‘For Pete’s sake. For your sake. For all our sakes.’
Last week, after reading a particular news story, I felt incensed… Apparently, according to the Royal Society for Public Health, as a nation we’re being ‘hoodwinked’ by businesses into purchasing unhealthy and bigger food and drink portions, through ‘up-selling’. For example, whilst buying a takeaway hot chocolate you may be asked: “Would you like a large? Would you like cream with that? And marshmallows?’ At this juncture, you would think that through free will, if a standard cup of hot chocolate was still all that we wanted without the ‘upgrade’, then we are all perfectly capable to say ‘No thank you’. Oh, but nooo, apparently, this isn’t within our ability and businesses ‘have a certain responsibility’ not to try to pressure people to purchase more.
Surely, they’re not pressuring people though, they’re simply asking a question, expanding our range of options. Do businesses not have a right to try to make more money…
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 13-09-17
‘Another man’s shoes…’
I watched a programme recently called The Week the Landlords Moved In. Tenants of two houses move out for a week and their landlords move in, to experience what it would be like to live in the properties they’re renting out.Peter and Marc are a father and son team who own a self-made property business worth £7m. They’ve obviously worked hard to get where they are but perhaps with 40 properties, may have lost the personal touch. They moved into Linda’s 2-bed flat and had no idea about the extensive mould problem. Initially when she’d alerted them to it, they had installed a unit but the cost of running this was exorbitant and barely surviving on her income together with housing benefit, Linda had resorted to not putting her heating on to offset the cost. No heating exacerbated the mould and damp problem. It was a vicious circle…
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 06-07-17
‘The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But The Truth’
I was late for work this morning and I had nobody to blame but myself. But then that’s always the case isn’t it? In the main, we can’t blame anyone else for our tardiness, mistakes, decisions or choices, only ourselves but I’ll come onto that…Everything had been running smoothly this morning and I was feeling fairly pleased with myself, which is always a bad sign… As I walked out to my car, one of my neighbours, Sarah, came out of her front door and both said ‘Hi’. I get on well with Sarah and we help each other out by taking in deliveries, putting the bins out and that kind of neighbourly thing. Sarah’s Mum is quite poorly at the moment so I asked how her treatment was going. I learned that things aren’t good so I knew straight away, this wasn’t going to be a quick exchange of pleasantries – this was going to be a conversation…
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 12-06-17
‘Over three decades and still winning!’
In 1984, Richard Jackson and Barry Stiff were like-minded individuals who possessed a fascination with what made some people successful and others not – and what does success mean anyway? Both had experienced some personal and business challenges and initially they wanted to find the answer to their question mainly for their own benefit.
Having spent some time interviewing both famous and many not-so-many famous people who were successful in their own fields, there were some common traits and characteristics that emerged. They spoke with psychiatrists, neuroscientists and psychologists to ensure their information and research was firmly rooted in science and the two partners of Mancroft Training, as it was then called, codified all their research and distilled it into a personal development programme called The Winning Edge.
When Mancroft Training was first formed back in the 1980’s, personal development was a relatively new concept in the UK – it was seen as a more Americanised approach to training and was given a wide berth. Certainly, setting up a company in Norfolk, that focused…
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 10-05-17
‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again’
The second weekend In April sees the Masters golf tournament take place – the first in the calendar of the men’s major golf championships; yet again, this year didn’t fail to deliver another nail biter. If you stayed awake to watch the final rounds taking place in Augusta, you were richly rewarded with a play-off that had you on the edge of your seat.
After playing professional golf for 18 years, 37-year-old Sergio Garcia finally won his first Major tournament and fittingly did so on what would have been his hero and mentor, Seve Ballesteros’s 60th Birthday.
It’s been a rocky road for Garcia. When he first turned professional, everyone had high hopes for him. In 1999, he came a close second to Tiger Woods in Garcia’s first US PGA Championship. However, over the course of the following 17 years, with 73 appearances at majors and four times the runner-up, Sergio looked destined to forever be the bridesmaid and never the bride.…
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 12-04-17
‘The Art of Persuasion’
Buying a car is always fun. You know you’re never going to win because if you buy new, the minute you drive off the forecourt, you lose a chunk of money straight away; if you buy second-hand, you’re never quite sure if you’ve got a bargain or a turkey…
At an event recently, I got chatting to a guy who works for a used-car dealership. He fully acknowledged the reputation his profession often has and said in some of the places he’s worked, it’s justified. He said the way managers encourage sales tactics is sometimes shocking and to then see this put into practice makes him wonder why he’s in the job, until eventually he found a reputable business to work with. He said it’s a window on the world to view the rich tapestry that makes up the human race.
