Brezilliant has been founded by Liz Abram and Guy Hipwell who both have decades of experience in building and working with teams, albeit from very different perspectives.
liz on guy
I had no idea Guy existed until April. He read a blog of mine which someone uploaded onto LinkedIn, liked it, asked me if he could call me and - since he looked clean and didn’t sound like a man who was trying to sell me something - I accepted his invitation. We got on so well that within an hour we were taking the piss out of one another. That is the best footing for a collaboration.
It transpires that he pretends to play the drums, kept bees (until they nearly killed him), knows a lot about textiles and divas, knows his way intimately around the boardroom, has massive experience working alongside well established and highly regarded companies, has run teams operating simultaneously across multiple countries, has a very similar take to me on why many commercial teams end up in a shitty heap, and has a wicked sense of humour. He looks like he smells expensive. He’s really a bit posh, although he doesn’t have a moat, but he tries to act normal.
Guy does have a particular skill for getting to the nub of a problem within nanoseconds. He has an instinct for teams, systems, communication, relationships and how to make them work optimally. He hates inefficiency and self-importance, jargon for jargon’s sake and the whiff of bullshit. He’s rude but not offensive, irreverent but not dismissive, efficient but never without passion. I like him, despite his penchant for bloody massive diagrams.
guy on liz
When you first meet Liz you could easily be forgiven for feeling like you’re chatting to a mum on the school path who you’ve known for years. With her soft midlands accent and gentle delivery, Liz is able to build rapport with just about anyone within minutes of meeting them.
And, given her background, this is really not that surprising.
Liz is an expert in the field of communication. A linguist since her teens and one who is fluent in several languages, Liz spent 17 years in the British military actively serving in countries around the world (I know - I thought she looked younger too!). One of the very few people to have been selected to specialise in both interrogation, and resistance to interrogation, Liz is able to understand what makes you tick in less time than it takes her to finish her cup of Earl Grey tea and eat a standard-issue gingernut biscuit. As you chat idly away, somewhere behind those sapphire blue eyes, Liz will be quietly logging all the salient points and building a profile of you. Be prepared to be able to recall what you have told her because if you can’t, rest assured that she can.
If at any point you find yourself thinking that this little 5FT 4 “and a half” (apparently the extra half inch is important to her) life coach is a bit of a pushover, I strongly recommend that you watch some of the episodes of the channel 4 TV series SAS who dares wins (#SASWDW) where Liz is one of the interrogation team and the only woman to work alongside the testosterone powered supernova known as the DS…
When explaining shortly after we first met that I can sometimes (ie frequently) be a bit annoying, Liz calmed the moment by saying “Don’t worry, I’ll quietly stand up to you and I’ll ask you if you would like a cup of tea. Unless you really piss me off - then I’ll just twat you. And it’ll hurt.”
I have absolutely no doubt that she was being 100% accurate.
To the point, no fluff or bullshit. That’s Liz, and that’s probably why we get on so well together.