Simon Chaplin


Simon ChaplinFounder of Pull Your Socks Up Simon Consultancy and owner of GreenStones Accountants in Peterborough.  GreenStones’ strapline “Accountants who will inspire, challenge and support you” isn’t misleading.  From the moment I stood outside their front door I knew this was more than just an accounting firm! 

A welcome board awaited me promising that at the ding of the doorbell someone would be with me in 8.7 secs – I hadn’t even started counting before a beaming receptionist arrived, greeted me by name and whisked me off to a meeting room where a drinks menu awaited me.  I gasped at the choice (champagne at 11:00 in the morning??) and settled for Earl Grey tea.  Posters of cartoons with the staff’s personal stories of how they live the company’s values captivated me until my tea and Simon whirled into the room. 

Simon is no ordinary accountant – in fact some have nicknamed him “David Brent” which I think is endearing.  He shrugs it off with “I don’t look to control things, seek security or wait for approval which allows me to get on with Being Simon”.

Bio – entrepreneur; delegator DELUXE (no longer manages GreenStones day to day as he gives his staff complete autonomy); devotes time freed up through delegating to running Pull Your Socks Up Simon consultancy mentoring other SMEs to be the best they can be; takes the whole month of August off to be with his young family; in the next 5 years aspires to do more mentoring and to increasing the time he spends with his family.

Why I nominate Simon as a #leadinglight:

  1. Dyslexic at school with no idea what career to go for – joined small accounting practice and qualified as an accountant with top marks in 1997.  Challenged the owner 2 years later to either sell him the business or face new competition in Peterborough.  During a 3 year transition as partner, became sole owner in 2005 and transformed the business into a firm of the future. Simon challenges anyone who thinks they CAN’T to think they CAN.
  2. Gives his staff complete autonomy – they can work from wherever in the world they happen to be and choose when they want to work (Lian is currently in Sicily with her family for 6 weeks and logs into the office on her laptop between 08:00 and 16:30).  Their salaries are related to their personal targets, and each person’s target makes up Simon’s targets.  When 1 person in the team doesn’t achieve their target, they need to answer to the rest of the team!
  3. Simon has never ending enthusiasm for what is possible and generously shares his knowledge and skills to help others succeed.

One of Simon’s best reads (he reads copiously):  “Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results” Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul, John Christensen Because …. it inspired him to find ways to allow his staff to live and breathe their values.  (Simon even gave me my own copy promising a fun bath read – which it was!)

Most popular summer blog post by Socks Up Simon:  This and That

Simon’s nominations for Career Enhancing Attributes:  Be honest with yourself, Courage – believe in your own convictions, Collaboration – not them “us”.

Nominated and modelled by Katherine Wiid

If you know someone who has inspired you, why not nominate them as the next #leadinglight? To read about our other #leadinglights, click here.

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