Friday, June 30, 2006

Please forgive personal indulgence!

Today I reached the grand young age of 54

The best part of my birthday – like every day of the year - is to celebrate the fact that Annie and I are together.

Annie told a few of my friends round the world and I got many personal birthday greetings for which I am very grateful.

A couple of the messages are shown on
Simplicity Gallery at this link;

Thank you darling Annie for organising such a great surprise – I love you more than Manchester United and Walkers Crisps!

And thanks again to all who sent greetings – I value it enormously.

Have a great day everyone – the sun is shining in every way!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Nine Fruits of Leadership

I have already had brilliant feedback in the last few days from people about my concept of The Nine Fruits of Leadership and I have now published my first thoughts in an initial – fairly crude – article on my Iwrite4U Website at this link;

Please visit Iwrite4U and send me your comments about the article to:

I am excited about the potential to develop The Nine Fruits of Leadership and I am grateful for any feedback whether positive or not so positive!!

Although I am an avowed and passionate advocate of the ‘softer’ side of management my shoulders are nevertheless pretty broad and I don’t get too upset these days as I get older!

I promise I no longer ‘take my ball away and refuse to play’ like I did maybe 10 years ago!!

Monday, June 26, 2006

England plough on .... despite the cynics

The goal creates history as Beckham becomes the first England player to score in three World Cup tournaments

The cynics and the negative doomsayers keep on trying to undermine England's wonderful World Cup efforts.

Facts - We won our group. We have now beaten Ecaudor 1-0 on Sunday afternoon. We are into the last 8.

If we win the World Cup on July 9th the record books will simply show us as world champions - it will not show how we played.

As far as I am concerend we can win every match 1-0 with a lucky goal each time if we end up as world champions!!!

Bring on Portugal on Saturday afternoon!!!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

World Cup Prayer

God of all nations may we be blessed with the gifts of a football team.

As goalkeepers may we keep out the fierce shots of prejudice, racism and greed, saving others from the penalties of poverty and disease

Working together as a strong back four, may we defend the goal of fullness of life for the oppressed and vulnerable

Grant us the versatility and stamina of midfielders that we may go wherever we are needed to support those in trouble

Give us the creativity and vision of wingers, providing passes of encouragement to those who can make fairer laws and crosses of hope to those in despair

When we are strikers, may integrity, justice and compassion be the goals we would score

And when we are on the subs bench, keep us faithful, cheering on others and inspiring them with fresh belief and energy when we are called to put on our boots

God of all our hopes and all our excitement may this World Cup see new friendships made, old hatreds dismantled and the richness and diversity of life celebrated by all people whatever the colour of their shirt and may the best team win! Amen

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Nine Fruits of Leadership - Feedback required please!

Sorry – this is a long one today but it is a serious subject.

In all the years (35) I worked in healthcare management I always felt something of an ‘unusual type’ among my management peers.

Most of them seemed ‘turned on’ by the ‘power’ thing and the idea that to get on in management one had to be hard, decisive and ruthless. To become the Chief Executive you must have these macho qualities.

I was always uncomfortable with that idea and that probably explains why I never became a Chief Executive. I was often accused of being too concerned with the softer side of management – the people, the hearts and minds stuff. My peers used to call it the ‘fluffy stuff.’

I think that was meant as a criticism but I took it as a compliment.

Nowadays I realise it is a good thing for me that the ambition I had of becoming a Chief Executive was unfulfilled. Since leaving the ‘rat-race’ of corporate management 18 months ago I have had time to reflect on these things.

At last I have found something tangible to write about the dilemma I always had, and I suspect, many people in corporate business management have today.

I have decided to write an article – I may make it a short book if I can find the time. The title is going to be “The Nine Fruits of Leadership”

I have discovered in my recent reading some references about the way we should live our lives using the nine fruits set out in scripture. The nine fruits are: Love; Joy; Peace; Patience; Kindness; Goodness; Faithfulness; Gentleness; Self Control.

This has got me thinking and my article will be about why and how these nine fruits are crucial for all managers and leaders.

I have a vision of these nine fruits becoming a guide for leaders. I feel that if managers could ‘live their management career’ using these ‘fruits’ then management and leadership would not only be a much more ethical place to be, but also a far more effective, fulfilling and enjoyable career to be in.

