Category: People

Learning and Unlearning

Not long ago, a client called me out on a casually sexist remark I made, the gist of which was ‘yoga is for girls’. It was an odd thing to say, because it’s not what I think. Firstly, having practiced on and off since 2005, I certainly don’t believe ‘yoga is for girls’. Neither do I consider myself sexist – and yet my words undoubtedly were. It would be easy to dismiss this off-hand –

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Good Enough

Sometimes, only our best is good enough … but the idea we can [or should] always be at our best is not only impossible, it’s unhealthy. We’re humans. We have good days and bad days. Sometimes we’re on top form … and at other times – not so much. Now, if we’re having a stinker, that doesn’t mean we inflict our bad day on everyone around us, but pretending we’re always at our best is

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Drumming Stories

First Gig “Summer lovin’ had me a blast …” I sat there, palms sweaty, clutching my pristine new sticks. “Summer lovin’ happened so fast …” I sat there, almost wishing I was somewhere – anywhere – else. [Almost]. My first gig as a drummer was an abridged version of ‘Grease’ somewhere in Winchester. I’m 15, and have only been playing for a few weeks. “Well-ah well-ah well-ah HUH!” And with that ‘Huh!’, I’m off on

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Sometimes, It’s Just Not Our Day

For a time, I was Stage Door Keeper at Her Majesty’s Theatre on the Haymarket in London. [Where you could still go and watch ‘Phantom of the Opera’ tonight if you wanted!] It’s one of those jobs where you get to know everyone, and hear everything … I was there during a cast change. Contracts were usually 12 months, so every year a couple of the roles would go to new people. Auditions had been

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Winning Doesn’t Make You Right

Back to 1995, and I’m selling business telephone systems. [Spoiler alert – it didn’t last long.] Our sales trainer was a larger-than-life North Londoner. The sort of guy for whom selling was a competition, with winners and losers. “And I hate losers.” The first part of the sales process was getting past whoever answered the phone, and through to the right person. One of the key techniques was to be confident – to sound like

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The Best Boss I Ever Had

At 12, I started working as a kitchen porter at a local hotel. [Yep, 12. It was run by my best friend’s mum and dad, and they were big fans of illegal child labour!] First day – I absolutely hated it. I was doing cutlery, and can vividly remember how utterly bored I was. But I worked in that kitchen every year until I left school at 18. [I eventually moved on from cutlery. The

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When Culture Goes Wrong

Late ’95, I moved to London for the second time and got a job as a luggage porter at a swanky hotel near Marble Arch. I’d worked in a hotel before, loved it, and thought this would be the same … Didn’t quite work out like that. Tips were everything, and £100 a shift wasn’t particularly unusual. In theory, there was a complicated ‘honour’ system in place that dictated how tips were divided – but

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Wear Your Scars Proudly

The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. Ernest Hemingway Kintsugi (which translates to ‘golden joinery’) is a Japanese art form that uses lacquer mixed with gold to repair broken pottery. The idea is not to hide the breakage, but to celebrate it – the restoration becomes part of the history of the object. The results are extraordinary. It is inevitable that when we choose to take risks, not all

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Who Are You Angry With?

For many years now, I have been an avid fan and follower of Seth Godin. His books, podcast, and online courses are all excellent, but it is his daily blog that I find provides the most value. (Which is interesting in itself – he gives away his best ideas for free, every day…) Seth considers himself first and foremost a teacher, and his main area of expertise is marketing – but his ideas are applicable

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Attention and Optimism

With the growing awareness of the risks around the internet and how much of our attention it is taking, It’s understandable that this is accompanied with deep levels of scepticism and pessimism from many quarters. Data breaches, deep fakes, device addiction and social media abuse are just some of the things that people are rightly worried about. I’m one of the few people I know who is optimistic about how things are progressing. Don’t get

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Weekly [digital] email to help navigate the [analogue] world …

Weekly [digital] email to help navigate the [analogue] world …