A very special mother

This striking short poem endeavours to capture the initial perception and role of many mothers and the appreciation we would like to express but do not have the words to do it.



There when you need her, always taken as read.

Appreciated? Not really. Just need clothes and then fed.

Told off many times, “Get up you’re late!”

That voice again! Is this my life’s fate?

The housework, the grub never known to fast

Mum’s a Trojan for work and had to be fast.

Grew up, grew wiser now Mum knows a lot less.

Now educated, now cleverer, think I am best.

But Mum’s birthday today makes me take stock.

Smarter than I thought, does come as a shock!

Kindly and generous, always giving, always there.

Never selfish, never judging, just there to care.

Love is a word often hard just to say.

But to my Mum I should shout it every blessed day!

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Will Brexit create a mentality of insularism within the UK community



We have experienced a high-profile drumroll for the return on the blue passport. ‘at last we can now have our sovereignty back’ was the emotive reaction.

On the commercial side we shall be trading on different platforms. We shall focus more on the WTO as our dominant vehicle but cannot shut the door on the EU nor will they wish to eliminate us from one of their strongest market outlets. We shall also establish individual deals directly with international customers.

So you could conclude that the blue passport will potentially create insularism but the widening of the commercial markets will encourage more openness.

Money talks

I believe that money will eventually play the dominant role and dictate the ultimate pace and outcome of the negotiations. We had a £3 billion trade deficit to Germany last month and it is not commercially realistic that the EU will create trade barriers which will adversely affect the current trading platform particularly as Germany is such an affluent and influential member

Global markets need global players. Our fast-forward- technology- led commercial dynamism need flexible, nimble players. The winners will be opportunistic and innovative. If this reality becomes apparent to the UK community, they will perceive the EU as more of a self-indulgent albatross which is out of pace with global markets.

It is not do or die

The media does not help as it reports the negotiations on a blow by blow basis exaggerating every tittle tattle as some significant policy statement when it is no more than some politician boosting their home votes.  Our media are experts at exaggeration and drama seeking. Debate does not enter the fray. Substitute balance for distortion and evocative sound bites.

It is fascinating how the Brexit or Wrexit is constantly being portrayed as a, right or wrong, a win or lose, a recovery or a disaster rather than being synonymous with a successful company which is negotiating the pathway and journey to achieve new market opportunities.

Reality check

WE will not sever our ties with our existing trading partners rather, being on a world stage, will develop new links which may better suit our modus operandi. Less insular and more of a reaching out mentality.

The EU and the UK are on a journey of discovery. Serious negotiations have not yet taken place and when there are issues which adversely affect an individual country then the European Council will come into play. Heads of governments have their political career to promote or protect and they have the clout to be obstructive. And this is a very different dynamic to the day to day negotiations. Ultimately the Country Heads of the European Councils will determine the outcome. The UK will continue to seek new markets and the EU will learn from the negotiations to be more adaptive and less self-seeking.

The staying in or leaving the EU has so far developed into an argumentative, opinionated accusatory scenario which creates entrenched views

At the end of the day… 

Will Brexit create a mentality of insularism? The obvious answer would be to say that the journey will involve a new exploratory mentality but as none of us really know the destination we must say we do not know. We do know that the media generally must look for topical soundbites creating entrenched views and it is likely that this type of information presentation will promote and provoke insularism and deter a platform of balanced debate.

Lets hope then that the journey will promote an awareness for the need of toleration and openness and the realisation that all successful negotiations are based on compromises from all parties.

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Is our media balanced or biased

Is our media balanced or biased

“There are two sides to every argument.” “There are two sides to every coin.” May sound like clichés and are clearly truisms.

But truisms rarely receive an airing in our media and I think that the Brexit debate or debacle strongly endorses this.

You would think if you were an editor or producer that you would focus on presenting news or topics in a balanced format. After all, the audience is an intelligent, sentient lot who generally do not react well to moralising. We expect bias whereby a newspaper will have a leaning to a political party and that most of the content will reflect this

News coverage on radio and TV tends to encourage their reporter to present an aggressive, argumentative, polemical stance whereby all their questions are negatively challenging and therefore vehemently defending the opposite view. They feel that passively listening and allowing the interviewer a neutral platform might portray an appeasing persona and not appeal to the audience who is ‘looking for a fight’.

Feedback from the populace

So, media, treat your audience not sententiously but rather as people who spend their lives reviewing choices, options and balances. People who are not unfairly prejudiced, fanatically inflexible or truculent but malleable who make decisions based on experiences, knowledge,  discussion and debate

Perhaps to get started try this:

The advantages of Brexit are …..

The disadvantages of Brexit are ….

The advantages of the status quo are …..

The disadvantages of the status quo are ….


Now apply this balanced formula to the next news item or topical discussion and you might ‘wow’ or even shock the audience.

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Polls wrong again



So why did the polls get it wrong despite the Conservatives getting the largest number of votes since John Major.

Well there is a large number of potential, current and past students who have or will have a debt of £45,000 plus from their university experience. It is like having a mortgage but without the house. And there is a large number of potential, current and past parents who will spend some of their hard earned cash mitigating sons and daughters losses. Labour said they will let you have it for free and wipe out your debts. So if you are a student or parent where would you put your x!

The Conservatives may shout that ‘we do more in terms of spending your money in other places as we promised in our manifesto’ Hands up those of you who have seen or read a manifesto.