And for those who read this and feel the nine fruits are too ‘soft’ and cannot be applied in the cut throat world of big business then I ask one question.

Would managers and leaders rather be remembered at the end of their career for the nine fruits I am advocating ... or their opposites as follows?

Hate; Misery; War; Impatience; Unkindness; Badness; Unfaithfulness; Hardness; Lack of self control

I rest my case.

I would be really interested in your feedback about the concept I am exploring

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

My own thought for the day

"The greatest truth is in the simplest form. "

Mmmmm yes ... I like that ....

England win the Group - Bring on Ecuador on Sunday

England take the lead through Joe Cole's superb 35-yard shot that gives the keeper no chance

We drew 2-2 with Sweden. Not a brilliant England performance but we are through as group winners. We now play Ecuador on Sunday. English supporters here at home are a fickle lot.
  • We have just won 8 straight games and drawn one.
  • We have just topped our group in the World Cup
  • We have just seen Joe Cole score the best goal of the tournament so far.
And yet many English fans are moaning we are not good enough and the manager has to go! July 9th is the final and I guess if we win it those same English fans will be saying 'I knew all along we would win it.' That is the nature of the beast. Real English soccer fans are wonderful. Apparently our fans have turned Germany into little England. Who says the English have no passion!

Eagles Concert Review

I've just discovered a BBC review of The Eagles concert at the NIA last week that Annie and I attended.

There are 19 photos!

Wonderful - thank you BBC click here to see the review

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Rooney is Back!!!

It’s great news that Wayne Rooney is fit and will play for England from the start tonight against Sweden.

I think it is really interesting how (it seems) the whole nation is putting so much faith in a 20 year old.

As a life long Manchester United fan I am of course looking forward to seeing Wayne in action and my only fear is that we are putting too much pressure on his young shoulders.

When we look at Rooney he appears to be able to deal with all the expectation and I am feel this World Cup tournament is in some way fated for him to ‘arrive’ as a genuine world class talent.

I just hope the same people support Wayne if things do not work out.

I hope we remember this hype if his future career hits some bad times as he inevitably will lose form or whatever.

We are very good in England at building up our sporting heroes only to knock them down again when things do not go well.

Anyway ... my prediction ...for tonight is two goals for Rooney and a 3-1 England win.... I am always optimistic!

Annie's 'Race for Life'

For the second successive year Annie completed the 5Km Race for Life last Wednesday in Birmingham.

Two and a half thousand women participated in this event, either walking or running.

Annie ran brilliantly finishing in just over 32 minutes and reaching the finishing line at least 10 minutes before daughter Lucy and her friend Rosie (see picture above) although they did run it as a 3-legged race!

Annie was in the first 200 women to finish which is fantastic!

Thanks to everyone who sponsored Annie. She has raised £156.50 so far, as you will see on her fundraising page:

Well done darling - I'm proud of you!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Thank you to The Eagles


Last night Annie and I went to the long awaited Eagles Farwell-1 2006 Concert at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham. The arena was sold out with a 13000 audience.

It was inspiring - almost 3 hours of pure magic!

They boys performed all the Eagles classics and a couple of new songs. Their harmonies are better than ever and they obviously still have that intangible special star quality.

How wonderful to hear such great instrumentals, these are real musicians and how great to hear all those classic songs. There were two encores and they finished off with Hotel California and Desperado to a standing ovation.

Not bad for a band that was formed in 1971!

Seeing The Eagles perform ‘live’ has been a dream of mine for over 20 years so this was very special. I may not get the opportunity to see The Eagles again, so thank you guys for a memorable evening I will never forget.

Needless to say I got my ‘Eagles Farewell -1 2006 Tour' T-Shirt.

Following Annie’s impartial yet diplomatic guidance I had to reluctantly accept that the medium size was not big enough so the large size T-shirt gives me another incentive to keep up the exercises!

There are a couple of pictures on Simplicity Gallery

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Lies, Damn Lies and Customer care

I have now written a reflective article based on our recent experience of poor customer care.

Like many people I find writing a great release for frustration, anger and disappointment when things like this happen.

I am happy to let anyone have copy to read if you are interested.

Just let me know if you want a copy;

Alternatively you can read the article by visiting iwrite4U This a new Website I have just started -

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Eagles are in town!!

