Posted in Bite size learning, Goals, Leadership, Management, motivation, Relationships

The Main Thing…

“Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing” from the book Monday Morning Leadership by David Cottrell.

The Main Thing is people’s purpose and priorities. People have different perceptions of what the Main Thing is. If as a Leader you are not clear on The Main Thing, people will leave. People quit people before they quit companies.

Simon Sinek says “Start with Why” ask your team members “Why do you come to work? what is your driver. His argument it is not what you do? but most importantly why you do it? To create a culture of trust there needs to be harmony as to how you do it? This is where you establish core values of working together. These three areas Why/How/What create Simon Sinek’s golden circle, but always starting with Why.

To identify the Main Thing break it down by using the language of strategy:-

Vision – defining where you want to be in the future

Mission – The purpose of your business (The Why and the Main Thing)

Strategy – The direction of each department eg. Finance/Marketing/Operations – that leads you to mission & vision.

Objectives – Team and individual objectives that fit into the strategy

Tasks – things that you do everyday that lead to the objectives

Values– guiding principles of how you want to work with each other

When you define each of the areas think about companies you want to replicate and companies that you are opposed to being. Love and hate elicit powerful reactions and help position where you do want to be.

A simple team exercise is to ask every team member “What is the Main Thing…? the response to the blank space will be very varied and your role as a Leader is to get clarity.

Please do get in touch we are running the “Main Thing” workshop on Thursday 26th August 2021 @ 10.00am (90 minutes) at a cost of £40 per delegate.

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Leadership, Management, motivation

Key ingredients for a coach…

Right Mindset

Sport is an obvious setting for a coach and very easy to understand their role, they are helping the athlete reach their full potential. The results are tangible and the competitive environment of achievement makes it a very conducive to getting in the right mindset. In business the same willingness is required of a coach to identify with the client their talents so that they can achieve extraordinary results. The goals might be less obvious but it is the role of the coach to empower and inspire the client to achieve. The coach must have the right mindset of believing in the development of the individual.

Listening in the moment

During the pandemic it has been really important to have a coach with the speed of the transformation of work. Understanding the levels of adaptability and working with other life commitments. The coach listens and understands what is important to you at that moment in time.


Coaching definitely empowers employees to do their own thinking, by providing space and time. The coach is always listening and never uses any “tell” language, they are inquisitive and encouraging. They never judge and clear their own minds ready to listen without prejudice. Empowerment drives engagement, and subsequently self direction which is a driver to innovation. Studies show that engaged employees make companies more profitable, so therefore engagement drives performance.


Empathy is the cornerstone of good coaching, “It is not about you!!!”. Understanding the persons perspective at that moment in time is what it is all about.


The coach must be like a battery pack, of giving the client a boost, a belief in their talents and capabilities. Their energy levels can be conveyed through their language and the levels of encouragement they give the client.


The most important ingredient is to be there as a coach, check-in on their actions and ideas, hold them accountable to what they discussed the last time. Understand why they have not made the change and how they feel if they have made a change. This can be tangible actions and tasks, however it may well be a behavioural change which is where the Coach can play their most pivotal role.

Coaching is transformative and if you put in the right ingredients in and believe in the ability to evoke a change in anyone you will be amazing.

Please do get in touch to book your first coaching session

Posted in coaching, Decision Making, Leadership, training

Making better decisions…


When making a decision have  you considered all the key elements and does your personality have a bias as to where you spend your time whilst making a decision.

  • Have you considered all the rules and policy, followed the process and rigour surrounding the issue?
  • Have you tested against your own values?
  • Have you looked at the impact on everyone involved?
  • Finally does the decision you make, seem financially and commercially viable?

We can make these questions even tighter by giving them labels and categories for you to think about.


The 4P model of making better decisions.  Take your time and work your way through each “P”.  Follow a structure will in inevitably give you a more illuminating view of the landscape.

If I did not have the 4P structure my personality would want to spend more time on the people and principles.  Be disciplined and allocate the same percentage of time to each “P”.

Making better decisions is a key leadership skill, for coaching or development please do contact

Posted in coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Problem solving

How to solve problems…?


Knowing where to start with a problem and focusing on the right things.  Whilst studying for Myers Briggs accreditation I came across the Zig Zag model.  It maps the problem on a journey.

  • What do you know already?
  • What ideas and solutions do you have?
  • How do you make a decision based on the ideas you have?
  • What is the impact on people?

zig zag

We begin with just the facts, what is the situation – exactly? What has gone before?  Who is involved? Collect the data, keeping an open mind. Then use your intuition to speculate on patterns and connections formed by the facts. What are the possibilities?

Once you have the facts and ideas use objective analysis, weighing facts against speculations. Use logic to determine cause and effect. End the zig zag model by using judgment to incorporate the human consequences: the impact on people and values.

Studies show that we have a favoured route and if we don’t consider all the points of the zig zag we might shortcut it and this could have implications.  My own route would be to get excited about possibilities think who I could sell it to and then completely miss the consequences of costs.

