Wholesale boss voted ‘leader of the year’

As Filshill CEO Simon Hannah is named ‘leader of the year’ at a business awards, we asked for his top tips for leadership success

When asked for the secret to his leadership style, Simon Hannah doesn’t hesitate. “Empathy,” he says immediately. “There are many qualities needed to lead a business effectively but the ability to empathise is critical. After all, everything is relationship focused, whether you’re dealing with your team, customers or suppliers. Being able to meet people with humility and trust is invaluable.”

At JW Filshill, a wholesaler with the motto ‘not just a family business but a business for families’, it’s clear that the culture and values of the business reflect Hannah’s overall approach to leadership.

He believes in running an ethical business with an eye constantly on improvement and innovation.

He also empowers his team “to be proud of what they do” by instilling a sense of accountability and autonomy right across the business, while embracing a growth mindset that allows for fun as well as achievement.


Communicating the company’s direction of travel is also key.

“Every single colleague knows how the business is performing and our plans for the coming years,” Hannah explains. “This way, all team members know how they contribute towards business goals, as well as their own professional growth.”

Awards JW Filshill Simon Hannah