So i haven’t been on here for a while. Instead, Google+ and a private community has caught my fancy.

But it is not about that why I turn to here.

Instead I turn to here because of people. Who powered a positive week for me.

It began with a breakfast with Robert Ordever. A hard working, deeply commited and switched on People Director if ever there was one. 90 minutes (same as a football match) of incredibly honest, revealing and personal chat. If I wasn’t revved up after this then my gears must be busted. It continued into other meetings, calls and exchanges.

I kept coming back to Robert’s thoughtful exchanges and we mused on the world of Social HR. We agreed how good it was for us and after a round of posts calling out fakes, poseurs and vacuous discussions it was the reminder I needed that I get so much from this “forum” and if people want to call it crap let them. It certainly isn’t that for me and nor was it Robert.

Crap in; crap out? Maybe.

Power charge 1 received. Thank you Robert.

Later that day I had a call with my 20 year old Nephew. He had his driving test booked. He needed a pep talk and I went into coaching/mentoring mode. He was so appreciative. Power charge 2. Made a difference to someone.

Tuesday was speaking /working on the “social media in HR” agenda. Did I scare them? A bit. Did I ignite some? A bit. I had 1 lovely chat with someone who wanted to know more. She nearly missed her train home to Bristol as she was so up for making a difference now. Power charge 3.

Wednesday. A friend. Long standing one. Stood by me when I needed him. I let him down last year. I made it up to him. We are still friends. Book deal possible. Felt like old times. Power charge 4.

Nixon McInnes. Awesome people. Great hanging out there.

Fusebox tech start up incubator folks. Fantastic project.

Conor Moss. Ana Marica, Catalina Contoloru. Learning disruptors.

Power charges 5, 6, 7.

Thursday. MOOC squad. Flora, Ana, Catalina, Sarah, Sophie, Mervyn. Inspiring stuff.

Power charge 8.

Becca. Pre - interview coaching. What a humble powerhouse.

Power charge 9.

Friday. Meg Peppin. Honest. Warm. Thoughtful afternoon.

Power Charge 10.

People. Power. My world.

I look for positives. I find them all over.

I am not naive to the negatives. I just don’t let them discharge my power too much. Even if they did, so many good people around me charge me up i am never in the red on positive power.

So I dare you.

Go look for positives and get charged by people.

My nephew passed his test by the way. Powered to the max that one.





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Source: cipd

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Source: mervynneildinnen

Is it the strongest leadership trait we all need or look for? Empathy that is.

That was my discussion tonight with a legal eagle superstar contact, friend and co-conspirator of mine.

It didn’t start out as the one trait / skill / behaviour / value to rule them all but it dominated a good portion of our fascinating conversation.

We touched on winning via empathy.

Moral results that empathy gains you.

Client support through empathy.

True human vulnerability you show when needed via empathy and

an empathy - ladened approach to negotiations.

Most of all we deduced that empathy has a spectrum of reasons for being; causality and impact.

Sharon ( my co-conversationalist) and I agreed and felt that empathy was powerful beyond many other aspects of the human emotional collection.

It causes acts of kindness. Calms troubled situations. Helps foster belief and trust. Generates a solution where one was previously thought lost.

One aspect that HR Practitioners often have in resplendent under appreciation. Or apologetic “softness”. Or conflicted lack of utilisation.

Yet many HR professionals we know have empathy emanating from every conversation, coaching intervention or tough decision.

Yet we rarely call it. Label it. Recognise its value.

Empathy. Power. Sweet Power. Gentle Power. Human.

Where are you using empathy as your winning hand, your arm around, your knowing expression?


When you have such high regard for someone in that maligned, adored and hyped world of thought leadership comes to speak, you have high expectations.

So how did it pan out?

A keynote conversation. Intimate insight within a large room of people.

Simon teaches through what appears to be a deep understanding and a gentle delivery which truly captivates.

The chemical flow of our brains and the impact on decisions, attitudes and life in general illustrated the rationale behind thoughts and actions.

I described this to a fellow participant as a segueway of anthropology, psychology, biology, sociology and neurology.

Topics many of us know lots about, apply and live by. Topics some know not the academic rigorous theory yet live by some code of balance and responsibility. Topics some know and still don’t apply and live by.

The perplexing situation of the knowing and doing gap.

I understand more about things now that I believe will help me do things better; with a deeper empathy towards the “right” things.

So it is edutainment. It is enthralling learning. It is moving prose. It is insight with absorbability.

