Empathy and the estate agent

There was a documentary series some time ago about a firm of estate agents in North London. The early episodes focused much of their attention on one relatively new recruit. He was an earnest young man, who made a point of emphasising that he wanted to do his very best to match buyers to theirContinue reading “Empathy and the estate agent”

The devil and the angel

We have a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. The devil is encouraging us to push ahead regardless and ignore what anyone else thinks; and the angel is telling us we should listen to others and hold back. Except that the devil is sometimes right and the angel sometimes wrong. That’sContinue reading “The devil and the angel”

The power of ‘no’

I need a job where the core skill is to be cynical. That is my real expertise – finding the reasons ‘why not’; identifying all the downsides. It’s a skill I have honed over many years. Unfortunately, most jobs call for people to take a more balanced approach – to weigh up the pros andContinue reading “The power of ‘no’”


You need to be honest with yourself about your abilities and about your shortcomings. Your view of yourself should match reality!   You need self-belief, but this should be tempered with humility: you should have the self-confidence to take on the things you can, but also have the humility to recognise your limitations. You shouldContinue reading “Authenticity”

Presentation vs content

Your confidence in your ability to make decisions should reflect how good you are at making decisions! – the ‘presentation’ should reflect the ‘content’. How good you have been historically at making decisions should inform the ‘courage of your convictions’. As you make more decisions and test yourself in the real world you learn howContinue reading “Presentation vs content”

What kind of toaster are you?

I have an expensive, high-end brand toaster. It is very well designed and looks beautiful in the corner of my kitchen. It is elegant and smart. But it makes terrible toast. There are people just like my toaster. They talk the talk even though don’t have a clue what they are doing. If I wereContinue reading “What kind of toaster are you?”

The opposite of cognitive dissonance?

I always doubt my decisions after the fact. Any decision. If I decide to go left, I begin to see all the reasons why going right might have been a better idea, and all the downsides of going left. And the same if I’d gone right. The alternative always looks more sensible, no matter whichContinue reading “The opposite of cognitive dissonance?”

Escaping the rat race

There was a documentary series some years ago called something like ‘Escaping the Rat Race’. The series followed a number of families who had decided to give up their stressful lives in the UK for something more rewarding. One episode followed a young family from Hampshire. The husband ran his own building firm and wasContinue reading “Escaping the rat race”

Leave your comfort zone

When I go running in Richmond Park, there is a little voice inside my head telling me I should slow down. This little voice looks for excuses why I should take it a bit easier, for signs that I am going too fast: ‘my limbs ache’, it tells me, ‘if I’m not careful, I willContinue reading “Leave your comfort zone”

Self-respect comes from fixing and improving things

Fixing things My petrol lawnmower had packed up. It would start up, then splutter to an immediate stop. I don’t know anything about motors, so was at a loss, and it sat there in the garden, with the grass growing up around it. I looked up the manual on the internet, but without luck. IContinue reading “Self-respect comes from fixing and improving things”

Like yourself and respect yourself

Tony and Julie Tony is a self-proclaimed ‘rainmaker’, a risk taker, a winner. He runs his own marketing consultancy company which he manages with a rod of iron. He minimises costs and maximises revenue, down to the very last penny. He screws down his suppliers, underpays and overworks his staff, overcharges his clients and underdeliversContinue reading “Like yourself and respect yourself”