Building Trust

“The job’s yours – when can you start?” asked Tony. It was December 1988, a new chapter in my career was about to begin.

A few weeks earlier, Tony was visiting his brother in Dunfermline and heard me give a talk, on journals and building good daily habits. After my talk, we spoke for a while and he asked about my current work situation – Tony was a Sales Director. Shortly thereafter he invited me down to Doncaster for an interview. We found that we had similar interests, lots in common and were hungry for success. The job was mine if I wanted it. Thus began my career in sales.

The last few days, working with new clients, building trust has been at the forefront of my mind. Recalling the story with Tony, reminded me of three core foundations of trust.

– Open, honest, candid and direct in our conversation
– We listened to really understand one another
– We honoured our commitments.

In the days that followed we began to rely upon each other for success. Quickly, our trust and respect grew for one another and the next 12 months proved to be a winning formula.

What is your winning formula for building trust?


Walking recently in our local park, my wife remarked about the beauty of nature – I must confess, I missed it.

In fact, upon reflection however, over these last few weeks as our number of daily walks together has increased, I have a second confession, I believe I am beginning to see, feel and hear.

Interestingly, I am noticing that many more moments are now filled with a sense of connection and peace.

Why is that we miss so many moments in our own life? Is it that there are always more busy or interesting thoughts that preoccupy and entertain our minds?

In my coaching practice I always endeavour to be present, attentive and observe what is happening in the moment, when meeting with clients.

In a like manner, a big learning take away during lockdown has occurred for me in magical woodland walks with my wife. She has taught me so much about being present, being in the moment to enjoy the beauty, see and smell the flowers and to hear the birds.

I am learning to stop and awaken my five senses of listening, touching, looking, smelling and tasting. In slowing down, I recognise that I still have much to learn.

How many moments do you miss?


At the start of my coaching career I often thought – “I can’t say that” – but now as the years have gone by, I always do.

One of the great lessons I have learned in my coaching practice is to trust my intuition. “A thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.”

In the beginning, I’d worry about where that may lead a coaching session, I guess it felt a little risky. Oftentimes, it does take the flow of the session in a new direction, but never a wrong one, simply a different one. On reflection those moments frequently turn into the most meaningful and insightful learning opportunities.

My philosophy now after years of practice, is to listen to that still small voice, its a feeling that always comes. Paying attention to and observing what is really going on, is a powerful enabler. It brings clarity. There are lots of different names in the coaching world for this, but experience has taught me to always follow and trust your intuition.

My invitation – start to take notice of yours and good things will happen too.

Disruptive Innovation

Dinosaurs are extinct. A seismic cataclysmic change brought their ultimate demise. Currently, many organisations face a similar fate.

The global economic crisis is tightening its grip, daily choking long established companies as well as new players on the world stage.  One by one countless organisations are failing. Every organisation large or small is being challenged by this unprecedented time of disruptive change.

Organisations must adapt or they will fail.  Governments are grappling daily with the economic crisis caused by COVID-19.  Whilst frantically, organisations are coming to terms with their new reality.

The Greek root of the word crisis, literally means “turning point” or “decisive moment.”

This is it. 

This downturn is changing the way we live and work.

No organisation can stand still. Many are already faltering or in reverse. They must change gear, tailor an agile response and move forward, or like the dinosaurs they too will become artefacts, cast into a museum for us to recall how the once mighty have fallen.

In order to survive organisations, need a breakthrough, a complete paradigm shift from business as usual in order to adapt to the acceleration of external change.  In turn they must progress to new ways of working and new norms. A gargantuan effort to find new innovative ways to survive is crucial.

Whatever advanced operating practices, products and services are on offer – they must remain relevant to the new world order.

  • Why is change inevitable?
  • How are you adapting?
  • How agile are you?
  • What does your new beginning look like?
  • What new leadership behaviours are emerging?



What does the world of tomorrow need from you?

As a coach, I find that many clients arrive weighed down by events from the past. Others are burdened by the things of today – their here and now.

There is much to be learned from the past and the present, but as a coach I help clients to unlock what needs to be different for them in the future.

Before you get sucked back into today’s reality, consider what do you want your future to look like….?

Rule #6

How is your week going?
A little challenging perhaps?
Some problems to attend to?

Have you considered Rule Number 6?

The following story is from Benjamin and Rosamund Zander’s book “The Art of Possibility”

“Two prime ministers are sitting in a room, discussing affairs of state.

Suddenly a man bursts in, apoplectic with fury, shouting and stamping and banging his fist on the desk. The resident prime minister admonishes him: “Peter,” he says, “kindly remember Rule Number 6,” whereupon Peter is instantly restored to complete calm, apologizes, and withdraws.

