Monday, August 30, 2021

Check In With Yourself


Some more great tips from my favourite student doctor – Zachery Dereniowski in Sydney (KR Connect, November 8th, 2020).


If ...

  1. You seem more irritated or reckless than usual, which you know is really out of character ...,
  2. You notice you’re going quieter and starting to withdraw from others ...,
  3. You’re experiencing turbulent change – maybe in employment, income, your personal life ...,
  4. You help others, but appear to be distant, on the outer ... 

... Check in with yourself (and with a loved one) and replace these feelings with a commitment to positivity (KR Connect, May 24th, 2021).


You are more than enough.


Commit to Happiness.


Make Happy Choices.



Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Throwback Thursday – 64 Shots


Here’s another memory from four years ago.  64 Shots is at the core of my work today and is still selling strongly.  And ‘Leadership in a Crazy World’ has never been more important – and more lacking.



64 Shots: “Nuggets of wisdom and inspiration”

December 14, 2017


It’s list time of the year, and it’s nice to be at the top of one. Matt Devost is a technologist, entrepreneur, and international security expert specializing in cybersecurity, counterterrorism, critical infrastructure protection, intelligence, and risk management issues. 


Matt has just done his 2017 book wrap-up. Here’s pretty much what he wrote, lightly truncated.

“In looking at advances in technology over the past year, I’m reminded of the Lenin quote “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.”

“It seems that to make the most sense of the top security and business trends you need to have a keen eye for advancements in AI, virtual currencies, and other technologies. That perspective has influenced my Top 10 books for 2017. Another influence was my desire to study past innovations and innovators. I found myself too focused on the innovators of my era, and while they are certainly important, I wondered what value might be derived from studying innovators of the near-past.

64 Shots: Leadership in a Crazy World by Kevin Roberts. My favorite book of the year. It is filled with so many nuggets of wisdom and inspiration that it was also my most highlighted book of the year. Thus far, I’ve gifted over 25 copies to friends and colleagues and have received great feedback from the recipients as well. I’m a firm believer that the right book finds you at the right time and I’m grateful that this book found me.

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper. My best performing asset of 2017 was Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s history is only just being written, but this book provides an accessible look at the story thus far.

Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes by Richard Clarke. An essential look at those analysts and researchers who provided advanced warning of significant global events and the societal, organizational, and leadership barriers the prevented them from being heard. It concludes with some thoughts on how we can identify and act on future warnings and discern realistic predictions from sensational doomsayers.

The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter by David Sax. A fascinating exploration of tension between digital and analogue.

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
Provides several case studies of how mavericks persisted and persuaded in large organizations.

You Belong to the Universe: Buckminster Fuller and the Future by Jonathon Keats. An eclectic inventor of many technologies that were deemed to be the realm of science fiction at the time, his persistent vision of the future is a worthy exploration for those looking to understand our future now.

The Man Who Designed the Future by B. Alexandra Szerlip. As much a look at the emergence of culture as it is a look at innovation.

The Field Researcher’s Handbook: A Guide to the Art and Science of Professional Fieldwork by David Danelo. David J. Danelo reminds us that all we know about the world shouldn’t be observed via a computer monitor. As Le Carre once penned, “A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world.”

Void Star by Zachary Mason. A failed medical trial results in a handful of patients with malfunctioning neurological implants. One of them develops a capability to interface and negotiate with rogue or malfunctioning cooperate AI systems.

Autonomous by Annalee Newitz. Dealing with issues of biohacking, artificial intelligence, and robotics it uniquely weaves a story largely told from the perspective of autonomous and indentured bots.

Great list. I'm off to Amazon. Thanks Matt.



Monday, August 23, 2021

Butch, Sundance, His Bobness, Joanie and The Prince of Darkness in Arizona


Old mate Bob Latham – sports nut, World Rugby Board member, Chairman of World Rugby Regulations Committee, ex Chairman of USA Rugby, my Vice-Chairman/Consigliere during my eight years as Rugby USA champion, lawman extra-ordinaire, prosecutor in the Great State of Texas, writer, lecturer, teacher and music-man – came out from Dallas to visit with us last weekend.


