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Special Edition As I Celebrate My 50th Birthday
The Weekly Walkaway highlights negotiation in its ‘good’, ‘bad’ and sometimes ‘downright ugly’ forms. Newsletter Issue No. 38 (23th June 2023)
Celebrating 50 Years: My Reflections
Welcome to a special edition of The Weekly Walkaway as I celebrate my 50th birthday.
I wanted to take a moment to share some light hearted yet valuable and profound insights that I have gathered over my three decades in the fields of human capital, entrepreneurship, and negotiation.
These experiences have shaped me into who I am today, and I hope these reflections will entertain and maybe inspire you.
So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let's embark on wee a journey into my 50 year old head!
Respect. The Golden Rule:
Respecting others as you would like to be respected is a cornerstone for me. It has kept me grounded and enabled me to build meaningful connections and long term relationships. It’s simple;
Hold that door open for whomever is behind you. Give up your seat on the train or bus;
Thank the cleaner. Politely speak with all those that serve you; they are the gatekeepers to where you want to go;
When you are thanked, say “you are welcome”, and mean it.
This respect follows you into every meeting room you enter.
But don’t suffer fools. Speak your truth clearly
Honesty and Loyalty:
For me honesty is paramount. The cost of a lie far outweighs any temporary benefit it may bring.
I have always found that the truth always triumphs over lies and deceit.
I learnt early on that loyalty and honesty were closely intertwined and the price of disloyalty or a lie is often far greater than the reason behind it.
I Am Much More Equal Than I Thought:
In the good ol days of Investment Banking Recruitment I remember I wore the same pin stripe suit and red tie. My power suit! I didn’t need it, but I only know that now.
Don’t give other people power.
You are powerful. Their power is just your perception. You are there for a reason. Recognise that each person is much more equal than they may initially seem.
I Am JFDI (Just F**king Do It)
I’ve learnt to surround myself with individuals who promote positivity and growth, and I cut out negative personalities quickly, they are toxic to the mission!
I value collaboration and positive energy. It is the path that leads to growth and success but in the end you’ve just got to do it!
Don’t just talk about it! Don’t just think about it. Get out of your meetings and take control and just f**king do it!
Embracing Conflict with Courage:
Conflict is an inevitable, inescapable, part of life.
Embrace it with courage and assertiveness, stand up for your rights and beliefs.
Face conflict head-on. Growth and positive change often arise from challenging situations.
Viva la Revolution!
Time: Your Most Precious Asset:
Leaving recruitment and becoming a consultant negotiator, all those years ago, enabled me to take charge of my time and prioritise activities that brought me joy.
Time is one of the most valuable assets we possess.
Don't allow others' demands to dictate your schedule.
Value and protect your time. Create space for personal growth, relaxation, and the pursuit of your passions.
Do not succumb to the time pressures imposed by others. You are driving your own train and you put the train tracks down.
Negotiation is A Game:
I am competitive. I have a huge ego!
But I’ve come to learn that negotiation is just a game, not a personal attack.
Therefore I’ve learnt to approach every negotiation as a game, a game without any rules and devoid of personal attachments.
It is a game where there is no place for my competitive ego, my vanity or pride.
You must define your own rules, to control the game, and if it turns into a competition, learn to stop, step back, reassess, and then begin again.
I Am a Mirror:
I recognise the power I have in my actions and words. I realised I was just a mirror.
What I did and said just got reflected back to me.
The law of reciprocity rocks!
Ego breeds ego, anger breeds anger. But collaboration breeds collaboration, and trust, when given cautiously, nurtures trust.
Remember the old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."
Be mindful of how your behaviour impacts others, and choose to trust wisely.
The Lighthouse Perspective:
It was once described to me as the balcony but I like our Lighthouse.
Climb to the top of your metaphorical lighthouse and gain a fresh perspective, from a different vantage point.
Looking down and out, you'll discover hidden value in every situation.
By challenging conventional viewpoints and embracing new perspectives, you can unlock creative opportunities.
By seeking alternative perspectives, you unlock hidden value and broaden your understanding of complex situations.
Embrace the opportunity to view challenges from new angles and discover unique solutions.
I Have A Chimp In My Head, She Is Called Lucy:
Thank you Professor Steve Peters. I’m sorry I bastardised the learning some what but…
Within each of us resides a chimp, a primal instinct guiding our actions and keeping us safe. But she is a terrible negotiator and hates conflict!
Everyone has their own chimp, their own subconscious influence which often reveals itself through verbal and nonverbal cues.
I’ve learnt to pay attention and leverage this knowledge to gain a deeper understanding of my counterparts position.
When the chimp talks she often reveals hidden motivations and intentions.
Counter to that though is that I have learnt to accept Lucy and to listen to her. I try not to let her control me as much now but I listen to her. She is my gut feel. She is a subconscious primal force protecting and guiding me. My gut is usually right…
I Dare to Be Different. It is My Annoying Superpower. The Power of Non-Conformity:
In negotiations, dare to be assumptive, rebellious, and different.
Do not conform to expectations. By thinking outside the box and challenging the status quo, you can achieve breakthroughs and shape outcomes.
Challenge assumptions, be assumptive, and take calculated risks. Break away from conformity.
You will create opportunities for innovation, creativity, and unexpected outcomes.
Embrace your inner rebel.
I Have Accepted Who I Am. Accept Who You Are:
I am not defined by a singular persona. We are a beautiful amalgamation of reds, greens, blues, and yellows. We are four dimensional, not one!
Embrace all aspects of your personality, quirks, and strengths.
You are a multi-faceted individual, comprising various traits and characteristics.
Accept yourself for who ‘You’ are. Don’t change, for anyone!
Embrace your true nature and realise your confidence, resilience, and a genuine connection with others.
As I celebrate this 50th year, this milestone I thank you all for being a part of my journey; the laughter, the challenges, and the growth.
Through the highs and lows I've discovered valuable lessons that have shaped me into the person I am today.
Life is a constant evolution, and we are all works in progress.
Keep laying your own train tracks..
Embrace the lessons, cherish the moments, and continue to navigate the fascinating world that lies before you.
Here's to embracing those life's adventures with humour, wisdom, and an unwavering spirit!
Cheers to 50 years of wisdom and a future filled with laughter and success!
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