Monday Motivators

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As I have officially delivered my last workshop, for this year, it is time to start planning for next year! I feel positive and welcome the time to reflect, celebrate and plan. We have done the normal business planning which is always an ongoing, adapting process, and we have set some new goals, as you'd expect.   On reflection, the year has been good. We have been busy enough and also hit some of our targets regarding income and days delivered. I feel positive for next year and really appreciate everything from this year.   A celebration for me is that, finally, our driveway will be completed today. It has taken me all year to get it up the priority list and save the cash to do this - result!   On the planning side of life,&nbs... [Read More]

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After a busy week away, I am ready for a bit of rest. I am enjoying the sense of Christmas being near and love the feeling of joy and excitement that, that brings. In the town centre the lights are up, the music is playing and people are enjoying the atmosphere.    I know that some people do not want Christmas festivities to start in November but I like the impact it has and how it lifts spirits. As we are now in December, I will embrace the inevitable and join in with the 'pomp and circumstance' to Christmas day.   I am sure that, for some, this is not a good time of year. I seem to notice more homeless people struggling to get by, which saddens me. I don't like the idea of enjoying my overpriced pint and 'bratty' whilst someone is huddled in... [Read More]

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As much as we succeed in many things in our lives, from passing our first maths test to achieving great things with sport, business or personal goals, we never do it on our own or in isolation.   Every success may be driven by one person but the support behind every success is where the power and, often, momentum comes from.   Parents advising and guiding, school teachers encouraging and challenging, managers / the boss giving opportunity and growth, and the leaders, we meet along the way, supporting an environment for excellence to be nurtured - they are all part of our successes.   I don't think, during my ups and downs in life, I recognised everything going on around me, I was too busy thinking about me and my stuff, to even ... [Read More]

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How wonderful is life? We have so many options with everything on offer, from education, politics, gender, sexuality, career, social events, watching TV, social media. It goes on and on.   The generation of choice is here! The problem is that there is so much choice it is possible to get lost in a world of indecision and remain in a mist of confusion. When I talk to my children and ask "What do you want out of life" The answer is nearly always "I don't know"   Do they stay in education to get a great job or do they turn on their entrepreneurial streak and set up their own business? Do they save to buy a house or decide on renting forever? Do they 'upticks' and travel the world, while they are young, or work as many jobs as possible to r... [Read More]

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I saw the picture, on the right, last week and it made me think how different we are as humans and how I disagree with the statement, but understand the sentiment. Humans are all made of the same physical 'stuff' but our environment is the thing that needs to be different for us all.   One thing inspires some, whereas, the same thing can demotivate others. This can make life quite complicated, especially if you are trying to motivate and inspire large groups of people.   I remember delivering a keynote for a company and, before I got up to do my stuff, the FD was sharing the statistics for the previous year. This company had done well so the last slide was about the reward they were getting and it was a 4-day cruise to some amazing looking destination. I ... [Read More]

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It's a horrible thing to get a bug, a cold or have the flu. Last week I had a sore throat and ended up with a cold. For 3 days I was sniffing, coughing and sneezing and this is very unusual for me - I hated it. My head and eyes felt like there was a constant pressure building that needed releasing. My focus, on work and doing all the things I had planned, diminished, I was not exactly on top form!   I try my best to avoid getting ill because, running a small business, it can affect our ability to deliver for our clients and, ultimately, earn our wages. Fortunately I have a great team of people around me that can, if needs be, step in and help out, which is great. Our clients know and trust that, anyone delivering for us, is high quality and has the knowledge r... [Read More]

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Last week I celebrated another Birthday and enjoyed the day spending time with my family. I noticed that, this year, I got a few more 'physical' cards which was a pleasant surprise and made me feel appreciated as a friend, Father, Son and Husband.   The social media platform didn't let me down either. There were messages from old (literally) friends, new friends and also strangers, connected via 'connections'. People took a few moments out of their busy day to send Birthday wishes and it was appreciated.   It's easier, cheaper and acceptable, not to send Birthday cards and post something on social media to show someone you are thinking of them. You even have FaceBook to remind you when things are going on, LinkedIn to prod your memory or s... [Read More]

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Good morning and happy Monday!   After my diabolical travel experience to Berlin, I got some good news from KLM, they paid us compensation that nearly covered the cost of the holiday!   Normally I wouldn't complain about things, but in this instance, I decided to fill in their online form and share the details of our experience. I was surprised at the response and pleased that I'd taken the time to fill the form in.    How often does that happen? I don't know about you but I don't generally complain about this type of thing and just deal with it, after all,  'stuff happens' in life and there is not much we can do about it - or so I thought! I have to say, I do feel better about it now and I will book ano... [Read More]

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Last week I travelled to Berlin, with my wife, to meet up with friends for a short break. It didn't start off well...   A delayed flight from Southampton meant we missed a connection in Amsterdam, we were then re-routed via Brussels and finally onto Berlin. My wife's bag was 'misplaced' so we ended up arriving 8 hours later than expected and without most of our luggage. (It was returned a day and a half later)   As most of you will appreciate, or, if you have experienced something like this yourselves, it's an emotional rollercoaster ride. From disbelief, anger, despair, laughter and upset - we went through it all, but eventually managed to enjoy the weekend with friends.   The return journey didn't go well either! Delayed from Berlin, a misse... [Read More]

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How do you feel - right now?   Excited, motivated, focussed or tired, fed up and empty? Monday mornings affect people in different ways. For some people it's the start to a fantastic week ahead, and for others, it's not!   In reality, it's another day in our lives, one to make the most of and enjoy.   I was watching a short 'motivational' video on LinkedIn last week and the key message was to enjoy life -  it's not about what you have it's more about how you live. I know money is important and it 'greases the wheels' of life but it can also create emptiness and loneliness, if all you do is chase the next deal and don't take time to enjoy the journey.   A mate of mine has been fighting cancer for a while and... [Read More]

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I am constantly impressed by talented people and say to myself "I wish I could do that". The reality is though, I probably couldn't put the time and effort in, to get to their standards. As life is busy, and I am no spring chicken anymore, some things are behind me - that is the reality!   I admire looking at a gymnastic performance, an athletics event and so many other sports and recognise that it does take blood, sweat and tears to get to the highest level. Anthony Joshua was a great example at the weekend. He is a nice guy doing his job in a way, that makes me admire him more than any of the loud mouth heavy weights in the past. What a great performance.   It's not just in sport either. I admire people who are great at their 'normal' jobs. People wh... [Read More]

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Back to reality, with a bump!   After 16 days out of the business I found myself struggling to get back into work mode. I don't know how it is for you, but this is the first time I had a problem and I think it was because I had a longer break than normal. I do think I could get use to not working though...   The week started with an early coaching session, which went well, although, I'd have preferred to be the one being coached I think, as I probably needed to re-focus. I then proceeded to put loads of 'stuff' off, procrastinated and made excuses not to do things. I basically spent the day looking busy, doing nothing.   Have you ever done that?   Day 2, back from holiday, I had to get my head into things. There was material to go through f... [Read More]

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I am sat in my hotel room, after the Ironman (IM) event yesterday, and thought I'd reflect on my experience before heading off on my family holiday. So this is from 3 weeks ago...   I signed up for the Copenhagen Ironman event last year with a friend of mine and as this is my fifth one I thought it'd would follow the same plan, to be successful, as the others. I actually did a bit more cycling and ticked off the 'marker events' along the way. Unfortunately my friend had to defer his IM due to work and family commitments and, as I didn't want to waste my training and, to be honest, go through all of that training again, I decided to get on and do the event.   I noticed, in hind sight, that I didn't really pay attention to detail, prior to getting to Copen... [Read More]

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The football season has started! This is fantastic news for me as I love to watch certain games and enjoy the banter when watching matches with mates. It can take over some evenings and the weekends so, as with anything, it has to be planned and negotiated with family members.   My wife usually works on Saturday so it fits in nicely for us - as long as her evening plans are not interrupted. Last Saturday I even manage to get a few things done at once, I did a turbo ride in the front room while watching the early kick off. I then went off to watch my Son play football and got home in time for the late kick off on TV - perfect.   Life can be so busy and, if we are not careful, it gets full to the point it becomes stressful to have fun and fit it all ... [Read More]

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Listening to the news over the weekend I experienced something that we all experience when hearing the different segments - good and bad news.   What struck me was the fact we can move from a death to a winning hockey game, without so much as a thought. I am so desensitised by the tragic news of a murder and find myself saying "That's sad" followed, almost immediately, by "What a fantastic achievement" with hardly a change in emotion.   I then get on with my day!   I appreciate we have to be able to do this, otherwise we would probably lead miserable lives, but it made me think how fast lives can change. Barry Chuckle died and, no matter what you think of the Chuckle Brothers, you can only imagine how that has affected his Brother.   ... [Read More]

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With August just about to begin, I realise that Christmas is not far away! I still have a couple of major things to look forward to this year, as I have the Copenhagen Ironman followed by the family holiday in August that still need some planning.   Looking back at the first 6 months of 2018, I have ticked off quite a few things that I had on my 'to do list' and there are other things that are on track to achieve. I find that, by having these targets written down, it keeps me motivated to achieve things throughout the year.   I tend to look at about 7 different areas to work on (above is my "events" area) and they often interlink and are dependant on one thing happening to ensure something else can happen. For instance, I set some income targets whic... [Read More]

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Since the long spell of great weather, it's seemed like I've been in holiday mode. Don't get me wrong, I have actually worked as normal and done what I have needed to do, but, I have also taken time out to enjoy the sun and meet people for a catch up using the beach instead of a hotel. I have spent time relaxing, sitting in the back garden reading a book, because the sun was out.   I have literally put time aside to reflect and chill out, just because the weather has been better. I feel so much more relaxed and refreshed.   How has it affected you? Have you noticed you are making different choices?   I am looking forward to some rain and, I suppose, that's the way things are. If you have too much of something it becomes 't... [Read More]