We talked non-stop for two days, closed Spiga on Friday night (following in Mick Jagger’s footsteps immediately prior to the Pandemic), watched the All Blacks smash Australia until 2am Saturday morning, sang Tom Russell songs and Bruce anthems, re-imagined a 3rd Redford/Newman movie after their two classics, put the world to rights from a Purpose driven leadership perspective, sorted out the next Rugby World Cup tournament and re-imagined the Adjunct Professor’s teaching style/approach.  Not to mention Bob channeling Bob (complete with my prized Dylan hat from the Rolling Thunder tour) and Trudy channeling Joanie Baez in Desert Dream’s early evening.


A reminder of our pre-Pandemic world of friendship, sociability and good times.  And a reminder not to let the old man in!!!


Laissez les bon temps rouler.



Thursday, August 19, 2021

True Grit XI


5’ 6”, 115lbs and 36 years old.  Double Olympic Marathon Gold Medal Winner; world marathon record holder.  First man to run a marathon in under two hours, subject of a book ‘No Human is Limited’ and a two hour Sky documentary ‘The Last Milestone’.  Eliud Kipchoge.


Old school-friend and Master Coach of Sports Coaches Brian Ashton watched the documentary and made a bunch of notes exhibiting Kipchoge’s True Grit, which Brian felt defined this ordinary man and his epic journey.


Here’s what Brian thought we could all learn from Kipchoge’s story – inspirational.


Eliud Kipchoge:

  • Background taught the values of hardship.
  • Have a PURPOSE and DREAM to follow.
  • You must suffer to achieve.
  • ABC mindset leads to a FEARLESS approach.
  • No human is limited except by their mind (RED – BLUE).
  • LOVE conquers all.
  • We all need support.
  • Know yourself – Equity word – Authenticity.
  • Humility is the CORE to dealing with adversity.
  • Live a simple life.
  • Aim for ELITE = unrivalled.
  • Have an underpinning WORK ETHIC.
  • Accept that 100% does not exist.
  • Be happy and positive to remain relaxed and calm.
  • Keep your mind in a state of FREEDOM.
  • Accept and overcome NEGATIVE ENERGY.
  • Control your emotions in tough times.
  • Compete with yourself – no one else.



Monday, August 16, 2021

What Are You Watching?

First of all, thank you Adam (Armstrong), son of old LRGS school friend Nigel, close friend of son Ben, and ex Saatchi & Saatchi star, now running Rugby for FloSports.


Am now watching every All Blacks game live (while still in the Sonoran Desert), domestic NZ rugby and of course the Southern Hemisphere Championship with South Africa, Australia and Argentina fighting it out with the AB’s.  Thank you FloSports.


FloSports streams 25 sports – 200,000 competitions – live in the US.  And thanks to Fire TV I see the games on my Samsung TV.  Brilliant.


And when you combine this with NBC’s Peacock streaming channel (Lions in South Africa and Six Nations), my Rugby itch is being well and truly scratched.


With the Premier League starting up again in a week or so, I’ve got Man City live covered via Peacock, ESPN+ (Cup competitions) and Paramount (Champions League).  So that’s another itch scratched.


When I’m not gorging on live rugby and soccer, I’m deep into Series Two of Professor T.  A Belgian drama that aired from 2015 – 2018 in Dutch.  Now available on PBS Masterpiece (free with an Amazon Prime subscription), it’s an incredible tour-de-force from the lead anchor Koen de Bouw playing criminologist Professor Jasper Teerlinck – brilliant, eccentric with OCD / numerous neurological disorders which make for compelling viewing.  (There’s an English version starring Ben Miller just out now – a pale imitation of the original version in my view.)


Ted Lasso – on Apple – is warm, funny, upbeat and funny.  Charming.  Season Two out now.