 Politicians talking to themselves again  


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Brexit or Wrexit


Let’s go for Brexit

Change is good in today’s fast forward, tech driven environment. It keeps us flexible and adaptable in outlook and mentality, ready for the new.

We are one of the most powerful and successful nations in the world. We did not achieve this status by hanging on to the coat tails of others. We have always been independent in outlook and action. The City leads the world in finance as it trades on a global basis, not just focusing on the European market. We have tenaciously held on to our own currency which is an endorsement of our wish to do it our way. No other European country can replicate our position as a key member of the Commonwealth of nations. We are not insular like the “Europe only perspective”. We reach out globally and our laws, trading and commercial partnerships mirror image that openness.

We are popular with tourists and immigrants because we have a tolerant and welcoming culture. Britishness is synonymous with fair play, openness and opportunity.

Brexit allows us to continue to develop and manage our rich culture and uniqueness. Only we should manage our borders, laws, money and how we spend it. We cannot expect over 20 countries to have the same laws, dynamic, culture, entrepreneurial mentality, outlook, ambition and future perspective.

Brexit helps us to throw off the shackles of political insularism and once again take our dominant position on the world stage without interference.

Let’s go for Wrexit 

I have used a derivation of wreck it for the Remainers. Before the vote the Leavers were perceived as the wreckers.

So what are the advantages of remaining? The flip side to all my points stated above could equally be the corollary  to support the Remainers. The fact that we are one of the  world leaders and a recognised economic powerhouse with a go-to culture and  with a legal system which is recognised as an enviable universal model  all these achievements have been developed whilst we have been a member of this apparent claustrophobic, dogmatic, self-opinionated club, the EU. Some people might say, considering our global dominance achieved under this ogre, then let’s have more insularism, dogmatism and opinionatedness. Why spoil a good thing? Change should never be just for changes sake.

My reflections

Being in the ‘real world’ for many years and having interviewed over 25,000 candidates from all sectors of society and industries and experienced recessions and  ‘boom’ periods first hand my personal view would be less judgemental and less predictive.  Cutting through the political rhetoric and posturing, my experience tells me that both arguments are meritorious. The change will not be dramatic but rather developmental. The trading base may change its emphasis but it is critical that the 27 countries of the EU must recognise individually or collectively that we are on a world trading stage. Bumpy rides are inherent of the world dynamic.  And as part of a collective club called the EU or on our tod we shall have to create and implement policies which have a global reach and are empathetic for a more disparate and discerning  audience. Today’s markets are technology led, fast forward where change is endemic. We need to promote a nimble, flexible and opportunistic culture.  Adopt and acknowledge that reality and we are all winners whether in the Brexit or Wrexit arena.

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Going to the pub with my mate – the personality

Whether you enjoy the evening out will be decided more by your personality than by the friends you meet.

My 4 personality types behave and react in very different and individual ways. The Influencer type, the Supporter type, the Analyst and Creative types manifest very distinct personas in terms of how they react and interact with friends.

The Influencer will have enjoyed the evening if they have had the opportunity to ‘grandstand’. They thrive on positive recognition and will want to be the centre of attention. Their conversation will be self-centred and dotted with stories of their achievements and events with a positive reflection. The Influencer is good pub company if you need to keep the conversation going and enjoy extrovert characters who do the talking.

The Supporter is a people person. They are sensitive to the needs and reactions of others. They dislike contention and will enjoy the evening when the conversation is animated and cheerful. They are political and like gossip especially when it relates to colleagues at work: “Did you hear what ….?” They prefer to go to the pub with friends they know well and are nervous about meeting strangers as, unlike the Influencer, spontaneous conversations are not their forte.

The Analyst is reserved in company. Speak when you are spoken to or when you have something to say would be their motto. In terms of interactions they might find the Influencer too talkative and perhaps a bit too pushy. Unlike the Supporter whose conversations are mostly people centric, the Analyst prefers non-people subjects – mechanics, drones, astronomy, financial markets might be good starters. Debating is good. Mindful that their thinking process suits rationalisation and deduction, their preferred pub company is of a similar mentality.

The Creative is like the Analyst in that they are focused on task rather than people situations. Creatives love to evaluate and discuss the merits of scenarios. Their talents and skills may be based on music, products, graphics, literature, art or buildings. If you can identify their particular genre and encourage them to elaborate then you are in for a very stimulating evening.

So next time you are off to the pub with your friends you can now enjoy accessing all the different personalities and make people-watching your next round.

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Leaders must now focus on the small picture

Leaders must know the small picture

Today’s commercial environment is dominated by technology. The ‘big picture’ concept is out and the detail is in.

Marketing has changed its focus from people one-to-one interaction to analysis. SEO is now central and foundational to developing future strategy. Leaders must get very involved and interrogate the data. Hands-off is now hands-on. Leading from the from is now leading from the middle, a key factor endorsed by the recent tsunami of scandals where the Board claimed ignorance. Not good enough –leaders sitting in ivory towers and adopting a dictating persona has no place in today’s fast forward, ever changing, exciting and dynamic workplace.

The successful leader will adopt the ‘playing captain’ stance and gain the positive support of their team. There will be no shocks as they are ‘in the mix’ and understand the technology, the operatives and the outcomes in terms of integrity and context.

My title “Leaders must know the small picture” emphasises that the ‘I am the boss’ mentality is about to be replaced with a collaborate modus operandi and for boss substitute facilitator.

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