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The bubble was well and truly burst and Croatia took the wind out of our sails. It's not coming home - this year! I still feel that coming fourth is a great achievement and has moved English football, and the way managers think, from around the world, into a different era on the way to lead high performing teams.   The way to get the best from a team is complicated, as we know, and it takes great leadership qualities to get it right. This article, from the Guardian, makes for good reading: click here for article  (Thank you Martyn)   Last week I mentioned that creating a great environment will impact the performance of a team or with individuals and I am sure we have all experienced that affect. It might be at work or could even be at home... [Read More]

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I suppose most people are getting excited with the World Cup situation at the moment, even those that don't really like football. My wife was texting me during the England vs. Columbia game and she doesn't like football, so I know the interest, emotions and support is there from a large population and I love it!   I do like football, so, for me, it's another reason to watch this fantastic sport but the biggest joy I have is feeling that the whole Country is routing for success. A World Cup final would be the best thing since the Olympics that brings people together from all backgrounds to embrace performance and success.   If you could bottle that emotion, the togetherness and the desire to win / do well, in any organisation, you'd have a licence to print m... [Read More]

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I was sitting in front of the computer, last Friday morning, when my Daughter walked in the room and said "Let me know when you want to go" which is when I realised I'd said I'd go running with her! I immediately searched for excuses, in my head, and thought about the classic "I have too much to do" excuse. When she mentioned that her friend wanted to join us I thought "That's perfect, they won't want me to go with them" so I asked if they wanted to go together but they still wanted me to go.   I got changed and we drove to the beach to do the pier to pier run. It was a beautiful day, slightly too hot, and the beach was vibrant. There were other runners, families enjoying the sun and sea and it was so nice to run along the sea front.  ... [Read More]

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Last week, I was driving along on a nice sunny day behind a few cars, when suddenly there was a load of feathers in the air. This normally means a bird has just been killed and I was expecting to see the victim in the road, but, to my surprise, I glanced down to the left of the car in front and there was the bird frantically flapping it's wings to avoid another strike.   Within seconds, the bird managed to avoid getting hit again and flew off into the trees - phew!   What a great example of the fight / flight response that all animals have as an inherent survival mechanism. It certainly saved this bird!I    As humans we also have this survival mechanism which it vital when a real threat happens and we need to react. The fortunate thing, for us, is that ... [Read More]

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Sometimes I'm not sure we know the impact of small gestures, acts or words can have on others. A polite gesture to let someone go first, opening a door for someone or complimenting a person, can change their day.   Making people feel good should come naturally and, I'd imagine, it does for most people. We can, however, sometimes forget to behave in that way or say the right thing which can have the opposite affect.   I noticed, last week, that a surprise visit to my Mum's, for an hour, probably had more of a positive impact than the planned dinner together on a previous occasion. The surprise, and welcome intrusion, made her smile and feel important - because it was unexpected.   I did go out of my way to rearrange things and I am so glad I did ... [Read More]

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Sometimes I'm not sure we know the impact of small gestures, acts or words can have on others. A polite gesture to let someone go first, opening a door for someone or complimenting a person, can change their day.   Making people feel good should come naturally and, I'd imagine, it does for most people. We can, however, sometimes forget to behave in that way or say the right thing which can have the opposite affect.   I noticed, last week, that a surprise visit to my Mum's, for an hour, probably had more of a positive impact than the planned dinner together on a previous occasion. The surprise, and welcome intrusion, made her smile and feel important - because it was unexpected.   I did go out of my way to rearrange things and I am so glad I did ... [Read More]

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So after a few weeks and a string of football injuries, ranging from broken fingers, a 'popped' AC joint through to stitches in my head, I decided to review my football activities. Should I carry on playing, putting things down to bad luck or should I bow out due to becoming too old? Maybe my reactions were getting slow and I should dust the golf clubs off or look at investing in fishing equipment again!   As you can imagine, I decided to carry on and so was back on the pitch last week, competing in the 6-a-side league again, hoping that it was all down to bad luck. What I noticed, due to the diversity of the people playing, was that evolution was there for all to see. The youngsters giving anyone over 25 a hard time about being old and the 35+ giving anyone under 2... [Read More]

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Loving life and only just getting started! Living the dream! I couldn't be better!    Those are common responses when people are asked "How are you?"    The 'FaceBook facade' is a strong lie people tell and it exists everywhere and, if you dig a little deeper, the cracks start to appear.   The reality, for most people, could be very different and what is going on beneath the surface is so much more than we, often, consider.   A week of mental health awareness is a good start to help us to begin to understand that when someone says "I'm great thanks" it might actually mean "I'm struggling, can you help?" So how do we know if there are issues and that people need extra sup... [Read More]

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After the great weather, which extended into the Bank holiday weekend, I feel grateful to live in Bournemouth. The sun, sea and sangria was a welcome change and it put me, and millions of others, in a great mood. I noticed how vibrant people were, the laughter and, obvious positive energy was everywhere to be seen. I am sure there were still people moaning, but I didn't notice them because I was too busy having a good time. I managed to take time out with, some, family / friends and include most of them in some form of social engagement. A tea and scone by the beach, a swim, the gym and even a bike ride followed by BBQ's and a few drinks to catch up with everyone. I really enjoyed the break. I'm hoping that our Summer is not over already though! I love it when the sun shines bu... [Read More]

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I have just returned from a 4-day trip to Mallorca, cycling. We (me and Tony) went to complete the Mallorca 312 which is a cycling event held every year. It comprises of 3 distances, 167km, 225km and 312km. As we had previously completed the 167km, we decided that this year we would do the 225km ride. We have been training over the cold, wet and rainy months but probably needed to do more prior to this event. We arrived on Wednesday last week, picked up the bikes on Thursday and did a 3-hour ride to get the legs going. Friday was a day to organise fuel, clothes and rest for the big event the next day. 8000 riders lined up the following morning at 7am to begin their rides. We got over the start line at about 7:20am and the challenge began! The first climb came after 25km and carried on until 55km... [Read More]

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Nearly 40,000 people ran the London marathon yesterday. There were all shapes, sizes, ages, abilities, disabilities but everyone had one thing in common - they all did something that some people will never do. What does it take to complete something like that? The first thing comes to mind for me is, they all have a reason. They have something that drives them to attempt this crazy feat. All of these reasons differ. For some it is to raise money, others to complete a challenge and, for some, they want to win it! Whatever drives people to run 26.2 miles on a hot sunny day doesn't really matter, what does matter is that they are part of an amazing event - and not many people can say that.  There are only 0.5% of the population who have run a marathon although nearly 600,000 do one each ye... [Read More]

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So the first major challenge for the year was last weekend and it was in the form of the Bournemouth half marathon. I hadn't really done any significant running, up to that point, but I have cycled a bit, so my thought was.... I should be ok. I was supposed to be running with a mate of mine and this was a milestone, working towards the Ironman in August. Unfortunately my mate had a family matter that was significantly more important to attend, so I had a choice: Do I run it on my own or do I have a well deserved lie in? It was going to be a wet, grey morning and I was really having a dilemma, then I made a decision - I'm running. I got my kit prepared, read all of the race info, spoke to Sandra to arrange a lift to the start line and a pick up after, so I could get home, ASAP, th... [Read More]

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Whilst cycling with a mate of mine last week, we were having a chat about the future and how we see things going. I mentioned that I think my wife would be running her NEXT store, in about 5 years time. That made me think of how much she has had to endure, over the last 20+ years, raising a family and maintaining a career. I expected to have to adapt and change, over the years, as a self employed consultant, it came with the territory! What I didn't appreciate was how consistent my wife has been, supporting our family, practically, emotionally and financially. She has always worked (apart from short breaks actually giving birth!) and when times have been tough, she has always stuck at it and we got through it together. So I told my mate all of this and I realised I'd never told my wif... [Read More]

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I was speaking to a client last week (Good morning Amanda and Sarah :-) on a catch up call, and during the call they mentioned that they still read, and enjoyed receiving the MM. I completely forgot that some people have been reading these posts for over 4 years now. I have been posting the MM every week (unless there have been Bank holidays or I've had technical issues) for a long time. Some MM's connect with some people and they really enjoy the message, others fall short or the message is not relevant but it's been a regular feature for some people's Monday morning ritual.  Thank you for reading these and sometimes commenting, it makes it worthwhile and I appreciate your comments. Last week I was a support consultant for a company and had to help th... [Read More]

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Whilst contemplating 'things' I noticed that my computer's screen saver kicked in and the statement "Be the best you can be" started moving along the screen. I previously set that up and it made me think "What does that actually mean?" After all, it is, potentially, counter productive. I mean if I am the best I can be at my triathlons, I'd probably not be the best I can be as a Father / husband - I'd be training a lot more! Whilst I do strive to balance things out, it does mean that there are compromises to make and things to let go of. If all I did was work - I'd be rubbish at quite a few things, but it would mean I'd be better at providing for my family. Life is full of choices and decisions to make and we sometimes have to make compromises to... [Read More]

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I was delivering a couple of workshops for a client, last week, around Communication and Influence. The material included having quality conversations and dealing with potential conflict. The group in the morning seemed to enjoy the session so I was looking forward to the second session for the group after lunch. On returning, post lunch, I set up the slides again and waited for the group to appear. Suddenly there were raised voices and a few expletives being thrown about. I realised that it was one of my delegates shouting and a couple of minutes later he appeared in the room. He didn't look too happy so I just started as normal and got on with the session. As we started to discuss conflict and how to deal with it, I couldn't help but reference the outburst from earlier. ... [Read More]

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Well that was a shock! Snow, icy winds and a load of problems with traffic, travel and delays. I must admit, for a change, I actually enjoyed the experience. On Thursday, the Bournemouth cold weather came later than the rest of the country so I made the most of the morning. The gym, first thing, a quick trawl around a couple of garages looking for cars with my Son, followed by lunch with my Mum. All done before any snow fell. Then 'the beast from the east' arrived as promised! Click here for a quick reminder So we did what most people did, played in the snow. The sledge came out and we had some fun. It wasn't like that for everyone though. Traffic slowed down and the problems started to build up as the Country struggled to deal with the extreme change. Reports of people being s... [Read More]

