An Immersion in Learning

This time last week I was immersed in the middle of a whole 3 days of dedicated learning.  Not just any old learning. Learning from the best, from those at the top of their game and I indulge in this learning fest every year.  Actually, it’s a rock-solid investment, not an indulgement. Hopefully I can show you why it’s vital to invest in yourself…

So, what have I taken away this year?

Sir Clive WoodwardI was blown away by the simplicity and power of Teamship, as presented to us by Sir Clive Woodward.  Having led the England Rugby team and then Team GB to new heights of performance, he’s clearly a leader who has a gift for inspiring teams and the individuals who make up those teams and what a masterclass we received!  We learned that whilst raw talent is a pre-requisite to become a champion learning and thinking skills are also essential, topped of by the will to do the sheer hard work that is necessary to climb to the top.  When you then need to harness the power of multiple champions, this is where Teamship comes into play.

This is the approach to creating the behaviours and practices that a team collectively need to consistently demonstrate, in order to maximise their team performance.  The beauty of this is that the team come up with these. Discuss, debate, shape and refine until they are all in agreement.  Only when there is 100% agreement does the new practice/commitment go to the “boss” to sign off.  What an engaging way to create a deep sense of team and togetherness – all pulling in the same direction!  We’ll be using this in our team in High Wycombe – watch out for a future blog sharing our very own ActionCOACH Chilterns teamship rules!

There’s also great synergy with the Team Behaviours engagement key in our Engage and Grow programmes, so I’ll be creating a not-so-marginal gain for future clients by combining these great tools, to create ever greater impact.

The power of Atomic Habits

My other massive B.F.O. (Blinding Flash of the Obvious) was experienced in James Clears’ session on Atomic Habits.  James introduced us to the concept of starting a new habit ‘on top of’ an existing habit and exponentially increasing your success in keeping to the new habit.  In fact, it’s entirely because of ‘habit-stacking’ that I’m even writing this blog!  I know that I write best sat away from my desk, typically at the kitchen table, frequently eating, always with a mug of tea! I identified a slot in my default diary where I can take an hour “for lunch”, moving to the meeting table in my office, each lunch and write a blog.  Of course, there’s no time like the present to get started. Even if it was 3.10pm before I got to lunch!

We had many more exceptionally gifted speakers and teachers and I have a precious notebook filled with colourful notes (you know me and coloured pens…).  I’m keeping this notebook on my desk, as an environmental device to help me keep referring back to all the learnings (another tip from James Clear!).


James Clear Atomic Habits

Is it worth taking 3 days out of your business?

It’s a rare treat to spend 3 days reflecting on your business. Being challenged about how you can be a more effective leader, without the distraction of day to day operations.  So many great ideas and new practices to adopt, adapt and become adept with.

The power of being in a room full of 1200 likeminded SME entrepreneur’s morning, noon and night is also amazing.  The tips and tricks you can pick up over lunch, new connections made in the tea breaks, deeper relationships forged over dinner (and drinks…!)

Business Excellence Forum Awards

BEFA 2019 AwardsWhich brings me onto the Business Excellent Forum Awards.  What an inspiring evening hearing of the winner’s and finalist’s superb achievements – 300% growth; hundreds of jobs created, moving to 100% employee engagement in the team – to name but a few of the accomplishments.  All the while I’m plotting which clients should be up for which awards next year….

For the first time this year, I took members of my team with me… What a multiplier effect this is having already!  Having your team hearing the same insights that you’re having accelerates the way you adopt the new language and practices.  Different speakers and different strategies resonated with each of us – which multiplies the content that we brought back into the business.  Finally, just travelling together with all that “windscreen time” provides an opportunity to discuss, chew over and generally shoot-the-breeze in a way that simply doesn’t happen as we go about our day to day business in the office.

Wondering how you can invest in yourself?

If you’re feeling an itsy bitsy, tincy wincy bit jealous of my experience, then start planning your own hamster wheel detox by investing your time in a top quality conference or forum event.  If you’re stuck on where to start, I’d suggest reserving 22 – 24th April 2020 in your diary now and book your ticket to BEF2020 at the Celtic Manor.  There’s a whole line up of amazing speakers already booked – Dame Kelly Holmes, Phil Hesketh, Sir Bob Geldof, John Warrillow, Kevin Whelan and our own Brad Sugars, all hosted by Clare Balding!  I’m excited already – visit for more info.


I’ll leave you with a final thought – Are you going to invest in yourself? What are you learning at the moment?  Who is challenging your thinking?  And what is your business missing out on if you don’t have a clear answer?

Invest in yourself, for FREE! Come along to one of my business workshop, or book your free 2-hour coaching session now!