David Pattison

Wingman, Chairman, Mentor, Investor and author of The Money Train

David Pattison

Wingman, Chairman, Mentor, Investor and author of The Money Train

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I left school not knowing what i wanted to do. I ‘fell’ into the media side of the advertising industry. With two partners I founded my own business (PHD) and had a successful exit.

After PHD I was asked by the founders of an independent digital media agency to sell the business, which i achieved successfully just before the world economic crisis in 2008.

For the last 10 years I have used my collected business experiences to help companies. I work as a chair, mentor or adviser for a variety of businesses and CEOs. Investing, starting up, raising funds, selling, advising, setting up infrastructure, advising on the day to day and being a non-judgemental shoulder to lean on. Acting as a ‘wingman’ watching CEOs and companies’ backs and witnessing first-hand the ups and downs of start-up and young company life.

As a helpful guide to fundraising I have just written my first book, The Money Train, which is published in January 2021.

I still don’t know what I want to do but it has been an amazing ride so far.

The business world is full of jargon that can seem impenetrable. I have put together a jargon buster to help clear some of the mist. If you would like to sign up to receive this and future email updates then please fill in the form below.

I have been a big dog and I don’t have any desire to be one again. I like to help leaders of businesses to be the best that they can. Solving problems and helping to come to successful strategies. Wingman might seem like an odd word, but I think it perfectly describes what I do. I see my role as a non-judgemental role to help CEO’s and their companies. Giving advice and support when asked for. Watching their backs. More hands on than a non-exec but not trying to do the CEO’s job for them. Hoping that I can stop them making some of the mistakes I made along the way.

There is a huge difference between coaching and mentoring. A coach attempts to get the answer from the person being coached and may delve into their personal past. A mentor will listen and give an opinion. I am definitely a mentor and not trained as a coach.

I have a lot of experience mentoring very senior CEO’s in a range of sizes of companies. Often a CEO wants to be able to share their thoughts with someone outside of the board they report to. Someone without a vested interest or hidden agenda to help them solve those knotty problems.

I have, on several occasions, started as a mentor and then have moved to be a Chair of the business I have worked with.

Chairing and mentoring tend to be long term roles. But there are often needs and projects from people or businesses that require a relatively short-term look. The range of these projects is a very long list, and I have done lots of these types of projects. Sometimes it just one call or a three-month project. Helping companies to profitability, looking at restructures, understanding team dynamics, meeting prospective hires. The list goes on. It’s a long list but I really enjoy these short-term projects.

The role of the Chair is so important, particularly if there are external board members. Be they investors, advisers or non-execs. The role of Chair is to represent the best interests of all the shareholders without compromising the company. When I Chair the relationship with the CEO is the key for me. You have to be able to hold the CEO to account but at the same time work with them to get the best out of them. I have chaired a number of businesses over the last ten years. Some young businesses and some more established companies as well. Acting as a guide and wise counsel. Some difficult, some a joy and some both at the same time.

I am always happy to share my experiences, my thoughts and points of view. This is largely on a one-to-one basis, but I am happy to speak publicly around any subject or specifically around the subject of my book. There are obviously a variety of forms this can take, speaking to a large audience, smaller groups or being part of a panel. Q and A or prepared speech. I have an ambition to get involved with business schools and universities.

'Wingman'
I have been a big dog and I don’t have any desire to be one again. I like to help leaders of businesses to be the best that they can. Solving problems and helping to come to successful strategies. Wingman might seem like an odd word, but I think it perfectly describes what I do. I see my role as a non-judgemental role to help CEO’s and their companies. Giving advice and support when asked for. Watching their backs. More hands on than a non-exec but not trying to do the CEO’s job for them. Hoping that I can stop them making some of the mistakes I made along the way.
Mentoring
There is a huge difference between coaching and mentoring. A coach attempts to get the answer from the person being coached and may delve into their personal past. A mentor will listen and give an opinion. I am definitely a mentor and not trained as a coach.

I have a lot of experience mentoring very senior CEO’s in a range of sizes of companies. Often a CEO wants to be able to share their thoughts with someone outside of the board they report to. Someone without a vested interest or hidden agenda to help them solve those knotty problems.

I have, on several occasions, started as a mentor and then have moved to be a Chair of the business I have worked with.

Consultancy
Chairing and mentoring tend to be long term roles. But there are often needs and projects from people or businesses that require a relatively short-term look. The range of these projects is a very long list, and I have done lots of these types of projects. Sometimes it just one call or a three-month project. Helping companies to profitability, looking at restructures, understanding team dynamics, meeting prospective hires. The list goes on. It’s a long list but I really enjoy these short-term projects.
Chairman
The role of the Chair is so important, particularly if there are external board members. Be they investors, advisers or non-execs. The role of Chair is to represent the best interests of all the shareholders without compromising the company. When I Chair the relationship with the CEO is the key for me. You have to be able to hold the CEO to account but at the same time work with them to get the best out of them. I have chaired a number of businesses over the last ten years. Some young businesses and some more established companies as well. Acting as a guide and wise counsel. Some difficult, some a joy and some both at the same time.
Speaker
I am always happy to share my experiences, my thoughts and points of view. This is largely on a one-to-one basis, but I am happy to speak publicly around any subject or specifically around the subject of my book. There are obviously a variety of forms this can take, speaking to a large audience, smaller groups or being part of a panel. Q and A or prepared speech. I have an ambition to get involved with business schools and universities.

“David was there at the genesis of Gravity Road, and has been not just an investor and Chairman, but also an entreprenurial advisor as we’ve grown into a global business. His experience of the entrepreneur’s journey – and the unique challenges that come with each stage of growth – is something that’s been invaluable to us as founders. More importantly he genuinely cares, and that passion is something that shines through.”

Mark Eaves and Mark Boyd, Co-Founders, Gravity Road

The Money Train

Before you get on the Money Train, here’s what you need to know…

You have a great business idea but no money. There are investors out there with money looking for interesting new businesses. On the face of it, it’s a match made in heaven, with lots of positives – but beware the negatives.

Those investment decisions will shape the future of your business. The standard models that investors impose on start-ups and young companies can mean loss of control, overbearing input, disproportionate reward to the wrong shareholders, or founders being squeezed out of their own businesses. Investment can also prop up a business artificially, building false hope and disappointment in the long term.