It is just 3 years since I launched this site and still over 150 people per week visit but what is more amazing is the number of page views with an average of 500 per week. Thank you to everyone who reads these pages for taking an interest.
I have just been informed that this afternoon this website had its 10,000th visitor! Amazing that in just over 17 months 10,000 people have spent time looking at my pages. The website was originally set up as a means of teaching myself how to do it and then developed into an extension of my Linkedin profile, telling the story of my career and what is important to me. What is particularly encouraging is that most of these 10,000 visitors have been interested enough to look at multiple pages on the website and the links to other sites. Thank you.
This has come at a time when I will shortly be able to announce an exciting new career development for me, leading an award winning, unique and very special charity working with young people, families and communities.
It is just over a year since I launched this website as a means of telling my career story and to highlight some of my experience. I had no idea that so many people would visit the site and thank them for taking the time. I only thought that it would be a reference for recruiters to find out a bit more about me but judging by the number of people that have been in contact, it has achieved much more than that.
Just had the 4000th visitor to my website, thank you to everyone who has taken time to look at the pages....
This post was prompted by the daily blog of a good friend and search and rescue veteran, Dave 'Heavy' Whalley. Heavy's blogs are brilliant and always inspire, his experience is legendary and his writing profound. He put up a small piece about courage in leadership. Here follows my ramblings.......
I have always seen leadership as 'consistently achieving results beyond expectations by creating an environment in which others can shine brightly' To do this, in my experience, a leader must embrace the 5 most important qualities: Build Trust, Demonstrate Courage, Positively Challenge, Provide Focus and Communicate Effectively. These might go against what some leadership guru's think, so let me explain....
1. To ‘build trust' your behaviour must be underpinned by values, not just 'nice to haves' but the things that you passionately believe are the right things to do. Recognise the uniqueness and individuality of all team members. Be fair and consistent. Use emotional intelligence!
Extend trust – Trust is reciprocal. One person gives it, another receives it and gives it back in turn. Since someone has to make the first move, why not you? It’s hard for people to trust you if you aren’t willing to trust them. Trust involves risk, and if you wait for a time when there’s no risk in a relationship, you’ll never trust. Be smart about who you extend trust to and how much you give, but don’t be afraid to make the first move.
Listen without judgement – Think of the people you’ve trusted most in your life. There’s a good chance that most, if not all of them, were people who listened to you when you were frustrated, angry, upset, or just needed someone to talk to. They didn’t condemn you for the way you were feeling but listened to your concerns and offered appropriate and timely counsel, without judgement or blame. Listening shows you care for people and is a critical component of building trust.
Show compassion, care and concern – As mentioned above with listening, demonstrating compassion, care and concern in relationships is critical to building trust. You can trust people you don’t know based on their expertise, but trust really accelerates when a genuine personal relationship is established. Take the time to truly build a personal relationship with others and you’ll see trust skyrocket.
DWYSYWD – Do What You Say You Will Do. Consistent, reliable, and dependable behaviour is at the core of building trust. Follow through on commitments. Keep your promises. Be on time. Meet deadlines. It sounds simple enough, but unfortunately these common-sense basics are often the very behaviours we neglect the most. DWYSYWD and trust will blossom.
Admit your mistakes – Combined with DWYSYWD, admitting your mistakes is one of the most high-powered, trust-building behaviours you can use. Why is that? It shows your sense of humility and authenticity when you own up to your mistakes. It demonstrates to people that you are secure in yourself and you respect others enough to be up front and honest. Showing a humility and humanity goes a long way in building trust.
2. To ‘demonstrate courage’ we often need to take unpopular decisions, to bring calm and logical thinking when all around may be chaotic, to consider at all times the needs of others above those of ourselves, to remain positive when all around is negative, to be a beacon of hope when for many hope is lost, and above all to love unconditionally. Leaders who demonstrate courage tackle poor performance without humiliating someone, they recognise their own weaknesses but overcome them by valuing the skills in others which they do not have.
3. To ‘positively challenge’ a leader stretches the team, enabling them to reach their fullest potential, a leader increases the confidence of others and improves their performance through careful nurturing and mentoring. At times, the behaviours of others need to be challenged as inappropriate or just plain wrong. Yes it is possible to be wrong, nobody is perfect and we do just get things wrong sometimes and it needs a wise leader to keep us on track.
4. To ‘provide focus’ a leader presents a vision of what can be, they have insight and wisdom that transcends the ‘here and now’, they encourage the team to share a common purpose, to work as one and to always aspire to do their best. Yes, a leader maintains enthusiasm, motivates, encourages proactive thinking, accentuates the positive (as the old song goes) and keeps people on track and essentially builds resilience, to enable the team to better withstand and recover from whatever difficulties or hardships they might encounter.
5. To ‘communicate effectively’ should begin with the ability to actively listen, to assimilate information and to re-present it with understanding. A leader gives good feedback on both work and actions to increase confidence and enhance learning. When the feedback is about improvement, this too should be done to increase confidence and enhance learning.
A leader communicates with passion, with integrity, their words liberate, inspire, enthuse, encourage and support. They have the ability to make their words relevant to any audience, speaking with clarity and honesty…. Always.
Big thanks to all who have visited my website, I am truly amazed that over 2000 unique visitors have found their way to the site and I hope that in doing so you have learnt a bit more about me. I had originally set the site up as a means of providing headhunters and recruiters with a way of getting some additional information to enhance my CV and linkedin profile. I am still searching for the next challenge and despite some very promising leads and interest from recruiters, the right opportunity has not yet come along.
Any death is a tragic one and particularly when the casuialties are young and living life to the full and the possibility of a full life ahead of them. My first outings to the mountains of Wales were with the Scouts aged 13, leaving the south-east in a clapped out minibus (probably more dangerous than any mountain) on a Friday after school and arriving back late on a Sunday night. This was how I caught the bug, learning my limits, understanding the mountains, reading the conditions and listening to some great instructors. Unfortunately, this kind of experience for folk of this age is so much more difficult, considered too dangerous, or not appropriate or heavily regulated due to past incidents. Although, safety is paramount, progressive learning experiences in a mountain environment are essential if you want to grow in the sport and gain so much from it.
At 17 I was travelling from Surrey by train to the Cairngorms to spend two weeks at a time camping at Glenmore and spending days bivvying at the shelterstone and climbing everything around. Were we reckless, ill prepared or plain stupid, I don’t think so? We had learnt the benefits of a team, looked out for each other, knew our personal limitations and yes on occasions pushed boundaries. We were risk aware, not risk averse, we minimised risk through learning and having the right equipment, but of course we could have had an accident. We had no mobile phones and no GPS, no goretex clothing or waterproof boots, tents without sewn in groundsheets, dachstein mitts and grey woollen socks!! We were loving every minute of our experiences in these wild places, we had our contingency plans, had left word with others and knew what to do in an emergency. The mountains were the making of us, the experiences formed us and the sense of team inspired us. We were not on the street, not on drugs and were not boozing to excess, we had a vision of a world brimming with adventure, of being at one with nature and being fit and healthly.
So to the media sensationalists, I say give those who venture into the mountains a break, accidents do and will happen and sadly so too will fatalities but restricting adventure will not reduce the death rates in those driven to the great outdoors. Obesity, drug and alcohol abuse, gang crime, etc all carry a heavier toll…………………….
Only 9 days since I launched the site and over 700 visitors. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read my pages.
Ian is an experienced leader and senior manager with over 32 years expertise. He is known for his inspirational, values driven communications and is motivated by making a difference to the lives of others.