A time to reflect, a time to plan

As another year draws to a close it is always worthwhile reflecting on what has happened over the past year. A great way to do this is to think about things over four areas:

1. National & international 2. Family & friends 3. Personal 4. Work & professional development

This merely provides a simple framework to get the thinking going. Just grab a notebook and pencil and write things down, from memory, that come to mind. This is great to do with someone else such as family or friends. It is amazing what surfaces in a few short minutes. Often many things we had forgotten, some of them significant. As an example I had forgotten a major

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Really Good and our own Fourth Plinth

I am regularly in London and usually busy with meetings and working with clients. Often I convince myself that I don’t have the time to stop and look as I head for the next appointment; and yet I am never too busy to slow life down a little, if I choose. None of us are too busy unless there is a real emergency to deal with. Now I am not saying that people not busy – just that to ease back for only a few moments can pay massive dividends to the reality of our lives.

On this day, as a walked briskly, I was in a hurry to get a coffee, prepare myself and have a

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Random sometimes works

As were are in the late stages of the summer it is always one of those times of the year when nature seems to have plans to impress us further. I was walking along when I came across this wonderful bust of colour. So impressive.

What struck me the most was the complete random mixture of colour, height and texture. The flowers were almost certainly from the deliberate sowing of wild seed, rather than from seeds blowing in the wind. Such a delight to think that someone had made this happen….and then left nature to do the work.

It was a delight to see as I stopped and studied the random mixture, and whilst having no plan

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Leadership lessons from the duck shepherd

Many years ago I travelled to Indonesia and enjoyed the wonderful landscape, people and culture. It has been said many times that travel broadens our horizons – it also provides different experiences when compared with the ones we grow accustomed to at home. It opens our senses to new sights, new sounds, new smells and so much more. It also opens our minds to think in a new way.

I have recently been sharing a story and metaphor from my time in Indonesia, as it relates to leadership; a topic I have been researching for many years

If I can paint a picture of rural life on some of the islands it can be a beautifully cultivated

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The power of the mind recapturing memories

I was out and about the other day walking to a meeting with my mind busy thinking through to make sure I had everything ready. How I hoped the meeting would unfold. What I was aiming to achieve. How I could help the people I was meeting. Plus a few more thoughts I am sure. Suddenly, as I walked past a wall, there was this wonderful smell hanging in the air. A smell that stopped me in my tracks so I could reverse and see where it was coming from. I simple green clump of vegetation that hung over a wall. The simple white flowers subtly displaying their petals to the light of the day. And yet,

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What growth are you planning?

Spring is a wonderful time. As the year unfolds new life abounds with lambs, leaf and more as the temperature rises. The light becomes more intense, the days lengthen, the birds busy bringing up their young.

I was recently away for a few days attending a conference where people from many parts of the world converge. We listen to the latest thinking from well-respected professors and academics as they unleash their latest findings; the progress with their current research – always keen to tap into all those who have gathered, seeking feedback and debate.

It is a massively valuable few days with time to meet new people, renew old friendships and have our minds challenged, stretched, opened.

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Making dough and more….

In our busy world, with so much to do, the pleasure of taking time out to travel by boat to a small island inhabited by around 25 – 30 people can be so wonderfully relaxing.

On this day it was great to enjoy time with 8 people I had never met before and learn a basic skill that reaches back into the mists time. A skill used to feed ourselves with a wonderful food. The baking of bread. In this case in an brick oven heated by burning wood. This is the way that bread has been made for centuries. And still is in parts of the world. Yet a skill that is seldom embraced in our

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Spring has arrived

I am always amazed at the power and beauty of nature. This picture shows some wonderful early spring blossom – how glorious!

I was walking past the college where I studied for my first postgraduate qualification, many years ago, and was rather absorbed in a sizeable trip down memory lane. Then suddenly I noticed this tree which may well not have even been planted all those years ago. How the tree must have grown in the years that followed. How magnificent the blossom looked on such a fresh day – that was enough in that moment, on that day. To wonder at the these soft petals, the subtle colour, the very delicate perfume, the way it

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Everyone has a story!

Spring is a great time of the year – the winter is fading away, the days becoming lighter for longer, the temperature warming up. It is also the signal for nature to start her new year of growth. The birds chirp more as they start to build their early nests. The trees start to wake up and suddenly the daffodils appear. We don’t seem to notice as they are start to grow with their plain green stems – and then suddenly there is this splash of colour.

The vibrancy of the yellow a wonderful reminder that spring is here. It also seems that people are brighter too.

I was on a long journey and as usual I

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Do you love cruise control?

An advert for a low priced car caught my eye the other day as I browsed through a newspaper. I have not taken a daily paper for many years and my ‘news intake’ is low yet focussed – more on that another time – on this occasion, while I was enjoying a swift coffee stop, as a newspaper was to hand, it was interesting to have a browse for a few minutes. There is always something that catches my eye.

It was an advert for a low priced car that caught my eye. It exclaimed just three features – cruise control was one of them. Many years ago cruise control was the reserve of luxury cars. It

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