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On Saturday I had committed to take my Mum and her friend to a reunion with old RAF mates. We started out at 10:30 and got on our way from Bournemouth to Milton Keynes. The sat nav decided the M3 - M25 - M1 was the fastest route so off we went. With traffic doing the normal 'thing' we were travelling along as planned when the outside lane on the M25 came to a standstill.  I slowed down and stopped and then suddenly got hit from behind by 3 cars.  A 4 car accident on the M25, on a Saturday (12pm) was not on the plans - I immediately checked my Mum and her friend before getting out to check other people involved. The first car had an elderly couple in and they looked shocked, but that was about it - no air bags and the front of their car was a mess, but no obvious injuries. ... [Read More]

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All of last week I was out supporting a project for a client. It was another 'full on' week with a mixture of delivery, facilitation and coaching.  Normally, this is quite a tough week with personalities playing out and emotions rising high, in certain circumstance. The challenges are designed to stretch the groups in a variety of different ways, where some delegates are comfortable and others are not, for one activity, and then the roles reverse in other activities. We, the facilitators, observe behaviours throughout the week and deliver feedback on our observations with a 1-1 session at the tail end of the week. This week I had the best group of people who worked well together, supported each other and also challenged each other to take on more uncomfortable roles. At the end of e... [Read More]

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Last week was so cold and, guess what, our heating broke down! We were so cold and there was no hot water. I went to the gym to shower, the boys didn't bother and my wife boiled the kettle a few times! It was amazing how quickly life changed for us. It was uncomfortable trying to work from home. I got the heaters out of the loft and fired them up to heat the office, but every time I went into another part of the house, I was cold again. When did I get so soft? I remember camping out in -2 degrees with the whole family looking blue in the morning, and having fun! The engineer turned up in the afternoon and, funnily enough, our particular problem wasn't covered on our insurance, so it needed to be a 'private job' He promised to return the following day to sort things out, s... [Read More]

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At the weekend, as planned, we gutted our bedroom, repainted the walls, the skirting boards and replaced the carpet ready for our new bed to be delivered today. This action plan had been booked in our diaries as soon as we had committed to buy the new bed. I did the technical things, such as, smashing the old bed frame up, moved furniture and ripped up the carpets, followed by a tip run. My wife did the painting and, would you believe it, fitted the carpet - know your strengths! We are planning to refresh 1 room per month as the house has taken a lot of wear and tear over the years. It feels good to have completed 1 room and the next room is easier as there is no carpet to replace, it's just painting that is required. It's tempting to get someone else in to do this work but,... [Read More]

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Last week, I spent the whole week with some graduates at an outdoor centre running team building activities. I had 12 people in my group, but there were 65 'Grads' in total and 5 facilitators.  We worked along side the centre instructors delivering some theory to put in to practise in the field (literally). On day-1 we did introductions, objectives and asked the graduates who was a holiday maker, hostage or explorer. To my surprise, there were a few hostages who didn't really want to be there and openly admitted they would prefer to be somewhere else. One of the 'hostages' was in my group and it became evident that he really didn't want to be there. He didn't engage in the initial sessions and was very clear on the fact he was not going to enjoy the week. I co... [Read More]

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Often, on a Sunday morning, I afford myself the luxury of laying in bed, with a cup of coffee watching the Andrew Marr show.  As usual he had a variety of people reading and discussing topics in the newspapers, he interviewed Emmanuel Macron and he had a guest - Tina Brown, a journalist, magazine editor, columnist, talk-show host and author. Listening to her talk and recount experiences from her life, I couldn't help but admire her. She came across well and I actually wanted to find out more about her, I was intrigued. She is successful and well thought of in her industry, she was appointed the CBE for her services to overseas journalism and in 2007 was inducted into the Magazine Editors' Hall of Fame. She has done very well in her career, and it's not over yet. ... [Read More]

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As the year gets under way and January is nearly over, I thought a short motivational video might assist you in re-energising your actions towards your goals for the rest of the year. I know for a fact, for me,  motivation can come and go, in a heart beat. I always need a reminder now and then. I saw this video and it hit the spot! Click here for the 8 minute video Time to find the warm clothing, dust off my bike, and get out cycling...... [Read More]

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With the first week under our belt, the dust settled and the routine back in place, I thought I'd share an article that I read last year. It's called "13 Things you should give up if you want to be successful" (Click here for the article) I read this and thought it had some good advice to share and I definitely will be following a few of the suggestions. As with all articles of this nature, it does not guarantee that if you follow all 13 things, you will be successful, after all, what is success? Not knowing what success is, seems to be a common problem for people. It's ok moaning about life, or things in your life, but if you don't know what you do want, it's down to luck or chance rather than planning, preparation, commitment and action. For most of us, our mea... [Read More]

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Well it's that time of the year to wish you all a fantastic Christmas and a Happy New Year. What a complete blast 2017 was. There was so much going on, it was difficult to know where to focus! Brexit, Trump, advancements in technology, medicine and environmentally friendly fuels. So much has happened in such a short space of time. Next year will also do something similar, but more than.. I have seen people make amazing choices, take risks and succeed in their aim to have something different. Leaving the certainty of employment, to follow a dream of being their own boss, is not something people do lightly, but if it's well planned and executed, success follows. (Well done James, I take my hat off to you!) It takes effort to make life go to plan, but,  even with meticulous planning... [Read More]

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Have you ever had one of those days where nothing goes to plan? I had 2 in a row last week! I seemed to be well planned but every simple choice seemed to go against me. The choice of route to each destination was the wrong choice with traffic or roadworks getting in the way. I felt my blood boil at times and actually lost my temper a couple of times.... All I saw was red lights, traffic and problems. I was busy but getting nowhere and it didn't feel great! All of the jobs still needing doing, and the day was nearly over, so I started to plan for the next day, feeling very frustrated. The following day started in exactly the same fashion - I went to pick up my pre-ordered Christmas tree (for the 2nd time) and there was no-one there, again. I gritted my teeth and let out a scream in disbeli... [Read More]

MM235

MM235

Is there such a thing as coincidence or does everything happen for a reason? It is easy to say "How strange was that" and then move on before really giving things another thought. I have probably missed quite a few opportunities because I haven't explored the reason something happened.  They (whoever they are!) say there are only 6 degrees of separation between us all and that we can connect easily if we are looking for opportunities. LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and even FaceBook all have a way of connecting us with people we don't really know and it is a fantastic way to communicate and get introductions. I have offered support, guidance, advice and help to people just because they know someone I know. I have extended a warm welcome to strangers, had a bri... [Read More]

MM234

MM234

Can you believe people are already putting up Christmas decorations? It's only November and I have loads to do - I can't think of Christmas yet! Although, having said that, I do like to see the effort, people are prepared to put in, to making a great job of lighting up their homes. I don't tend to go too mad, but I do make an effort.  There is something about Christmas that makes me see the world in a different light at times. I become nostalgic with the memories of my childhood Christmas's and it does lift my soul.  As a child, I didn't really understand how much effort my parents put into making things, especially, nice for us at this time of the year. I certainly didn't appreciate how much pressure this time of year can put on a family with everything that... [Read More]

MM233

MM233

I watched this video last week and thought that, if you have a spare few minutes, this would set your week up in a different way. I personally had to watch it a couple of times as Shawn has so many great things to share and I would recommend having a pen and a piece of paper at the ready. If you have time for a coffee, then this is worth the 12:20 minutes to watch. Click here to watch the video Being average is not something that gets me out of bed in the morning. Be interested, curious - and explore the random dots, it might be you!... [Read More]

MM232

MM232

After a busy week behind me, I am looking forward to building momentum for 2018. As a business, we have achieved most of what we set out to achieve but this is no time to take the foot off the peddle.  In fact, now is the time to accelerate forward and get busy planning. As you will appreciate, when you are busy with the day to day job (For me, delivering workshops) it's easy to take your eye off the ball. With some great work booked in for 2018 already, it does take some of the pressure off, but if we want to grow and develop the business, we need to use the space to look for new opportunities. For the first time, in a long time, I am excited to visit the office and get speaking to people, catch up with my business partner and set some challenging business targets. We started... [Read More]

MM231

MM231

Watching my children grow up fills me with joy, pride and nervousness!  I wonder how things will pan out for them. Will they have fantastic lives and enjoy every moment? I suppose most parents will, at some point, wonder if they have done enough to help each child on their way. My children seem to be well rounded, capable and have a good amount of common sense, which will develop with life experience and time. I think we have done a good job (pat on the back, thank you!) Having said that, every day throws up new challenges and I do realise that once you are a parent, you are always a parent. A place for your children to return for help, guidance and support - forever. I like the feeling of being there for them when they need a shoulder to cry on, a sounding board to run ideas past and ha... [Read More]

MM230

MM230

After months of deliberation I decided to bite the bullet and turn up for a RAF Veterans football match. It's been 10 years since I played 11-a-side football so I was a bit worried about how I'd perform. Over the months building up to this commitment, I had brought the tracksuit, bag, polo shirt, blazer and tie. I'd also had to buy new boots as I only had some astro turf trainers, which wouldn't look cool! So, on Sunday morning I set off to meet the rest of the team at Cobham FC. It was a great day for football and I was looking forward to being involved, even as a tea boy! The team was announced and I was on the subs bench, as expected, which was quite a relief. I had the chance to watch the guys in action and check out the opposition. 'The gaffer' gave me the nod jus... [Read More]

MM229

MM229

Last week I sent the MM out at a different time. I wish I could say that it was an experiment to see who noticed, but in all honesty, I had run out of time at the weekend, so hadn't prepared as I normally do. I didn't give it much thought until a couple of the delegates, attending another session with us, mentioned that they had received the MM later than normal and it had surprised them as they normally  use it as a wake up call.. It doesn't take much to make people feel valued or appreciated but it can have an amazing impact on performance. Happy people are, probably, more resilient and go the extra mile because they want to. In many businesses, I have visited, I experienced differences in how people perform and how that links directly to how valued they feel or even how happy t... [Read More]