The politicians return to their conversation, only to be interrupted yet again twenty minutes later by an hysterical woman gesticulating wildly, her hair flying. Again the intruder is greeted with the words: “Marie, please remember Rule Number 6.” Complete calm descends once more, and she too withdraws with a bow and an apology.

When the scene is repeated for a third time, the visiting prime minister addresses his colleague: “My dear friend, I’ve seen many things in my life, but never anything as remarkable as this. Would you be willing to share with me the secret of Rule Number 6?” “Very simple,” replies the resident prime minister.

“Rule Number 6 is ’Don’t take yourself so @%$~* seriously.’”

“Ah, says his visitor, “that is a fine rule.” After a moment of pondering, he inquires, “And what, may I ask, are the other rules?”

“𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗻’𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝘆.””

How can you use Rule Number 6?

Perhaps it is time that we all shift the way we think and lighten up a little – start today – smile a little more along the way!

When times get tough – try using Rule Number 6!


“You’re kidding dad aren’t you?” was one reply, when I said the shower wasn’t working.
A visit from a local plumber revealed that the filter in the mixer valve was worn out and needed replacing. “We’ll have to order up a new one, it’ll be a few days before it arrives – the office will call you” he said and off he went.
Forlornly we accepted the conclusion, and resigned ourselves to find alternative daily showering solutions for family members. Immediately we considered showering at our elderly neighbour’s, or going to my mother’s or asking other friends.
This was becoming a major disruptive event in our home and consequences followed.
After a few days, we still long for the part to arrive. Yet, out of necessity, we were somehow agile enough and quickly adapted. We changed our routines and helped each other by using buckets, bowls and sinks filled with water to meet our daily needs. For the time being, this is our new normal. It will change again.
In a like manner, our lives have been disrupted by COVID-19. All of us have had to adapt and change at pace, to meet the new demands placed on us by this virus.
What have you had to adapt in your life, at home or at work?
How is being agile helping you move towards a new normal?

Good enough?

I have realised – its actually okay for me not to know the answer!

Several years ago, starting out in the coaching profession, I got a little concerned about how I can help others, when I knew very little about them, their profession, their situation or even their capabilities. In the beginning of my coaching career it did create a little personal anxiety!

As time passed, this may sound kind of strange or unusual to anyone not in the coaching world, but one of the greatest lessons that I have learned as a coach, is that I really don’t need to know the whole story. Nor is it for me to come up with answers!

As a coach I have to establish a safe space, build rapport, listen to understand, ask questions, guide, challenge and along the way, I may provide suitable interventions. My role is in fact to help every coachee to learn, grow, draw up their own answers, create a plan of action and follow up to achieve their aims.

If you are in need of some coaching – please do get in touch, I’m here to help!


I know I can’t turn back time, but this I do know—that it’s never too early and it’s never too late for a new beginning.
“Four young men sit by the bedside of their dying father. The old man, with his last breath, tells them there is a huge treasure buried in the family fields. The sons crowd around him crying, “Where, where?” but it is too late. The day after the funeral and for many days to come, the young men go out with their picks and shovels and turn the soil, digging deeply into the ground from one end of each field to the other. They find nothing and bitterly disappointed, abandon the search……
…The next season the farm has its best harvest ever.”
– As told by Benjamin Zander in “The Art of Possibility”
Perhaps now is a good time to refine your plans for future harvests.
How are you digging a little deeper?


Even in the darkest of nights, never give up….

Just married and living in Holland, I’d just finished a long backshift in Montfoort. It had just gone midnight and it was a 5 mile bicycle ride home to Harmelen.
I got on my bike in the heavy rain and wind, to start my journey. Seconds later, I discovered that I had a puncture in the back tyre. With no repair kit, filled with discouragement and annoyance, I had no option but to wearily set out on a walk along a poorly lit road for home. Over an hour later, weather worn and drenched to the skin, I made it into the house.
I have never forgotten the feelings of frustration in my heart and mind in the early hours of that gloomy morning.
Discouragement can be a pretty common ailment and frequent visitor in our life – do you agree?
I learned an important lesson that dreary morning. The road home was a slog, but despite the setback and the hardship, I pushed forward through the darkness, against the wind and the rain – and made it safely home.
In a like manner, there are many times in our life that discouragement may prevail. Yet, by placing things in perspective, I know that some things are only for a brief moment in time – temporary obstacles that can be overcome. I learn from it and move on.
Remember, even in the darkest of nights, never give up. Morning always comes.
What do you do when you are feeling discouraged?