Love Tough


I believe in tough love.

If you are a leader, manager, coach, teacher or parent, caring about someone often requires you to challenge and push them to improve, grow and reach their full potential.

Even the best athletes in the world have a coach to push them.

But for tough love to work, love must come first.

We must love tough to bring out the best in those we lead!

If people know you care about them they will be more receptive to you pushing them.

On the other hand if you put tough before love you’re more likely to face resistance.

“Rules without relationship leads to rebellion.” 

The old dictator tough, without love, style of leadership no longer works.

Having spent time with a number of professional and college sports teams it’s clear that even athletes who seem to have it all want to know that their coach cares about them. The best coaches love their players and their players know it and play harder and are more loyal to that coach.

The same is true for education and business.

Research shows that test scores go up when students have a relationship with their teacher.

Numerous engagement surveys show that people are more engaged at work when they know their manager / boss cares about them.

So keep pushing your people to be their best. If you are a parent like me, keep pushing your kids to reach their full potential.

Your team needs your toughness to grow!

But remember to put love first. Make relationships a priority.

Your love will create the right conditions for growth to happen!

Love + Tough = Growth

Reproduced with the kind permission of Jon Gordon,
author of ‘The Energy Bus’ 

3 Rules for Turning Stress into Success


3 Rules for Turning Stress into Success – Plus action steps to take for each.

Stressed? Author and speaker Denis Waitley shares three guidelines to transform negative anxiety into positive success. Follow these rules and take action now to let go of your stress.

1. Accept the unchangeable. Everything that has happened in your life to this minute is unchangeable. It’s history. The greatest waste of energy is looking back at missed opportunities and lamenting past events.

Grudge collecting, getting even, harboring ill will and vengeful thinking do no good. Success is the only acceptable form of revenge.

By forgiving your trespassers—whoever or whatever they are—you become free to concentrate on going forward with your life and succeeding in spite of those detractors. You will live a rewarding and fulfilling life. Your enemies, on the other hand, will forever wonder how you went on to become so successful without them and in the shadow of their doubts.

Action idea: Write down on a sheet of paper things that happened in the past that bother you. Now crumple the paper into a ball and throw it. Really. This symbolizes letting go of past misfortunes.

2. Change the changeable. Change your reaction to what others say and do, and you can control your own thoughts and actions by dwelling on desired results instead of the penalties of failure.

The only real control you have in life is your immediate thought and action, and because most of what we do is a reflex—a subconscious habit—it’s wise not to act on emotional impulse. In personal relations, it is better to wait a moment until reason has the opportunity to compete with your emotions.

Action idea: Write down one thing you will do tomorrow to help you relax more during and after a stressful day.

3. Avoid the unacceptable. Go out of your way to get out of the way of intolerable or perilous behaviors and environments.

Take these examples: When people tailgate you on the freeway, change lanes. When there are loud, obnoxious people next to you at a restaurant, change tables or move locations. When someone is being a Debbie Downer, complaining about this and that, excuse yourself and walk away.

Always be on the alert for negative situations that can be dangerous to your health, personal safety, financial speculation and emotional relationships.

Action idea: What is one unacceptable habit you or others have that you will avoid starting tomorrow?

A little stress is good, too much stress is bad, and understanding it can be everything. Learn about the upside to stress and how you can harness everyday anxiety.


10 Things Successful People Never do Again


1. Return to what hasn’t worked.
Whether a job, or a broken relationship that was ended for a good reason, we should never go back to the same thing, expecting different results, without something being different.

2. Do anything that requires them to be someone they are not.
In everything we do, we have to ask ourselves, “Why am I doing this? Am I suited for it? Does it fit me? Is it sustainable?” If the answer is no to any of these questions, you better have a very good reason to proceed.

3. Try to change another person.
When you realize that you cannot force someone into doing something, you give him or her freedom and allow them to experience the consequences. In doing so, you find your own freedom as well.

4. Believe they can please everyone.
Once you get that it truly is impossible to please everyone, you begin to live purposefully, trying to please the right people.

5. Choose short-term comfort over long-term benefit.
Once successful people know they want something that requires a painful, time-limited step, they do not mind the painful step because it gets them to a long-term benefit. Living out this principle is one of the most fundamental differences between successful and unsuccessful people, both personally and professionally.

6. Trust someone or something that appears flawless.
It’s natural for us to be drawn to things and people that appear “incredible.” We love excellence and should always be looking for it. We should pursue people who are great at what they do, employees who are high performers, dates who are exceptional people, friends who have stellar character, and companies that excel. But when someone or something looks too good to be true, he, she, or it is. The world is imperfect. Period. No one and no thing is without flaw, and if they appear that way, hit pause.

7. Take their eyes off the big picture.
We function better emotionally and perform better in our lives when we can see the big picture. For successful people, no one event is ever the whole story. Winners remember that—each and every day.

