Meet Neil Pretty, the Co-founder, and CEO of Aristotle Performance, which works to empower organizations to develop high-performing, resilient cultures to succeed in an increasingly unpredictable environment. As an organizational development firm, Neil and his team at Aristotle Performance focuses on scalable solutions directly impacting leaders and teams. By focusing on a foundation of psychological safety and building team effectiveness from that foundation, Aristotle’s performance is helping teams work together while creating a better sense of belonging for employees.
Aristotle Performance is Neil’s seventh business venture. “With minimal formal training, it was necessary to seek out mentors, read books, and learn through trial and error. You could say the same for my journey as a leader: My first formal leadership position was in Army Cadets at 13 years old. I was posted to my first platoon at 15 and have maintained leadership positions ever since,”- he explains. “This, along with often working in parallel contracting or having varied part-time roles in numerous industries, culminated in my early 30s realizing that I had led over 300 teams.”
As Neil entered the coaching profession and evolved his practice to focus on career and leadership development, his practice slowly evolved to focus on high performers, often labeled as toxic leaders. Eventually, his work evolved into team and organizational development as Neil was asked to take on more complex and wide-scale challenges with his clients.
Founded on 15th April 2020, Aristotle Performance has worked with several leaders, teams, and certified professionals through its partnership with the Fearless Organization. Till date, the organization has directly impacted over 2500 teams, and an innumerable number of teams have been impacted by those the firm has certified. Alongside its certified practitioners, the firm has also worked with several teams and organizations spread across six of the seven continents.
Present Business Environment
Neil believes most leaders and organizations face a challenge from what is commonly referred to as the VUCA world- volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. Initially a military term, VUCA describes urban combat situations; it becomes relevant to survival from a business’s perspective is often what is at stake.
On the other hand, the current state of the world offers excellent opportunities. Those organizations that realize connecting with their people and creating team environments that are beneficial to the lives of their people will accelerate their business and separate them from their competitors.
Tackling the Gender Pay Gap
Neil believes the issue of the gender pay gap is a complex ongoing issue. He says, “Pay equity should be our goal, while also asking – “Equity for what?” There are numerous groups that are paid less. A specific group should not get paid more or less because they are an identifying member of any specific group.”
So, Aristotle Performance structures pay by looking at the bigger picture, assessing results, and creating equal opportunities to achieve those results. It is imperative to consider the unconscious bias, which is key to devising strategies to tackle those biases. Instead of having the same answer for everyone, the primary goal should be to create awareness regarding inappropriate gaps and work to fill those gaps. However, the organization’s response is quite simple, it has a rate based on a specific job role, and it pays as per the associated value of that role.
Diversity of thought, education, experience, mindset, process, and background is critical for every organization. If an organization want its employees to share their perspective, then it needs to help them by providing the proper environment, paying them adequately, and offering a sense of direction, connection, and meaning.
Keeping the Team Motivated
Neil keeps his team motivated in several ways. Firstly by connecting their effort and Aristotle Performance’s common mission. Secondly is by creating a team environment that offers the best personal and professional growth. And third, by working to share and nurture gratitude.
Everyone at Aristotle Performance knows the fact that Neil will support them in every aspect of their lives, as they feel willing to share with him. He says, “The greatest gift I’ve had as a leader is to see the potential someone else has before they see it in themselves- and working alongside them to help them achieve what they previously thought was impossible. As a result, I do not even question if they are motivated.”
Aristotle Performance is a culture-obsessed organization regarding re-learning and continuous education. It successfully incorporated and learned more than any other team or organization that Neil has ever been a part of.
“The result is a fast pace without being “fast-paced”: we have a lot of fun, we innovate, we accomplish a lot, and very importantly, we can look at each other and know that it is together that those outcomes were achieved.”- explains Neil.
Preparing for the Future
Having laid the foundation through its work at several global organizations, Aristotle Performance will soon start working with even more Fortune 500 companies to tackle the uncertainties our world is going through. In the future, Aristotle Performance’s goal is to become a global leader in developing psychological safety and learning by using a scalable, systemic, and repeatable process.
Neil says, “If we are successful, we will be changing the nature of work for an untold amount of employees and their families. We feel that our mission is to help people and organizations win together – and the world is abundant enough that we believe it is possible.”