MM228

MM228

If you have ever used online sites to sell unwanted items, you know that sometimes it's really straight forward and other times it is not! I was trying to sell a bed base for my Mum. It had never been used as it was in her house when she moved in and she already had her own beds. I put it up for £25 as that would pay for a nice lunch with Mum or a few coffee and cakes. Straight away someone was interested and I arranged to meet them so they could pick up the base from the storage unit. I drove over to meet them and I waited 25 minutes, after the agreed time, but no show I appreciate things can change but I had other things to do and I was wasting precious time. I didn't get an explanation and certainly no apology, which made me a little angry, but at least I have some wood for t... [Read More]

MM227

MM227

Being the assistant manager for an under 18's team, makes the weekends fairly busy but I love being involved, especially as my Son plays. It gives me time to watch him play, see him develop as a player and grow as a man. This weekend was not quite what we had planned - we got smashed 7-0 by a team that were well organised and determined to win. We, however, seemed a yard off the pace and always second to the ball. It was only 2-0 at half time so I was hoping that the half-time talk would have some impact and we could salvage a draw at least. 10 minutes into the second half we gave away a penalty and went 3-0 down. Now the pressure was on and we saw the emergence of leaders within the team, well the captain stayed motivated and motivating, at least! What became really obvious was that... [Read More]

MM226

MM226

How was your weekend? Did you get everything done that you had planned? I knew my weekend would be busy so I decided to take a day off on Thursday instead!  I went to the gym, played golf and then went out with a couple of mates for something to eat and a few beers in the evening. I don't get the chance to do that often but only because I use my 'points' up on other stuff. I mean, a bike ride at the weekend, football twice a week, some CrossFit and, possibly, a motorbike ride in the New Forest, all take points off the board, maybe into my overdraft! There is only so much I can do, just for me, before I have to build up credit again and take others into consideration. It's a fine art and I get it wrong at times and, even as I get older, and supposedly wiser, there are... [Read More]

MM225

MM225

Finally after 10 months of waiting, I got the chance to meet my Sister face-to-face and confront her about some 'feedback' she gave me last November.  Even though she had upset me with her words, we still maintained a polite relationship, for my Mum's sake. Having said that I had kept the feedback and had reviewed it so that I could rehearse and plan my approach when I saw her. My Mum had gone out to her activity club so I thought my Sister would be home alone. I got in the car and drove over, talking to myself on the way. "What if she did this or said that, and what if this happened?" When I got there, no-one was in. I felt disappointed, but also relieved, so I left a note for her saying that I had popped in and it would be good to catch up for a chat. Late... [Read More]

MM224

MM224

The weekend was full of joy but tinged with a large dose of sadness. It is time for our second Daughter to move away to her new home (for 3 years). University is the next stage in her life and I am sure it will be full of fun and excitement with pressure and some challenges along the way.  It's only 2 hours from home, but it is going to be strange not bumping into her, around the house and I will miss our little chats and taking her a coffee in the morning. I might even miss nagging her about tidying her room and doing the washing up - I am sure she will not miss that! With 2 boys left at home, we have time to prepare them to become independent, and make their way forward. Before you know it, we will have the house to ourselves. No more arguments between the kids, no more sulk... [Read More]

MM223

MM223

Well the weather has turned towards Autumn and the wind and rain. You have to be grateful that it is all manageable though.  I still got out on the mountain bike at the weekend, even though I had to take a waterproof just in case, my Son still played football and there are no floods or any dangerous high winds. We could spend time moaning about not having enough sunshine but then I think we would miss the point of living somewhere like the UK, as a choice. If I really craved for more sun and if the rain really depressed me, I think I'd move to a different Country. It is, sometimes, a little inconvenient not being able to predict the weather weeks in advance. It puts pressure on trying to organise BBQ's, camping weekends and, maybe some other events, but I think it ... [Read More]

MM222

MM222

After a fun packed week in Turkey, 3 years ago, I promised my kids that I would treat them to a skydive when we were on holiday this year.  Unfortunately, the drop zone was 250 miles away and the minimum age was 16. This meant that Eddie (12) couldn't now be a part of the 'team'. So we didn't do it! Last week while we were discussing Cloe going to University, I suddenly realised that life was moving fast and our opportunities to do stuff together will become harder and, probably for the kids, less desirable! Even with our oldest daughter it's tough to arrange suitable times to meet up, as she has her life to get on with and her children to entertain. So, I booked Jack and Cloe a tandem skydive at 'Goskydive' near Salisbury, but, I'm not sure they were th... [Read More]

MM221

MM221

After a fantastic break away in Croatia, I feel refreshed and ready to go again. The holiday itself had some challenges with trying to keep everyone happy, engaged and, sometimes, given space to do nothing. We did boat trips, kayaking, beach days, visits to the local town, inflatables and, of course, plenty of eating and drinking! We talked more than usual, reconnected and bonded together again. This year was a special time because it is probably the last time we will all go away together. The children are no longer children. University is calling and new, personal journeys are beginning, whilst others have run their course. Although that can be sad, it is also a happy time to watch the transition to adulthood - and all that brings. Parental support, in one way diminishes and in another way grow... [Read More]

MM220

MM220

Everything about this man is amazing. I was on the edge of my seat watching this race and he ran it beautifully, I can't wait to watch the 5000 race. His success is driven by his desire to be the best and this is not only in his sporting career.  He does what many others wouldn't and I am not sure if I have given the same level of commitment, he does, towards anything in my life. I have approached things, to date, on a slightly different angle. There have always been shortcuts and attempts to get by with minimal effort, throughout my whole life. I look back and wonder how much I could have done if I'd really applied myself, committed and took action. After all, that's the difference between success and failure with quite a few things in life.  The lack of ... [Read More]

MM219

MM219

On TV last week, I watched a man filling up buckets with water, from his front room floor. There had been a big rain fall and his house ended up with water up to six feet deep. You could see the marks where the water had reached and, as you can imagine, his place was a mess. While he was being interviewed I couldn't believe how positive he was. He just got on with the clear up and was thankful that everyone was safe and sound. He said "You don't have to look too far to find someone who is worse off than me, so let's get this tidied up and move on." I thought that was brilliant and he dealt with something, less than positive, in a great way. I am not sure I could have been as 'chipper!' Some people have the knack of always looking for the positive in life and I... [Read More]

MM218

MM218

As our holiday will be upon us soon, I have realised that this is probably the last time that (the three remaining home based children) will be coming with us. Next year the idea of going on holiday with Mum and Dad, will be replaced with an exciting 'friends' holiday instead. On one hand, that makes me happy, but on the other hand, it's quite sad. The recognition that we will soon be going alone makes me question what life is really all about. It's a very big question that, I think, everyone will ask themselves many times in their lives.  Unfortunately, i don't have the answer, and, it would be different for everyone so I won't even try to give my view on this. Before you know it the kids are grown up, the grand children are arriving and the wrinkles begin to ... [Read More]

MM217

MM217

Saturday was a complete write off! I went out with a group of people for a (motor) bike ride at 09:30 and didn't return home until 5:15pm. It wasn't quite like 'Wild Hogs' but it was fantastic. (Click here for full film!) I didn't get any of my planned 'jobs' done at home though. We all met in Shaftsbury, agreed the route for the day and off we went. We visited 4 locations of specific interest, stopped for lunch, tea and biscuits, took some photos and then rode home. When I got home my 'jobs' were still waiting for me! I didn't get to go to the gym, meet my mate for a coffee and catch up, or start clearing the garden, but I had a great day out. Nothing was so important that I had to worry about a time frame. I could get to the gym anytime, wil... [Read More]

MM216

MM216

After another week away, delivering different material to a diverse number of people, I realise that some of the good 'old fashioned stuff' is as relevant today, as it was 20+ years ago. Some information needs to be covered over and over again because, as we are so busy, we tend to forget to use some of our success strategies from the past. I covered goal setting to a group of young graduates who are just finishing their 2 year placement and need to forge their careers into something meaningful and lasting. Only a few had even begun to think this through, which amazed me. (But I am 52 now!) We talked about the GROW model, The Wheel of Life and why we should set SMART goals with SMART action plans. As the lights started to go on, the motivation to take action, started to be shared... [Read More]

MM215

MM215

You have to love life and the contrast we can experience. I mean one minute I can feel under pressure and tense and the next minute I am relaxed, laughing and having a great time. I delivered some work last week with a client, that I really enjoyed. It was effortless as the group was engaged and the conversations were driven by them, with little or no input from me. A complete constrast to the week before, where I was working hard, cognitively, and my brain hurt! Having the contrast helped me appreciate last week more and I enjoyed the change, it energised me. It's like most things in life, you have to experience stress to enjoy comfort For example, when I first began delivering in front of delegates, I'd be slightly anxious if there was more than 12 people in the room. After a whi... [Read More]

MM214

MM214

So last weeks challenge was nothing to do with travel, you will be glad to hear! It came in the form of a house move. Anyone who has moved house will know how quickly the pressure can build between people. My Mum has moved from a 4 bedroom detached house, after 30+ years, to a park home to be nearer to the family. As you can imagine, the space available is vastly different and that did present some issues. The removals firm, did as they were supposed to, they packed everything! The new home started to fill up as the endless stream of boxes and furniture arrived. Even after dropping off and filling a storage unit, there was still too much for the space available. It was a hot day and the lifting and moving was stressful with no end in sight. I had the use of a van to move stuff locally, ... [Read More]

MM213

MM213

After another busy week, I finally got on the train home. 4 days away in Madrid and London and boy was I looking forward to getting home. Unfortunately, the train ride home had some problems and I ended up sitting in a train on the tracks for 3 extra hours before the decision was made to 'go back to Basingstoke'. You could hear the sighs of desperation  from everyone on the train. On our arrival,back at Basingstoke, it became clear that the authorities had not planned anything for the arrival of 400 people looking to get home. Quite poor.... No taxi's or coaches arranged, even though we had been sat on the train for some time, possibly allowing, someone, somewhere, time to organise 'something'. Again the communication was poor and we struggled to hear what was being s... [Read More]

