About Me

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The business bit: I have had 25 years experience in the IT sector encompassing equipment finance to computer recycling. The coaching bit: is about delivering business mentoring and personal performance coaching. My clients range from senior executives to the unemployed and I delight in working with them all to build excellence and promote growth. My specialisms are working with business leaders and entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses and enjoy themselves in the process, and helping individuals to realise their full potential. I also work with young people to build confidence and life skills so they can grasp life's opportunities and make the right life choices.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Congratulations to Debbie!

We are humbled by one woman's endeavour.  Debbie Simpson completed the Marathon des Sables last week, and here is her brief summary of her journey:

"Stage One - 37.2km - Biggest challenge was weight of 10kg pack, struggled with searing heat, adapting to typical terrain, mixture of ascents up jebels, mountain passes, sand mounds, camel grass, rock, crevasses, sand dunes … 1st blister (left instep), hands like 2 bunches of bananas .. glad to reach bivouac for first cup of legendary mint tea.
Ranking = 732

Stage Two - 30.7km - Most technical day with greatest ascent = 1000m: my favourite day for the views from the high mountain ridges .. 2nd, 3rd and 4th blisters plus 2 bruised big toenails .. feeling stronger by using poles which helped offload weight of pack and enabled my Saharan shuffle to increase a little in pace, gave me better balance scrambling over rocks and boulders, helped reduce swelling of hands.
Ranking = 625

Stage Three - 38km - Acclimatising better to heat, pack and terrain. 5th blister - oh the joys of wonder drug paracetamol! Feet and ankles grossly swollen, prickly heat unpleasant but everyone suffering so time to grit teeth and keep going.
Ranking = 594

Stage Four - 75.7km - The Big Nasty - slept badly, began with queasy tummy and nausea, slogged the first 36km feeling sick so forcing insufficient intake of water, salt and calories .. temperature 54C - reached CP3 and collapsed in medical tent with heat stroke & dehydration - my lowest point of the week .. took 2 hours to rehydrate enough to get back on my feet - staggered every step of the remaining 40km on verge of D&V. Extremely hard to maintain hydration. Crossed 10km of sand dunes between CP4 and CP5 around midnight, amazingly twinkly night sky. Buddied with 2 American guys as nervous about my condition and erratic visibility of glow sticks which disappeared amongst the mountainous dunes (biggest height and distance of dunes all week). Navigation to CP5 assisted by Star Trek-esque laser beam pointing into the night sky, visible for 20 miles. Managed hot food at CP5 but collapsed again at CP6 taking refuge in sleeping bag for an hour. Set off on last 10km around 4am .. quite surreal as shuffling alone, following pin pricks of marker glow sticks - when I felt lonely I could turn and see a tiny trail of head torch lights behind me. Dawn and sunrise were beautiful and the sight of camp made me weep .. finally hobbled over finish line around 7.20am. Learnt later that Laurence Klein, favourite to win ladies, had retired from race at CP4 with heat stroke..
Ranking = 827

Rest Day - A can of chilled coke - bloody miraculous!! Rehydrated fully and doubled my salt intake.

Stage Five - Marathon Stage - 42.2km - Final Race Stage
Feeling so much stronger, temperatures still over 50C but fully hydrated and no nausea. Remained on double dose of salt tablets. Doused my Union Jack with water and draped over my shoulders to help ward off baking heat. Realised I was maintaining quicker pace as didn't recognise those around me. Finally glimpsed the Finish, seemed to take forever to reach and so euphoric on crossing the line I ran past Patrick Bauer waiting to present my medal and had to be ushered back .. Tent buddies probably have it about right naming me Dipsy!!
Ranking = 483 .. saved my best for last!

Final ranking = 736

Charity Stage - 8km of sand dunes on Saturday in support of UNICEF, rather weary but enjoyed waving my flag decorated with Luke, Katie, Max and Toms' names .. finally managed to feature in the official photos - the Union Jack is such a distinctive flag!

Hugs and thanks to all my wonderful friends and supporters - such a flood of positive, encouraging and loving energy helped me to achieve so much more than I could have imagined possible ..

Debbie "

Debbie was running in support of Facing Africa , sponsorship for which has now reached £11,564.51.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Women at the Top.....again 

We have had the 'leaning in' argument from Sheryl Sandberg, (read this for an interesting male response to her talk) and then there is Marissa Mayer telling us we can have it all.  It is all quite exhausting listening to these highly successful and powerful women telling us what we should be doing.  

Now Bea Perez, Coca-Cola's chief sustainability officer has joined the fray, saying that women entrepreneurs need to be more visible.  "Investing in women is one of the most powerful ways to spur sustainable economic growth and development" she said at Coca-Cola's webchat for their 5by20 initiative.  5by20 aims to support the economic empowerment of five million female entrepreneurs across the Coca-Cola value chain by 2010.  A noble and worthy objective and particularly as it is working with small businesses across 200 countries.  

What is nice about this initiative is that it isn't all just about women at the top of massive global organisations who can afford to open a creche facility in their company because they are the CEO, or who have an army of help at home, or whose partners are prepared to fill all the gaps left by these powerful women in their demanding working days.  It is about women at all levels and this makes the Coca-Cola initiative really interesting.  We are going to keep our eye on it!