8. Neglect to do due diligence.
No matter how good something looks on the outside, it is only by taking a deeper, diligent, and honest look that we will find out what we truly need to know: the reality that we owe ourselves.

9. Fail to ask why they are where they find themselves.
One of the biggest differences between successful people and others is that in love and in life, in relationships and in business, successful people always ask themselves, what part am I playing in this situation? Said another way, they do not see themselves only as victims, even when they are.

10. Forget that their inner life determines their outer success.
The good life sometimes has little to do with outside circumstances. We are happy and fulfilled mostly by who we are on the inside. Research validates that. And our internal lives largely contribute to producing many of our external circumstances.

And, the converse is true: people who are still trying to find success in various areas of life can almost always point to one or more of these patterns as a reason they are repeating the same mistakes.

Everyone makes mistakes…even the most successful people out there. But, what achievers do better than others is recognize the patterns that are causing those mistakes and never repeat them again. In short, they learn from pain—their own and the pain of others.

A good thing to remember is this: pain is unavoidable, but repeating the same pain twice, when we could choose to learn and do something different, is certainly avoidable. I like to say, “we don’t need new ways to fail….the old ones are working just fine!” Our task, in business and in life, is to observe what they are, and never go back to doing them again.

from an article by Henry Cloud


Stop Making Excuses for Who and Where You Are


Because a lot of small choices can make a big difference.

What you do matters. Everything. The big stuff. The little stuff. Even the annoying stuff.

It matters that you waste time. It matters that you blame others for your failures. It matters that you are lazy at times.

It matters because achieving your goals matters. And eliminating excuses is the pathway that takes you there. It’s the same path that every great achiever has followed.

Sigmund Freud was booed off the stage the first time he presented his theories to a group of scientists in Europe. He went on to win the Goethe Award for his work in psychology.

Winston Churchill failed sixth grade and lost every public election he ran for until he was elected Prime Minister of England at the age of 62.

Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was 4 years old, couldn’t read basic words until he was 7 and was expelled from school. He eventually revolutionized physics with his Theory of Relativity.

Henry Ford failed at farming, at being an apprentice and as a machinist, and went bankrupt five times. He modernized mass production.

Stan Smith was rejected as a ball boy for a Davis Cup tennis match because he was “too clumsy.” He won eight Davis Cup championships and is considered one of the greatest doubles tennis players of all time.

Charles Schultz had every cartoon rejected that he submitted to his high school yearbook. He was rejected by Walt Disney. He went on to create the most popular cartoon series ever: Peanuts.

Van Gogh only sold one painting his entire life—to a friend’s sister for about $50. He painted over 800 masterpieces, seven of which are cumulatively worth almost $1 billion.

Leo Tolstoy flunked out of law school and was labeled “unable to learn” by his professors. He went on to become one of the world’s greatest novelists (think War and Peace).

John Creasey failed as a salesman, a desk clerk, a factory worker and an aspiring writer, getting 754 rejection notices from publishers. He wrote more than 600 novels and is considered one of the greatest mystery writers ever.

Hank Aaron failed tryouts with the Brooklyn Dodgers and went 0-5 in his first game in the majors. He went on to set the MLB record for homeruns and held that record for 33 years.

from an article by Dan Waldschmidt

6 Steps to Change Your Life

Step 1: When you change your thinking, you change your beliefs.

Change begins with the mind. Beliefs are nothing more than a byproduct of what you have thought about long enough, something that you have bought into—always remember that. What you believe, what you think, is just a collection of continual thoughts that have formed themselves into a conviction. When you break down the process of thinking into a manageable number of steps, you reduce the perceived risk associated with change.

Step 2: When you change your beliefs, you change your expectations.

Belief is the knowledge that we can do something. It is the inner feeling that what we undertake, we can accomplish. For the most part, all of us have the ability to look at something and know whether we can do it. So in belief there is power… our eyes are opened, our opportunities become plain, our visions become realities. Our beliefs control everything we do. If we believe we can or we believe we cannot, we are correct.

Step 3: When you change your expectations, you change your attitude
Your expectations are going to determine your attitude. Most people get used to average; they get used to second best. Nelson Boswell said, “The first and most important step toward success is the expectation that we can succeed.”

Step 4: When you change your attitude, you change your behavior.

When our attitude begins to change, when we become involved with something, our behavior begins to change. The reason that we have to make personal changes is that we cannot take our people on a trip that we have not made.

Step 5: When you change your behavior, you change your performance.

Most people would rather live with old problems than new solutions.2 We would rather be comfortable than correct; we would rather stay in a routine than make changes. Even when we know that the changes are going to be better for us, we often don’t make them because we feel uncomfortable or awkward about making that kind of a change. Until we get courage and get used to living with something that is not comfortable, we cannot get any better.

