When I say “horrific”…

When I say horrific

I watched a young woman on the news recently use the word “horrific” to describe her experience. No this wasn’t a victim of recent terrorist atrocities in Paris, nor was she fleeing the horrors inflicted by Isis or Boko Haram. This was someone who was caught in some very bad weather (by UK standards) and whose travel plans had been disrupted.

Now, I am not for a minute trivialising her experience, I am sure it was hugely inconvenient and must have been frustrating and disappointing for her but it is just one example of where we seem to have lost perspective. If something isn’t “amazing” then it’s “horrific”. We seem to see-saw between two extremes of hyperbole with little to centre us. Expressions like “Weather Bombs” and “Thunder Snow” have appeared recently in relation to the weather but think also of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” in exaggerating the importance of rather mundane events. (Incidentally, a client of mine in retail had someone order goods by telephone on Cyber Monday because he was “avoiding the internet” that day!)

This strikes me as eating away at the core of our resilience and makes me question our capability to put things in perspective and find appropriate language in describing our experience to others.

Thankfully very, very few of us will ever experience genuinely “horrific” events in our lives. We will however experience a range of emotions from ecstasy to sorrow and everything in between.

Leadership and true self-leadership lies in our ability to recognise these emotions for what they are, tend to them appropriately and take action to control the things we can control. Something we continually ask our delegates to do on various programmes we run.

Now you’ll have to excuse me, the forecast is rather frightening for late February so I’m off to load the car with snow shoes, shovels and survival kits.

Posted by John Drysdale
27th February 2015
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…)