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

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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

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…)