How have you changed?

Arriving home, fighting my tiredness, my bed was screaming my name… “get in Daryl, you’re exhausted!” It was only 8.35pm!
Last week, I was back on the road for the first time in forever.
After 16 months of being in my own bed every night, it felt a little strange to be in a hotel for a couple of evenings once again.

Things have changed…

After a very long drive on the motorway for hours on end, the relief of the services and ultimate arrival at the hotel were eagerly anticipated. However, COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions made the whole experience a very different one from times gone by.
Everywhere was busy, and everywhere we stopped was clearly understaffed and heavily bounded by limiting restrictions. This in turned placed a heavy burden on those who were working to fill a multitude of different roles. They were doing their best, yet it was clearly difficult.
All that said, it was just good to have change of scenery, meet people again, enjoy new experiences and be with family and friends.
Be that as it may, I was never so glad to climb into my own bed on Saturday evening and fall into a deep slumber once more. It was bliss!
I am certainly out of my old routines for sure. Driving that far and staying in hotels again for a couple of sleepless nights in a strange bed wasn’t as appealing as it used to be. Maybe it’s just old age creeping in!?
Perhaps, after years of travel, I’m changing too.
Are you?

Safety, Instruction and Preparation

Jumping, or more accurately, ‘falling’ out of a plane is easy, but the carefully delivered instruction, leaves you in no doubt of the risks involved.
Finally, on Saturday, Cristi and I completed a tandem parachute jump for Mary’s Meals, raising £2K to boot. I’ll share a video and images later this week, but I want to say something about the rigorous due process of instruction and safety.
Before stepping on the plane, we read several Health & Safety documents, completed a risk assessment of virtually every kind of risk known to man.  We declared ourselves COVID free and then spent time going through our basic training, before being signed off, ready to take off. We were both left in no doubt about the serious risk to life of a parachute jump, hence the strict training instruction and multitude of safety checks that followed.
The training covered the essential things we must know, including the safety harness, a detailed overview of the main parachute and the reserve. It was reassuring when the instructor said that he’d never had to deploy the reserve “in over 2000 jumps”. Then he quipped “so I’m overdue one now!” – we all laughed, nervously…
Key was exiting the plane, position in free fall and lifting your legs on landing, so you don’t break any bones.
Our exacting preparations were key to our success, as it is with many things in life…
More to follow…..

Surprise!

Every now and again, you get a pleasant little surprise. Yesterday was one of those days!
I walked into my local branch of Holland & Barrett to purchase some Omega 3 tablets. I found the Omega 3 fish oil, but had to call upon the shop assistant to point out the Omega 3 algae version. She was very helpful and I made my selection.
After scanning my tablets at the checkout, she said that’ll be £5.99. “Is that all?” I responded, “I’m very happy to pay that! The price on the shelf said £19.99!”
“You’re too honest” I hear you all say!!
Why didn’t I just keep my mouth shut?!
Anyway, the checkout assistant walked over again to check the price on the shelf and sure enough, it was £19.99.
…..Then the wonderful surprise.
She returned and said, well “There’s a mistake somewhere, but the price here at the checkout is £5.99, so £5.99 it is!”
Delighted, I cheerfully made my payment and walked out a very happy customer. 😀
Thank you Holland & Barrett, you made my day!
Have you had any pleasant surprises like this recently?

“Its as easy as ABC”

“Oh yes” I thought, “its as easy as ABC.”
At extremely short notice recently, I was asked to design and deliver a virtual workshop primarily on change. After a discussion with the client, I got down to the tricky matter of bespoke design. Never easy at the best of times and now the time pressures were on too!
It meant some last minute personal changes in my own schedule and working all day on a Saturday. Sometimes when in design mode, thoughts come very slowly. However, that day, inspiration flowed freely, I was in the zone! I loved it! Job done!
Then it hit me, I forgot one key aspect, the client also wanted to understand a little more about building resilience for the leadership team. Scratching my head, contemplating a few different models on the topic, a favourite popped into my mind, from cognitive behavioural theory – “its as easy as ABC!” Eureka!
In short, Albert Ellis developed the ABC model to help us understand the connection between adversity or an activating event (A). How we think about this creates beliefs (B). These beliefs then influence what we do next, so they become consequences (C) – our emotional and behavioural responses.
By challenging our 𝒃𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒆𝒇𝒔 we can build our resilience and bounce back.
How do you bounce back from adversity?

Deep Change

“What is your favourite book on change?” asked a course participant.

I’ve spent the last week talking and facilitating workshops all about change (again).

It is likely you are aware of a few change models, including the Kubler Ross Change Curve, Kotter’s 8 stage model, Bridges Transition model, Prosci’s ADKAR model (lots of models) et cetera.

But if you want to really change in your personal life or in your organisation, consider this thought from Deep Change – Discovering the Leader Within from Robert E.Quinn – “Deep change differs from incremental change in that it requires new ways of thinking and behaving. It is change that is major in scope, discontinuous with the past and generally irreversible. The deep change effort distorts existing patterns of action and involves taking risks. Deep change means surrendering control.”……

This is an introspective journey that will challenge your thinking, you’ll need a reflective journal, in Bob’s words it’ll be like “walking naked into the land of uncertainty”.

You will be introduced to new ideas, new ways of thinking, new ways of behaving and can put an end to the slow death dilemma forever.

Consider this book a masterpiece!

Deep Change reveals the remarkable capacity each of us holds to change ourselves and ultimately our organisations.

