The Business of Excellence:

Building high-performance teams and organizations

A former fighter pilot and Executive Officer of the Red Arrows,  Justin Hughes is no stranger to high performance in the most demanding of environments requiring exceptional teamwork.

With a further 13 years working as a consultant, he has had an unparalleled opportunity to dissect, and better understand, the relevance of his experience to other organizations aspiring to high performance, as well as learning from his clients in turn.

      In The Business of Excellence Justin Hughes offers a unique and compelling perspective on the drivers of excellence in teams and organizations.

The challenges of high performance and leadership are explored in depth, and are illustrated with insights, interviews and case studies from the military, sporting and corporate worlds.

      Featuring a proprietary performance model that can be applied to a wide spectrum of organizations, the author presents clear, accessible and practical insights on building winning teams in any environment, all of which can be applied by readers in their own teams. The book focuses on key factors such as:

People:   the impact of values, behaviours and attitudes on performance

Capability:   building alignment before setting people free

Delivery:   a process to close the gap between desired and actual outcomes

Learning:   how to accelerate performance in real time

Leadership:   exhibiting a set of behaviours such that others choose to follow

Risk:   avoiding the victory of compliance over outcomes.

      Justin Hughes is the Managing Director of Mission Excellence, a consultancy that partners with organizations committed to high performance. He built the business from a zero base; it now delivers consulting and training services around the world to organizations across the spectrum of commercial, public sector, not-for-profit and professional sport. Justin is also a renowned speaker on high performance, decision-making, risk and safety culture, and leadership. In addition to private client engagements, he has presented at a number of high-profile national and international events including the UK Institute of Directors’ Annual Convention and ‘Leaders in Dubai’. Prior to founding Mission Excellence, Justin was a military fighter pilot with the UK Royal Air Force, becoming the Executive Officer of the Red Arrows, with whom he flew over 250 displays worldwide.



“Justin Hughes' experience as a fighter pilot is highly relevant to teams everywhere. In The Business of Excellence, he has offered a vivid, compelling and highly readable insight into building world-leading teams and organizations.”  Dr Catherine Raines, Chief Executive, UK Trade & Investment


“In The Business of Excellence, Justin Hughes articulates a clear strategy for the pursuit of excellence coming from his many years of experience as a fighter pilot and entrepreneur. I am a big fan of learning from other environments and highly recommend it.”   Paddy Lowe, Executive Director, Mercedes Grand Prix


“Any leader who is striving to create a high performance team environment should read this gem of a book from cover to cover! It deserves to become the execution manual for any team or organisation that aims to achieve operational excellence.”  Costas Markides, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Holder of the Robert Bauman Chair in Strategic Leadership, London Business School


“A new, fresh and engaging perspective on leadership and the creation of high-performance organisations through the lens of somebody with first-hand experience … the clarity and accessibility of the insights mark this book out as truly excellent.”  Sir David Walker, former Master of the Queen's Household


“Justin Hughes is that rare breed of consultant and commentator who has been there and done it. Combine that with strong values and outstanding communication skills and you have someone worth listening to.”  David Bellamy,

CEO, St James' Place


“This is a book, above all, about delivering great outcomes whatever challenges are thrown up on the way. A recommended read for any team or business leader wanting to take performance to the next level.”   Ian Jeffery, CEO and Partner, Lewis Silkin LLP




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