Mick Beavers - Control Valve Solutions (CVS)

Mick Beavers is the Managing Director of Control Valve Solutions (CVS), a specialist in control, isolation & emergency shutdown valves based in Aberdeen. A passionate and proud organisation, CVS has continued to go from strength to strength since inception, and is now a respected authority in the industry.



Sometimes in the world of business, it’s not what you know, but who you know. In Mick’s case, it was his existing relationship with Skills Development Scotland that led to him ESF’s eVolve leadership programme. Despite initial concerns that he may not have enough time to commit to the programme, Mick soon got stuck in and began to reap the rewards.

Did he have any reservations before starting the programme? “For me, it’s not necessarily about who is running the course, but about those who are participating too. Unfortunately, there can be those who like the sound of their own voice and are just in it for themselves. This cohort was fantastic though!”



Having hit it off with his fellow cohort members, Mick came away feeling positive and enthused about what was to come. The format of the workshops worked well for him and there were several tools that he was able to use that allowed him to help his team step up.

A key component of course success lies in the way it is run, as Mick explains, “There are no NDAs, it’s not stuffy and there’s an acknowledgment that we are all equals. There’s a distinct ‘stripped bare’ feel. We were encouraged to ask for help, which is something that doesn’t always come natural to leaders!”.

Despite business surviving the Covid-19 pandemic, Mick faces a number of challenges. In particular, the past few weeks have involved him making some difficult decisions. Thankfully, his time on eVolve made him realise that he’s not alone in making tough choices. Speaking about his experience, Mick says “(thanks to the programme) I am more aware that there’s a lot more people in the world like me. Previously, I thought that I was on my own to deal with the pressures, and that I didn’t have a door to knock on for support. I now feel more confident that I’m doing the right thing and can pick up the phone to the other cohort participants.”

A prime example of this is when fellow cohort member James Warren (Managing Director at Kinetic Demotion Limited) reached out and the two met in person to discuss the challenges they face. Four hours (and a missed lunch break!) later, it was clear just how much common ground they shared when it came to the frustrations of running a business. This conversation sparked a mutually beneficial working relationship too, with technical advice and business deals changing hands.

From a people perspective, Mick was able to share his recruitment process with a fellow cohort participant, which included a focus on personal development, a topic which is something Mick feels very strongly about. He was only too happy to share his expertise in this area, noting “They were blown away by how much work goes into it (our recruitment process). I was only too happy to coach them through it, and I am delighted to see that it’s been implemented.”

I now feel more confident that I’m doing the right thing and can pick up the phone to the other cohort participants.


It’s important to take the time to reflect on what you’ve learned during the programme. In Mick’s case, this meant looking outside of his own bubble. “I thought I was smashing it in a number of areas because I didn’t have a benchmark. I have lots of business contacts around me, but I don’t ever ask them about performance. You think you’re doing your best because you’re not stepping back and looking at things.”

Being prepared to step out of your comfort zone can be challenging but for Mick, it was a really important aspect of the experience, and he encourages any future participants to embrace the challenge: “Give it 100%. Drop your guard and be who you are, not who you are perceived to be”.

Giving 100% is also important when it comes to the course work, as Mick admits, “I was guilty of getting an invite to a session and not doing the homework in advance. I found myself having to wing it sometimes, which isn’t how my brain works! Definitely put time aside to make sure you are prepared”.

One of the additional benefits of being part of the Entrepreneurial Scotland community is the opportunity to help develop the new generation of Scottish talent, and Mick embraced this by interviewing students for our Saltire Scholar internship programme. It’s fair to say that the experience was a good one! “It was phenomenal! I was really impressed, there is some immense talent in Scotland’s youth”, he enthused.

Looking back on his overall leadership journey, does Mick have any reflections to share with us? “Leadership is slow burner. I’ve learnt a lot, and I’m still absorbing. There are so many tools that I am keen to implement in future, but I need to recognise that it won’t happen overnight. I have been doing this for 12 years and every year, it gets that little bit harder. It was a crazy idea to start a business in 2009, but we now have a team of 50 who have built something great. My team have created what we have.” It’s obvious just how much value Mick places on his team, particularly during the recent turmoil brought on us by Covid-19. Speaking candidly, he says “We were almost at breaking point trying to support the team through the pandemic. To combat this, we engaged with Mental Health Aberdeen and trained up 3 staff members to become mental health first aiders”.

Finally, what would Mick say to anyone who is considering joining one of Entrepreneurial Scotland’s leadership programmes? “Please step back and find the time to invest in yourself. When you feel stuck in the quagmire of work, it’s too easy to say no, not this time, maybe next time – but there is no better time than now."


If you would like to talk to Entrepreneurial Scotland about our leadership programmes and how they can benefit your business please email sean.mcgrath@entrepreneurialscotland.com