Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A new Business Venture!

I have not posted anything on this Leadership Blog since last year because I have been exploring a new business venture - The Quirky Traveller. It has been a really exciting, challenging, scary and ultimately fulfilling few months. I am now at the stage where I can start to share it more widely so watch this space for more details.

It came about because my training & coaching work had been really hit by the recession and I needed to look at another income stream. Because I had already got the name @quirkytraveller on Twitter, I decided to explore my love of Travel and see where it took me. I have written about this for Mark Shaw, who is a Twitter 'guru' and a great help to newbies & oldies alike. To find out what Quirky means to me and how Twitter helped me to add another string to my business bow - read
The Quirky Traveller Twitter Tale and let me know what you think.
Join me here for Quirky Traveller Tales and more inspiring journeys ...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Finding your Leadership Voice in Tough Times

In these challenging times it can be difficult to know what to say to the people who work for and with us. Should we admit to concerns or worries or ought we to be always upbeat and positive? A number of my clients are grappling with this dilemma at present. They have been through many months of a changing business climate and there is still a great deal of uncertainty ahead.

So how do you motivate and inspire staff who may be worried about losing their jobs ...? What do you tell customers and clients who may be wondering if your business will be here next month ...?

One thing is true; in whatever business you are in, people's B***S**T detectors are on high alert! Everyone has their antennae tuned in for signs that things may not be as rosy as might be painted. And none of us take kindly to having the wool pulled over our eyes when it comes to truth-telling.

So what I suggest is that you ask yourself the following questions:
  1. What is the REALITY of your current situation?
  2. Where do you SEE your business in 6months/1yr/3yrs/5yrs' time?
  3. What do your staff/suppliers/customers/clients NEED to HEAR from you?
  4. What INFORMATION & VISION do you need to SHARE with others?
  5. What's in it for them to BUY INTO your message?
  6. What do you find INSPIRING about your message?
  7. How does it link to your VALUES?
  8. How are you going to PERSUADE/INFLUENCE others to join you in this?
  9. What is the overall OUTCOME that you want?
  10. When are you going to DO this and what SUPPORT do you need?
By going through this process, in whatever order seems appropriate, you become clearer on what is really important for you and everyone else involved in your business. And if you are genuine in all of this, others will pick up on that and happily share in your leadership challenge.

Good luck - and if I can help you in any way, get in touch any time.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Quirky Traveller logo - & identity

Just a quick note before I take a much needed break. I have been spending a lot of time recently coming up with the new logo and working with Adam Thorp of who has come up with a great one. I have loads of help from friends and family to get something that would be quirky, colourful and individual. What do you think of it?

I am really enjoying working on something that is fun and the Quirky Traveller persona is tapping into a lot of my loves and interests in life that have not been explored more publicly. This 'face' is probably a more relaxed and - well, yes, quirky one than my 'business' one.

But ... the thing it has made me think about is - what is our identity? What bits of us do we choose to share with the world and what do we keep to ourself? What face or faces do you show to the world and, if you could show just a bit more, what would it be?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Quirky Traveller sets out ...

I have not been doing my Blog for some time as I have been busy reinventing myself! It's a very exciting time as I take the plunge and pursue my passion for travel - of the mind, body and spirit. As part of this process I had some quirky pics taken by Karen and Chris of This one shows the beautiful quilt I got in Pukeiti, New Zealand.

When I was young I had a copy of the Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology. I used to dream of visiting all those wonderful places shown in the book - the Acropolis in Athens, the tombs of the Kings in Egypt, Machu Pichu in Peru, the temple at Llhasa in Tibet ... and many more.

In my mid-20s I finally gave up a secure teaching job and a steady boyfriend to go and live in Greece and follow my heart ... It was the most fantastic experience and I have never looked back.

So, on Wednesday 3rd June, I am talking about this journey at the Mirehouse, near Keswick with the lovely ladies of They're going to be demonstrating how to cook some tasty Greek dishes and then there will be a delicious lunch served in the grounds of historic Mirehouse, on the shores on Bassenthwaite Lake. Join us if you can for a "Taste Of Greece With the REAL Mamma Mia!" - book via the Food & Co website.

