The Art in creating Authenticity

The Art in creating Authenticity


There are people in this world who live & breathe authenticity.

They exude it from every pore and attain levels of consistency that others can only dream of.

The “why” in someone is the key to their authenticity.

This inextricably links to level of trust they receive and how much people will buy into their goals & ambitions. From a business perspective if you were to compare a person who is following a scripted sales program (driving down a prepared selling pitch) to someone who has passion and belief in what they do, then to me there is no competition in who will turn out to be the winner. The authenticity of a person who “believes” shines through and becomes utterly compelling.

business networking

The Art of Authenticity


How do people come to be Authentic?

They live it, staying true to beliefs and their passions.

This is kind of difficult to achieve if your doing something that you neither believe in or feel passionate about.

I have one piece of advice to give if you are in that circumstances

Stop doing that thing, what ever it is, and focus in on what you really want (no, crave)! to do.

Find that singular compelling passion to believe in full. That idea for which you would gladly spend every moment of the day shouting from the rooftops. The passion that when you fail, fall or come across a setback, you just get up again and keep running through the wall to the other side. The thing that when the whole world is against you, you still know in your heart you are dam well right!

If you find that, you will find authenticity and you will find the “why” in you.

You will understand why you do it and why others love you for doing it.

The chances are you will be successful and on top of that you will definitely be happier.

I make no bones about being a huge fan of Simon Sinek. His book “Start with Why” has been a big influence on my life since I read it back in 2012.

The idea is that the greatest people (& companies) in our world start with “why?” and then move on to the how to do it followed by what to do. Worth a read if you get the time!

Richard Branson, Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill Bob Dylan, Steve Jobs and Apple, can’t all be wrong.

Spot the irony, but it is still a great version. Authenticity breeds imitation!

Why not take the time to discover you’re why?

This post was originally published on LinkedIn

Have a great week


Technorati Tags: , ,

LinkedIn UK members passes the 15 million Mark

LinkedIn UK members passes the 15 million Mark



Earlier this week I was pinging around the Internet searching for interesting articles to share. You can’t always be posting on blogs, there are not enough hours in the day.

Sometimes it is easier to go find other content that has common ground with the subjects I work on and so to curate that makes sense. It is very easy (with tools like buffer) to get your info out on social media channels that link to the blog. It’s all good stuff.

So, there I was rifling around within the LinkedIn blog and I came across an article that celebrated linkedIn membership passing the 15 million mark in the UK. To go with the article, they had a really nice “infographic” that highlighted some of the key areas and demographics of how that 15 million was made up.

Check out the link to see what I mean.

The largest group (somewhat surprisingly to me) comes from engineering professionals, with over 374,000 engineers being active members. (of which 66 are apparently rocket scientists!)

Not surprisingly the largest areas of membership come from the centres of population. London is streets ahead at 2.3 million members, followed by Birmingham with nearly 300,000 & Manchester nudging just over a quarter million mark.

What was fairly staggering was the growth in UK membership of LinkedIn since as recently as 2010. Only three years ago UK uptake was between 2 to 3,000,000.

In the early part of 2014 that the number slid over the 15,000,000 mark.



LinkedIn notches up 15 million UK Members


If this shows anything at all, it indicates that British business and people with commercial interests are getting behind the platform. In fact looking at it another way, 25% of the UK population are now registered as active users of this business social platform.

A somewhat distant article on this blog described LinkedIn as the global yellow pages on steroids. I’ve no reason to believe any different now.

The more you put in, the more you are going to get out of this.

Employee profiles, Company pages, Showcase pages can all be linked to your own web territory. The combined effects on major search engines using this credible and trusted platform will make a visible difference in online presence & most likely in lead generation.

So, if you fancy being an outlaw in getting ahead of the game, then fill your boots?

If you want some help with that, you know where I am!

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Are you searching on LinkedIn?

Are you searching on LinkedIn?


On one hand everybody understands Google is a the worlds biggest search engine. On the other hand, not everyone knows that Google owns Youtube and that (next to Google) is the second largest search engine on the planet. Thinking about  LinkedIn along the same lines does not always feature in peoples minds, but it should!

