry out concurrent tasks. This ensures that a company has high-performing teams they can use to pivot quickly.  

How important are values to a company’s success? 

Connecting employees’ personal values to an organisation’s corporate culture is vital. Part of my role as a leadership consultant is to translate a company’s values into behaviours that your employees can learn to become better leaders.

What should good leaders prioritise?

Decisive action and clear communication drives teams and inspires confidence to ensure agreed delivery. A good leader listens and accepts challenges from their followers, this shows a lack of ego that encourages transparency – aiding progress. Modern leaders must build resilience throughout their whole team, finding the balance between adaptability and fortitude.