MM212

MM212

I met up with my mate to do a CrossFit session and after we had finished we caught up quickly. He is currently busy with work and travelling all over the place, his life is hectic. I have also been very busy and we haven't really had the chance to catch up, which I miss. Sometimes life gets so busy some things get forgotten or overlooked. It takes real effort to keep in touch and keep all the plates spinning at once. I really don't know how I would manage it if I had a job, like most people have! People seem so hectic, I don't know how they fit everything in. I have a fairly easy life, in comparison, and dictate when I work. Being self employed gives me that luxury, but, having said that, I still have bills to pay so actually need to do something to bring the money in. This wee... [Read More]

MM211

MM211

After a horrific week in Manchester followed by senseless killings in London Saturday night, it seems strange to write a MM and try to be upbeat. My heart goes out to all of the people involved and to all those affected. What has the world come to? I have just returned from a brief trip to Las Vegas, which, also had some grim sights of homeless people, drug abuse and complete poverty. Not positive at all! On a brighter note, there were a lot of great things to be thankful for.    As some of you will know, Vegas has some great sights and experiences to indulge in. The casino's, the IHOP, The Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam, Fremont Street, to name but a few, and these took us into a different, more positive world. I do like to focus on the positive and spend mos... [Read More]

MM210

MM210

It seems that people are out to test me. I feel battered and bruised from the pressure to get things done. All because someone is being unreasonable and impatient.  In short, life has been stressful and frustrating. Now I get how it feels for most people in business! I mean there are always time pressures, targets and projects to achieve.  Communication is so important and yet, very often, it's less than perfect. The strange thing is, that everyone involved is saying "It wasn't me!" "I've done my bit" No-one puts their hand up and says "Actually that was my fault, I forgot to do it!" The problem with this attitude towards 'messing up' is that no-one learns. Well they do learn, but learn how to cover things up and blame oth... [Read More]

MM209

MM209

Last week I was delivering a session on having quality conversations, especially in stressful situations. Things like controlling your emotions and seeing things from someone else's perspective, were discussed. I loved covering this topic as I feel it is an easy one to forget. We have so many conversations each day, it's easy to get caught out and revert to type. Funnily enough, the next day I had a chance to put my teachings into practice myself!  We are in the process of moving my Mum from Grimsby to Bournemouth and, anyone that has been involved with buying and selling a house and being in a chain, will know this can be stressful. I received a call to say that the people selling the house, we are buying, were getting impatient and wanted to return our deposit and sell to a cash b... [Read More]

MM208

MM208

Who would believe it - exercise is good for you! It's on the news again and the message is the same as it has been for years. If you exercise for 30 minutes a day you can reduce the risk of: Heart related issues High blood pressure Diabetes Dementia Depression Click here to watch the evidence. Why is it that we all know this, but some of us, find it hard to be motivated to exercise regularly?   During my time as a personal trainer and health professional, I helped a whole range of different people to achieve their fitness / health goals and I loved being a part of their challenge and change.  Although, some of my clients made no changes, took no notice of my recommendations and made no progress, when it was all there for them, on a plate! "Just follow this... [Read More]

MM207

MM207

Last week was busy, which meant time away from home, in hotels, travelling and hard work. I enjoyed every minute, it was challenging, exciting and rewarding. I did love getting home, being around my family and getting back into my own bed. Having said that, the reality of being home was soon apparent! After the hugs and kisses welcoming me back, it took about 10 minutes for the first argument to begin. Normal family stuff brings you down to earth, with a bang at times, and I like that. Life can get you into patterns and routines and you can drift along and before you know it, you look in the mirror and the person looking back has grey hair, wrinkles and is wearing glasses! Oh yeah, that's me. When did that happen?  Having said that, I still feel young and have so much to do wit... [Read More]

MM206

MM206

The half marathon last weekend was great, we all finished and without any injuries. I didn't set a new PB but that wasn't the intention. I enjoyed running with friends, supporting their efforts and achieving this together. Sometimes the objective is not about personal goals, it's about other people, which is why I love the quote from Zig Ziglar. It's a shame that more people don't think like this, wouldn't life be a bit nicer?  I am, sometimes, guilty of being selfish and focus on me, but I think that is ok too. There are times to look after number 1 and then there are times to consider others. When I have a big event coming up, I have to put some hours in and that can mean I go out on the bike for 5 hours on a weekend, the compromise is that I start early so... [Read More]

MM205

MM205

I'm sitting here contemplating the half marathon I have on Sunday. I, once again, have not really done enough training to make this a comfortable experience. I feel that this is a strong pattern in my life that I may need to address. It's not just in the physical events this has presented itself in other areas of my life such as school (when I was younger) where I seemed to do the bare minimum to get results.  Looking back now I know I could have done so much better with my education and possibly my career choices, as I grew up, if I'd put more effort in. It's not that I am lazy, or mega talented that I don't have to put the effort in, but I seemed to get by. This is not a strategy that I would like my children to use and, as a parent, I am always saying "Try y... [Read More]

MM204

MM204

I finally cut the lawn! I had tried to mow the lawn about a week ago but the lawnmower broke (belt came off) and I couldn't be bothered to try and undo the 5000 bolts to get to it!  So I left it a week before I looked at the broken mower and Sandra had started to undo the damn bolts. It wasn't long before I joined in and we finally had the thing stripped down - with a couple of bits snapped off due to my excitement at getting close to the problem belt I held the belt triumphantly in my hand and said "Now what?" It was obvious that we could no longer repatriate the parts of this machine, in the right order, especially the broken bits! Suddenly, the strimmer appeared from the shed and Sandra kicked into action. As for me, well..... the rugby was just about to start! I gav... [Read More]

MM203

MM203

The excitement was building last week for my Son Eddie. He was going on a school trip on Friday but on the Monday morning I noticed a difference in his behaviour. He almost jumped out of bed every morning, counting the days down. The whole week was engulfed with kit lists and checking equipment such as torches, batteries and sleeping bags.  I loved the fact he was so excited. I can't remember when I was that excited about something. Most of the things I get involved with have a degree of nervous energy and pressure attached to them. Even the fitness 'stuff' is pressured with personal performance targets. I am sure that while Eddie is away he will be stretched and taken out of his comfort zone, so some of the excitement will turn into adrenalin / nervous energy. But, I did ... [Read More]

MM202

MM202

Looking at my diary, this week looks fantastic. Meetings with potential new clients, some 1-1 coaching and a couple of social events.  It couldn't be more pleasant. I do like it when I look forward to the week ahead, although this is not always the case.  There are times when I know it's going to be a tough week ahead and I have to get ready for it and get on with it. It could involve learning new material, travelling, time away from the family and, possibly, tough people to deal with, and I know it will take effort and hard work to get through it all. Do you ever have weeks like that? The interesting bit about those tough weeks, when I look back on them, they are so satisfying, especially when things get done, completed and accomplished. The fun / relaxed weeks don... [Read More]

MM201

MM201

It's a different world now, than 5 years ago, but I think the biggest changes are still to come. I often sit and wonder what things will be like in 10 years time and ask myself the question "Will I be able to keep up?" I have already shut out Instagram and Snapchat as things that I don't relate to and don't want to let into my, already busy, life. I do want to be on top of new things and embrace positive changes in all aspects of life and I like the idea of contactless payment methods, driverless cars and artificial intelligence making life easier and more efficient. I just wonder where it will lead and question how I am preparing my children for a future I don't even understand myself yet. Some of the subjects they are learning at school might not be relevant f... [Read More]

MM200

MM200

After 4 days in Amsterdam and a busy 3 weeks I was really looking forward to getting home on Thursday evening.  I arrived at the airport in good time, only to be told that all flights had been cancelled! Well, anyone that has experienced this knows all of the emotions that hit you at this point. First, anger and rage are immediate but rationale kicks in to look for the 'best option'. I stood in a queue with hundreds of other bewildered passengers waiting for news. For 4.5 hours, I waited and waited, getting no-where fast! Small things started to annoy me, I was losing patience and felt helpless. With still 150 people still ahead of me, a member of the airline finally arrived but only to hand out meal vouchers! I asked what the options were to get home and it was looking like... [Read More]

MM199

MM199

With another week spent in a bunk bed, it was great to wake up in my own bed, at the weekend, turn the TV on and drink my coffee.  How I missed my routine, the ability to sit up in bed and catch up on the world, whilst sipping my coffee. I am so grateful for those simple things in my life again, the things I had started to take for granted. I have previously spent time in fields and tents, getting cold and wet, but not for a while. The bunk beds were a luxury compared to some of the accommodation in the past, but not quite like home! I suppose that, once we get used to having something, it becomes the norm and nothing special. We take things for granted and don't really appreciate the impact it has on our lives. That is, until you lose it. Have you ever had your boiler break, h... [Read More]

MM198

MM198

After a week of delivering on a graduate development programme, I really understand that some people get more from certain things than others. It's obvious when we are dealing with young children, some enjoy things that others don't, and therefore take away a different experience. When it comes to adult life we may not like to take part in activities, can't see the link in the lesson but we do make a choice to benefit or not! It's easy to stand there, arms crossed, saying "This is rubbish, I'm not going to do it" and therefore participate at 20% and get 20% back from the learning.  A closed mind will block out learning, in most opportunities presented, and an open mind will learn from every opportunity presented. I saw this in action, with my group last... [Read More]

MM197

MM197

Last week I was doing some work with people that had been in the organisation for years. Some since the age of 17 and had never been anywhere else, others had experienced other industries but had 'ended up here' and never left. They were institutionalised and had given up on the thought of making a difference. This was their lot.... There was a lot of "them & they" followed by excuses and reasons and an apathy to do anything different. I found this a hard pill to swallow and, of course, challenged them to control and influence, what they could, and let go of they things they couldn't control or influence. Some of the group actually opened their eye wider, took a breath and sighed as the realisation hit them.  They had been moaning about things they couldn&#... [Read More]

