Bowie. The man who …

I watch the ripples change their size

But never leave the stream

Of warm impermanence and

So the days float through my eyes

Monday morning jolted us with yet another reminder of our own short tenure here.  David Bowie uses the word “Impermanence” in his song “Changes” but many expressed the very permanence of his music and personality in their lives this week with the shocking realisation he was no longer there. Indeed one personality took to Twitter to say: “ I had always assumed he was immortal”.

So he leaves us and leaves a huge gap in the field of culture and music. Something that is irreplaceable.  I’m not going to make tenuous links to my usual themes of Leadership and Self-Development but I did consider the man, his numerous career roles and the attributes I heard many speak about this week and thought there is something we can all reflect on and learn from:

Roles: Change Agent, Innovator, Risk Taker, Chameleon, Game Changer, Rule Breaker, Role Model, Musician, Lyricist, Producer, Actor, Trend Setter, Instigator, Influencer, Recording Artist, Figurehead, Fashion icon, Showman, Businessman, Entrepreneur, Writer, Artist, Band Leader, Explorer, Singer, Non-Conformist, Technologist, Humanitarian, Performer, Communicator, Leader.

Characteristics: Integrity, Humility, Discipline, Work Ethic, Serious, Practiced, Fearless, Self-Confident, Adaptable, Intuitive, Humorous, Charismatic, Thoughtful, Interested, Focused, Diverse, Opinionated, Challenging, Restless, Engaging, Informed, Creative, Authentic.

I still don’t know what I was waiting for

And my time was running wild

A million dead-end streets

And every time I thought I’d got it made

It seemed the taste was not so sweet

So I turned myself to face me

But I’ve never caught a glimpse

Of how the others must see the faker

I’m much too fast to take that test

Thank you for the music and everything else David Bowie. You moved fast, did so much but you were never a “faker”.


Posted by John Drysdale
15th January 2016
John's Blog


New Projects for Summer/Autumn 2018

It has been a really rewarding couple of weeks here at No Guru with new work and wonderful new clients added to our portfolio.

This week we met with the Senior Team at Irwell Valley Homes who have commissioned a project in support of their new brand. (more…)

No Guru now working with University of Huddersfield

Quarter 1 has started off with brilliant news, a newly commissioned programme of delivery for the University of Huddersfield to deliver ‘Strategic Thinking in Higher Education’ as part of an ambitious programme of development for Senior Managers. This leads to a recognised qualification from the Chartered Management Institute.  Head of Staff Development, Daniel Benton explains (more…)

Coaching for Results: Event with Professional Liverpool

We are delighted to be partnering with Professional Liverpool to deliver a FREE seminar on Monday 5th March (3pm to 5pm).

This explores the role of Coaching (and Mentoring) in helping staff deliver business results.  The session will be run by John Drysdale and will be a chance to find out how you can coach more effectively and perhaps consider a role in Coaching and Mentoring through our ILM Programmes.

To reserve your place click here. (more…)


John's Blog

The Immortal Memory: Robert Burns

Address to The Liverpool Athenaeum  2nd February 2018

I was delighted to be asked by club President Sir David Maddison to deliver The Immortal Memory at The Athenaeum Burns evening which I attended with my wife Fiona. This is a huge honour for any Scot and I hope I did it justice.  Burns provides such a rich tapestry I found it a real challenge to be succint and speak in a way that would connect with the audience – I chose to set Burns against the universal themes we recognise today and in the challenges we face in uncertain times.  I hope you enjoy it.   JD


The Immortal Memory – Robert Burns 1759-1796

The Athenaeum 2nd Feb 2018

President, ladies and gentlemen, fellow proprietors and distinguished guests.  I am honoured to propose the Immortal Memory this evening.

To one Robert Burns who lived between 1759 and 1796.


Image Triage – be careful what you post

How to avoid public ‘shaming’

If you’ve ever read Jon Ronson’s book ‘Shamed’, you will know the devastating effect social media can have on people who have posted something stupid on the internet.

Ronson highlights the case of Justine Sacco (a director of corporate communications) who, before boarding an 11-hour flight from Heathrow to Cape Town, Tweeted to her 170 followers what she thought was a series of lighthearted, acerbic comments about her journey. (more…)

Across the great divide

Reworking of an earlier blog of mine, marking the 50th Anniversaries of the deaths of Martin Luther King (4/4/68) and Robert F Kennedy (6/6/68)

Let’s be kinder to each other 

There is a striking memorial in a park in Indianapolis.  It marks the spot where, in April 1968, Robert Kennedy told a waiting crowd that Martin Luther King had been shot and killed, before speaking from the heart and his own personal experience, that violence is never an answer to our grievances.  His calming words quelled the rioting that other cities endured in the days after Dr King’s death and, arguably, saved some lives that night.


The memorial itself is an arresting work of art.  (more…)