The extremely .. er ... handome?? Joe Walsh

Glen Frey - the founder in action

Don Henley belting out a classic

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I finally get to achieve an ambition when Annie and I see The Eagles in their Farewell Tour.

They are appearing at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.

Demand for tickets for the tour has been so high that an extra concert has been added to the itinerary.

As an Eagles fan for over 30 years this is a wonderful thing - I am really looking forward to it.

My favourite Eagles track of all time has to be The Last Resort ... Don Henley at his very best! .. What is yours?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

SSS - Say Sorry Sooner

Having been very critical of WANADOO on my Blog I feel I should complete the story and give one member of their Head Office staff a compliment.

At long last this week WANADOO accepted responsibility for the problems we have experienced with our Internet connection.

We lost our connection on April 23rd and it was five weeks later that WANADOO finally accepted it was their problem all along. By then we had already called in three different IT experts at considerable cost because we were told by WANADOO it must be a problem with our computers.

This week I reached one man at the WANADOO Head Office and he was the first person in WANADOO who actually seemed to understand my anger and frustration as a customer - he had empathy and said sorry.

He apologised sincerely and offered financial compensation that I accepted. The cheque is on the way.

By the time I received this belated consideration it was far too late because by then I had already cancelled our subscription with WANADOO and transferred to BT Internet who so far have shown excellent customer care.

In many ways it is sad that people like the gentleman I came across in the Head Office have to suffer. He tried hard to repair ‘damage’ done to a customer – damage that, with a little care and understanding earlier on, would not have occurred!

The message for any company must surely be what I would call SSS – ‘Say Sorry Sooner’ otherwise you will wake up one day when it is too late and find your customers have left you. Not only that your ‘former’ customer will already have told all their friends and you will not realise the damage that has been done to your company.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Ask your manager these five questions!

Tony Benn – now 81 years old spoke in 2003 in the Old Vic Theatre in London to an audience of 1000 people reflecting on his life and politics.

Sometimes I get the opportunity when on a long journey in the car to listen to the CD of that talk.

It always inspires me to listen to the thoughts of such an experienced and gifted speaker with so much to teach us.

There is much for managers and leaders to learn from such wisdom. Indeed anyone interested in trying to make changes to improve the lives of others can learn from Tony Benn. In other words, all of us.

Anyway … as with all such talks one hears different things each time one listens and yesterday when listening to the CD I was reminded by Mr Benn of the 5 questions he asks anyone who holds power. He is probably talking about elected politicians and I think these questions can also be asked of managers and leaders in business.

I just love this:

1 What power have you got?
2 Where did you get it from?
3 How did you get it?
4 To whom are you accountable?
5 How can we get rid of you?

Thursday, June 08, 2006


It is almost here …

The World Cup starts tomorrow Friday in Germany and England will be playing their first match on Saturday against Paraguay.

The final piece of the jigsaw for the England squad was settled last night when our star player Wayne Rooney was finally declared fit for the tournament.

It seems that Rooney will be able to play later in the tournament – providing England qualify from the first round of course.

For as many World Cup tournaments as I can remember since 1966 (when England won the trophy) us English fans have always gone in to the World Cup tournament with optimism and sometimes probably unrealistic aspirations.

The squad of 2006 is the best I can remember and with a little luck I feel England can be crowned World Champions on 9th July.

My fingers are crossed!!!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Run for Moore Report

I managed to complete the 5km 'Run for Moore' yesterday.

To see photgraphic evidence take a look at Simplicity Gallery

Thanks again to all who sponsored me - I managed to achieve my target of £100.

You can still sponsor me at this link

Friday, June 02, 2006

Run for Moore

It's not too late to sponsor me for the ‘Run for Moore’ 5 Km race this Sunday 4th June.

This is a charity set up in memory of Bobby Moore, the England football team Captain when England won the World Cup back in 1966. He is regarded as one of England’s greatest ever sporting heroes.

Bobby Moore tragically died at 51 years of age from Bowel Cancer.

We are asked for donations to all sorts of charities these days but if you feel able it would be great to receive your support to this great cause.

The way of donating from anywhere in the world is through a secure internet site at this link.

No pressure - but is you have a few pounds, dollars or euros to spare feel free to go the link and offer your support.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Thought for the day for leaders or aspiring leaders ...

I overheard on a train recently ....

"Leadership is about what happens when you are not in the room"

I like that.