Simon is a leader in thought more than a thought leader.

It is tough out there. We have made it tough. Understanding the chemical flow and the anthropology helps us realise why toxic leadership and poor behaviours to each other exists.

When asking soldiers why they rescue comrades and face death, they say “because they would have done the same for me”.

That sense of camaraderie and commonality - we’re better together is not some leftist ideal; it is how we have survived and our neurology is wired that way.

With work, technology and knowledge it seems the more we know the less we understand.

This reminder of basic tenets of science helps is understand our spirituality, purpose and connectivity to each other.

We do lose and unlearn things we shouldn’t let go of and we replace them with habits and attitudes we think are right for now but are masquerading as relevant.

If nothing else, Simon has helped me deeply understand things about me, you and us which I feel blessed about.

So it’s not that he has a TED talk. Nor books. Nor stage presence. It is because he believes and helps us learn about “that” belief.

Leadership is humanist behaviour at the most privileged level. Thank you Simon.


In thinking about energy and when we are at our best most opportunity-pro states compared to our drained and least confident self Steve has described 4 elixirs that make up our energy as leaders.

Firstly, intellectual. I equate this to curiosity. That insatiable desire to learn more, to be dissatisfied with the state of your own knowledge bank. To long for things you don’t even know you need to know.

Secondly, the emotional energy. In the realisation you don’t love what you do for a living anymore, your emotional energy may zap. When you have challenge to your relationship with loved ones, you may struggle to put your self into your work.

Thirdly, and these are not in order, of the spirit. Higher plateau stuff, meaning and connectivity to a transcendent purpose. Something you cannot explain in words. But moves you beyond known limits.

Fourthly, physical. The energy that gets stuff done. The physical self. The link to psychology through physiology. Body bit of the mind, body and soul.

Which energy helps you when you are under extreme pressure?

What helps you get out of a place where your signature energy is being zapped or underused.

Your first and foremost job as a leader is to manage your energy and manage the energy of those around you. Peter Drucker quote with real resonance.

In thinking about energy use through our 3 stages of Operator to Manager to Leader it goes like this.

Operator physical; intellectual; emotional; spirit

Manager intellectual; physical; emotional; spiritual

Leader spiritual; emotional; intellectual; physical.

What a shift from Manager to Leader! And no one will tell you this!

Spirit is the most critical component of any organisation (Quote: Harrison)

As a leader ask yourself “how do I manage the spiritual energy of (insert thing/activity)”.



I love this Vince Lombardi quote.

The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.

Until today I loved it for it captured what I genuinely believe in.

Then Steve Radcliffe added to it.

Because he simply added “what you dream of and care about”.

Such is the power of your dream it is most likely to lead to your success if you can then follow that into the rest of the Lombardi quote.

When asked to define mine in a simple conversation I assembled words formed of my thoughts and then it came.

Why and how had I never defined it before?

Moments like this happen too infrequently and maybe shouldn’t happen to frequently as it might dilute the power of the dream.

But then again the dream discussion rarely feels tired. The dream can stretch and morph and change and is likely to fuel further pursuits.

Focusing on what you care about is critical in keeping your focus, energy and drive to succeed.

Thanks Steve. I dare to dream in conversations more often now.


What is the future of transport?

Driverless cars have been legal in Nevada for a year. Cardiff and Milton Keynes are following suit.

With the benefits of safer travel, more comfort, and predictive data fuelled ways this turns the motorways into a managed entity by each component.

Why wouldn’t we all use cars in a totally different way. Most of the time our car sits idle and unused.

In thinking of the future of work you could easily dismiss such radicalisms as over reliance on technology and an abhorrent way to go about your business.

The use of technology is not an IT policy issue it is an HR issue. People use technology and technology is a service.

Step up to the plate and work fully the IT asset and opportunities.

Use imagination, work in an alternative way using technology to drive you to success.

Thanks to Graeme Codrington.

On twitter as @FuturistGraeme


TIDES of change is decoded as follows:

T=technology. We now have access to more information on our phone than ANYONE had access to in 1990.

I= Institutional Change. Stuctures and rules that give us our orthodoxies. All being questioned.

D= Demographics. Aging population and movement of people around the world.

E=Environment and Ethics. Consuming the planets resources in a sustainable manner.

S=Shifting Social Values

In response to these forces we add the politics and economics and ask ourselves at team meetings and say “what’s changing? What are the new rules? And how do we respond?”

Build a habit to think about the future.

We need to see the future.

It’s about knowing what comes after what happens next.