An interview with James Routledge

This is an interview series in the lead up to our upcoming class “How To Use Thought Leadership For Growth" at Huckletree on 2 October 2018.

Tell us a bit about yourself

Hey, I'm James, 27, originally from Stoke, founder of Sanctus, passionate about mental health, entrepreneurship, alternative finance for startups (dry I know) and living a full life.

How do you position yourself as an influencer in your industry?

I genuinely don't consider myself an "influencer", I write a lot and share my story a lot. I use sharing on social media as my outlet and as a result of that I've managed to get a bit of an audience, particularly on linkedin - I just share what I'm feeling and thinking. The key for me is to try not to be attached to the results, i.e the likes.

How did you decide what you wanted to be known for as a leader?

An obvious one for me - mental health. My business is in mental health and I'm very passionate about it, given my personal attachment to the subject. So writing about mental health, talking about it - all made sense.


What is the most important attribute of an influencer and thought leader?

For me, it's being authentic. That word is losing it's meaning because it gets thrown around so much, but to be credible I believe you have to be real and true to yourself. People can smell fake a mile off these days, so you've got to be yourself.

What do you do to sharpen your ideas to remain an authority in your space?

I just write. I honestly don't think about it that much, I just write and write and write. I try and stay connected with the real world, what's actually going on and not get too disconnected. Especially in mental health, it's important to stay down to earth and relatable.

You walk into a room, on a chair is your 18 year old self. You remember his passions, goals and fears. What advice would you give him?

I'd put my hand on his shoulder and tell him to stop trying so hard, to slow down, to do what he likes doing not what other people like doing


James is on a mission to put the world's first mental health gym's on the high street. He's the founder of Sanctus, a brand inspiring people to work on their mental health like we do our physical health. He founded Sanctus after starting up, scaling up and shutting down a tech business and struggling with his mental health afterwards. Sanctus currently works with businesses across the UK to create a safe space for individuals to work on their mental health. Sanctus Coaches go into businesses to make themselves easily accessible to employees for confidential and impartial 45 minute conversations on the full range of human experience with mental health.

This is an interview series in the lead up to our upcoming class “How To Use Thought Leadership For Growth" at Huckletree on 2 October 2018.