Published: March 26, 2020 | Updated: October 22, 2020

Lonely at the top: Former MD offers leaders free entry to business online peer group

David McDonald, Dorset Group Chair, Vistage UK.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A former Managing Director with more than 30 years’ experience of leading businesses and projects is offering SME owners and senior executives free entry to a business online peer group.

David McDonald, who was latterly MD of defence communications company Chemring Technology Solutions, said the saying ‘It’s lonely at the top’ has never been more appropriate.

The first online group, using Zoom, will take place this Friday from 8am-9am.

So far four leaders or senior executives have signed up.

David said: “I’ve been reflecting on the current situation and the need for clear and focused leadership.

“Having lived through the crises in the late 80s, the late 90s and 2007, I really feel for anyone who is now in the leadership spotlight – and Dorset’s small company business leaders are now firmly in the crisis spotlight.

“Stress and anxiety doesn’t help and isolation doesn’t help.

“We know from our Dun and Bradstreet surveys that leaders who belong to a peer advisory group perform 2.2 x better than their competition and they grow in a declining economy.

“I want to do my bit for business locally and I am offering business leaders free entry to a local business online peer group where they can get help from other leaders, share their concerns and input into others’ issues and create a community of leaders.”

David said it was important leaders got beyond the ‘freeze’ point and, at a time of such uncertainty, maintained clear lines of communication, made themselves available for questions and – wherever possible – set out a vision for the business after the current crisis is over.

David is now a Group Chair with Vistage UK, part of the world’s largest executive coaching organisation for small and medium sized businesses.

As reported on Dorset Biz News he is setting up a Dorset group but has put these plans on immediate hold.

However, David stressed he was looking forward to picking up the threads again when business life returned to some semblance of normality.

Anyone interested in joining the business online peer group can contact David on 07872 407548  or email