David, the guy I was talking to, was very savvy about the buying process and said something which not many salespeople seem to realise –that people think they buy with their logic reasoning but decisions are always based on emotions.…
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 13-03-17
‘Strong belief triggers the mind to find the how’
When faced with a challenging or taxing problem, whether a solution is required in the immediacy or over a period of time, an open mindset is key. You don’t need to know how you’re going to find the answer, you just need to have belief you will.
Faced with a crisis, our fight, flight or freeze response can come into play, depending on how intense the situation is. Have you noticed that when feeling anxious and stressed, finding a solution to a problem seems to elude you? When tense, we’re generally in a negative state and our brain becomes in a way, closed off thus finding creative solutions is much more difficult or even impossible. When relaxed, we have a strong, positive belief we can find answers to problems; the brain is mobilised to seek & present solutions to our conscious mind.
This year’s Super Bowl is a prime example. The New England Patriots played the Atlanta Falcons and with only 20 minutes of the game left, the score was 28-3 to the Falcons. In fifty previous Super Bowls, the largest deficit to overcome to win…
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 09-02-17
‘Check-up from the neck up’
We naturally tend to hibernate at this time of year. Post-festive season, many have over-spent, over-indulged and are so over it that nights in are a welcome addition to the diary. Even if a night out is on offer, despite the social secretary saying ‘yes’, the chief finance officer says ‘no’. So, we stay at home and amuse ourselves by perhaps bingeing on a box-set, doing those admin jobs we’ve been putting off, settling down to a good read or maybe going to bed for an early night.
This more minimalist approach to activities means we quite often go back to basics – there is less rushing around, more quietness and we have more time to consider what’s going on between our ears. I relish these winter months. It’s my head’s version of hygge – I hunker down and enjoy the cosiness and quiet, determined for it not to be interrupted with a multitude of pulls on my time. It’s the time of year for a check-up from the neck up – sorting priorities in a personal, professional and work sense and figuring out how they can be achieved …
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 10-01-17
‘I think, therefore I am’
I came across a story the other day of a teacher, Chen Miller, who is a special education teacher from Israel. With great patience and determination, Miller transformed one of her pupils from a very angry, destructive and frustrated little boy, to one who was open to learning and who placed his trust in this person who believed in him.
Everyone else had all but given up on this boy – teachers, the headteacher, even his parents who had all told him he was ‘disturbed’.
By repeating one phrase daily to her pupil: “I know you have a big heart. I know that you’re clever. I know that you’re a good boy,” Chen Miller helped to change this boy’s self-image – the simple repetition of these words helped him to see himself differently.
If you tell someone enough times they are stupid, if they are vulnerable they will start to believe it. They question why else would they be told this if it wasn’t true? Men and women in domestic abuse situations are often held ‘captive’ because of not just the physical side…
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 12-12-16
‘Trumped to Victory’
The shock success of Donald Trump in the US Presidential election has left many reeling. I watched much of the through-the-night coverage and as events unfolded and the results of each State count came in, it became apparent that Hillary Clinton was not going to be the first female American President. Instead, a man who has never previously held an office in US politics nor served with the military, is now President-elect.
Hillary and the Democratic Party have gone off to lick their wounds and no doubt a post-mortem will be carried out as to how Trump could win so convincingly, not to mention significantly.
Love him or loathe him, Trump had the ear of the electorate. Gone are the days when experience trumps (if you’ll pardon the pun!) sound bites. Despite Hillary’s wealth of political experience and even with Trumps’ recent scandals highlighted in the media, his rants about a variety of issues struck a chord with the voters. Yes, he was outlandish and brash but he said.…
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 09-11-16
‘Sense of Direction’
We have two motivators which are ‘away from’ known as fear motivation or ‘towards’ which is desire motivation and these motivators may be different for various stages in your life. Understanding what is driving your focus will help you to understand your thoughts and how you can harness them to be the best you can be.
