QuickBlog- something I’m learning (this one’s about kids learning)

I read a lot. I make notes a lot. I want to start sharing some of the things that grab me as a ‘Quickblog’ post. Here’s one that strikes me as pretty obvious as someone who grew up playing out from Brain Rules by John Medina  EXERCISE IMPROVES CHILDREN (research by Dr Antronette Yancey) Physically fit children identify visual stimuli much faster than sedentary ones. They appear to concentrate better. Brain-activation studies show that children and adolescents who are fit allocate more cognitive resources to a task and do so for longer periods of time. “Kids pay better attention to their subjects when they’ve been active,” Yancey says. “Kids are less likely to be disruptive in terms of their classroom behavior when they’re active. Kids feel better about themselves, have higher self-esteem, less depression, less anxiety, higher academic performance and attentiveness.” Medina, John. Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School (p. 18). Pear Press. Kindle Edition. I bet this isn’t just true for kids! If you want to stay young and live happier, exercise and […]


How To REALLY Change The World?

I love a good TED talk and this one is awesome – you have to click on the link up there or here.  It turns so much of how we think about changing the world through charities and non profits (including the church!) on its head. Or perhaps the right way round? There are some very challenging thoughts from Dan Pollotta here. but I found myself saying “YES! YES! YES!” at various points. Here are my favourite quotes – what do you think? “People are weary of being asked to do the least they can possibly do, people are yearning to measure the full distance of their potential on behalf of the causes they care about deeply. But they have to be asked.” “When you prohibit failure you kill innovation.”  “We confuse morality with frugality.”  “Our generation does not want our epitaph to read, ‘We kept overheads low…. we want it to read that we changed the world.”  “Next time you look at a charity don’t look at the rate of their overhead, ask about the scale of their dreams.”


Have A Better 2018 The Tim Ferris Way – Without Resolutions

Fascinating post at the end of Tim Ferris’ 5 Bullet Friday about what he says when asked about New Years resolutions. My first book was called ‘The Don’t Have To Do List’ so this resonates – I’m going to try a PYR this weekend instead – not so much about people though, but reviewing my projects and priorities.  The truth is that I don’t make them anymore, even though I did for decades. Why the change? First, I realized that without accountability to someone else, resolutions rarely get accomplished. This led me to experiment with working with a close friend to mutually assign each other resolutions (with deadlines), which worked. Second, I have found “past year reviews” (PYR) more informed, valuable, and actionable than blindly looking forward with resolutions. It looks like the following and only takes 30-60 minutes: Grab a notepad and create two columns: POSITIVE and NEGATIVE. Go through your calendar from the last year, looking at every week. For each week, jot down on the pad any people and activities that triggered peak positive or negative emotions […]


Don’t Worry – Be Ready!

My notes from last night’s talk at Ivy Central from my friend John Bunjo (Uganda)     Understanding The Times One of the most important things I notice in Europe is TIME. The seasons change, the shops change, the clothes change – because of the season. Why? Because it’s a new season. He saw that people were putting salt on the road. Why! Because there may be snow. They don’t wait for snow to come. They store up salt. They prepare for the season. We live now in the time when the second coming, is coming. Jesus – Maranatha! He came from heaven, saying ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.’ He’s coming back! We work on our bodies. At the gym. Even in our 90s! Why? Fighting to live longer! But however much you exercise, time comes when the body is ageing. No matter what. Some of their parts have already gone to be with the Lord (like hair). What made the first church strong? It was vibrant. It was healthy. No denominations. They held nothing back. They feared God […]


The Most Hated Machine At The Gym – Measures To Motivate

I started my talk at the LAUNCH conference by talking about this machine. Two years ago, overweight and with blood pressure on the rise, I stepped on it and held the handles. There are lots of machines in the gym but I hated this one, because the readings were not pretty. I was 50 but the machine said I had the body of a 51 year old. What do you do? Resign yourself to the inevitable? Go to the cafe at the gym and buy a donut? Resolve to never go on that machine again? Or – CHANGE. I stopped some things, and I started some things. That’s a strategy. Dietary changes. I got coached toward a new exercise plan – and worked it. I stopped drinking alcohol (that’s a lot of sugar!). I drink a lot of water. This changed my results. I went on the machine today. 2 years on, my ‘metabolic age’ is 36. If I carry on, in a few years time I’ll be 21!  Maybe not. But with all the hard work of the conference […]


