Q&A with…James Fleming

Founder of Brave Human Capital Group, proud owner of the entire Lighthouse Family back catalogue and with more books on his bookshelf than your local library…meet James Fleming!

What makes great HR?

Great HR is all about listening, understanding and being adaptable to the environment, people and challenges around you. It’s about having high levels of commerciality balancing it with care and respect for individuals. It’s like walking a tightrope. A lot of HR conversations are tough, a great HR partner will understand this and will enable a business owner or manager to feel empowered to have them. 

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Easy, giving bad news. No matter how many times I’ve sat in redundancy meetings or dismissal meetings, giving the news that someone is losing their job is never easy and it’s a responsibility that weighs heavily on me. I recognise that giving the news in these meetings is often just the start of the journey for people in this situation. 

Who inspires you and why?

I take inspiration from lots of things I see and hear from other people. Recently, I’ve been inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and people making a stand. I think the courage Colin Kaepernick showed to sacrifice his career for what he believed in was really powerful. Marcus Rashford and his school meals campaign and the positive difference this is making. Closer to home, I’m inspired by my eldest son and his ability to persevere with his football skills. He practices free kicks for hours with total dedication and has improved so much. It’s a lesson to me that practice and dedication really does make a difference. 

Proudest moment/career highlight?

Oh, I’m not sure I have one. If I’ve made a positive difference to someone’s working life than that’s my aim and that’s good enough for me. If people feel they have learned something from working with me then I will be proud of that. 

The best advice I’ve ever been given was…

Always do the right thing, even if it’s tough.


Last book you read?

I read a lot – a mix of business books, biographies and historical events. I’ve just finished a biography of John Lennon, prior to that a book about building a strong business brand, called ‘The Voice of the Underdog’.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

The Lighthouse Family!

Who are you top 3 dinner party guests…

Only three? I’ll invite my 5 friends from school. We have such a laugh when we’re together, my face hurts from smiling so much!