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16th Jun, 2011

Blog » Kevin Bullock.jpgOn 14th June, Kevin Bullock addressed JCI Cambridge in a talk about Outstanding Leadership.

Kevin believes that our effectiveness as professionals is not so much based on technical competences as personal effectiveness.  

The key skills/attributes that make outstanding professionals and leaders are; Emotional Intelligence, effective communication and high expectations. 

According to Kevin's research, the worst part about being a leader is working with adults who will not change. He believes that it is almost impossible to change people as they don't often see life the way it is - they see it the way they a particular moment.  He states that what is needed to truly change a person, is not so much a persuasive argument as a perspective's changing perceptions, not circumstances that moves a person forward! 

Kevin has recently and very successfully rolled out a popular and innovative new project called Excellence Through Employees which a High Impact/Simple Strategy programme that can transform any organisation. It is based on the latest research focusing on the skills/attributes of outstanding leaders and organisations. It also reflects best practice in organisational leadership

The programme supports an organisation in refocusing (realigning its energies) on its core purpose

  • It identifies how every employee/volunteer can have a high impact on the core purpose

  • Helps identify key deflectors from core purpose

  • Supports the organisation in distinguishing between activity and accomplishment whilst ensuring the wealth of excellence in the organisation is re-channelled towards key outcomes/goals.

"All too often I would witness very hard working schools and companies wasting time and energy focusing on irrelevant or low impact strategies peripheral to the organisation's core purpose. I truly believe that effort and energy without a core purpose is like speed without direction!"

Kevin's innovative and refreshing approaches to leadership and communication coupled with his wide experience in both the educational and commercial sectors have resulted in continuing success in his role both as a consultant, speaker and head teacher. Kevin maintains that it is not his ability so much as his approach that has led to this success.

For more information on Excellence Through Employees or Leadership Courses, please contact Sue Ling on 01638 720296 or visit our website  


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16th Jun, 2011

NLP and happiness in business
by James Mitchell on June 16, 2011 13:23


Blog » lorraine .jpgLorraine Warne from Advance Coaching Consultants (and September's JCI Cambridge speaker) explains what NLP is and what it means for business:

When I was young I would scribble away at making up stories and dreaming  of being one of the characters in the 'Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe'.  Now I can combine my daydreaming in writing with one of my big passions in life which is part of my work called Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)  Yup I  know it's a really weird name and John Grinder and Richard Bandler the founders of NLP are the first to admit that back in the 70's when they were completing their research at University they were not the sharpest marketers in the land. 

I personally love NLP (loved it that much I am now qualified to train 7 day personal development and communication skill courses using NLP tools and techniques) because it gives you the results that you want.  The tools and techniques can allow you to decrease frustration, anger, guilt and increase things that are useful to you such as motivation, confidence and self-belief, so that you can be happy.  Since I began my own training - many moons ago now - I have changed and evolved and now have a great social, health and work balance, just as you can have too.  In fact we all can.  How cool would that be?

The JCI Cambridge workshop presented by Kevin Bullock (brilliant by the way for those of you that couldn't make it) explained what makes a good leader.  He said the 3 key areas of effective leadership are; communication, emotional intelligence and high expectations.  In the 7 day workshop all these areas are covered and then practiced.  It really brought it home to me how special NLP was.  It embodies these three things and when you work in your own context and needs, it really comes alive when you begin to apply it to your own situation.  He also said about changing habits that don't work for you... Yes I thought - because in NLP that's what we work on.  We can change habits that don't work for you to habits that do... I wanted to shout out 'Yes!'  and stopped myself just in time - didn't want to get thrown out or banned ;-)

It's all linked with happiness.  I was lucky enough last week to be working with one of the top Leadership Coaches at the Institute of Directors at the Pall Mall building in London last week.  Ooohhh by the way it's a beautiful building and has a fantastic bar in the basement.  Not that I get excited going there because of the bar of course... hehe.  Anyway, Peter was telling me about how important it is to find happiness first and then success will happen naturally.  There is a professor at Harvard University; Tal Ben-Shahar. He runs the most popular course at Harvard - a positive psychology course for businessmen/women on how to be happy in business - always over-subscribed.  The book is called  "HAPPIER" .  Let me know what you think of it if you get chance to read it.

