Mental Toughness

Thank you to all who attended our Business Leaders Conference - Mental Toughness. 


Mental Toughness is an aspect of personality which determines how we deal with stress, pressure, opportunity and challenges. It is a valuable way of understanding why people act and respond the way they do when faced with events.


Every day we hear stories of how people are living with mental health problems. Everyone experiences "ups and downs" in their everyday life. Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people. These problems can vary from depression, stress, anxiety to others such as schizophrenia. Reactions differ and can make you feel sad, angry, anxious, stressed, fearful or hopeless. Different events can trigger a variety of symptoms.


Understanding when someone might need help is a sensitive issue and people worry about what to say or do. We can all help support individuals who are experiencing a mental health problem, whether this is in or out of the workplace.

Organisations perform better when their staff are healthy, motivated and focused.



Our keynote speakers were:

  • Gerry Hill, Founder of Feeding Unicorns and Founder of Resilify
  • Doug Strycharczyk, Managing Director of AQR International
  • Neil Laughton, Managing Director of Laughton & Co Ltd


Neil Laughton

Managing Director of Laughton & Co Ltd


Neil Laughton is a multi award winning entrepreneur, multiple world record breaking adventurer and a former Royal Marine Commando, helicopter pilot and SAS Officer. He has also founded a dozen businesses, one of which grew to £40m t/o and was sold to a FTSE 100 company in 2011.


He is Managing Director of Laughton & Co, a training & development business, Chairman of the Scientific Exploration Society and Captain of the England Penny Farthing Polo team.


Neil is passionate about adventure and he has led more than 50 expeditions on 7 Continents, by land, sea and air. He has completed the Explorers Grand Slam (climbing the highest mountain on each continent and skiing to both Poles). Neil climbed Mt Everest with Bear Grylls, circumnavigated the UK & Ireland on a jet ski and he piloted the world's first road legal flying car across the Sahara Desert.


Neil interrogated his own (sometimes extreme) experiences as a Special Forces soldier, entrepreneurial businessman and as an adventurous expedition leader and revue his coping strategies.


See Neil in action in this inpirational video:




Doug Strycharczyk

Managing Director of AQR International


Doug is the CEO of AQR and for AQR International - Founded in 1989, AQR is now recognised as one of the most innovative (and fast growing) test publishers in the world working in more than 80 countries.

AQR established its reputation initially as a leader in Team Building and leadership development. Doug's work has been featured on BBC Television where Prof John Adair described the material as "highly effective"


In recent years, Doug has worked with Professor Peter Clough to define mental toughness and to create the world's leading measure of mental toughness. Doug is now recognised as a leading authority on the application of mental toughness to the worlds of work, education, sport as well as social applications. His expertise is focused on helping organisations develop performance, increase retention and employee engagement and more effectively dealing with issues such as bullying and the impact of change.


This concept and measure provides a powerful way of understanding individual and group motivation. Each participant was provided with the opportunity to complete the MTQ Plus psychometric measure in full confidence and free of charge.




Gerry Hill
Founder of Feeding Unicorns and Founder of Resilify


Gerry is a sales leader who has scaled two digital startups and now runs a sales performance company as well as a research platform to measure mental toughness in sales people. Prior to that, Gerry was a professional rugby player who has been exposed to high performance cultures from a very young age - helping him form views on high performance and how individuals contribute to shared goals and excellence in execution.


Using a broad range of references from industry including Gerry's own experiences in growing sales for high growth startups, Gerry's talk helped lay the foundation of mental toughness which is paramount to business success.



We are currently planning our next #TheBLC. 

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