Learning from Sir Terry

February 2, 2016

It was sad to hear of the death of Sir Terry Wogan last Sunday. Often someone in the public eye passes on and I find that their undoubtedly significant contribution to the world somehow passed me by. Not so with Sir Terry.

Memorable Eurovision nights, not for the songs, but for the genius commentary! I got into Radio 2 well before my time, entirely down to the breakfast show host, Mr Wogan.

As I listened to and read the many tributes earlier this week, one thing stood out to me and is extremely insightful when it comes to leadership.

Everyone said Terry would brighten a room. His cheerful demeanour. His humour. His self-deprecation. His genuine interest in people. All these made him a delight to have around and person of significant influence.

It’s a simple but profound lesson. Learning from Sir Terry the simple truth that leaders who foster a cheerful, positive and humorous presence – not taking themselves too seriously – will have a hugely positive impact upon the feel of the entire workplace, group, team or company. Work is serious, but not everything needs to be taken seriously!

Sunday afternoon in A&E

October 16, 2013


It had been in the diary for three weeks and my youngest son Jonar, who is six, was seriously over-the-top excited.

As a reward for something (I can’t even remember what!), he got to take a friend bowling. Such was the enthusiasm for this weekend excursion, within ten minutes of being there, as he was hurrying back to the lane having chosen the finest looking selection of bowling balls, he tripped, fell and broke his arm. The rest of Sunday was spent in A&E.

My instinct as a parent was to instruct my immature and careless son about the need to be more cautious, not to run about in crowded places and – I cringe at the thought that I might actually have said this – not get so over-excited.

Reflecting on all this over the last couple of days I’ve very definitely changed my mind.

Life is meant to be exciting. We should be super-enthusiastic about things that we do…even if that means we are more likely to risk a break.

Whether its a work project, a family trip, my goals for my business, or just going about my days, I should be excited about it and act enthusiastically. Kids do this naturally until, sadly, many see it gradually eroded by the cautioning words of well-meaning adults.

I was that adult. I repent!

I choose to promote enthusiasm.
I choose to practice enthusiasm.

Feel free to join me. I think we’ll have more fun!

Leadership matters!

September 17, 2010

Right now the Labour Party is right in the thick of what is perhaps the most important process of all in terms of affecting where the party goes and what it looks like…and how it’s perceived by the voting public. They are choosing a leader!

With all the ins and outs, the claims and counter-claims, the opinions, the personalities and the politics – what everyone agrees is that leadership matters.

Whether it be a political party, a sports team, a community group, a multi-national corporation or a small business with just one person, leadership makes all the difference.

In LMI, we believe that developing leaders should be right at the top of the priority list of every single organisation…and if its just you, developing your own leadership skills might just be one of the greatest investments you ever make!

Face it – you’re weird!

August 10, 2010

We generally like to think of ourselves as broadly ‘normal’ and life is mostly lived by most people within the boundaries of what is accepted as ‘normal’ behaviour.

The fact is though that you are unique! There is no-one else on the planet who thinks, reasons, feels and acts quite like you do. You’re weird…well as least in the sense that you are different to everyone else.

This is the reason why clever techniques and coldly-applied ‘principles’ don’t cut it when it comes to people, and people are what makes the world work – whether its your colleagues, your customers, your friends or your family.

I’ve been married for 7 and a half years and I still haven’t got my wife figured out! She’s weird! And guess what? I’m weird too! We are constantly discovering new ways in which we are different. We are blessed with 3 wonderful kids, but I am amazed at how 3 small people with the same genetic heritage can have such incredibly diverse personalities, skills and interests.

Its takes time and effort, good listening, understanding and appreciation to make relationships work. Without this, its so easy for things to go wrong…and whether its in a work, home or social context, when relationships break down, everything and everybody suffers.

One of the things I’m learning to enjoy and appreciate more and more is how different people are – how each one of us brings something unique to the table and, if understood and appreciated, this can make for incredibly powerful teamwork and hugely enriched lives.

Just don’t expect everyone to see things like you do – you’re weird!