Have you ever been bewildered at an otherwise placid colleague blowing up in anger over the most insignificant thing? Have you ever been livid that someone has annoyed you, yet not seemed to express any regret?
Intolerant people see the world exclusively through their own eyes, and when Continue reading
There are certain people in life that you can depend on. They are authentic, and they have the courage of their convictions. You know that whatever you ask them, it will be done to the best of their ability. Every word that comes out of their mouths is carefully considered, and every one of their deeds matches Continue reading
Maybe the title of this blog should be “How to start your own business, working at home as the sole breadwinner at the start of the recession with a newborn and an 18-month-old.”
Everyone has those mad times in their lives where you look back, and you Continue reading
This was a “voice in my head” that I used to really struggle with.
I suspect that I was not alone in my thoughts, which is comforting, but that nagging thought of “ok then, what next?” somehow made me feel that little bit lonelier. I took it on myself to make that next step, I strived to get to that next Continue reading
Companies can underestimate the trauma that a new mum feels when she has to return to work, leaving her infant at home with a nanny or a carer. Observers might view this as her “choice”, but often there is no choice, and it can be a highly stressful period. Continue reading
I had it all and I gave it all up. Best decision in my life.
I was in charge of a start-up in Russia for the European Retail giant Kingfisher. I managed half the buying team, had a huge strategic input into the format of the first stores, and felt like I was genuinely creating something Continue reading
Disappointments are an entirely natural part of a fulfilling life. When your hope or expectation of something is not met, you feel let down. However, if you are shooting for the stars, disappointment should be your friend – it gives you a renewed focus on your path. There is nothing like a short, sharp shock Continue reading
My opinions on a lot of things have changed since I have been a Dad….
I don’t see the world through my eyes anymore. I have two wonderful kids who say things like: “why is it like this Daddy?” or “why can’t they do that Daddy?” I try to find answers for them and at the same time find the answers Continue reading
Or, of course, a mother….
There are very few situations in life where you only have one chance.
If you fail your driving test, you try again. If you get fired, the next job always offers potential salvation. Even marriage is sadly not so sacred these days, for Continue reading
During our childhoods, we grow up thinking that our family and friends will have the biggest influence on our lives. From an emotional support point of view, that may be the case. However, for the truly momentous moments, where your life can change direction in an instant, the difference between Continue reading
There is no one in the world more qualified to talk about creativity than John Cleese.
For those of you that don’t know him, Cleese is the British comedy genius behind Monty Python and Fawlty Towers. He has mused on the creative process at various events over the past two decades, and he is an inspiration Continue reading
Forget about the work / life balance. What about the social media / life balance?
It is an increasing trend for some people that their virtual selves are more interesting than their actual selves. Speaking personally, sadly enough, that Continue reading
When you are pushing yourself to be the best version of yourself that you can be, sometimes the pressure can mount up, and it suddenly feels like everything is getting on top of you. This is my definition of feeling stressed.
Pressure is perfectly normal at work – you have to deliver on your promises, Continue reading
I like setting an example to my kids, but in this particular instance, my wife and I have different opinions. All my life, I have loved getting muddy, and I encourage my small kids (ages 6 and 8) to do exactly the same.
You see, I’m not a fan of perfection in life. I don’t believe that it exists, and I Continue reading
The “big breaks” in our career often pass us by. Windows of opportunity come and go all the time, and circumstances dictate whether we take advantage of them or not….
An email from an unknown recruiter may lead to our dream job, but unless Continue reading
The relationship with our boss is often a defining factor in our success and something that many of us lose sleep over at night. When things start to get strained, for whatever reason, we have to resort to “basics” in order to get things back on track. The best relationships need constant attention, and if Continue reading
How many times have you been chewed up and spat out during your career? Maybe you have had to spit someone out yourself? Office politics is an unavoidable fact of modern business. In a room of highly intelligent professional people, who all wish to progress in their careers, sometimes it is Continue reading
I was ten at the time. My grandmother (Nanny) on my father’s side was dying of cancer. She was an amazing lady, an accomplished concert pianist and the centre of any party with a larger than life personality. Their house (where my grandfather still lives) was always filled with music and laughter. Then, one Continue reading
Dear recruiters and hiring managers, stay awake, please!
A Harvard study recently found that the human mind is hard-wired to wander 50% of the time. Apparently, it wanders most on your commute, when staring at the computer screen, and particularly badly during presentations. Continue reading
I’m a very proud Dad. I have a six-year-old son and a daughter, who has just turned eight. I realized long ago that they are growing up fast. Their curious little minds absorb everything that surrounds them. Their ears prick up whenever they hear Daddy on the phone. They are trying to make sense of Continue reading
Steve Jobs was a successful doodler.
…….End of article.
Well, okay then, I will go into the science a little more….
According to The Doodle Revolution, a brilliant book by Sunni Brown, Continue reading
There is a first time for everything. There will be a second time for most things.
How much more interesting would life be if we were all a little braver? If we had more experiences to learn from? If every knock-back made us even more determined to better ourselves? Better to “walk the walk” and stumble every Continue reading
Written in 1513, Machiavelli’s “The Prince” is the ultimate cheat sheet to getting ahead and staying there – for those who don’t care about the consequences. The ends justify the means, and nothing is sacred.
