Monday, September 10, 2018

Focus. Commitment. Discipline.

I’ve written frequently about the Power of Three and man’s predilection for thinking in threes.  Three’s fit comfortably into our mind, we can remember them and focus on them – Aviate, Navigate, Communicate; Adapt, Improvise, Overcome; React, Recover, Regain; and at my own core – Focus, Commitment, Discipline.

Focusing in today’s VUCA world with our mobiles continuously interrupting our flow is increasingly difficult, with distractions – both real and self-imposed – all around us.

Canadian Chris Bailey has been studying Productivity and Focus for a few years now and has just published Hyperfocus (Pan Macmillan).  Worth a read.

A few take-outs:
-       Set yourself no more than three daily tasks.  Write ‘em down, knock ‘em off.  The Power of Three!!
-       Get on top of your phone: Put it in airplane mode; leave it in another room; store it in your (more inaccessible) laptop bag; shut off almost all notifications; decimate your apps; never take it into the bedroom; go back to watches / alarm clocks for telling the time.
-       Switch environments from messy to tidy and back again to maximise the right balance between creativity and discipline.
-       Take a mindful shower – or my version – a mindful bike ride.  And my favourite – have a glass of wine during the evening (people are 20 – 40% more creative after a small amount of alcohol).  Trick is to remember to write down what you come up with!!!


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Ritz Carlton – Probably the best customer focussed company in the world (with thanks to Carlsberg for the idea)

In Singapore for the weekend.  Granddaughters Stella and Chloe staying at The Ritz Carlton with us.  We wanted to have some fun on a rainy Saturday – so invited Professor Messy to bring his two hour interactive science show to the room.  Brilliant.  All organised by Club Manager Sheila and Concierge Rachel.

But The Ritz Carlton never gives the customer what they want, they give them what they never dreamed possible.

Here’s what Sheila and her team delivered 30 minutes before the science show – a gingerbread house, an ice-cream plate on dry ice – and two sugared up, excited grandkids.

Memories being created.  Thank you Ritz Carlton Singapore.


Monday, September 3, 2018

Divine Decadence.

Arrived at The Ritz Carlton Singapore to be greeted with this extraordinary treat.  Two packets of crisps (potato chips) from Patatas Fritas Torres in Barcelona.
Caviar Flavour.
Truffle Flavour.

True vagabond luxury – and a far cry from my first bag of Smiths Crisps in the 60’s – where the salt was included in the packet in a tiny blue paper bag.  Followed years later by the first two flavours – the somewhat more proletarian Cheese and Onion (hate ‘em!) and Salt n Vinegar (love ‘em to this day).

Viva Torres Selecta – the not so humble potato chip.


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Step Change: How to Achieve Growth Through Failing Fast

This is the fourth video of this five-part blog series with Step Change. Here I share what I have learned about failure and why it is necessary for growth. The key is to adapt a new formula and way of thinking: fail fast, learn fast, and fix fast. This correlates to Business IQ and is what leaders need to be mindful of. To win, you should never be afraid of failing fast. In fact, fail all you want. But only make the same mistake once.  
How to Achieve Growth through Failing Fast
 Stay tuned for the next part of this video series with Step Change.

Monday, August 27, 2018

A Winter Weekend in Auckland

Friday August 24th.
Dinner in the French Kitchen, the private haven at New Zealand’s best restaurant, The French Café.  Family and friends (Kiwis, Brits, Aussies, Americans) and two beautiful grandchildren, Tilly Plum and making her social debut, six week old Winnie.
The French Café opened in 1999 and has been among the world’s top restaurants ever since.  Founders, owners and legends Creghan and Simon Wright have sold the business to Auckland’s restauranteurs of 2018, Sid and Chand Sahrawat and this is their last week.  We celebrated almost 20 years of memories and Winnie became part of them.
Good luck to Sid at The French Café.  And thanks to Simon and Creghan for making so many dreams come true and inspiring all of us to reach for the stars.

Saturday August 25th.
Eden Park.  The Bledisloe Cup.  All Blacks V Wallabies.  A 40 – 12 win.  Beauden Barrett, the world’s best player, scores four tries.  The Bledisloe stays in New Zealand for the 16th straight year.

Sunday August 26th.
Spark Arena with icon and Nobel Prize winner, Bob Dylan and his Band.  In top form.  Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright, Desolation Row, It Ain’t Me Babe, Blowing in the Wind – all rearranged, not easy to pick instantly, but three lines in – WOW!  Surreal.  Dylan’s either really good or really bad.  Sunday was really good.  77 years young and blasting the lyrics out solo, his harmonica work amazing.  No cell-phones, no cameras, no big screens, just the man and his band.  Thanks Joe McCollum for the stage-side tickets.  I felt it was 1965 again.


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Fail Fast. Learn Fast. Fix Fast.

I’ve lived by this belief for many years.  It’s all about keeping going, moving on, eliminating fear, removing worry and continuing to grow.

Easy to say, hard to do.

Steve Gilbert touched on this last week, gaining my attention by a quote from one of my heroes which I hadn’t seen before.  Here’s his post.


“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”
-- Johnny Cash

This morning I logged onto the bulk email service that I use for sending this out and a message popped up that said that the live chat function would be down for the next couple of hours.

That’s of no concern to me since I don’t use that function, but what was of interest was the button I needed to click to move off that page. It didn’t say “OK” it said “Onward”.

It struck me as an apt metaphor for the best way to deal with things that don’t go the way we planned -- a bad sales call, a tough class in which we struggled to keep our students focused, a bad at-bat, a bad pitch, etc. -- we move onward. We don’t get stuck in what just happened, but instead let it go and keep moving forward to the next call, class, at-bat, pitch, etc.

It sounds simple, but think about how many times a day something negative happens that leads to more negative things because we don’t let it go and move forward.

Today, when something doesn’t go your way, regroup quickly, let it go and move onward.

Win Your Day!
Steve Gilbert


Sunday, August 19, 2018

Inside The Centurions.

Well it’s out.  All Or Nothing.  Manchester City.  Eight episodes on Amazon Prime.  Behind the scenes on how Pep Guardiola and his team inspired greatness.

Unmissable for leaders, coaches, sports lovers (Manchester United fans look away).


Thursday, August 9, 2018

One for the Bucket List, Robin.

Last week I spent three days in the Napa Valley – US Wine Country – and sensibly my meetings (trust the Entertainment industry!) didn’t start until 10 o’clock every morning – leaving room for a 6.30am two hour bike ride each day.

Around St Helena, Yountville etc – cute towns, beautiful vineyards and recently completed bike lanes throughout the Wine Trail.  Idyllic – could only have been bettered in two ways:
1)   If my Peloton leader ‘Lance’ Dyke had been by my side – or on my rear wheel urging me on, and
2)   If we’d been able to enjoy the lunchtime tastings at the vineyards we rode through.

Not a bad way to spend a few days though.


Monday, August 6, 2018

Bird in Santa Monica

I was recently holed up for the weekend in Santa Monica in between sessions with Fremantle leaders in Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Out for my ritual, early morning bike rides along the beach tracks from the Pier to Venice Beach and then back to The Palisades (around nine miles) and am staggered by the latest LA innovation – The Bird.

Alongside the bikes, skateboards, rollerblades, Nikes, and the oddities of Venice Beach, welcome Santa Monica’s latest mode of community transport.  The Bird.

An electric scooter.


·       Download the app.
·       Find a Bird – they’re everywhere.
·       Ride it (top speed 15mph).
·       Drop it off.
·       Pay for it ($1.00 – 15¢ / minute).

You gotta love all this innovation.

Community.  Connected.  Creative.