Blog

Beware the Business Balrogs

For those who aren’t familiar with the works of Tolkien (is there anyone left on the planet who hasn’t at least seen the Peter Jackson films?), a Balrog is a mythical creature… a demon. It appears in the story as a huge, menacing beast of fire, some say with enormous...

The Power of Self Leadership

One of the challenging, and most rewarding, periods of my life was when training at Dartmouth Naval College to become a Naval Officer. The College is renowned for its tough regime, and here I was, having just left 3 years of relatively relaxed university life, walking...

What’s in the Foreground?

Your business foreground is far more important than your business background. Ditch the business baggage of the past. What are you really excited about just now…? Focus on that!

Monsieur Mange Tout

Michael Lotito was born in Grenoble, France, in 1950. He died in 2007. He is famous for eating a light aircraft. Yes, that’s right. A light aircraft! Between 1978 and 1980, he ate a Cessna 155. He had been “eating stuff” and publicly performing from the age of 16 and...

The AB3S formula for making a speech

“It takes six weeks to prepare an impromptu speech.” – Mark Twain. I speak a lot. Have done for years. People tell me they dread standing up and delivering presentations. I love it. People ask me how I prepare. Well, over the years, I have found a formula that works...

The Litmus Test

Thinking back to second year chemistry, I am sure you remember the way a Litmus Test works… to test whether a substance is alkaline or acid, the litmus paper is dipped in. If it turns red, that’s acid. If it turns blue, that’s alkaline. For our Business Success Litmus...

Half-Time Team Talks

OK, I couldn’t resist jumping on the World Cup bandwagon… As we reach the mid-year point, how is yours going so far? ●  a stretching soaring success? ●  an incremental increase on last year? ●  a so-so, normal- normal, business-as-usual kind of year? Nothing worse I...

Getting to the Start Line

There’s an old joke about a young English couple, touring around Ireland, who stop one of the locals and ask, “I say, old chap, can you tell us the way to the nearest pub?” Paddy replies, “Well, if I was you I wouldn’t be starting from here.” Sometimes in business...

Waterloo, Wellington and the secret to professional effectiveness

On 18th June 1815, in present-day Belgium, the battle of Waterloo was fought, and brought the “Napoleonic era” to a dramatic close. The combined forces of The Duke of Wellington (a polyglot army of British, Dutch-Belgians, Hanoverians, Brunswickers, and more) and...

Four Facets of the Business Quagmire

It’s understandable… Many business people end up in a quagmire of low-grade activity, or appear to be running round and round on the hamster wheel, unable to see beyond the 400 emails in the inbox, the landfill site of an in-tray, the bumper-to-bumper meeting jam that...

Commitment Focus and “I do”

Recently attending a wedding, and then subsequently seeing the Royal Wedding on TV, I considered the meaning of “I do.” It’s interesting that such a big commitment is not, “I’ll try” or “I’ll do my best”. It’s simply, “I do”. It’s the shift from engagement, to...

Building a Break

Watching the Snooker World Championships recently, I was struck by the precision with which the best players pot the ball and have the cue ball then travel perfectly into position for the next shot. And the next shot. And the next shot. And the next. And so on. They...

Hotel Days

Alice: Would you tell me, which way I ought to go from here? Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to. Alice: I don’t much care where… Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go One of my new clients echoed the thoughts of so many...

The GDPR Opportunity – worse things happen at sea!

“Worse things happen at sea!” Another of my late mum’s favourite sayings in times of difficulty. Particularly disconcerting to me as a youngster as I had set the outrageously ambitious goal of joining the Royal Navy as an officer. To listen to the business world, one...

Vital Signs

Many people tell me that they instinctively know when they have just gone “off the boil”, even before it starts to truly manifest itself in any downturn. There are some key personal indicators, and there are also some business indicators peculiar to every business....

Peter Thomson

“Talk of the Town Olley!!! Brilliant session – funny, engaging, powerful, practical. Just fabulous – everyone loved your content and YOU!!”

Jayne Cahill

“What a great session! Thank you so much; all the team really enjoyed the afternoon, and came away motivated and full of enthusiasm! You have something really special that you share with everyone!”

Being Frank

I like simplicity. I like things to be straightforward. I like stuff that really works. And it amazes me (and frustrates me) when I see people in business forgetting the fundamentals that they did in year one (and which worked), getting more “sophisticated” and losing...

Interference and Complacency

Someone recently told me he had had a brilliant first 3 months of the year, but the second quarter had been “mixed”. Discussing it further, and looking for what changed three months ago, we discovered… ...We discovered: Hotel Days! Those monthly / quarterly days away...

The Procrastination Pandemic

I’m declaring it official. It’s a pandemic. It cripples lives and businesses. We are all susceptible to it. So how do you recognise the signs of Procrastination, and what’s the antidote? Symptoms: >  An increase in “wait”: Wait Watching >  An increase in...