Sunday, 28 February 2010

Elvis is dead

Well our beloved piggy died today. Just like that. One minute he was going about his business and the next just lying there in the snow. A huge shock for us all especially the kids. It seems as though he choked on something he was eating and that is what did for him. I cannot believe that he has survived all this terrible winter weather only to choke as it is hopefully about to improve. I thought i'd be writing earlier this week to celebrate the 1st rain of spring. It was short lived as it has turned to yet more snow.
Elvis RIP

Monday, 22 February 2010

Self Leadership

Looks like I will finally get to a network meeting in Newcastle tomorrow( 1st since mid december!).Just as well as I am giving a short presentation called " how do I self lead?" This has come from a conversation with Tamsen Garrie of 4networking and the following text is reproduced with her kind permission. Whilst I will be presenting as ever there will be time for debate & I hope to learn as much from others as I can This dog is a fine example of leader & follower depending on what the situation demands. He remains forever alert & curious.

How do I Self Lead?

Inspire yourself

Martin Luther King Jr. is unlikely to have achieved what he did if he’d said “I have a suggestion.”

Being able to inspire others starts with being able to inspire ourselves. When we can aim for something that matters enough to us to commit to it, work hard for it and suffer failures before we achieve it, we can we expect others to get excited about it too.

It’s important to frame your own vision in a way that compels you. If you decide on something you want to do, and clearly picture what the future is like when you get it done, you create inspiration for yourself. Then, and only then, can you connect others to that same vision, or even one of their own, so that they change their own behavior and set out in a new direction.

Set the path/pace:

Imagine a piece of string on a table. “if you pull it, it will follow you anywhere but if you try to push it, it will go nowhere.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Self Leadership is about knowing where we want to go and then going there with a sense of purpose. If we are sure of our goals and are moving toward them, we are leading ourselves in a way that others will quickly notice. Decide what you want, decide to pursue it, decide how and then go for it!

Being someone that you would follow:

Knowing everything you know about yourself, would you follow you? It’s an important question. If the answer is no, then you have work to do.

That doesn’t mean getting everything right. What it means is continually challenging ourselves to be the person that we would respect, admire, and follow. This is not the same as creating a public perception of who we want to be. Working to actually be that person takes time, effort and commitment, but as we become someone that we would follow, we begin to see that other people have noticed, and are behind us.

Continually developing:

The minute we think we know all the answers, we have stopped listening and learning.

Leaders who are able to overcome their own challenges by learning more, applying new thought processes and constantly considering new ideas will be able to address the new obstacles in their path much more successfully. Keep pushing yourself with new challenges. Find things you are scared to do, and do them. Every time you take a step like that you learn something new, you acquire a new way of thinking. Soon there are fewer and fewer things that you can't handle or don’t have experience with. Others around you will watch you learning and breaking through barriers and soon begin to do that for themselves.

Thought the following philosophical piece sums it up beautifully:

Live a Life That Matters

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, or days.

All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.

It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.

Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.

So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won't matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.

It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.

Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built;

not what you got, but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success, but your significance.

What will matter is about what you learned as well as what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence, but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone

What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.

It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice.

Choose to live a life that matters.

Saturday, 20 February 2010


It's been about a month sine I wrote about being fed up with the snow. A month on and it has eased a bit and we can get vehicles to the house etc but there is still snow here from pre Christmas and I reckon it has only been above zero on at most 2 days. We had to pay to get a digger to dig us out in the end as we were running out of heating oil. Other snow costs included skidding the car into a wall, a collapsed roof( just finished fixing it today) and to cap it all a busrt pipe in the holiday cottage. As you can tell the novelty is long gone. It is still very beautiful out here and guests are loving it....really looking forward to some above freezing temperatures. Spring still feels a long way off and we will wait & see what has survived the onslaught of the starving rabbits. Trees,plants even building wood has been eaten!