MM196

MM196

Due to the influence of a friend of mine, I have started to try a new form of exercise (for me) called CrossFit. This is basically high intensity activities using a variety of exercises from multiple sports, then adding weights. It's killing me! Every time I go for a CrossFit workout I find myself tutting and telling myself "That's rubbish, I must do better". Mentally it is quite challenging because I am failing more than I am succeeding. There are so many exercises that I can't complete and, even more, I haven't tried yet. Funnily enough, I am enjoying the challenge. There is so much to work on though, so, as normal, I have had to break the challenges down into smaller steps (Well Tony did!) which helps keep me motivated. We have a plan for the yea... [Read More]

MM195

MM195

Letting go can be the hardest thing to do, but, for some situations, it's the best solution for all involved. It could be a relationship that is not working, a job that sucks, an employee that is just not working out, or a sport you have 'out grown'  Recognising that it is time to do something different can be emotional. But, normally, when the decision has been made, it lifts a great weight from your shoulders and the future suddenly unfolds in a different direction. Opportunities, strangely enough,  start to appear and other choices need to be made. The burden and stress, of hanging on, is released and you can finally breathe again. This just happened to us! We have been trying for 16 months to help someone out and guide them to a better future, without mu... [Read More]

MM194

MM194

With the weather taking a turn for the worse and the rail strikes affecting many people and businesses, it's easy to be a bit down about things. Cold, wet, stuck in traffic or spending hours commuting can certainly knock, even the most resilient person. Before you know it though, something else will be front page news, and the pain will be forgotten. The ability to change our focus is brilliant, especially when things are tough. Having completed a few Ironman triathlons I think that 'mental toughness' is an element required to do this event, but for me, it is having the ability to focus on something else, and be around great people, gets me through to the end. Sometimes, I focus on what I have completed rather than the stuff to be completed, especially when doing an event! ... [Read More]

MM193

MM193

With Christmas finished and the New Year festivities over, it is time to put some thought into 2017. New Years resolutions with some purpose and planning, is what I am thinking. I must admit, I do get a little bored when people tell me about the things they will try to do differently this year, such as "I'll try to go to the gym more" or I'll try and be healthier" maybe even "I'll try to be happier" None of these really ever happen and, within a month, things revert to normal and the excuses start to materialise. "I just haven't had time" or "I'm too busy" and possibly "I'll start next week" Talk with no intent = nothing, just talk! So, what are your plans? What is it you'd like to achieve this year? I kn... [Read More]

MM192

MM192

With the build up to Christmas reaching frenetic levels, I realise I have, once again, left things to the last minute.  I always feel as though there is plenty of time and then suddenly, whoosh, it's nearly Christmas and I have so much to get organised. Fortunately, my wife does most of the shopping and arranging presents, also the children are getting older so can organise buying their own gifts for other people I had some spare time last week, so I thought I'd maximise my time and get going...made sense. So, with my bank card in hand, I went into town, thinking that it would be quiet, after all this was a week day and during working hours.  How wrong was I, it was packed! You could hardly move because the Christmas market stalls had funnelled the human traffic down a... [Read More]

MM191

MM191

Last Friday I got the opportunity to attend a workshop  called The Charisma Connection. A friend of mine was delivering the session locally and I was intrigued to find out what it was all about. The day went well and was different from my original expectations. I was required to have an open mind to do some of the activities and felt out of my comfort zone at times. One of the exercises we did was about our aura's (click here for definition) and how our energy can be changed by the way we think, how others talk to us and how we talk to others. It was amazing to experience how easy it is to affect your own energy and other people's energy, immediately, in a good or bad way! We used dowsing rods to measure each others aura's and then did activities with giving feedback t... [Read More]

MM190

MM190

What a fantastic week, another trip to Amsterdam followed by a productive Friday and relaxing slip into the weekend. I am sure it was not the same for everyone though. I listened to the people from Holland, last week, describing their lives.  They all seemed time poor, and stressed because of it, apart from one guy. He had decided that his new hobby was to travel to new places and explore different cultures. In fact we travelled to the airport together and he was on his way to Naples for a long weekend away, having booked it a few months ago. He was probably the most relaxed delegate on the programme.  Even though the traffic was bad and trains were delayed he didn't 'flap' about missing his flight - my flight was later than his and I was worried! So ... [Read More]

MM189

MM189

Last week, sitting at Amsterdam airport, having finished delivering a 2-day management skills module, I watched people.  I was there early enough to enjoy a pint and something to eat, whilst making some really interesting observations. As you can imagine there were people rushing from place to place, hurrying along to meet transfers or to 'just' catch their flights. Panic etched on their faces with angry voices motivating partners to get a move on. I did have to laugh, although we have all been there and it is not a pleasant feeling, it is still funny when it's not you! Opposite me on the table was someone, on their phone, obviously having a difficult business call regarding talent within their company and who to 'let go' due to the new company structure. You could &n... [Read More]

MM188

MM188

For the last couple of weeks I have experienced a 'technical glitch' with the Monday Motivator, meaning I couldn't load pictures and create the message I wanted to. So, as you do, I called the service provider and asked what was going on and could they fix it ASAP - please. We emailed back and forth, tried different solutions but none of them worked. Today I got email offering another option whilst we sort this out and I thought "He asked me to try another computer, a week ago, but I forgot to do that" So, today I was on another computer and it suddenly came into my head to try it.  Guess what? It worked What a plonker, why hadn't I tried this earlier? I must admit, he did ask me to try a load of other, more technical things first, but they didn't work, so w... [Read More]

MM187

MM187

On Saturday morning I woke up and found myself in a productive mood. I thought "Today is a great day to get stuff done". With my wife and Daughter at work and the rest of the guys planning their days, I decided to do some jobs I'd been putting off. Cleaning the car, inside and out, was first on the list. I searched for the bucket, sponge and cleaning materials, but, because the shed was in such a mess I couldn't find anything. The bucket had a leak and the sponge had been chewed by the dog, so, not useable anymore. Time to go to Halfords and replenish my stock, then back to the task in hand. I fought to get the hose from the back garden through the shed but finally everything was in place and I got busy. Task 1 completed! Time for a coffee and a rest, so I watched AFCB vs ... [Read More]

MM186

MM186

How do you protect yourself from all the pressures of modern day living? Our window cleaner was talking the other day about how he struggles with some aspects of family life. His two children (boys 7 & 9) constantly argue and he finds himself becoming angry and shouts at them quite a bit.  After a full day going up and down ladders he finds his tolerance levels have plummeted by the time he gets home. I can imagine from my experience, of knowing him for many years, he is full of beans all day when he is dealing with his customers. He is always laughing and joking, smiling and having great conversations with everyone he meets.  So, by the time he gets home, he is all 'smiled out'. I really understand how that can happen, and, to some extent, I feel like that at ti... [Read More]

MM185

MM185

So, after completing the ironman two weeks ago, the only exercise I have come even close to doing, is watching it on TV. I have had some things to do and also allowed myself some 'down time' from sport and exercise. I could get use to this! I do realise that if I leave it too long I could really get out of the habit, easily.  Most of the sport I have watched has been ok, but, it hasn't inspired me to get back on it! That was until I watched the Ironman in Kona, Hawaii. It began on Saturday at 5pm with the pro's setting off first followed by the age groupers. It was amazing to watch, I was glued to my iPad whilst trying to watch England forge a result over Malta at the same time. What astounded me was, that when I woke up on Sunday morning (7am) it was still on and... [Read More]

MM184

MM184

I was lying in bed on Saturday morning when my eyes flickered open.  I looked at the time and it was 06:44 and I suddenly thought "Wow, this time last week I was on a beach in Mallorca, with 2500 other people, just about to start the 2.4 mile sea swim of the Ironman" I can remember the feeling of waiting for the crowd to move forward towards the start line to begin swimming, thinking about my strategy for the swim. Previously I have had panic attacks, causing me to feel like giving up, even before reaching the first 500m. The feeling of being boxed in and trapped in-between other swimmers, fighting for their space, trying to get ahead. Arms flailing and feet in your face, can be daunting, even for experienced swimmers. I knew I could swim the distance and, I had worked hard on ... [Read More]

MM183

MM183

I met with a business owner last week to discuss how we could use his expertise for some of our clients, and vice versa. After hearing what he offers and how he delivers his product, I was really impressed. He had left his job to pursue his passion and the energy came through as he described some of his recent projects. I instantly knew that we will make this work and this is going to develop into something great. When I left him, I felt energised and motivated. When did that happen to you last? When did someone else's energy set you alight? I know, for sure, you will remember a time when someone made you feel bad, drained and needing a sleep to recover from their negative energy. Isn't it amazing that we can be impacted by another person's energy? If we are surrounded by the... [Read More]

MM182

MM182

As much as I truly believe that potential is endless in people, and we can always be even better, there must be a certain amount of personal desire to release it. I have had foster children living with us for 7 years now and have always believed that they can change, do the right things and function in a 'normal' family environment. (I appreciate my normal might not be exactly the same as yours, but, I am sure, there is a massive overlap!) With child number 6 now reaching his first year with us, and coming up to his 19th birthday, I was slowly reaching a point where my faith in his potential was dwindling. Anyone that, knows me well, will realise and understand that I do not give up on people easily and allow them multiple chances to learn and develop. After all, that is what we would... [Read More]

MM181

MM181

Being classed as a leader in business comes with many challenges and, if I were to look at the 7 qualities on the picture, this would take constant focus to be brilliant at them all. If you were to measure yourself against each quality, how would you score? Some will be stronger than others, I am sure, and I doubt if there are many 10/10's because we can always be even better. Diagrams like these are designed to make us reflect and raise our awareness of the need to be developing ourselves, constantly. How else do we stay on top of things? The old school management and leadership books would probably make funny reading in today's business environment.  Command and Control, manage through fear and leave your problems at the door are hopefully, things of the past (unless you w... [Read More]