Take the sales cycle for example; typically for the average lacklustre sales person it goes something like this… Sales targets are issued and everyone considers what they need to do to achieve the magic figure but more importantly, their focus is worry and anxiety and trying to avoid failure. So at first, they’re fired up, contact prospects and begin doing what they need to do to reach those targets. Then there’s a bit of lull. Salespeople typically take their foot off the gas around the middle of the month confident they’ve done a bit to make headway and thinking there’s still plenty of time to do more work on it, besides, they’re probably thinking, the adrenalin …
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 12-10-16
‘Just One Cornetto – Give It To Me’
Attending a networking event recently (don’t groan – sometimes they can be really useful to attend!). I met someone who had just started working as a salesperson. Kate absolutely believed in the product, the only trouble was, she didn’t believe in herself – her ability to clinch the deal… Admittedly, the role was a change in career direction for her but Kate explained she wanted a change, had come across this product and believed in it so wanted to play a role in making it a success – sounds all very Victor Kiam (“I liked it so much I bought the company!”). I admired her bravery in embarking on a new career, seeing something and going for it.
Kate explained how she would send her prospects detailed information about the product but when it was time to make the follow-up call, she dreaded it – in her head, she had concocted a scenario of being turned down with all manner of excuses – this was all before she’d even dialled their number…
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 09-09-16
‘Mind over matter’
There is evidence to show simply by imagining yourself doing a particular exercise you can make your muscles stronger – great news for coach potatoes out there, bad news for the gyms. Well, maybe it isn’t quite as simple as that (I wouldn’t pack the lycra away just yet then, more’s the pity) but techniques such as visualisation and motor imagery can most certainly help you get stronger by thinking about the way you are exercising.
It’s all about understanding the power of our thinking. Motor imagery is the process whereby an individual rehearses in their mind a given action and it’s widely used in sport as part of a holistic approach to an athlete’s training. For example, we’re slap bang in the middle of the Olympics so there are no doubt thousands of athletes who’ve used this method as part of their preparation. As well as visualising their event and the way they want it to turn out, specific and focused imagining of the power of their bodies, can also lead to strength gain…
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 12-08-16
‘May-be it’s time for a change’
As the BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg commented, if Jeffrey Archer had sent his publisher a manuscript for his latest novel which included all the twists and turns of the last week or so in British politics, the publisher would have said it was far too unlikely a scenario to be believed and sent him back to the drawing board…
First we have the drama of Brexit, then Boris pulls out of the leadership race and everyone wonders what Gove’s ‘got on him’. Then there’s the three horse race between Theresa May, Andrea Leadsom and Gove but Gove drops out due to the fact Leadsom and May get more MPs’ votes than him. Then just as everyone is preparing for a nine-week leadership contest, Andrea Leadsom drops out and May is to be the new Prime Minister in 48 hours… I don’t think anyone had quite caught their breath after Brexit…
I can only imagine what was going through Theresa May’s mind in those 48 hours – my goodness did she need to ramp up her…
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 12-07-16
‘Music between the notes’
Pharrell Williams is a songwriter, performer, producer and multi-instrumentalist and although his work may not be loved by all, it’s hugely popular and his many collaborations mean his work is diverse. He’s probably best known for the hit ‘Happy’ but his work pre-dates this and since the success of that song, he continues to release and produce innovative sounds with his music. Hence Pharrell being asked to be artist in residence to celebrate the 50th anniversary of New York University’s Tisch School of Arts. As part of his residency, Pharrell held a masterclass which I recently watched online and the advice he offered the music students, in my opinion, transcends advice for musicians.
Professor Bob Powers leading the class, asked Pharrell about his creative process and why his music turns out so different with Pharrell explaining he likes to go against the grain – he’s ‘the trout that swims upstream’ because he never really …
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 07-06-16
‘It has to be you’
Where do we get our self-image from? Apart from a few propensities we’re born with, a lot of what we’re like is down to the influences around us – our parents, family, teachers, friends as well as the images we see in the media which we either try to relate or aspire to. You often hear parents say: “He’s so forgetful,” or “She’s such a serious little thing, always so responsible.” It’s as if children are being pre-conditioned before they’ve even had a chance to make their own mind up.
