Posts in What I Have Been Up To

What’s the purpose of your life?

October 19th, 2017 Posted by What I Have Been Up To No Comment yet

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “How will anyone know I’ve been here”? It’s a pretty important
question to ask as soon as possible if you want a purposeful life.

My job is extremely interesting, challenging and fulfilling, no more so than when I’m working with those who are
passionate about not just what they do but why they do it. There’s no better context for someone like me to
add further value in helping those clients to get the best from themselves and their people to increase their
business success. These are usually self made entreprenuers who have believed in themselves and risked
everything more than once to achieve their aspirations. They are driven by what they feel in their heart rather
than what they think in their head.

Then there are businesses which have started out as those described above and have become so successful
they are now a Plc, but where the values of the founder and ethos – the ‘way we do business’, remain at the core
of who they are. The people who lead these businesses are equally exciting to work with and where I find I can
make a difference because they are clear about what and why. Sometimes I may help them to remind
themselves of why and help with the how as they grow and evolve.

However, I sometimes find myself working with clients who are striving to succeed in a context where they are
merely doing a job … ‘turning the handle’ to pay the bills and have become a prisoner of the reward package and,
trust me, there’s nothing more developmentally stifling and mentally draining.

Of course making a decision to follow your real aspirations once you have a lifestyle that requires a specific
level of income can be challenging , particularly if you have a family who have also become accustomed to the
trappings of that lifestyle. So, quite often, in these situations, my value is restricted to helping these particular
clients make the most of themselves within the confines of their existing context because they will never
summon the courage to change it. I call this ‘tactical coaching’ as opposed to developmental coaching.
So … back to the question “How will people know I’ve been here”? … Whilst not everyone is cut out to be an
entreprenuer, we should all strive to be the best we can be and have the courage to gain the clarity of where we
thrive and add most value, follow that path and succeed. Only then will others know we’ve been here. Those
who merely turn up and go through the motions and draw a salary rarely make any real impact, add any lasting
value or find fulfillment.

It takes courage to change, it’s far easier to just keep doing what you feel comfortable with and what you’ve
always done but as the saying goes … ‘If you do what you’ve always done – you’ll get what you’ve always got’.

“The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it”. Steve Jobs

Book recommendation:

Jo Malone – My Story – A woman who truly built a brand on her passion … A brand that has become much bigger
than her.

Self Confidence – Do you have enough?

September 15th, 2017 Posted by What I Have Been Up To No Comment yet

It’s the single, biggest thing I help with

I know from many years experience that lack of self confidence is a common barrier in equal measure for men and women to decision making, progression in life/career and overall success. However, it never fails to surprise me just how much people put up with struggling with it’s impact on a day to day basis, when actually, if they grasped the nettle and came for support, they could very quickly get to the cause, sort it and move on. Those who do, never look back. It’s called unlocking your potential.

These are the sorts of confidence issues I help my clients deal with every day:

  • Confidence in who they are and the value they have to offer.
  • Confidence in their experience and what they know.
  • Confidence in their views and opinions.
  • Confidence in how they are perceived.
  • Confidence to speak up and say what they really mean in a board meeting and ask the questions they want to ask but dare not ask for fear of looking like they don’t know enough.
  • Confidence to delegate and trust that they’ve made the right recruitment decisions and trained people sufficiently to be able to do their jobs well.
  • Confidence to ‘walk the floors’ and simply be and share some of themselves.
  • Confidence to be open to random conversations with staff about whatever they want to talk about.
  • Confidence to deal constructively with difficult relationship issues.
  • Confidence to deal with business challenges face to face without feeling the need to hide behind an email.
  • Confidence to take a risk on themselves.
  • Confidence to participate in something they know nothing about and feel completely out of their comfort zone with.
  • Confidence to look in the mirror and be able to see why their children and their staff behave the way they do.


I’m always happy to have an initial chat over a coffee. Please give me a call on 07747 456351 or email me at


How to lead change … Make it personal

July 14th, 2017 Posted by What I Have Been Up To No Comment yet
I saw my youngest son, Tom (28) off at Manchester Airport 2 weeks ago to continue his life and career in the USA.  His P45 arrived at my home (I’m the re-direct address!) a few days later … A reminder for me that, at this point anyway, this is a permanent move.  There was no trial run, a bold step driven simply and most importantly by aspiration.
In my book I talk about how leadership is like parenting and how much I’ve learned and transferred from being a parent to my business life.  There have been some emotional moments during the last few weeks whilst Tom has been busy preparing for his move.  As I watched him march, with a sense of purpose, up the steps to the departure lounge with his brother, Andrew alongside me, the emotion inside the two of us watching him disappear out of sight was palpable.  It wasn’t until that point, surprised how easy he made his farewell seem, I found myself eating my own words and looking in the mirror to realise his single minded drive has, to some extent been instilled by me.  A drive that I know will be instrumental to his success.  

