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Author: chrisd

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“Top notch, inspirational brilliance, great ideas, great story…”

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“Inspirational and valuable – just great!”

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“Rated out of 100, you have been scored at 96 by over 300 delegates which is higher than I have ever seen.”

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kevin-speaking1“There is so much we have learned from your experience and you have my most sincere and personal gratitude for the work you put into our presentation.”

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“Absolutely mind blowing, motivating and genuinely inspirational man.”

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“Truly amazed by what he’s gained through a combination of determination, clever thinking and simple common sense. Great guy.”

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“Inspirational speaker with great content, ideas and humility. If there was a higher score available he would get it. Completely compelling.”

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“Fantastic! He demonstrated the real key to dealing with your staff. What a genuine guy. He deserves all his success. I’m a fan!”

Prepare, Plan, Proceed

People sometimes look at my adventures and think that the expeditions I take part in are just a hobby, but they are much more than that.

I have learned so much about how people respond to tough situations, work together and respond to different situations that is directly transferable to the business environment.
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A leader’s dilemma

My latest challenge is to manage a company through a critical phase of turnaround and rebuild.  They already have a good name in their industry and a very high profile and, when I was asked to step into the leadership role to build a strong and profitable company I saw the potential.

My original training was as a civil engineer so I know how important the foundations are.  Buildings with poor foundations don’t survive.  It appeared that this company’s foundations were already well-developed and I looked forward to building on the groundwork that the former team had put down.
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Ignorance is never bliss

When you’re building a new home and it looks well on the way to your family being able to move in, you really don’t want to be told that there are serious problems with the foundations that may require stripping it back to the bedrock.

On the other hand you don’t want to move into a home that is likely to collapse taking you and your family with it.
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Big bangs don’t create culture

Big bang change processes don’t work.  Change that is sustainable has to be gradual and continuous.  Big bangs simply generate resistance, resentment and, sometimes, revolutions.

The secret of change is that everyone who will be involved in achieving the change must understand not only what the vision of success looks like, but what the values are that underpin it.  This isn’t a quick fix; it’s a slow, but powerful process that depends on a 360 examination of the principles, values and beliefs that will create the organisation culture.
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Push, coach and empower

(Photo courtesy of Stefan Wagner)

When you take on the challenge of becoming the leader of an organisation you’ll almost certainly be faced with things that need to change.  Depending on what state the organisation is in will influence whether you dictate, direct or delegate.

It’s important that a new leader defines the way forward so every member of the team has a clear vision of where they’re heading for.  If the organisation needs radical change in order to succeed, that can be very different vision to the one that the team have had in their sights.  In fact, if the company is struggling part of the problem is probably that the original vision has become so hazy that it’s impossible to see.
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The name of the game

wales-australia_1123492cI recently watched the Welsh rugby team play Australia – a team they have only beaten 4 times in 40 years.  They didn’t win, but they did look like a team who could win.  In the words of one of the Welsh players “We have put the basics right, made sure we went onto the pitch with heart, spirit and aggression.”

As the recently appointed CEO of a company that has been hit hard by the recession these words resonated with the situation I find myself facing.
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Communicating with the runner’s feet…

running-shoesSometimes when I am out training I wonder about the amazing machine that is the human body.

  • How do my feet know to jog around my running route?
  • How do my arms know to work in rhythm?
  • How do my heart and lungs know to increase their work rate to provide the power?

I am an engineer, not a physician, but I do find it fascinating that the communication and coordination between all of these separate functions appears to be effortless.
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Does your company need an urgent blood transfusion?

aug blog blood

My son is currently enjoying work experience with the blood transfusion service. Each millilitre of blood donated is measured and treated as a precious contribution to someone’s long term health. Blood is a critical ingredient of a healthy body transferring energy around the body and increasing the supply where extra power is needed.
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