Step 6: When you change your performance, you change your life.

It is easier to turn failure into success than an excuse into a possibility. A person can fail, turn around and understand their failure to make it a success3. But I want to tell you, a person who makes excuses for everything will never truly succeed. Don’t you know some people who just have an excuse for everything? Why they could not, should not, did not, would not, have not, will not. I promise you, when you excuse what you are doing and excuse where you are, and you allow the exceptions, you fail to reach your potential. It is impossible to turn excuses into possibilities.

From an article by John C Maxwell

How to Get More of Everything You Want

many-handsWe become and then we attract. We grow personally and then we advance materially. Unfortunately, the vast majority seems to have the plan reversed. Their philosophy is this: “If I had more money, I would be a better person.” But that’s not the way life is designed to work. Having more doesn’t make us more. It merely magnifies what we already are. Those who cannot save a few pennies out of meager earnings will never be able to save dollars out of future fortunes. For the same discipline it takes to put a few coins in a jar every week is the same discipline it takes to open a savings account or manage an investment portfolio.

Conversation about our intended progress will only take us so far and promises about the future will only buy us a little time. Promises must soon be matched by performance. If the results do not appear in a reasonable amount of time we run the risk of losing the trust of others in addition to our own self-respect. We may find that those who once believed no longer believe, and we will one day be left only with our well-intentioned, but unfulfilled, pronouncements. A loss of this magnitude is worth preventing. It is on the day when we discover our losses that we will taste the bitter pill of neglect. It is on that day when we will finally experience the agonizing consequences of self-delusion, procrastination and unkept promises.

Will we read the books, make the plans, make good use of time, invest a portion of all that we earn, polish our current skills, attend classes to develop new skills and get around better people in order to improve our chances for success? Will we tell the truth, improve our ability to communicate, use our journals and give careful attention to all the virtues that success requires? Or will we be content to let the time slip through our fingers like grains of sand while we slowly lose self-confidence, the respect of others, and perhaps even the few possessions and valuable relationships that our past efforts have managed to attract into our lives? Will we go on sitting idly by while our dreams diminish to memories, as hope gives way to remorse?
Surely not.

Reproduced with kind permission from Jim Rohn


5 Things to Improve Your Mindset

These tried and true tips will help you take on the day with confidence.

Mindset is a set of attitudes, says Carol Dweck, a world-renowned Stanford psychologist, who discovered after years of research that dedication, hard work and resilience are much more important to growth and success than brains or talent. When we change our mindset to one of growth, we change the course of our lives.

1. Just breathe. (5 minutes)

Studies show that just a few minutes a day of quiet can open our brains and make it available for our most innovative ideas. Sit or stand in a quiet spot, feet on the floor, and hands by your side or on your knees. Now just quiet your mind—picture a place that is your idea of peace, such as a beach or a mountain. Just breathe, consciously and deeply from your belly. If your thoughts start to intrude (the project is due today, a late bill, etc.), just notice, then go back to your picture. You don’t have to be a meditation expert to do this. Five to 10 minutes of quiet, deep breathing during the day can also help us get back on track when stress levels get high, and clear our minds to come up with a better solution or next step to our challenge.

2. Check your thoughts. (5 minutes)

Have you ever gotten up in the morning when the weather is lousy and said, This is going to be a bad day? I have. More times than not, it guaranteed a day that finished the same way. Our thoughts are powerful. They create feelings, which leads to actions and behaviors that determine whether our day goes well. Learning that we can choose our thoughts is one of the most powerful things we can do to take charge of our lives. Taking five minutes to make sure our thoughts are positive starts the day off with the right mindset.

3. Write your grateful list. (3 minutes)

Set the timer and write down five things you are grateful for every day. According to research by UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons, keeping a gratitude journal contributes to a positive life attitude, and makes us feel better, sleep better and even have stronger immune systems. Try for a different list each day, and at the end of the week you will be surprised how this helps your mindset.

4. Set your intention for the day. (5 minutes)

Before you leave in the morning, set an intention of how you want the day to end. How do you want the actions you accomplish today to make you feel at the end of the day? How do you want to feel about your relationships, and what can you do today to move that forward? It doesn’t have to be major. What is one thing you can do that will make you feel better at the end of the day?

5. Turn off the noise. (2 minutes)

noise babyJust for today, find something else to listen to when you begin your day. Do your morning commute without listening to the news (it’s never positive), talking on the phone or checking social media. Listen to your favorite music, a lecture you’ve recorded and have been wanting to get time for, or just observe what’s happening around you. There will be plenty of time to find out what’s happening in the world when you get to your destination. Do this for a week and you will find yourself arriving at work in a calmer, more positive and relaxed mindset. Best of all, you will discover you haven’t missed a thing.