Do you think I enjoyed it!?

You will too.

Penalty Points…

No! Not again – another 3 points! 😟
1989, an unforgettable year. I was in my 24th year of life. Young, enthusiastic, driven and eager to succeed.
I’d just secured a new job in sales and vividly recall taking the train down to Adwick-le-Street, near Doncaster, to pick up my company car. A new fast car, with a car phone to boot. I was in heaven.
Driving home a few days later, I discovered that I never had so much power at the touch of a small pedal in my life before.
Then it happened.
A few short weeks later, speeding fine number 1. Silly me I thought.
Another few weeks and speeding fine number 2. I’d better slow down I thought.
And not many weeks later, speeding fine number 3. I had to slow down.
I can’t recall my boss’s exact words (thanks Tony), but they went like this…”Daryl if you get caught again, you’ll be banned from driving with 12 points, and we’ll have to let you go.”
Albeit I was forced too, but I learned a much needed powerful lesson.
𝑰 𝒔𝒍𝒐𝒘𝒆𝒅 𝒅𝒐𝒘𝒏.
In time the points expired.
Frequently in life physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and socially we all may be 𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒄𝒆𝒅 to slow down.
Yet, it is far better to 𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒐𝒔𝒆 to slow down.
To speed up in life, sometimes you need to slow down.
When will you “slow down?”

Don’t just do something, sit there!

“Don’t just do something, sit there!”- is a phrase I have stumbled across several times recently.

It’s extremely difficult NOT to do something these days. In the frenetic pace of life, whether it is a work task, an urgent assignment, homework, something needs fixing, the school run – taking time to “sit there” and think, rarely (if ever) tops the list of things to do.

We think far too seldomly. Conversely, we tell ourselves not to think, by saying “don’t just sit there, do something!” In several coaching sessions and workshops recently, this theme has been a topic of some healthy conversation. Ultimately, our discussion peaks at the realisation that we need to think, before we act. The lesson is that we need to put the thinking in before the doing.

In my own life, there have been many times that I have felt a bit harried, time poor and harassed. Then, some years ago, I decided and chose to change. I realised that I needed to simply “sit there” for a while every day and declutter my noisy mind. As an early riser, the first hour of every day is my precious contemplation time. Those 60 minutes of thought and study are a daily gift to myself.

A little time set aside daily to think about what really matters makes all the difference.

When will you “sit there?”

Extremes

For those old enough, you will remember the summer of 1976, it was an absolute scorcher. Record high temperatures and a long period of drought. 😎
All year long our family wouldn’t travel far at all. But with dad being a train driver and free tickets, most summers we went as far away as possible. 1976 was one of those long train journey’s, all the way down to Cornwall and basically, that’s as far as you can go. Holidays together were a priority.
With the record temperatures and glorious sunshine, I have lots of fond memories of being on the beach that summer. I remember getting up to a lot of mischief, but most of all my feet being scorched on the hot sand! 😕
Only a few weeks later in typical UK fashion, the heaven’s opened and the country was hit by massive storms and floods which dominated the remainder of the year. It seemed as if mother nature was re-balancing.
𝐄𝐱𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐬 – Life seems full of them.
Dry/Wet
Hot/Cold
Black/White
Feast/Famine
Doubt/Certainty
Freedom/Subjection
Happiness/Sadness
Like the hot dry summer, then wet autumn of 76, in life we must often chart a course between the two of them.
Finding a balance in life is a matter of setting the right priorities and establishing goals to provide direction.
How do you maintain balance in your life?

Generosity

When you think of a generous person, who first comes to mind?

Generosity – “a willingness to give help or support, especially more than is usual or expected.”

Who has inspired you the most to greater generosity?

I hope that it won’t be some famous celebrities or philanthropists, rather it’ll be a family member, a friend, someone in the community, or a co-worker perhaps.

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” said Debbie Macomber.

One by One.
Act by Act.
Service by Service.
Little by Little.
Each of us can make a difference.

I am encouraged by the words of the Dalai Lama who said – “Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness.”

We simply don’t talk about generosity enough.

We desperately need more men and women in society at large to look around, to look beyond themselves and consider the needs of others. To become more selfless, outward looking, to give more, to be more compassionate and much, much more generous. Some will think it airy-fairy. Yet, it is a powerful, personal, potent, peace giving potion.

What can you do, who will you help today?

Tips!

The problem with the word “tip” is that it has many definitions.

At a recent CIPD event, we had a few moments of miscommunication and hilarity, as we tried to contextualise a three-letter word into a definitive description!

For example, consider the following…..

– Leaving a tip for the waiter is good practice.
– Fly tipping is a problem around the country.
– It was on the tip of my tongue to say exactly what I thought.
– Tipping the glass of water over wasn’t what I’d planned.
– The tip of the pencil needs to be sharpened.
– The goalkeeper tipped the ball over the crossbar.
– A good tip for the Grand National is Tiger Roll.

We were trying to get to a succinct definition of the word “tip”! In our case it was about a good idea or more specifically a “helpful hint”.

And so, my tip (oops) helpful hint for today is simply this one life saving daily habit – have a talk with yourself and don’t take life so seriously! “In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured” said Gordon B. Hinckley.

A little craziness once in a while perpetuates sanity! Learn to laugh at the little things, and life will be easier. Laughter is the best form of therapy.

Remember, life isn’t all business, it can be mixed with fun & laughter too.

Look out for some laughter today!