Browse Category: Blog

Sign Language- Dispute Between Neighbours

Sign Language- Dispute Between Neighbours

This is apparently a true story…

A town councillor in Wales had a beautiful view of the mountains, until a new neighbour purchased the land below his house and built a new home. The new home was 18 inches higher than the planning dept had approved, so, mad about his lost view, he went to the local authority to make sure they enforced the roof line height.

He won and the new neighbour had to drop the roof height, at great expense. Recently, he called the planning dept, and informed them that his new neighbour had installed some vents on the side of his new property. He didn’t like the look of these vents and asked the planning dept to investigate. When they went to his home to see what the vents looked like, this is what they found…









The Local Authority said the vents can stay since there is no planning law referring to shutter design.

Handling Fear in a Downturn. Or anytime really.

Handling Fear in a Downturn. Or anytime really.

Fear is evil. It paralyses. It messes with your brain. It stops you thinking straight. And it stop you doing things.

I have a stone with a prayer written on it that I got from my Mum. It is a simple prayer but hey – aren’t they the best ones?

“God grant me the courage to change the things I can, the patience to accept the things I can’t and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Some may scoff – but there are many out there who are scared. A friend described his client base as being “stunned with fear”. Normally decisive leaders and communicators crippled by fear.

It is true that a level of adrenalin, a fear of failure, nerves – all of these can be good when directed and channeled correctly. When I was a tennis coach this was true of every winner who did not want to be a loser. And it is true for every manager, leader, presenter, business owner.

Seth says that creativity is called for – and he is spot on!

And Naomi says that the way to deal with fear is to look it in the face. Then see what’s the worse that can happen And then deal with it.

Which brings me back to that prayer on the stone. Focus and fix what you can do. Forget the rest – worrying will not help. And it will only distract you from doing what you CAN do! Focus on action. Action gets things done and it makes you feel better too!

Are you considering discounting?

Are you considering discounting?

Short-term discounts can help preserve cash flow in an emergency, or be used as a strategy to increase market share. But the impact of discounting on your brand, margins and future pricing must be included in your decision! Commodities are assumed to be equivalent and are sold on price only.

Most companies are able to add value and differentiate themselves from their competitors. If price is your only advantage – don’t let your competition know. If they have deeper pockets, they will undercut you – and outlive you. Brands like Maybach, Bentley and Mont Blanc do not discount. (Do they?). They know their value and educate their clients about their value.

Identify, analyse and focus on the value that you (can) deliver and how your products or service add value to your clients. And if, for example, you are a Top 4 Accountancy Company pitching audit services to a UK based company – do not rabbit on about your global reach!!!! Fool’s Gold!! Relevant added value, promoted to the right customer, in the right way and with the right customer service will always trump price! If you do not add and sell value, price will always be your determining factor.

Will the downturn persuade British business people to learn from Obama and the Germans?

Will the downturn persuade British business people to learn from Obama and the Germans?

German white collar workers who are not sent on at least 2 weeks training a year fear that they must be on the redundancy short list and will soon face the chop. (Their company is not investing in them – so they must be on their way out!). Their British counterparts (with some exceptions) consider that an offer of training implies a personal or professional deficiency and gingerly start checking the post for their P45.

Is this the British fondness for the effortless amateur – the smooth-but-not-stirred James Bond? HR and PR departments are patronised with “I have 20 years experience giving speeches old boy – no need for training!” More like 1 years experience – repeated 20 times.

Practice and preparation are the absolute life-blood of a good performance – even those in the Public Speaking Premier League like Winston Churchill and William Hague.

Churchill would say that he could deliver an hour’s speech immediately at any time. But a ten minute speech needed an hour’s preparation. And a five minute speech needed a week’s preparation.

William Hague’s brilliant performances at PMQ’s were preceded every week by 26.5 man hours – 4 or 5 of which were his.

In a recent BBC tribute to Geoffrey Perkins (the legendary Comedy Writer, Performer and Producer of a range of classics such as Father Ted the Catherine Tate Show and The Fast Show show) an actor remembered how Geoffrey asked him to deliver a line “just one more time” – but this time a second quicker. The actor complained, but complied. And when he saw the final version, he admitted that Geoffrey had been right and the show was better because of it!

This perfectionist trait was the essential partner to Perkin’s humour and skill – and key to his success.

So what sort of look would you get if you asked the Chairmen of the FTSE 500 the following question? “Is your (draft) Annual Report/speech written yet for your next AGM? You know – the profits warning one? Any themes? General Ideas? And how much time will you spend preparing for it?”

And how long will these State-of-Our-Business-Reports and how well will they be delivered?

Lincoln’s historic speech, now known as the Gettysburg Address, was all of 10 sentences and 272 words long and lasted only two or three minutes.

Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech changed the world with just 1669 words delivered in only 16 minutes 12 seconds.

President-Elect Obama’s team is not just preparing for government by working with the incumbents in every government department, but a team is already working on Obama’s Inaugural address – due to be delivered on January 20th.

Obama and his team obviously believe in the 7 P’s (Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance).

And they are going further. In the last week, Obama and his team have already been on the TV and radio stations across the country, managing expectations.

So, how long will Obama’s Inauguration speech be? Who can tell at this stage – but you can bet money on the fact that at least 20 hours or more of preparation will go into the preparation and writing of each minute of that speech – and that Obama will practice and prepare and be robustly critiqued on his delivery for days beforehand – winging it is not his style.

Nor should it be the style of the cream of British industry.

New: Free downloadable guides to improve speeches, survive telephone interviews, set goals and more.DOWNLOAD NOW
+ +
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On LinkedinVisit Us On Instagram