Edinburgh, Glasgow (Scotland)
What's your mission in life?
To live my best happiest life: Fully appreciating the opportunity I have been given to explore the world to learn about it and my place in it. And while doing so share what I’m experiencing and learning to inspire, encourage and empower those I meet along the way. This requires me to continually deepen my connection to and appreciation of the world I am a living part of.
What makes you want to join LCE?
The opportunity to work with and for those people who have a desire and ambition to create a positive future for themselves and their world - at scale.
How might you contribute to our mission (making 8 billion people, 10,000 cities and our blue planet fully alive)?
I bring a lifetime of experience as an educator, mentor and champion helping many sorts of people from all sorts of walks of life and in many different environments and situations to develop a greater understanding of themselves, their world and their place in it. And in doing so realise more of their potential and live a better and happier life.
I’ll help design and deliver programs that develop the skills, knowledge and understanding that will be required to build the better happier world that we hope and dream of.
I’ll bring the ability to observe and offer an objective “outside” perspective of what’s going on even when being in the “inside” of the group/process. This will be important when trying to navigate and negotiate our way to our objectives and ensure our sustainability as our situation (and the world) evolve.
What are your superpowers / key competencies?
A deep and well-developed sense of empathy that allows me to connect and build trust with others. This makes it easier to be able to be critical and to separate, clarify and articulate the differences between our Intentions and the Implementation of our ideas as activities as individuals or teams. When these two (our Intentions and the Implementation) are mixed up misunderstandings, confusion, disharmony and unnecessary setbacks and failure often result.
I bring energy and experience to hold the space where each of these - Intention and Implementation informs and updates the other leading to better outcomes.
If I have a Superpower it’s perhaps eliciting hope, excitement and appreciation of the opportunity to do better, and developing a balance between our optimistic intentions and the challenging realities of implementation.
I love creating, delivering and/or managing Perspective/Paradigm shifting journeys and experiences that take place in Safe, Fun and Stimulating environments. And also leading individuals and teams on explorations of new and as yet little-understood territory. My experience of leading and teaching in demanding and stressful environments also equips me with the understanding that not all spaces and environments are going to be 100% safe all of the time. So, it’s important for me to develop the confidence and resilience within individuals and teams to find our way through the difficulties, disappointments and changes that will inevitably be encountered.
Day-to-day that means helping people tap into natural wisdom, and the desires and ambitions that we all share - to live a joyful, rewarding and fulfilling life - and to experience that together! It means developing trust in themselves, each other, and their teams. Which facilitates the development of stronger bonds and the clarification of mutual desires and ambitions.
Feedback also suggests I can help to clarify, articulate and communicate our shared human experience and the ups and downs of our journey together. As someone who believes in the power of collaboration I fully subscribe to the maxim “We are a TEAM - together everyone achieves more”.
Country and city you represent: Scotland: Edinburgh and/or Glasgow
Organisation(s) you represent: SRG Journeys
Personal and professional interests:
Author/writer, Professional Speaker, Coach and Mentor. Entertainer, Expedition Planner/Leader, Photographer. Avid walker and explorer, outdoor enthusiast, former Ski Instructor, proud parent, and frustrated musician.
As well as co-developing and delivering SRG Journeys I have a Practice helping men aged 58 to 63 successfully transition from their mid “Prime-Life” to their later “Third-Life”. This often involves walking and talking in stimulating places around Scotland. These are often life-changing: I call them Sole To Soul Walks.
I’m currently writing two books: One is a belated follow-up to my first, which was well received and the other is an exploration of what Scotland is to the many people who have lived here or have an affinity with it in some way. It’s ironic that having led expeditions to various places around the globe that it was when exploring Scotland and sharing what I was discovering I have had some of my deepest insights into our world and our pace in it.
I have just recently begun to expand a small group I call Business Reimagined. This is a bridge between people I’ve worked with who are ambitious for their work to provide them with their best and happiest life and those who consider that their work can be most profitably delivered when they are also focused on making the world a better and happier place. I see Business Reimagined as the pivot point to reconcile both these intentions.
I’m also looking at the practicalities of returning to in-person (International) Public Speaking after a considerable lay-off and becoming frustrated with the limitations of online presentations.
Examples of clients:
British Council, BBC, Sky Television, Columbia, Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities, Royal Bank of Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Staffordshire Police, NHS England
What I’ve learned as an Explorer and Sole to Soul Walker.
After many years of helping develop the skills of individuals, I discovered something - underneath it all what I was really trying to do was develop people: To bring out their highest qualities and help them express themselves fully into the world. I wanted to live in a world where every person had a chance to be their best selves and through this find a deep well of happiness that they could use when things got challenging.
I love people, I love their potential and I love it when that potential spills over into actions that make their world and our world a better, happier place. There’s a saying “We teach best that which we most need to learn”. I’ve been on a journey - to live my best and happiest life all my life. And I guess as I’ve committed to the journey, the ups and downs and setbacks and failures of it I’ve been able to compare it to the many actual journeys and adventures I’ve undertaken over six decades and use that to guide and educate others.
Not all journeys are adventures. Some are regular, mundane, ordinary and predictable. An adventure is a special sort of journey where there is some degree of uncertainty around - the destination and the route to be taken. An adventure implies the thrill and challenge of dealing with the unknown. In truth life is an adventure - there are so many unknowns and uncertainties we simply can not know and plan our lives and our work the way an author would meticulously plot and script a narrative. The possibilities of our life may be infinite yet we experience them as a journey through a bewildering array of finite challenges and opportunities. And that is what makes it worthwhile - that’s what makes our best happiest life - we grow and develop during the journey (our best life) whilst remembering to take the time to value, appreciate and saviour it (happy) as it happens.
Yet because it is uncertain doesn’t mean we don’t plan, have a destination in mind or have an aspiration to journey in a particular manner. We set out our best intentions and then take action to realise these. Embracing adventure certainly doesn’t mean we should adopt a devil-may-care recklessness nor be foolhardy.
On an expedition we differentiate our role(s) - considering, preparing and experiencing journeys, expeditions and adventures means we have different responsibilities - planner, outfitter, scout, guide, (skills) instructor, leader etc
When working with my team (internal and external) we consider and set our (provisional) waypoints, our progress indicators, and our performance insights. What do we need to know and what is it possible to know? How do we continue to orientate, navigate and negotiate our way during our journey? What decisions do we need to make and how do we make them? And we’ll keep stopping, taking stock and our bearings and deciding what we can and must do next. We’ll put safety first and find the balance by pushing on whilst appreciating where we are.
I learned something important from a very wise teacher many years ago. He said “Andy there are three things we always need to consider: (i) our plan (ii) logistics (iii) morale. The plan will turn out to be inadequate and the logistics will let us down but what we can never lose is our morale. It’s the only thing that will see us through. There are plenty of great planners out there and many brilliant managers but a leader never forgets about keeping the team together, focused on the next vital steps and holding on to the belief that they can and will get this done. Even when, especially when they seem to be going backwards and losing their way”.
This is what I’ve learned on many amazing adventures, not all of them were successful by the terms we set at the beginning but all have been worthwhile.