I'm off to the Glasto Festival on the 23rdth June.  I'm so excited and can't wait to see all those amazing bands there.  So this weekend I'll be buying lots of wet wipes , and searching for me ol' rain coat and wellies ...  just in case.  Well must go and tara for now.  Have a fun and positive rest of the month.  



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14th Jun, 2011

Networking for the shy: A guide.
by James Mitchell on June 14, 2011 21:22


Blog » Jo Photo.jpgAre you new to networking? Or does the thought of networking with a room full of strangers instantly make you panic? JCI offers a great introduction to the art of networking and will help you gain confidence and new business contacts. So, how do you go about networking if the very thought of it makes you shudder?

In this blog post Jo Evans from Emerald Frog Marketing (and JCI Cambridge Committee member) gives a few tips on networking for the shy:

"It's not what you know, it's WHO you know". Otherwise known as "networking". It's a very effective form of marketing your business.

Now, networking might come naturally to you, but according to the Shyness Research Institute (yes, really!) at Indiana University, approximately 40% of people describe themselves as shy. This can mean that the prospect of "networking" is one that brings many business owners out in a cold sweat.

So how do you master the art of the "schmooz" and maximise your chances of seizing an opportunity through networking?

Here are our top tips for the shy:

1. Start close to home. If you are shy, a bit of a hermit even, there are probably friends and family that you have not caught up with for a while. Dust off your address book, go through the numbers in your phone and make contact to see how they are. Drop a friend an email, arrange to go out for a drink or invite them round for a cup of coffee and practise your small talk. Practising socialising with people with whom you have lost contact to warm up your skills for when you have to meet strangers.

2. Get a gregarious friend. I used to have a friend called Lara who was a brilliant networker. At parties, whether they were hers or not, she would manage to get everyone in the room talking with each other. She would ask lots of questions then, at a relevant point in the conversation, introduce another person in the room- then discreetly slip away when the new connection was firmly established and moved onto the next wall flower. A Lara is a great person to know. She takes away your nerves and does the introducing for you. Obviously you can't drag your Lara everywhere, but watch how they do it and learn their skills.

3. Ask questions and listen. Talk to your new contact by asking them questions about what they do. Most people love talking about themselves and this keeps the heat off you! Ask lots of "open questions" that begin with a who, how, when, where or why. A question that results in a yes/no answer will be as painful as pulling teeth. If you are at an event ask others what they thought of the speaker/programme/show.

4. Watch your body language. Smile, don't slouch, make eye contact with people, don't fold your arms or talk too fast. If you don't know what to do with your hands carry a pen!

5. Don't scoff all the buffet. It may be tempting at an event to simply avoid people and make a beeline for the buffet. While everyone else is networking you have troughed your way through four platefuls of sausage rolls instead. Not a good start.

6. Be realistic. Talking with two or three people in a room is better than not talking with anyone at all.

7. Watch out for self effacing comments. Don't put yourself down/belittle your job or achievements/apologise all the time.

8. Be a greeter. If your company is holding an event and you have been drafted in to help, offer to be the person on the front desk. Hand out the name badges, say hello to people, tell them where the bar is. You will get to know who everyone is and soon people will approach you for a chat. Or join the JCI Committee and get stuck in. We'll happily give you a role to help you engage with others!

9. Go online. Networking doesn't always mean face-to-face (although this is the most effective way). Get networking via Facebook and LinkedIn. Join online groups and discussions to get your name about.

10. Get over your fear of rejection. You won't be interesting to all people, nor will your product or service be of use to all you meet, so don't worry if the conversation doesn't go anywhere or you never hear from your new contact again. Do drop them an email to follow up after the meeting, but don't take it personally if they don't respond! The beauty of networking is that your business card may get passed to a contact of a contact, so you never know what opportunities are open to you further down the line!

So take a deep breath, relax and enjoy! 


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