Finally, what dreams are you holding in your heart? Do you really want to make them a reality? What one thing could you do today to move that dream nearer to reality? Let me know - I would love to hear about them. Happy travelling!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring - Leadership Tips for Goal Setting

To many of us, the Spring Equinox marks the real start of Spring. Back in January I resolved to wear shorter skirts - and that resolution is still in place, tho I still prefer jeans to skirts! Then I decided to give up wine (tho not at weekends) and chocs till Easter. And I am delighted to report that I have kept to that resolve too - tho it's proving more difficult to resist the chocs, to my great surprise ...
But what I wanted so share with you is the value of setting goals that you really want to achieve rather than slogging away at ones that your heart isn't in. It is well documented that you are far more likely to achieve success when you're doing something that you can see a real benefit from doing, rather than one you feel you ought to be doing.
There is also a clearly defined and measurable impact when you write them down and share them with others. This works on lots of different levels. Writing them down helps to embed them in your brain, making it more likely you will remember to do them. Telling others helps in this way too, and by voicing them, you can get support and encouragement which will help you to keep on track - and make it far more likely you will succeed.
That's why I decided to include my resolutions here in the Blog - knowing others see it has made me accountable and I guess a bit ashamed if I don't keep to them!
Having a coach to give you more support, challenge and options is another way you can increase your chances of success, so if you want my help, drop me a line and let's get started.
So, what do you want to achieve over the next few months, what support do you need and how are you going to get it? Let me know and I'll share some more tips to help you along the way.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Giving up wine n chocs for Lent ...!

Now why did I do that? It was Pancake Day and my son and I were on the way to the school bus. I was explaining to him what it was about ... you know, 'Well the real reason why we have pancakes is, er, it's something to do with Easter and Jesus, and giving up things for Lent, so we have to eat up all the eggs and milk and lemons and caster sugar and golden syrup and ...'

Anyway, this led A to ask me what I was giving up for Lent (kids - ha!) and that's when I heard myself say I was giving up eating chocolate and drinking wine .... He sort of smiled and then said, 'Right - well, I could give up eating chocolates'. I pointed out that he didn't really like chocolate so that was not really going to be a hardship, now was it?!
So then he said he would give up sweets, which is more of a big deal with him, and he added, 'Cos it's not good for my teeth, is it Mum?'
I was really stuck then, cos he was taking it seriously, and if he was going to, then so did I - didn't I? I did a bit of thinking (not easy at 7.45am) and said, 'OK, well then you give up sweets and I'll give up chocolates till Easter Sunday, and I will give up wine during the week.'
So that's what we have agreed - and amazingly, so far we have not eaten any sweets, chocolates or drunk any wine (the wine's me, not him you understand!). Admittedly, I have got a cold and cough and haven't felt like it, and it is only 3 days so far, but even so ...!
I'm still not sure why we did it, (not having much of a religious streak, and never having given anything up voluntarily before!) but it may not be a bad thing ... and my clothes could just fit a bit better for when spring does finally come. I'll keep you posted.
If you were to give up one thing till Easter Sunday, what would it be? Look at the positive benefits you might get - and it's not for too long. Let me know if you like, and we'll keep each other company ...

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Valentine's Message for You

Happy Valentine's Day to you all. It is a day to celebrate love and I want to thank all of you who I have worked with in the past year, who have supported me both professionally and personally and everyone whose lives I have touched in whatever way.

A couple of days ago I interviewed a really charming man as part of my research into Inspiring Leadership. He is the Bishop of Penrith and he shared with me many of his beliefs and ideas about modern-day leadership. It was so refreshing to hear someone using the word 'love' when talking about this subject. He said it was very important for a good leader to love those whom he or she leads, and that he hoped they would love their leader too.

Maybe the word 'love' word needs to be resurrected in the business community, where we have seen so much greed and self-serving uncovered in the past few months.

I wish you love and happiness at this time and all through the year ... and may you pass that love on to others in your life, whoever they are and wherever they may be.