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It is with pleasure that I, Kate Cousens, invite you to listen to my podcast show ‘Ladder Down’ where I chat all things business and career along with other people who do interesting things!

Sending the ladder down is the concept of someone sharing their success to help raise others up and, in this podcast, we will explore the ups and downs of climbing the career and business ladder.

This concept is one that is close to my heart as back in 2018 I wrote and self-published a book called ‘Ladder Climbing in High Heels’ where I shared a number of what I called ‘Ladder Lessons’ that I found useful during my 20+ year corporate career.

Since then, I have gone on to become an advisor, director and shareholder at a Chester based firm called HM bamboo helping owners and senior leaders with their personal development and business growth goals.

I love listening to people tell their story, and how they progressed in their career or got to run their own business. I hope that listeners will find these stories helpful and can apply the things they learn along the way in their own lives.

Please let me know what you think of the Podcast - I am a total newbie to it so we will be learning lessons together along the way....but hey, that's what life is all about! Connect with me: https://linktr.ee/katecousens  

May 27, 2021

The saying goes that all publicity is good publicity but Gerald Ratner would tell you differently! 

When Gerald inherited his family jewellery company in 1984, he expanded it from about 150 shops to over 2,000 in just six years, capturing over 50% of the UK’s jewellery market. He became known as ‘The King of Bling’ and was heralded as a business prodigy.

That was up until an eventful speech that Gerald made at an Institute of Directors dinner on 23rd April 1991, where he famously, or infamously, called one of his products ‘total crap’ in front of 6,000 business leaders and journalists, saying that one of the sets of earrings he sold was "cheaper than a prawn sandwich from Marks and Spencers but probably wouldn't last as long”.

The British media went to town on Gerald and even though he subsequently explained it was meant in good humour, the country’s sense of humour wasn’t great due to a very deep and dark recession…the public voted with their feet and the company’s shares dropped £500 million in a matter of days.

This very nearly resulted in the firm's collapse and Gerald Ratner was fired, lost his home, had to take his children out of school and was left severely depressed. It was only when his wife threatened to kick him out that he decided to change. He started a health club from nothing which he sold a few years later for almost £4million and is now involved in an online jewellery business called ‘Gerald Online’. 

In this episode Kate chats to the legend himself to find out if he would have done anything differently 30 years on!