MM180

MM180

The past 6 weeks have been fantastic. Time spent on holiday, an opportunity to re-connect with the family and space to breathe. This also comes with some challenges though. A constant need to entertain, keep busy and fill the void of school time that normally occupies the minds of older children.  The "I'm bored" moments, even on holiday, can drive you mad and frustrate even the most patient parent. So, as much as I have enjoyed the time, it has come to my attention that I am looking forward to my children going back to school. I realise that, sometimes, I am quite selfish and enjoy doing what I want to do, without worrying about everyone else's plans. When Sandra is at work and the children are at school I can plan the day around those times and my 'activities... [Read More]

MM179

MM179

Just back from my week away, and I have some 'admin' to catch up on so I thought another short MM was in order.  Listen more than you speak, you may learn more......... [Read More]

MM178

MM178

As I am on holiday this week and still wanted to connect with you for this weeks MM I thought that I would share some thoughts with you that, someone much more intelligent than me, was quoted having said. I trust one or two of them resonate with you and keep you going this week. I particularly like 2,3,10 and 15... [Read More]

MM177

MM177

With the Summer holidays upon us, I do expect to be distracted from time to time. I become a taxi driver, driving instructor, an activity / event planner and I spend time just being with the kids. As a self-employed person, often working from home, this can be a frustrating time unless it is well planned and embraced, for what it is - life! So this week I have compromised and flexed my working hours, getting enough done, but at random, stolen moments. I went for a walk with my son as he had requested. He had downloaded 'Pokemon Go' onto my phone and wanted to catch some "thingies". We walked towards the park and, I noticed, he was talking a foreign language, I didn't understand a thing he was saying! He stopped now and then, counted to 3 and whooped, before marching on agai... [Read More]

MM176

MM176

It is disappointing when a contract falls through or a sale doesn't complete so how do we deal with a negative result or rejection? Sometimes I hide away and avoid people to give myself space. Other times I get mad, shout a bit, storm off and hit the gym or go for a run.   Then there are times I feel like crying......frustrated, angry and have no energy left to fight Which ever way I choose to react will depend on many things, such as, how much time I have invested, how big a deal it could have been and the impact it was going to have. I am sure you all have things that 'push your button' more than others. What I have learnt over the many years in business, is that there is no point in dwelling on a negative result. We do have to ask the questions about the reasons a... [Read More]

MM175

MM175

So, after the bad experience at Luton airport last week, which was even worse on our return, I reviewed last weeks MM. I realised that I had not put as much effort into it, as I would normally do, and didn't make the business / life lesson links that I try to do. I have loads of reasons for this, the first was, having no adaptor to charge my computer. I did think  I'd have enough power to do the task though.  The second excuse was that I didn't have loads of time spare due to the busy agenda our host had planned for us. So, while others rested in their hotel rooms in between activities, I had to sneak time at the computer to produce the MM and fulfil my commitment.  It was very tight and I finally pressed 'send' just before the computer switched off - phe... [Read More]

MM174

MM174

Friday morning, Bournemouth to Luton, the traffic was OK and I was well ahead of time - perfect! But when I arrived at Luton airport, things changed! It was terrible, why would anyone choose to use Luton airport?  The experience was awful. It was crowded, hot and under construction! There were delays, no communication and stressed out parents with bored children, standing around waiting, waiting, waiting! How can an airport forget it's customers and not appear to care about the people that fund it's existence? I was not the only person thinking this and I could see the frustration and anger building the longer we waited. The staff were pleasant enough and did their jobs efficiently but, due to the environmental problems, you could sense the atmosphere was less than positive. It g... [Read More]

MM173

MM173

Last Sunday I had one of my milestone events to complete and I was ready for it. I have done quite a bit of training and was thinking that this would be a good test leading to my Ironman in September. A couple of days before, I started getting my kit ready and was prepared for all weathers - just in case! The night before, I got all of my nutrition ready - breakfast sorted, bottles filled and in the fridge - even my bike in the car. My plan in the morning was to wake at 04:00 to eat my porridge, bananas and honey, along with the obligatory coffee. The protein shake and electrolyte drink were ready to consume during the 1 hour drive to the venue. I planned to leave my house at 04:45 to go and pick Tony up and carry on to Weymouth for the event, leaving us time to register, rack our bikes and be a... [Read More]

MM172

MM172

How has your week been? Did you enjoy the negativity spreading across all aspects of our media?  From the England team crashing out of the Euro 2016, another terrorist attack and of course the rumble of politicians positioning themselves for the next challenge for the leadership. It takes some doing, not to let some of that affect your mood and dampen your resolve at times. At least Boris changed his mind - phew! My theory is though, you just have to take the bull by the horns, and make your mark, if you want certain things in life. No-one drops things into your lap and says "There you go, that's you set up for life, enjoy!" Success comes with a certain amount of challenge, determination and, sometimes, pain. Have a look at this short video clip for a quick example (2:02... [Read More]

MM171

MM171

A couple of recent events have been prolific in the news and have captured the attention of most people in the UK and possibly the World. The first one is our exit from the EU and the second one was the brutal murder of Jo Cox MP. (R.I.P) Both of these stirred emotions for me, and I am sure, everyone of you had some strong feelings about these events too. I have been confused, ever since the referendum was agreed, and I know many other people felt the same. I didn't know who or what to believe and eventually trusted no-one! I did my postal vote and then tried to switch off from the 'white noise'. When I heard the news of the final outcome, I must admit, I felt sad. Suddenly feeling nervous about my children and Grandchildren's future. I heard a sober message from Mark Carney, ... [Read More]

MM170

MM170

Last week I was delivering a workshop on change and change management and while I was going through the material it was great to see the lights go on! Change happens every day, it could be a job title, structure change, re-organisation or a new product and I think most people will accept that it happens.  The problem, with change, is that it involves people and emotions! Whilst we all appreciate, rationally, that changes are required in all businesses and in life, emotionally, sometimes, we try to resist it. All of the delegates were familiar with the change curve, the stages we go through, and we came to the conclusion that change is not the problem. The problem is the TRANSITION that people go through. The psychological and emotional journey that is different for everyone involved, ... [Read More]

MM169

MM169

The news of the death of Muhammad Ali, last week, was not a surprise, but, it was very sad. (Click on picture to see Michael Parkinson's tribute) I grew up watching his fights with my Dad and we both loved his style, confidence and attitude. He brought something different to the sport which I think is missing today. Ali had total belief in his ability, even when he was defeated he bounced back. This attitude was with him until his dying day and it is an obvious trait that we see in successful people, from many different walks of life. The common theme is personal belief in ability and a successful future. How many people do you know who actually believe they are not going to be successful, they do not have the natural ability and don't actually succeed? Belief on it's own does ... [Read More]

MM168

MM168

Whenever I get some space, I try to do something productive so I don't feel it has been wasted. Having said that, I do count 'down time' as productive.  The same as an athlete would count their rest days as productive. However, I am not an athlete and do have bouts of forced 'rest' to my health and fitness regime, so I do try to use some spare time to get going! Last Saturday I was contemplating going for a bike ride but I'd had a couple of beers the night before and was searching for excuses not to go. It's really easy to make excuses for not exercising but the weather was great, I had time and no resistance from any of my family members, who were either sleeping or at work, but I still 'mooched' about - dragging my heels. After my second cup of coffe... [Read More]

MM167

MM167

I am sure quite a few of you watch TED Talks and a friend of mine recommended one to me last week. As I am always looking for material / things to share on the MM's I love it when I get something that someone else thinks is worth watching. The particular talk was about procrastination and why it happens, I found this useful and slightly worrying - especially when Tim shares his last slide with loads of boxes on it That made me focus a bit.  Click here for the 14 minute video I think this also connects with last weeks MM about continual growth and not stopping yourself from achieving what you want in life. Unless you CBA! (Can't be arsed) Recently we ran a visioning session with a company, who are very successful at what they do, but, no-one has a life outside of the business, ... [Read More]

MM166

MM166

When do we get too old to dream? I mean when do we grow out of wishing for the bigs things in life and just accept what we have, or don't have? I saw this video on FaceBook last week and it is so true. It's really short so please have a quick look: Click here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJ4sIo3UZfw I have met many people that have just given up. They have given up on their dreams and aspirations and are accepting life as it is. They may moan and grumble now and then about life and the things in their lives, but, they do nothing to change things. I know that I can find myself being unhappy with certain things, especially when I see someone who 'apparently' has what I want. The thing is, am I prepared to do what it takes to get it? I find myself using time as the main ... [Read More]

MM165

MM165

Often I am amazed how simple it is to affect someone else's life, in a good way or a bad way! I strive to be a good person, whatever that means, and do things I think are fair, and, for the right reasons. I don't really know how much impact that has on the people I meet, as, sometimes, I never get to see them again. My job, as a training consultant, is to go into organisations and deliver material that has an impact for the delegates / organisation. The impact can be one of many things such as: Raise awareness of current behaviours - Identify those that add value and those that don't Understand how to get the best from different types of people - by modifying communication styles Develop strengths and, possible, areas of weakness - take action to be even better Controlli... [Read More]

MM164

MM164

Last week was a very strange week and the news of more celebrity deaths was very present in the news. The thing is though, loads of other people also lost loved ones that didn't make the national news, but, it a different way, the news was circulated via email, FaceBook and other social media I found out that a work colleague and friend of mine died last week, via FaceBook. I must admit it took me by surprise to find out like that. I am not sure I was ready to wake up to the news in that way, but, it is a major part of how we communicate nowadays. I also felt nervous about making a comment, or sending a private message, to family members to share my sadness / offer support. It felt too personal and impersonal, at the same time, to use FaceBook to offer my condolences.  Another friend... [Read More]

