• 40 days and 40 nights

    I recently passed this milestone – alcohol-free – and it turned out not to be too fraught with temptation. In truth, I haven’t drunk much for a few years so it wasn’t that big a leap. But reflecting on the experience does bring insights – and as we all live, directly and indirectly, with all […]

  • Brilliant individuals are not necessarily good leaders – but they can be

    As a coach, I have worked with many smart and confident senior executives, law partners, finance sector ‘high flyers’ and others.  I’ve admired their brains, ability and hard work, and I’ve also seen how they can falter when challenged with stepping out of their ‘comfort zone’ as successful experts into more senior leadership roles. Here, […]

  • Your knee bone connected to your…

    I took myself by surprise in 2013. Having never run more than a couple of miles in the previous 52 years, I entered and completed my first half-marathon. So what did I learn and discover from this great feat – and what does that tell me about the challenges of working life? 1. I could do […]

  • The Ascent of Man

    60 years ago today, ‘Nature’ Magazine published James Watson & Francis Crick’s description of the ‘double helix’ structure of DNA – an amazing moment for science and mankind. Their work was an important step in the journey towards so much that is important to us today in healthcare, cancer research and many other fields. Jacob […]

  • Unfinished Business (and season’s greetings!)

    It’s around 200AD. Picture the exhausted Mayan calendar-maker’s apprentice: hands, fingers and concentration exhausted from chipping away at hard rock, while the winter solstice party season is fast approaching. As she applies the finishing touches to the latest section of the great calendar, she glances across to the red sunset, catches the unmistakeable aromas of […]

  • When you’ve lost your job and are looking for a way forward

    As job cuts continue to hit the financial and professional services sector* with the worsening eurozone storm, here are some thoughts about what you can do, and how you can be if you lose your job (or know someone who has). Option 1 (which you’ve probably heard a few times by now!): Keep Calm, (put […]

  • Reward and Motivation in a ‘Post-Bonus’ world

    To date, it hasn’t been the public opprobrium or even the political pressure that has resulted in sharp cuts to bonuses in the City. It’s economic necessity – reducing the cost base to stay profitable, rebuild equity capital and deal with continuing tough trading conditions and regulatory demands. These are tactical cost-cutting measures so far, […]

  • See Your World More Clearly

    Have you ever noticed how where you are affects how you think? And do the same old problems keep recurring when you’re stuck in the same old place? When you need to explore and find some extra clarity and energy around critical issues and decisions, it can be a good idea to escape from your […]

  • We’re all doomed. Happy Xmas!

    A terrible economic recession (depression?) seems inevitable over the next few years as Western economies crumble under the burden of unsustainable debt, and the rest of the world catches the cold of falling trade and GDP. The emperor’s clothes of ever-increasing ‘leverage’ over recent decades will be seen for what they are: an illusion of riches […]

  • Like Water for Leaders

    Good leaders and teams in any context are focused on their objectives and satisfaction usually flows from achieving results which meet or beat those targets. That’s even more true, and more difficult, when operating in a tough economic and business context, as many of us are in now. So there’s a challenge in keeping freshness […]

  • Midlife options

    According to a study published in 2008 by the University of Warwick and Dartmouth College in the USA, the risk of depression peaks at the age of 44 yrs old. And, as Carl Jung said: “[people] seek position, marriage, reputation, outward success or money, and remain unhappy .. even when they have attained what they […]

  • Reconnecting

    Last week I enjoyed an excellent lunch with an old school friend. We hadn’t met in over 30 years and it was amazing how quickly and easily we were able to share memories, journeys and hopes. The previous week I’d met up with another group of old business colleagues at a reunion dinner and a […]

  • Two simple questions that can make a difference

    Words and phrases have different meanings and associations for different people. This can have a big impact on how effectively you communicate – and understand others. For example, take just one word: Sharp… …as a knife. The pleasure of a freshly-sharpened steel blade as it cuts into a bright red, vine-ripened tomato, silently slicing the […]

  • Strengths in tough times

    …I believe we can all choose to be leaders in our own systems. Like ants sorting out the nest.
    So where can we find those strengths? Here are six I can think of for starters…

  • Same old, same old, or differently? – in the City. (22/12/09)

    In the City, conversations about bonuses at this year end will certainly be different. No doubt ingenious ways to dodge the extra tax will be found for those people deemed worthy of exceptionally large ‘compensation’ packages. Perhaps this will include more deferral and equity, but essentially it is the same old corporate financial reward system […]

  • A conversation with my pelvis (a poem inspired by a physiotherapy session!)

    I’m having a conversation with my pelvis which is a new experience and I don’t know where to start I’m feeling rather tongue-tied and prone to inappropriate questions that really aren’t connecting or creating ‘rapport’ with my pelvis. For a start I don’t know what language to use words or feelings or pictures or something […]

  • How amazing is the raisin (a poem inspired by ‘mindfulness’)

    How amazing is the raisin in comparison to all of us. It’s such a tiny fruit but with steep hills and dark valleys, gorges and ravines too, rugged and soft like a volcanic island in the tropics, seen from the air, its sensual richness hidden beneath the canopy. And the skin of my palm can feel […]

  • to Steve (19/11/08)

    I’m not so smug as to say ‘I told you so’ or had any real clue about timing, but one of the reasons why I’m not surprised about the ‘crash’ and the coming downturn is that Kondratiev’s ‘long term cycle’ has always struck a chord with me. It’s something to do with generations passing and […]

"Anyone old enough to have had their key life values formed by the direct experience of the '29 crash & '30's depression would now be in their 90's, or older. "

blog posts