Sunday, 31 October 2010

Business Networking Diary Dates

Although there is little of the year left before the Christmas break, there are still a few good business networking opportunities to be had: -

Tuesday 16th November - Delivering more with less, a CIMA event focusing on the Public Sector post Comprehensive Spending Review. This free event commences at 6.30pm at the Haughton Hall Hotel, Shifnal, Telford. Contact for details.

Friday 19th November - The Midlands Business Awards & Black Tie Dinner, Holte Suite, Aston Villa FC. Contact Jo Bailey at for more details of this gala evening.

Friday 26th November - Alexander Daniels are holding a Private Equity Breakfast Event (8am to 9.30am) at Baskerville House, Birmingham. Contact them via the Alexander Daniels website to book your place.

Thursday 10th December - CIMA Social Media Workshop with guest presenter, Liz Cable. This free event commences at 6.30pm at the Hatheton House Hotel, Penkridge. Contact for more details.

Tuesday 14th December - Cooper Parry Corporate Finance Breakfast, Pride Park Stadium, Derby. This excellent bi-monthly event costs £15 and runs from 8am to 9.30am. Contact them via the Cooper Parry website to book your place.

See you there!!!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

“If You Can Keep Your Head When All About You Are Losing Theirs.......”

Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “If”, has always been a great favourite of mine and in many ways encapsulates the spirit of great leadership across its four verses (along with many essential mottos for one’s personal life).

Verse 1 – in times of great adversity and difficulty a great leader must keep his head, even when other less skilled people are trying to blame the leader for their company’s woes. A leader must be level headed, clear thinking and brave. He/She must also have the humility to understand why others are falling to pieces under the pressure of the situation, and make allowances for their “heat of the moment” comments and feelings.

Verse 2 – a great leader must have vision for the business, but not pursue them at all costs if new facts come to light that change the picture. But it is important to have time to think – to work “on” the business as well as “in” the business. There’s always going to be bumps along the way, but a true leader will not be knocked down for long, and will get back up and, with tenacity, take the business back onto an upward plane.

Verse 3 – Big Hairy Audacious Goals, as Jim Collins would say, means taking big risks for big rewards – though you might not win every time. But if you have the backbone, the moral fibre, to come back from a heavy defeat with grim determination and a will to win, then you have a lot more chance of achieving your goals than those who fall away at the first real disappointment.

Verse 4 – Communication. A successful leader has to communicate at all levels as well as walking the four corners of their business. It’s also imperative to know the competition and understand what threats they pose to you. In summary, you need to earn the respect of your friends and foes alike.

If you, as a leader, can keep a cool head in troubled times, create an inspiring vision for your Company, be brave when the big decisions need to be made, and can communicate effectively and earn widespread respect – then, “Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And – which is more – you’ll be a man, my son”.

"If" - by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you give your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!