I’ve always believed life is about being successful and fulfilled in whatever form that takes.  During the last 2 weeks I’ve had to be able to live that belief in a different way and deal with the most impactful form of change … Change that effects the way you lead your family life.   I believe change is exciting and relish the challenge of working out how to do things differently and more effectively … In this instance, the mission is to ensure we retain our close relationship with thousands of miles between us.  
Many of you reading this will have experienced similar yourselves.  In fact I discussed it with one of you last week.  Thank you for the conversation Richard … I found it really useful and supportive.  
The moral of the blog … Tell these stories when taking your business through change …  The principal is the same.  When change is announced, we go through a process of denial, resistance and sometimes, sheer panic before we are able to accept and embrace it.  There’s nothing like a story others can relate to and the most effective are rarely business examples.  Dealing with change is an emotional journey, one which the majority of people fear.  It’s your personal experiences of how you’ve struggled and dealt with change that enable others to better relate to you.  They’re more likely to feel they can trust you to lead them through change as a result.
Remember … Leadership is ALWAYS personal. 

Who’s taking over from you?

June 22nd, 2017 Posted by What I Have Been Up To No Comment yet
Tell me and I will forget, show me and I will remember, involve me and I will understand…. Planning your succession is quite simple … your next generation need to be involved.
In career terms we generally spend our 20’s learning and perfecting our craft and excelling in our chosen field of technical expertise. I believe one of the biggest mistakes we make in business is promoting people on the basis of their success as great technicians.
Emotional intelligence which enables us to grow and is vital to our ability to lead, is also a key cause of career derailment. We neglect this vital aspect of developing our people and as a result many individuals don’t tend to begin to really focus on it for themselves until much later in their lives and careers when, as they move up the hierarchy, they find they’re struggling with getting the best out of themselves and others.
It’s so important that we consciously support our next generation leaders to develop their EQ …


Self awareness– for example being able to make an accurate assessment of your own strengths and limitations. It’s a sign of low emotional
intelligence when someone can’t recognise what they’re not good at and have the confidence to bring around them the people who fill their gaps.
Only when you have a variety of skills and attributes do you have a team.

Social skills– for example organisational awareness and empathy are key in being able to successfully move people in a particular direction of travel and drive performance.

Self regulation– the ability to control potentially disruptive emotions and impulses so your people don’t have to spend disproportionate amounts of their time working out how to handle the boss!

Relationship management– the ability to foster deep, lasting and meaningful relationships, the capacity to inspire and align your team, influence change, resolve conflict, and develop people. It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling widgets or services – people buy people.


The benefits of bringing the best out in our people by design rather than leaving them to work it out the hard way are:
      – They develop into well rounded people earlier in their careers and therefore add far more value to your business sooner and for longer.
      – You won’t be worrying about succession because you’ll be clear, as will they, about who they are, and…
      – You’ll have more time to pass on your knowledge!


If you would like to discuss succession management or next generation coaching with me, please email me at:
or give me a call at 07747 456351.

What does your legacy look like?

April 26th, 2017 Posted by What I Have Been Up To No Comment yet

You can leave something behind or you can leave a legacy – there’s a difference. I have a friend who’s a cutlery manufacturer who once told me that his daughters would get ownership of the factory, to pass onto the grandchildren, but that the business would go to his staff. Of course, his legacy lives on through his people … not his factory.


Are you leading or managing?

March 29th, 2017 Posted by What I Have Been Up To No Comment yet

Ultimately, business success rests on your ability to lead and leadership is about shaping the way forward, not managing the ‘here and now’, hands on, day to day ‘stuff’.

If you’re a business leader I have 3 quick and easy questions for you to ask yourself on a daily basis to help you to stay focused on leadership but first of all ask yourself …

… Why?


Inspire, Involve and Invest in your people

March 12th, 2017 Posted by What I Have Been Up To No Comment yet

Only when you’re conscious of and recognise the importance of your own value add, will you be able to begin to recognise the potential power of releasing the value of your people …


Making the appraisal process enjoyable and purposeful

January 30th, 2017 Posted by What I Have Been Up To No Comment yet

For many, the dreaded appraisal process is simply a meaningless, superficial, box ticking exercise. This is such a shame, as when used effectively, it is a massive opportunity to re-affirm your clarity of purpose, inspire and empower your people.


Who Are You? – Understanding and unlocking your value

December 20th, 2016 Posted by What I Have Been Up To No Comment yet

As a coach I ask a lot of questions such as what makes you different?, what value do you add? and how are you playing to your strengths? These questions help to get clients thinking about who they really are and where they can add most value. Your value comes from who you are – not what you do.

My aim as a coach is to enable my client to develop a more thorough understanding of self, recognise their strengths and the importance of focusing on these to add the most value and achieve fulfilment.


Reaching out for an injection of support

November 15th, 2016 Posted by What I Have Been Up To No Comment yet

“I’ve read your book, it all makes sense … I think I need your help”. This was the email I received from Wendy, a member of the senior leadership team at Royal Mail.

Wendy, had remained static in her role at RM for many years whilst she prioritised her children. However, once they had both flown the nest, her boss, Mike, began to push her to strive to reach her full potential. With his support, Wendy has progressed through the ranks in the last 5 years into her 50’s until she reached a key juncture which was triggered by a significant increase in responsibility and a change of boss. Wendy is a perfect coaching
candidate, she has the right attitude, wants to continuously develop and is completely open minded.