MM163

MM163

Some of you will be familiar with Tripp and his hilarious sketches about conference calls and corporate life. I saw this sketch last week about business speak, how it is sometimes overused and how confusing it can be. Have a quick look (2.45 mins) and see if this is how you have started to communicate or how the people around you talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHg_M_zKA6Y Having delivered training programmes for many different industries, I have come to expect that they all use local jargon, some more than others. If you want to have an impact on a programme it is important to understand, and use, the internal language but I think the skill in communicating is making information simple enough to understand and use. People do tend to assume that everyone knows their jargon, their acro... [Read More]

MM162

MM162

Getting certain task started can be a struggle at times. I don't know about you, but I have been meaning to clear out my loft for some time now and it is something that always get replaced by something more inviting. Does that sound familiar and does the picture on the left look familiar? Why should I bother, it's not as if anyone goes up there, except to put more stuff in the diminishing space? I have loads of stuff that could probably be put into 1 of 5 boxes: Useful to keep Useful for other family members Useful for someone else - so put on Ebay or Gumtree Useful for a charity Useful to take to the dump I think most of you would agree that would clear 80% of the stuff in the loft, so why haven't I done it? Understanding why this would be good to complete is wher... [Read More]

MM161

MM161

Having been away recently I had time to do some people watching, which is a favourite past-time of mine! It's amazing that, just by watching people in their natural state (when they don't know they are being watched) what you can pick up about them. I appreciate it is not an exact science but you can make some assumptions about people, in a very short period of time, without even talking to them. I saw people dropping litter, leaving rubbish on tables, lose their tempers with children, snap at partners, get impatient in queues and give check-in attendants a hard time.  Every little action gave me a view into their lives, what values they may have and who the really are as a person. Then there were people having fun, enjoying family time, cuddling partners, reassuring children and... [Read More]

MM160

MM160

Last week I managed to get some time to join a friend of mine in Barcelona for a couple of days cycling. We planned to do 2 x 4+ hour rides taking in some of the steep hills to put us through our paces. It worked, although, not without some blood, sweat and, nearly, tears! Day-1 we were on our final challenge, descending towards a village, with the plan of turning around at the bottom and cycling back up our last hill of the day.  Before I knew it, I was on the floor and had come off my bike. Having taken the corner too fast and the back wheel slipped away and we (me and my bike) slid across the road. Fortunately, I missed oncoming traffic and only sustained some superficial damage, so, once we sorted that out, we decided to cut the ride short and get back to the apartment. As I got back... [Read More]

MM159

MM159

With the internet, and everything it brings, we are only a second away from inspiration, motivation, education and information. You choose what you want, type it into your search engine and voila! Clearly there is a mixture of good, bad and ugly material but, whatever you want, you can find. I like to find things that send out great messages and are helpful to others so I can share it. Hopefully, it has a positive impact with someone I might not even know or have ever met. How fantastic is that? Because I like these things, I often get recommendations from other people, which is amazing. I recently spoke to a friend who mentioned a talk that Steve Jobs did at Stanford University and he sent me the link. I found the talk interesting, informative and inspirational. This was pleasing as I'... [Read More]

MM158

MM158

Communication is a wonderful thing and the use of language, how we emphasise words, the tone we use, and what our body says, can make it very impactful. Last week a couple of friends of mine were travelling by taxi in London and the cab driver passed a cyclist, who thought had hadn't been given enough room.  The cab driver stopped at the nearby traffic lights and the cyclist stopped along side the cab to have a chat, through the open window. He explained, to the cabbie, that he should have allowed more space when he passed. As you can imagine they disagreed and the conversation ended with the cyclist saying "Have a nice day" Neither of them wanted to get abusive so the cab driver responded with "NO, YOU HAVE A NICE DAY" This went on for a few seconds with b... [Read More]

MM157

MM157

Wow, what a week. Have you ever had a week that you were glad was over, but happy to have been involved with? I had a week like that last week. It was tough, for many different reasons, but ended up with a satisfying coffee at the beach.  When I reflect back on things, I sometimes feel proud to have put myself 'out there' and challenged myself. I could have said no and stayed comfortable but I would have regretted it. "Growth happens outside of your comfort zone" is the mantra many business leaders use to motivate people to do more, to push themselves and to reach better standards. It's obvious stuff and I don't think anyone would disagree with this concept, in your personal life or business life, it just takes a bit of extra effort. I watched a short video c... [Read More]

MM156

MM156

The feedback from last weeks MM was very positive, with many people printing off the 10 tips - thank you for sharing that with me. It does put a smile on my face and makes it all worth while. I watched Bear Grylls with President Obama last week and found it inspiring and engaging.  I must admit I wouldn't want Obama's life for the world as he is restricted in so many ways, and the things I take for granted, he can't have. He mentions how tight the 'bubble' he lives in can be. He did come across as a genuine person and a normal bloke, which I liked. He also had some top tips about being successful and how to get where you want to get, from his perspective as the President.  Bear asked some great questions and the answers, from Obama, echoed those of past... [Read More]

MM155

MM155

At the start of a leadership development programme we often get a leader in the business to come along and share something profound with the delegates to set the scene. Sometimes the talk is general with no real impact and groups are left asking themselves "What was that all about?" The session delivered last week actually had my attention from start to finish and I was engaged with the stories that were told. The speaker was measured, calm, in control and so passionate about sharing his story. The 40 minute session evolved around his 10 top 'old man' tips which I am going to share as the basis for this weeks MM. They are: It's never too late to be the person you want to be. (Be the best version of you) Find out who you are and do it on purpose. (Self aware) I faced... [Read More]

MM154

MM154

A few weeks ago, I got caught speeding and had the embarrassing situation sitting next to a policewomen being shown my offence on the speed camera and speed gun. I took the punishment and paid the fine as soon as the notice arrived. Two weeks ago I received a letter from the fines department saying that, although I'd paid my fine I hadn't sent my licence to them for the points to be added. AND if I didn't send my licence within a week they would refund my £100 and take me to court. I have to admit I didn't read the whole document when I'd paid the fine and didn't realise that I would have to send off my licence, otherwise I'd have complied. Now I was being threatened with court I wanted to speak with someone to clarify why they needed my licence, seeing as thoug... [Read More]

MM153

MM153

I spent all last week with a group of graduates (65 in total) assisting a team of people to deliver a "Graduate Impact Week" What a fantastic experience and something, that, I took so many lessons from. (Thank you 'Team Brenscombe') Organising timetables, logistics, meeting rooms, activities, lunch, dinner, shower times, reflection time and much, much more, really takes some doing. Luckily enough, I had a great team of people with me. Interestingly enough, I was astounded by the attitude of some of these graduates - in both a positive way and also a negative way. My group of 14 'Grads' (22-26 years old) were all quiet and reflective in the way they processed information - not one extrovert amongst them! This challenged me to adapt my style of delivery and it mea... [Read More]

Sales through Service

Sales through Service

I am in the market for a new printer as my trusty (very) old HP Deskjet has stopped duplex printing (double sided). I did some research, looked at some reviews and decided on a Cannon as it satisfied my duplex printing needs and seemed the best balance between quality and cost. Finally I looked at the web to source one – and that’s where this month’s blog begins. I found that a number of Cannon printers are out of stock because of the floods in Taiwan however I found a supplier in Portsmouth and ordered the printer via the web. A couple of minutes later I got a confirmation email and to my horror it read that my order was confirmed and they were out of stock! Quickly I called the company to establish the ETA of stock or cancel my order and spoke to a customer service representativ... [Read More]

See the Future

See the Future

As some of you know, I like to ride my motorbike at trackdays and last week I went to Silverstone. It was a fantastic day however it was a new track for me so I had to learn my way around. During the down time between sessions (20mins on track, 40 mins off) I had a chance to reflect on how I was doing – I found myself thinking and visulising negatively “Humm, better watch out on that corner as it sharpens up, I could go wide there” and after an anouncement about oil on Stowe corner “It must be slippy there better make sure I don’t crash”. Have a look at this video of John Hopkins who went to Oulton Park near Manchester for the first time this year riding in the British SuperBike series. So the question is, what does John ‘think’ about when he is studying... [Read More]

Communicating With Energy

Communicating With Energy

In today’s competitive environment communication has never been so important – whether it’s making a sale, sharing ideas with your team or at an interview, communication is King. So how often do we stop and think about how we communicate in those situations? For most of us it’s rarely – Of course we will know our sales patter, our features and benefits. We will know the people in our team and the ideas we would like to share. Or we will have prepared for our interview researching the company and the likely questions we could be asked. But what about the act of communicating? Working out the best way to communicate with others is vastly enhanced if we are consciously looking for the psychological preferences of the person we are communicating with – this is based ... [Read More]

The Rarer Cancers Foundation

The Rarer Cancers Foundation

We (Nicole Farmer, Sara Bartlett, Chris Treacher, Mark Anderson, Tony Derbyshire and Darren Broad) have decided to do something called the Ultimate Challenge to raise awareness and money for The Rarer Cancers Foundation. The challenge consists of a series of 5 events running up to the Olympics. These events are: An Olympic Distance Triathlon (1500m open water swim, 23 mile bike ride and 6 mile run) a 100 mile bike ride, a 6 mile open water swim, run a matathon and canoe 125 miles (Devises to Westminster).The first event was the Swanage Tri on the 14th August, followed by the Bath to London 102 bike ride on the 28th August. The Canoe race is in April 2012 and the swim and marathon have yet to be organised. We are trying to do as many events together but sometimes this does not happen and team members are ... [Read More]

Influence

Influence

I read an article over a year ago that looked at the Principle of Social Proof – An idea that we, as human beings, are influenced by the actions of others and follow the crowd. The article looked at GP surgeries and the notice you may often see inside – “Last month 156 people did not keep their appointments” – It commented that this notice was using the influence of social proof in the wrong way. It was encouraging patients not to keep their appointments as this was common practice amongst other patients (think who would see this notice – yes, the patients who kept their appointments!) The reason for this post is that between February and May this year the article above was turned into a full blown study at a number of Bedfordshire GP surgeries. The results of us... [Read More]

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