That’s it—just 20 minutes and you are well on your way to a more positive mindset. Practice this for just two weeks. You will see a tremendous difference in your productivity and your attitude.

Reproduced from an article by Susan C. Foster

Career Opportunities for You

Are you looking for that next career opportunity?

career opps








As specialist Headhunters to the Insurance market we exclusively work with leading organisations looking to hire the TOP TALENT in the market.

Head of Product – Home (Personal Lines)
Leading Insurance Intermediary – £60k

Head of Marketing – Personal Lines
General Insurer – £90k

Sales Manager
Claims Management Intermediary – £60k

Pricing roles – £60 – £120k
Variety of leading insurance organisations

Sales Manager
Leading Commercial Broker – 70k

Marketing Manager
Lloyds/London Market – £90k

For other vacancies click here

Would you prefer a confidential yet proactive approach to source your next career move? We offer a free and confidential approach, please click here to find out more!

DO YOU HAVE A VACANCY – I’ll guarantee to deliver a shortlist in 20 working days! Please  contact me  to discuss. 

How to Eliminate Distractions

distractionsWhen it comes to productivity, smartphones, negativity and social media could be your downfall.

Everything demands your attention. Today, devices, email and social media all vie for your heed at any given moment. The cost of these distractions to your personal and professional lives is well documented. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine found that it takes a typical office worker 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption, and an experiment by the authors of The Plateau Effect: Getting from Stuck to Success found that work interruptions decreased accuracy by 20 percent.

There are other, less evident distractions, too. Surrounding yourself with negative people has been shown to influence weight gain, smoking and even your likelihood of divorce.

Take these steps to slash cognitive and emotional distractions, increase focus and thrive:

1. Stop digital pressures.
Carve out blocks of time—whether for work, exercise or people you care about—and turn off your phone and computer. Download the free app SelfControl, which shuts off especially distracting websites such as social media or news pages for a set period of time.

2. Give yourself frequent breaks.
Just because you can work 24/7 doesn’t mean your mind or body are designed to do so.

3. Mind your physical health.
Exercise, plenty of sleep, healthy eating and all of those things you know you’re supposed to do promote mental health and focus.

4. Turn off smartphone notifications.
Limit the number of times per day you check and respond to email, texts and social media. Remove the temptation to constantly keep an eye on these pests.

5. Knock out the most dreaded duties first thing in the morning.
Have a difficult email you must send? Bills to manage? Need to initiate a difficult conversation? Get it off your to-do list and out of your mind, freeing you to be productive.

6. Eliminate or minimize negative people in your life.
These are people who play the victim, are stuck in unhealthy habits, or generally make you feel drained or bad about yourself. Surround yourself with those who are positive, focused, productive and ambitious.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

An article by Emma Johnson, a New York City based freelance business journalist

11 Ways to Build Trust

trust hands PC

Trust is one of the essential ingredients to build a great relationship, winning team and culture of greatness. Without trust you can’t have engaged relationships and without engaged relationships you won’t be a successful leader, manager, sales person, team member, principal, teacher, nurse, coach, etc.

In this spirit I wanted to share some thoughts about how we can build the trust that is essential for great relationships. Many of the suggestions you will already know. Many ideas I share are common sense. However, I’ve found that so often amidst the chaos of life and work we forget the simple and powerful truths that matter most. So here are 11 thoughts about trust. Feel free to share these simple reminders with your leaders, colleagues and team.

1. Say what you are going to do and then do what you say!

2. Communicate, communicate, communicate; Frequent, honest communication builds trust. Poor communication is one of the key reasons marriages and work relationships fall apart.

3. Trust is built one day, one interaction at a time, and yet it can be lost in a moment because of one poor decision. Make the right decision.

4. Value long term relationships more than short term success.

5. Sell without selling out. Focus more on your core principles and customer loyalty than short term commissions and profits.

6. Trust generates commitment; commitment fosters teamwork; and teamwork delivers results. When people trust their team members they not only work harder, but they work harder for the good of the team.

7. Be honest! My mother always told me to tell the truth. She would say, “If you lie to me then we can’t be a strong family. So don’t ever lie to me even if the news isn’t good.”

8. Become a coach. Coach your customers. Coach your team at work. Guide people, help them be better and you will earn their trust.

9. Show people you care about them. When people know you care about their interests as much as your own they will trust you. If they know you are out for yourself, their internal alarm sounds and they will say to themselves “watch out for that person.”

10. Always do the right thing. We trust those who live, walk and work with integrity.

11. When you don’t do the right thing, admit it. Be transparent, authentic and willing to share your mistakes and faults. When you are vulnerable and have nothing to hide you radiate trust.

Whilst this was not written by me, (from an article by Jon Gordon) these principles are those which I try to install in our team here at Right International and have been so since I started this business over 20 years ago.