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


Can I Coach the Team?

20 Questions to enhance Teams

‘Can you do something with my team?’

‘What seems to be the problem?’

‘Well morale is really terrible, nobody seems to care about working here and we have lots of conflict’

‘So can I ask, what have you done to them?’

A not untypical conversation whenever I get asked to facilitate a Team Day, sometimes called an ‘away day’ or ‘teambuilding’ event.  Whilst I may be a bit harsh on the leader in this scenario, I do think that this kind of ‘state’ within the team is not a natural one. Something must have happened (or not happened), to create it. (more…)

Do you have time to think?

One of my ILM coaching delegates recently recalled a coaching session they had with a client. ‘I didn’t seem to do much, in fact I felt a bit of a fraud’, they said.

When I asked them to expand on this, they explained that (more…)

Am I a Coach or a Mentor?

We’ve been training coaching and mentoring for quite a few years now and this question always pops up, ‘What’s the difference between coaching and mentoring?’  In fact it’s one of the questions you need to answer if you want to (more…)


John's Blog

Why be a coach or mentor?

… your business community needs you

I am a little biased but I love both coaching and mentoring.  I used to enjoy being the ‘trainer’ which satisfied the performer in me but as I get older there is something that I find deeply satisfying in being a coach or mentor (we will touch on the difference between the two in a later blog).

More than that, I find it a privilege to work with people.  (more…)

Speaking Truth to Power

For those afraid of speaking …

(But) TED is a tough, pressured, hugely stressful gig, even for experienced public speakers, and I’m not that. Standing in the wings waiting to go on, I told the stage manager that my heart was racing uncontrollably and in an act of great kindness, she grasped both my hands and made me take breath after breath. And what you don’t see in the video – deftly edited out – is the awful, heart-stopping moment when I forgot a line, followed by another act of collective kindness, a spontaneous empathic cheer as I composed myself and found my cue. “That’s when the audience came onside,” an attendee told me. “You were human. That’s when you won them over.”  Guardian April 2019


This from Carole Cadwalladr, a journalist at the Guardian who has in this last year investigated the role of tech corporations and their platforms in influencing the workings of our democracy.  What makes her TED talk so compelling is because here she is facing those very same technology giants on their turf.  And speaking truth to power.


Coaching: Deep Impact

This week I had the chance to attend a seminar at the Leeds Coaching Network featuring renowned coach, writer and speaker Julie Starr.  You may be familiar with some of Julie’s work including; ‘The Coaching Manual’, ‘The Mentoring Manual’ and ‘Brilliant Coaching’ and the session was everything you expected it to be. (more…)