WashCo are commercial laundry equipment specialists, servicing businesses and organisations across the UK. WashCo was formed out of a merger between three leading names in the laundry industry. Having previously managed 22 staff, with a turnover of £3m, CEO Peter Hosking faced a new challenge of heading up a company with a £12m turnover and a staff total of 98. Aside from the day-to-day management of WashCo, he needed to align the three newly merged companies to the same values, culture and core competencies, onboarding them onto uniform and streamlined systems, processes, and standards.
This immense change forced Peter to question his confidence and competency as a CEO. He felt disconnected from both his business and personal life. He was experiencing marital problems, and he felt extremely out of depth at work. Peter realised an urgent need to rediscover who he was as a leader.
On the recommendation of an associate, Peter embarked on and completed the Leadership Trust’s Leadership in Management programme. The programme brings together a diverse section of leaders for an initial 5.5-day immersive experience, extending into 12 months of learning support.
During an emotional journey of self-discovery, increased self-awareness – and being pushed out of his comfort zone – Peter found that the safe environment of the programme allowed him to acknowledge his shortcomings, realise his leadership strengths and achieve a breakthrough. The feedback of his fellow course attendees finally resonated with him, observations which he had heard from his wife make for years, but which he had never taken on board.
“It’s the only time I’ve honestly received an awareness of who I am, what I do well and what I really don’t do well. I learnt I don’t do things well that I thought I was amazing at! You know, I’ve come back from that week and every facet of my life has changed. Just because you believe you can lead, doesn’t mean you’re effective.”
– Peter Hosking, CEO
The effects of the programme on Peter’s life – in both a business and personal aspect – were profound. He used the learnings gained on the to benefit his organisation on multiple levels. In recognising the value of investing in himself, WashCo now actively invests in its own people by placing emphasis on training and self-improvement within the organisation. The programme helped Peter to better identify individuals’ particular strengths and place them in the new, more efficient positions. This has led to a stronger company culture, as well as increased levels of morale and motivation across the board.
“My wife got her husband back and my children got their dad again.” Fundamentally, Peter’s experience with Leadership Trust gave him a newfound appreciation for work-life balance and for time spent recharging with his family.
WashCo has continued to flourish under Peter’s leadership, and his recent ‘reset’. He believes it is no coincidence that since completing the programme, he has steered the business to its current position as the UK’s second largest supplier of laundry equipment, with a staff total of 115 and a turnover of £18m.