5 Keys To Lead Yourself And Others – Floyd Woodrow TEDx Video; Skills Of Leadership

Before we’re even 2 minutes into this TedX talk, Floyd Woodrow starts to unpack the 5 key virtues leaders need to unleash potential. There’s so much packed into this, imagine how much you’d get out of a day being coached by this incredible leader? I just got off the phone with this former SAS Major to discuss the training days he is doing for us and I was so excited to be planning ‘The Warrior, The Strategist And You’ event here in Manchester’s Hotel Football event on 2nd December. Take one day before this year ends for you and your team to get the direction and map you need and the action steps that will take you forward into 2018 and beyond! The whole of Ivy’s leadership is booked in so we can plan how we move forward together and I‘d love you to join us. This event is not a ‘religious’ thing but open and accessible to everyone wherever you want to lead, and whether you or your guest would describe yourself as a person of faith. Lunch provided – […]


I’m Teaching – About Preaching

The preaching class at my theological college ended with an Egyptian monk called George telling me, ‘If God could speak through the mouth of a donkey I suppose he can use you.’ Since then I’ve read thousands of books and learned from everyone I can on public speaking and preaching, because I always want to get better at something so important! The Bible says not many people should step up to be a teacher, because we’ll be subject to a stricter judgement. How much more for if you presume to teach others to do it! Despite that, the Ivy staff team have asked me to put together some teaching to help them to preach. I might do more than one of there’s a good turn out, and this one’s open to all not just Ivy people. 7.30pm 24th November at Ivy Didsbury I’ll also touch on how to lead services well, and a lot of what I say will help anyone in business who has to stand up and present. I’ll have fun talking about something I love – you’re […]


Who’s job is Job? Caring for people in a world of need.

There’s a list in the Bible book of Ecclesiastes that sums up life pretty well, because we’re all in about to go through or going through some of the times up there on the screen – some time… 1 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. 2 A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. 3 A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. 4 A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance… Do you know someone going through a tearing down time? Anyone on your street or Facebook page in a time of grief? Someone in the family who’s thrown away a job, someone searching for something or someone – but not finding. Someone in conflict? Someone longing for the time of healing? What do we do in times like that? How do we help? I’ll be honest, I was […]


‘Become a PASSIONARY!’ Get Ready For Jossy Chacko. (1 minute video)

“There are opportunities all around you to enlarge your vision! But only people who have a vision of growing and multiplying will see it. If your vision is just to keep what you have you will not see those opportunities around you.” So says Jossy Chacko, one of the keynote speakers I’m delighted will join us at LAUNCH (in partnership with Exponential), here in Manchester, November 13-15th – just seven weeks from now! The link below is a snippet from what many called a standout talk of last year’s Willow Creek leadership summit. Watch the short clip to find out what a ‘Passionary’ is, and join us with your team at to LAUNCH – to become one!


VIDEO: What can we learn from the Special Forces about building teams that win?

This is from my recent teaching at the Ivy’s staff and elder’s day. It creates a summary of the incredible learning from a great leadership book we are embedding in our culture; One Mission by Chris Fussell. In this video I outline issues such as; What’s wrong with traditional management? Why worked in the C20th that’s not working today? How do we go beyond creating and filling roles in organisations and instead create an organic culture where people volunteer their best? How do you resist silos and create a hybrid ‘team of teams’ that wins; a networked bureaucracy? What is ’empowered execution’? The power of defining and aligning around your ONE MISSION. I believe this has the potential to be one of the most important leadership texts of our day, I encourage you to buy it and implement its learnings in your business, organisation OR CHURCH!