Gomorrah – Season Four is out on HBO Max.  Will wait to reconvene with Gennaro once I’m through Professor T.  I loved the first three series.  Dramatic, violent, gripping.


Trudy’s giving a shout-out to her two favourite series – Kate Winslet as Mare of Easttown and Series Four of The Handmaid’s Tale.


What are you watching?



Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Throwback Thursday – My All Time Top Ten Tunes

Following my recent post – No Surrender – here’s a post from four years ago which started with that very song.  What are your top ten?

Desert Island Discs: My All Time Top Ten Tunes

December 8, 2017


Thanks to Steve Jobs, we no longer have to concern ourselves with taking 10 songs to our desert island. Now, if we feel like it, we can take 10,000. But don’t panic, here are my all-time Top 10 best songs.

10. No Surrender
The Boss plays this fast, he plays it slow, and no matter what the tempo, it still rings true. “I learned more from a 3-minute record than I ever learned in school.” There is also a great line along the lines of “these romantic dreams in our heads”. I love the 'No Surrender' attitude. It’s not too far away from Saatchi & Saatchi’s 'Nothing is Impossible'. This will always be a Top 10 song for me.

9. You Still Believe in Me
From the great Brian Wilson's Pet Sounds album. I’ve seen Brian Wilson at the Roxy in LA and my son, Ben, and a couple of his mates went to see him last month in London. There he was belting out songs from the Pet Sounds album and a medley of Beach Boys greats. Wilson has lived the hard life of an artist, but there is no doubt that some of his writing and arranging will last forever. 'You Still Believe in Me' is a beautiful little song and always reminds me of the many people that have believed in me during my ups and downs.

8. Celluloid Heroes
A song by one of the world’s greatest storytellers, Ray Davies. The front man for The Kinks is still going strong with a new album currently out, but his heyday was in the 60’s and early 70’s. That was when he captured that very English spirit of Bulldogs and Union Jacks in a way no one else ever did. Ray Davies wrote some of the great songs of that era, including 'Well Respected Man', and 'Dedicated Follower of Fashion', which were sound bites for the Carnaby Street of 1967. 'Celluloid Heroes' broke into my consciousness before I had ever been to the US; it made me want to visit Hollywood right there and then. “Everybody's a dreamer and everybody's a star.” You could put me down for dreamer.

7. A Whiter Shade of Pale
At the Oscars a few years back, I was at an after party and bumped into the lead singer of Procol Harum. 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' must be one of the most loved and most difficult to understand set of lyrics the world has ever been given. It’s one of the defining songs of the 60’s and recently has been the subject of a bitter lawsuit between two of the members of Procol Harum. Almost everybody from that generation can sing the first verse, particularly late in the evening after a couple of bottle of Bordeaux with a bunch of mates. And I can still skip the light fandango.

6. Fairytale of New York
'Fairytale of New York' starred The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. She was tragically killed in a water ski/swimming accident but was a terrific talent. From Croydon to Cuba: An Anthology is a must own. The video showing McColl singing with The Pogues is an experience second to none. Living in New York as I do, this song represents a fairytale story for all the immigrants who hitched up and made their homes in this most vibrant of cities.

5. Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts
How do you represent Bob Dylan in a Top 10 list? My mate, Brian Sweeney, swears by 'Joker Man'. For me, I’ve always loved 'Forever Young', 'Mr. Tambourine Man', 'The Times They Are A Changing', 'Positively 4th Street', 'Desolation Row', 'Tangled Up in Blue' and so many others. One of the great Dylan stories is 'Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts'. I must have half a dozen versions of this on my iPod, ranging from Joan Baez to Tom Russell, with the crème de la crème being an impromptu jam version by Mary Lee’s Corvette. But this is more than a great song, it’s also a movie. Russell Crowe as the Jack of Hearts (now that he’s earned his chops in 3:10 to Yuma, we’ll let him play the good guy), Uma Thurman as Lily, Nicole Kidman as Rosemary, and Al Pacino as Big Jim (personality, not size). There are 17 verses and I’m still waiting for the sequel.