With these descriptions permeating the child’s subconscious mind, they’re being defined as a ‘type’ of person so it’s no wonder they gravitate towards behaviour which reinforces this image of them – it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You hear people saying: “I’m hopeless at planning anything,” or “I’m the type of person who always does all the planning.”
However, as much as these influences may have an effect on children when perhaps too young to understand the power of…
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 10-05-16
‘I’ll do it Later Now’
Potentially, I have an exciting opportunity at work. I say ‘potentially’ not because I am waiting for external factors to make this possible because in actual fact, tis only I that can either make this happen or not happen.
It has been suggested to me that I can develop myself by exploring another role within the company and in terms of my Continuing Professional Development, this would be an amazing chance to grow my skills, develop my abilities and give me the opportunity to try something I know inherently I would be really good at. Knowing and actually doing though are two very different things…
would be really good at. Knowing and actually doing though are two very different things… So why the procrastination? What is holding me back from taking that leap of faith? If I’m honest, I’m not entirely sure. I think it’s a number of things which need to be carefully unpicked and addressed…
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 11-04-16
‘Leading by Stature vs Status’
A friend and I were feeling nostalgic recently, remembering our days at school. My friend had gone to a school where the headteacher ruled with an iron fist – not so much a nurturing environment but more one where everyone kept their head down, teachers included by the sounds of it, dreading the consequences of disobeying. I expect many people have memories of a Headteacher who ran their school with a similar culture of fear but how effective is this in encouraging and developing enquiring minds?
My experience was very different. ‘Firm but fair’ was my headteacher’s unofficial motto. Upon entering a classroom, we would always stand and say a deferential good morning and this was reciprocated with a greeting and lovely warm smile…
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 10-03-16
‘Our thinking doth make us so’
Recently, I was laid low with tonsillitis – a very annoying illness and one which surely we should not be experiencing in adulthood! I found it most frustrating as my energy levels were lacking. However, it’s amazing what reserves we can draw upon if needs be…
Early one evening as I lay languishing in bed, coughing and spluttering with the add-on cold I had developed, a friend called saying her car had broken down in the middle of nowhere and could I possibly pick her children up as she waited for the mechanic to arrive. She’d already tried calling her husband, sister and neighbour but with no luck. So I rolled out of bed, grabbed some clothes and having got someone to pop round to keep an eye on my little rascals, was away like a knight on a white charger in the night…
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 08-02-16
Some might say that John Boyega has had a lucky break playing the male lead in The Force Awakens – the latest instalment in the Star Wars series. This is Boyega’s first major studio film and if his career follows suit like the previous leads – namely Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher – he’s on a steep career trajectory.
Is there such as thing as pure chance – luck? Of course there is but The Winning Edge believes moreover that luck is where opportunity and preparedness meet. Luck is largely self-made and you’ll be lucky by working harder and having more goals. For example, have you noticed how successful people spot opportunities? That’s because they know an opportunity when it presents itself, they know this because they have goals and recognise the opportunity. The opportunity is there for everyone; it’s knowing how to spot them…
Take the acting game for example – it’s notoriously tough and you’ll always find jobbing actors trying to make ends meet by taking jobs in…
Reviewed by Kirsty Perrin on 12-01-16
- ‘Fury, art for art’s sake and top trumps’ – 09-12-15
- ‘The sky’s the limit’ – 10-11-15
- ‘Smashing through the (sugar) glass ceiling’ – 09-10-15
- ‘Under Construction’ – 08-09-15
- ‘Persistence Pays Off’ – 04-08-15
- ‘Work, Rest and Play’ – 07-07-15
- ‘Me, Me, Me!’ – 10-06-15
- ‘Same Same Different’ – 11-05-15
- ‘Man in the Mirror’ – 10-04-15
- ‘Repetition is the Mother of all Learning’ – 08-03-15
- ‘Thinking it Through’ – 10-02-15
- ‘Going for Gold’ – 09-01-15
- ‘Values – Is It Black and White’ – 10-12-14