Archive for Leadership

5 Things 15 March 2017

Each week I hear, see and experience things which could be of benefit for others. Picking up on an idea from Tim Ferris – I thought I’d do a short blog to share some of them. Here goes.



Quote I’ve had in the back of my mind. “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”. Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Thinking along these lines in a world of ever increasing complexity can be refreshing. I’ve been viewing my morning routine through this lens and simplified some of the questions I ask myself each day. What are you doing that could benefit from simplification?

Metaphor to apply. “Do homework on a Friday night“. This one comes from Davina McCall. She was writing about getting the ‘stuff’ you don’t like doing out of the way, to free up your energy for more interesting activities. She learnt this with her kids and the inevitable weekend school homework. What are your equivalent tasks that nag away at the back of your mind when you don’t do them? Accounting for expenses would be fairly highly on my list.

App to explore – Habit List. This was a tip off from Chase Jarvis. I work a fair amount with people looking to introduce or eliminate habits to improve their overall performance. As a result, I’m always on the lookout for tools to help with this. I’ve been exploring this app which is straight forward enough in its concept – to encourage you to develop the habits you want. There are plenty of alternatives available. I liked this one for its simplicity and ease of use. Give it a go.

Taking your cycling to the next level. For those of you who enjoy your cycling and have a particular event you want to train for, here’s a programme that could be of benefit. Elliot Lipski is one of the talented sports scientists who work for Trainsharp Coaching. He has put together this programme which was recently featured on

Seth Godin Wisdom. In the context of thinking about your brand “no one gets a Suzuki tattoo”; in contrast to Harley Davidson. Does your brand and performance mean your customers are willing to go to significant lengths to demonstrate their loyalty?

5 Things 10 Feb 2017

Each week I hear, see and experience things which could be of benefit for others. Picking up on an idea from Tim Ferris – I thought I’d do a short blog to share some of them.  He shares his every week. I suspect mine will be a little more sporadic. Here goes.



Blog post I really enjoyedIs the money in the tin? I met Steve Sutherland the author of this post a few years ago and he mentioned this story. It’s great that Steve has taken the time to share it with a wider audience. Using the tin analogy can be a helpful test when you get ahead of yourself when thinking what progress has really been achieved.


Fortune cookie wisdomDedicate yourself with a calm mind to the task at hand. At the end of a belated Chinese new-year dinner I received this little beauty. I’d spent a day flitting from activity to activity without too much tangible progress. Felt like a timely reminder.


Website and app that got me thinkingStickk. A nice solution to ‘encourage’ your motivation towards a goal. Their approach is to draw on the power of loss aversion.  Essentially you determine a goal, and nominate a sum of money for a cause that you don’t like. Next find someone you trust who will referee your performance towards the goal. If don’t do what you’ve committed to the cause gets your cash. Of course, you don’t need Stickk to do this. However, they do have extra motivational bells and whistles. Worth considering for those new-year commitments that perhaps have fallen by the wayside?


Billboard challenge. Saw this quote outside a church “the problem with the world is that intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid people are full of confidence” – Charles Bukowski. I’ve sat in several meetings over the last week where I’ve pondered this as different people have spoken. What could you be doing as a leader to help mitigate doubts in the people you lead?


Prioritisation tip. This one courtesy of Tim Ferris. When faced with a list of tasks with competing priorities try the following criteria to help cut through the complexity. Ask yourself which of these tasks would make the others easier or unnecessary? It can help bubble to the surface what to do next.




Five things 28 Jan 2017

Each week I hear, see and experience things which could be of benefit for others. Picking up on an idea from Tim Ferris – I thought I’d do a short blog to share some of them.  He shares his every week. I suspect mine will be a little more sporadic. Here goes.



Book I’m readingTools of Titans, Tim Ferris. He describes this as a ‘collection of tactics, routines and habits of billionaires, icons and world class performers’. It draws heavily on his interviews over the years, which if you’re interested in learning more about you can catch on the four hour work week podcast. For me this book has things you can use straight away, things that you’ll want to skip over (as they are just not relevant to your circumstances) and things that will challenge the way you think.

A phrase I’ve heard – strategic patience. Patience is a relative word. This made me think about some of the projects I’m involved in. Are there things you’re doing that need more time or if you’re really honest you just need to call time?

A podcast that made me thinkMobile Talk at #SXSW with Bonin Bough – this is a great example of a clash between new and old media. Gary Vaynerchuk in full flight taking on more established marketing thinking.

Music I’ve been Listening to – Bad Bad Not Good. Canadian jazz hip hop group. Gilles Peterson put me on to this at the back end of 2016. Quirky off beat tunes. Time Moves Slowly – isn’t typical of the group. It’s more mellow. It resonated with me though. Thanks GP.

Service that made me smile – I was eating with a client in Cafe Rouge. When taking our order the waiter was nervous. He got one of our orders completely wrong. Realising what had happened, he came back this time extremely nervous and apologised. He explained it was his first night and had messed up. He got things sorted quickly (also they took the dish off the bill). By showing his human side and taking responsibility he got us both on his ‘side’. How often do we ‘mess up’ and then look for excuses rather than take responsibility?

Why ‘weight’ for 2017?

mince-pieI’ve had three conversations over the last week with people talking about a goal of loosing weight in 2017. Eating well is a core component for resilience. So I’m always interested to talk about it.


As I would always encourage, start today. Christmas is 10 days away. So instead of waiting until after the festivities, why not kick start some pre holiday good behaviours. This doesn’t mean living like a monk. Here are three choices to consider:

  1. Go for a better breakfast – try porridge. The sachets you can get now are easy to prepare and if you get plain ones you can customise to your hearts content. 
  2. On the breakfast theme – instead of meeting people for drinks after work, how about meeting for breakfast. The reduction in alcohol will make a big difference.
  3. Think about the day ahead and plan your intake accordingly. For example, if you’re out for dinner or drinks in the evening make the commitment not to tuck into the mince pies that turn up at lots of business meetings during the day.

A little proactivity will go a long way to getting you tee’d up for the start of the holidays. You never know you may even loose some of that weight. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you are happy with the choices you make. And most importantly have fun and spend time with the people you care about over the Christmas and New Year break.