I first read this book when I was working for the boss from hell, and I Continue reading
I once did a family tree project at school, and I was surprised to find out that I was related to Anne Hathaway. Anne was Shakespeare’s wife whom he abandoned in Stratford-Upon-Avon while he was writing his plays down in London town. I have always been a fan of the Bard, and every now and again I Continue reading
I have chosen a different path. Could you?
This is written for all those people who are getting just a little bit tired of all these Steve Jobs articles. I’ll be the first to admit that the advice in most of these articles is enlightening, and much of it is highly relevant for our wider Continue reading
Looking back at it, it was pure madness.
Four years ago I moved over to St Petersburg in Russia with my family. I spoke fluent Russian and had worked in Russia before. Ok, so far, so good. My kids at the time were 2 and 4 and we wanted to give them the experience of Continue reading
Hiring companies and recruiters have never had it so good….
Methods of finding candidates are more advanced than ever, assessment techniques are increasingly accurate, and interview questions are honed down to the last word. Even the personal blogs of candidates on LinkedIn can Continue reading
“You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”
I have a serious man crush on Matt Damon and I’m not afraid to admit it. His Continue reading
The four of us have had a roller coaster ride as a little family unit.
We lived for the first few years of family life in St Albans, a leafy UK market town full of middle-class contentment. While that was the sort of lifestyle we aspired to at the time, as my wife is from Russia (we’ve been married for 14 Continue reading
We all know that recruiters do the majority of their stalking on LinkedIn. They lurk in the shadows, often anonymously checking your profile, judging your digital persona clinically and dispassionately. “Worked here for a couple of years, did a few interesting projects, nothing too special to make him stand Continue reading
There are two types of situations in life – those that you can influence and those that you can’t. For those that you can’t influence, hope is the only refuge. However, in many cases you can do more than you think to ensure a positive outcome. Continue reading
Looking back over my life, the best decisions that I have made have always been preceded by that feeling of “there is something not quite right here.” Your heartbeat may quicken for an instant as the fight or flight response kicks in, your senses become heightened, and you are instinctively ready to Continue reading
I considered myself a high-flyer, married to an amazing girl, about to move abroad on a hefty expat package as the second employee in a Retail start-up in Russia for the biggest DIY Retailer in Europe….. travel, new experiences, money in the bank – what’s not to like for a 23 year old? Continue reading
You know all those calls and emails that you get from recruiters asking if you are considering a new role? You give the standard “don’t call me, I’ll call you” answer, right? Maybe you might have a brief chat if they’re lucky. Well, soon recruiters won’t be asking, they will be stating a fact, and with a pretty high Continue reading
Tell me a story, paint me a picture and sing me a song….. The best interviews are multi-coloured voyages of discovery through your past, present and future. They appeal to the basic emotions of your interviewer – not by machine-gunning them into submission with endless facts and analysis, but Continue reading
So, work isn’t going so well, huh? Maybe you’ve not been working for a while now? It’s a pretty hard place to be. Your head is filled with doubts, fuelled further with well-meaning but unsolicited advice from friends and relatives which clouds the issue yet more. With all these different thoughts and Continue reading
It was fleeting, but it was real. For a brief moment, I felt like a hero. Not some cheesy comic book type with a silly costume and a cape, but a heart-pounding ‘is-that-really-possible’ hero (in the eyes of my five-year-old son, in any case). Looking into his eyes at that moment, I felt a pride that I had rarely Continue reading
In a survey of 20,000 new hires, a staggering 46% failed to achieve their expected potential. The main reason (for 26% of new hires) was a lack of coachability, that is, the ability to accept feedback from bosses, colleagues, customers and others. This issue is not just limited to new hires. You might Continue reading
“Daddy, why are you spending so much time at home now? You never used to be home this early? I heard you talking with Mummy. Haven’t you got a job anymore? Didn’t they like you Daddy? Does this mean we don’t have any money?”
The end is in sight. You have impressed them with your knowledge and communications skills, charmed them with your affability and easy manner, but now comes the real test. You have to show that you actually want to work there. This is your time to shine, your chance to show that out of all the Continue reading
It’s been a long day, the interview didn’t go as planned, and you are trying to get off to sleep. Random thoughts keep flitting into your head, keeping you awake, your brain trying to digest the day’s events. Lying in bed, even in the embrace of a partner, you just can’t switch off. It’s like a slow drip-dripping Continue reading
We’ve all been there, somehow muddling through the most important interview of your life, just about holding it together, question after question and then…. nothing. The interviewer starts to talk in slow motion (blah, blah, blah…. blah), your mind goes all hazy, and your future on the employment Continue reading
If you have ever sat on the river bank waiting for that float to shiver, or for the bait alarm to sound, you will know the feeling of ultimate tranquillity. Sitting quietly, contemplating the ways of the world, waiting for a little ‘tiddler’ to bite, safe in the knowledge that you have done everything to ensure that Continue reading
My first boss was a legend. Look him up if you are the stalker type…. A nicer guy you couldn’t hope to meet. He moulded me into a confident young negotiator, and taught me that communication skills are useless unless you have thought through the message. He let me make my own mistakes, but at Continue reading
In my view, the recruitment process is as much about “gut feel” as it is about rational decisions. For the candidate, the job search has no doubt been a stressful experience, and 9 times out of 10 you are delighted to be offered a role. However, evolution has given humans that sixth sense when something Continue reading