The model works really well as a team exercise using post-it notes and also individually you can map it out for  yourself.  We can deliver 90 minute workshop on Problem Solving, please do get in touch



Posted in Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Problem solving, Relationships, Stress management

How to take responsibility…?


Take full responsibility for everything that happens to you in life is the difference between being the “driver or the passenger”.

In the book “Monday Morning Leadership” by David Cottrell – Jeff  the main character arrives for his first mentor session with Tony.  He is late and blames the weather and traffic etc… Tony explains that in life there will always be rain or traffic, you make adjustments, you leave earlier or you find another route.

“What happens when you place blame is that you focus on the past, when you accept responsibility, you focus on this time forward on the future.  You accept total responsibility”

If you eliminate blame from your vocabulary then you will start to make positive changes.

Knowing and implementing are two different things.  I have my own business so I am the driver, however I know taking full responsibility for where we go and what we do can be exhausting.  Responsibility comes with choices and ultimately decisions.  Stephen Covey explains that the word responsibility is split in two – it is always are ability to choose a response and put together equals responsibility.

I cannot blame budgets in organisations or economic downturns I have to take responsibility for creating products and services that are more accessible to the market.  I change the destination, not the driver.

Until you accept total responsibility – no matter what – you will not be able to put plans in place to accomplish your goals.

For a 90 minute workshop on “Responsibility – Be the driver not the passenger” please contact

Photo this week is courtesy of Sophie Wilkinson (homemade cake with nugget branding)

sophs cake

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, motivation, Relationships

How to motivate yourself and others …?


From the moment you wake up you have a choice as to how you swing those legs out of the bed.  Are you choosing pain or power?

There are times in our life when pain might be preventable however if mentally you make a choice of pain everyday you will eventually where yourself down.  The word power is all about releasing energy and going for it.

Pain to power can be recorded on a daily or a weekly basis have an audit as to how you are choosing to start your day.

Teresa Amabile says that motivation is all about progress moving forward and we need nourishers to support us and also eliminate toxins.  Nourishers can be the right diet, supportive individuals and a clear direction of what you want yourself.  Toxins are those people who are negative, meetings that are unnecessary and not looking after ourselves.  Progress principle and work that is meaningful.

The motivational theory of Maslow hierarchy of needs is a good check to see if you have everything in place.  To explain the model on workshops I often use the story of Robinson Crusoe.  He was marooned on an island and needed to live, he met one person on the island who he called Man Friday, and then realised his own self worth by surviving and by being rescued.  The list below shows the levels in Maslow’s theory with Robinson’s achievements and what they would look like in blue from a work perspective.

  1. Basic survival  = food and water/pay 
  2. Security = shelter/office & chairs & computers etc…
  3. Social = Man Friday/colleagues 
  4. What others think of me? = Feedback and interaction with Man Friday/feedback & appraisals & reviews 
  5. Self Actualisation = Robinson leaving the island and acknowledging himself for what he has achieved/you recognised your own work 

Controversy surrounds Maslow as to whether the pyramid should be upside down, do you need to have self actualisation in place first before you satisfy the other levels.  Whichever way you want the pyramid do you have any gaps or any elements unfulfilled.  If you are not paid the right amount for self worth it is quite hard to accept feedback.

Hertzberg made it even simpler than Maslow and said that there are only two areas to consider Hygiene factors or Motivation/Satisfaction factors.

Hygiene Factors

  • Company policy and administration
  • Wages, salaries and other financial remuneration
  • Quality of supervision
  • Quality of inter-personal relations
  • Working conditions
  • Biscuits
  • Coffee

Motivational Factors 

  • Opportunity for advancement
  • Gaining recognition
  • Responsibility
  • Challenging / stimulating work
  • Sense of personal achievement & personal growth in a job

When you are working with a team, be really careful of messing with the hygiene factors.  A short term change can have a longer term effect in terms of demotivation.  If you take away the biscuits they will never forgive you.

Look at Hertzberg’s list and decide which are long term and short term and manage them as you would your own motivation.

For a workshop on motivation please contact

Book 90 minutes of learning on any management/personal development area – 6 – 12 delegates for £600.

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, Goals, mindfulness, motivation, Stress management, Time management

3 a day…


The media is awash with mindfulness, enjoying the moment we are in, even colouring to be sure that you are focused on just the task in hand.

We manager our bodies by eating 3 solid meals a day and yet our mind is nourished in a rather more haphazard approach.

At the start of the week you possibly plan your main meals and yet do you ever write down the main things you want to achieve at work.  I bet you have a to-do list, however that just looks like one long shopping list.

Think of your mind like your body.

Achievement underpins motivation, so we feel good when we get stuff done.

Each day say to yourself, what 3 things will make the biggest difference to work and life.  As with diet you need a good balance it is the same with your mind.  You must ensure that at least 1 out of your 3 achievements is something home or personal that will add value for you and your family.

When you diet you are very disciplined and focused see this 3 a day mindfulness diet the same way.  Share as team what 3 things will make the biggest difference and ensure that they do.  Slimming world and weight watchers are successful due to the support, the same should be true for you and your team on a mind diet.

By the time you hit Friday you will have worked on 15 achievements.

For a 90 minute workshop on “3 a day” please contact

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