4. Bird on the Wire
Leonard Cohen was instrumental in shaping my youth. It was very fashionable back then at Bohemian dinner parties (and if that isn’t an oxymoron, what is?) to play Leonard’s first 3 albums. I went to see him countless times, bought all his poetry and sucked up his artistic suffering. When I die, I’ve instructed for the words “I have tried in my way to be free” to be inscribed on my tombstone. It comes from perhaps Leonard’s magnum opus 'Bird on the Wire'.

3. In Spite of Ourselves
Time for a love song - but a fresh, realistic, humorous love song. Try John Prine’s 'In Spite of Ourselves'. He wrote a whole album about relationships and duetted with many top female singers. It’s also the subject of a great music video concert he gave at West 54th Street, and you’ve just got to listen to the words of this song. If it doesn’t have you grinning, you’re just not country. And, as a bonus, the wonderful Iris DeMent joins in.

2. The Road Goes On Forever
If you’ve ever been to hear Robert Earl Keen live, you’ll know that everyone there knows all the words to all the songs. The one they really belt out, their Shiner Bocks in hand, is 'The Road Goes On Forever'. It is a classic romance song that should also be made into a movie. It is the story of Sunny, his girl, chivalry, loyalty, impetuosity and pragmatic reality. A great tale, a great idea, and alone is worth a trip to hear Robert Earl Keen. "The road goes on forever and the party never ends."

1. Thunder Road
At number one, leaving off where we came in, is another song from Bruce - 'Thunder Road'. He sings it at different tempos and at different times, and I’ve probably got 20-25 versions of it. I never tire of 'Thunder Road'. It fills me with energy and enthusiasm for the day ahead.

Let me have your Top 10.


Thursday, August 5, 2021

Foodie Friday – Simply the Best


Tina Turner must have been thinking about Patrick O’Connell and his creation – The Inn at Little Washington, when she recorded:

“You're simply the best
Better than all the rest
Better than anyone
Anyone I ever met”


Three Michelin Stars, five Forbes, five Diamonds – and that’s only the start of it.


Go on-line.  Read its back story, its history and discover the vision of ‘the Pope of American Cuisine’ – founder, owner and legendary chef Patrick O’Connell (according to Robert Mondavi who should know!!).  See True Grit, Peak Performance and how to create a Lovemark – in action.  Look at the three Secrets – Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy brought to life in glorious, vibrant, living colour.


We were introduced to this magical, theatrical experience by Leslie and Alan Berson who are devoted fans and friends of The Inn.


We met them there for a two day escape into a mysterious, promised land – a land of imagination, sensorial surprises and non-stop storytelling.


Alan and Leslie guided us through a starry, wide-eyed experience – with headline performances from Patrick O’Connell (who greeted us in his kitchen for our dinner there in a production that would have graced Broadway – a costume drama that outshone anything we’d ever seen before – felt like a Lloyd Webber / Tim Rice opening scene).  And G.M. Extraordinaire Bob Fasce – the leader of a 170 strong band of merry men and women, who conducted this orchestra in his own quiet, graceful, good-humoured, positive and gracious (and demanding!) way, allowing individual soloists to shine when needed.  (Hats off to Lindsey, Jeff and Martin.)


The food is creative, delicious, tasty and unforgettable.  Full of surprise combinations and apparent paradoxes.


The wine list is worthy.  And classic.


Cocktails are delightful.


I could go on and on – but I can sum it all up in one word.



And one phrase:

“At The Inn, the way they do anything,

Is the way they do everything.”


Michelin calls it “worth a special journey”.  The understatement of the decade!


If you love your partner, if you love you, if you love your best friends – treat yourself and them to a night (or two!!) at The Inn at Little Washington.  As L’Oreal says “Because you’re worth it”.