For some strange reason I have always felt compelled to tell stories and support people. One of my earliest memories is telling stories to a group of children sitting on logs in the middle of the woods. I was six or seven at the time.
My father was in charge of a large mental hospital and I grew up mixing with the residents as a cub and scout and eventually as a holiday worker. I have always thought that this background helped me a lot in business, being willing to work a little harder to connect and communicate.
At twenty I decided it was ok for me to be different, I discovered meditation and I ended up living in a spiritual community. I joined Post Office Telephones as a salesman and had a wonderful time during the transition to British Telecom (BT). I started off selling old fashioned cord connected switchboards and ended up selling point of sales networks. I guess it was unusual to be a teetotal, vegetarian salesman in those days but my interest in people and their business helped.
In my early thirties I left the community and got married to Susan. She is a reflexologist and a yoga teacher and together we have followed our interest in human potential and spirituality with many teachers over the last thirty two years. We have always shared what we have learned through meditation groups and personal development workshops.
Shortly before we got married I was headhunted in BT to look after national accounts including Hewlett Packard, Storehouse and Sainsburys. I was one of the top 30 sales people - QE2 to New York and flew back on Concord. I moved from sales into marketing management and enjoyed roles as sector marketing manager for Retail & Distribution - a £700M per year market for BT; Competitor Analysis Manager - briefing the business and corporate board and MDs; and EBusiness Proposition Manager - developing internet-based business packages.
In 2001 I accepted a voluntary redundancy package too good to turn down.
After I left BT I took a year out to play. I travelled to the USA to learn survival skills and study Apache philsophy and Susan and I travelled to Holland to study Inca philosophy and healing. As always we taught we had learned.
After the year I decided that I wanted to mix both sides of my life experience, the personal development and the business understanding of people and communication. Leadership Training seemed the ideal vehicle and with excellent timing an old colleague and some pals bought a leadership development company, First Ascent. I helped them get their first £100K+ contracts and I have been free lancing with them ever since. Over the last 8 years I have trained over 1000 managers in different aspects of leadership.
Our understanding of neuroscience has grown dramatically in the last 8 years and has provided a rich source of new information to explain the huge potential in human development as well as provide new insights into business leadership. I love the work I do!