LinkedIn is a database and a searchable one.

It contains some 200 million plus active users, the vast majority of them business people.

It is like a global yellow pages on steroids!

I read a useful article that is worth sharing on Social Clinic

The article goes into some detail on the latest improvements made to enhance the search experience on LinkedIn. Here is an extract.

“Among the new features:

Auto-complete: LinkedIn will suggest options for what you’re searching for. Suggestions will improve the more you search thanks to a smarter query intent algorithm.

Suggested searches: As LinkedIn explains, “now when you type in a search term such as ‘product manager’ you’ll see example search queries for people or jobs related to product manager as well as a preview of top results to help you find what you’re looking for in one click.”

Enhanced advanced search: Now you can use filters like location, company and school, among others.

Automated alerts: LinkedIn will save your searches and alert you when the results change.” – social clinic


business networking

Try searching on LinkedIn

All the Presidents Men – getting in touch with the boss



business networking President Obama’s top box profile


Linkedin allows connections that you would never of dreamed of (as little as ten years ago) and on it is free to use.

If you elect to go a little further, you can get even more. For about £20 per month you can access a business account.

This gives you the ability to do something rather special.. IM or InMail.

LinkedIn does not naturally let you connect with anyone you don’t know. You have to have a link or a connected introduction from someone you already know. InMail gets around that. By using IM you can send a direct and personal mail to anyone on LinkedIn.

Even Barack Obama…

LinkedIn guarantee’s that the message will get to the person concerned. It does not a guarantee that they will reply. It does not always work, but it has got me to places that I would not have expected to get to before. Have ago you have nothing to lose. If the IM is not answered, Linkedin gives you the IM back to send to someone else..

I hope this has been useful and will continue to post some interesting ideas as we get them

Have a great week & please do sign up for mail updates. Top right of the page.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

How not to Procrastinate – Leo Babuatta – A find on stumbleupon

How not to Procrastinate – Leo Babuatta – A find on stumbleupon


The Act of Stumbling can be a very fine site for finding great nuggets of information gold. On this occasion I found Leo  and his fine thoughts on avoiding the urge to procrastinate.

Here is a post written by Leo Babauta on his site Zen Habits


Your first thought as you look at this article will be, “I’ll read this later.”

But don’t. Let the urge to switch to a new task pass. Read this now.

It’ll take you two minutes. It’ll save you countless hours.

I’ve written the book on ending procrastination, but I’ve since come up with a very simple technique for beating everyone’s favorite nemesis. It is incredibly easy, but as with anything, it takes a little practice.

Try it now:

Identify the most important thing you have to do today.

Decide to do just the first little part of it — just the first minute, or even 30 seconds of it. Getting started is the only thing in the world that matters.

Clear away distractions. Turn everything off. Close all programs. There should just be you, and your task.

Sit there, and focus on getting started. Not doing the whole task, just starting.

Pay attention to your mind, as it starts to have urges to switch to another task. You will have urges to check email or Facebook or Twitter or your favorite website. You will want to play a game or make a call or do another task. Notice these urges.

But don’t move. Notice the urges, but sit still, and let them pass. Urges build up in intensity, then pass, like a wave. Let each one pass.

Notice also your mind trying to justify not doing the task. Also let these self-rationalizing thoughts pass.

Now just take one small action to get started. As tiny a step as possible.

Get started, and the rest will flow.


business networking

Leo Babauta is a simplicity blogger & author.

Have a great week!

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

What do JFK and Ben Rattray have in common?

What do JFK and Ben Rattray have in common?

Ideas and Ideals

I will get to what JFK and Ben Rattray have in common I promise, so stick with me!

Has everything been done?

Scientific advance would say no.

Others might say yes in the world of marketing and creativity. It is very unusual for an individual or an organisation to come up with an entirely new idea that has never been done before.

Most movies or stories play on variations of tales of old. Fairy tales or stories from the bible. The company of Wolves, Alice in Wonderland and the Tales of Narnia spring to mind.

In our world the things that stand out will be things that inspire you.

Being inspired to believe in a cause of any kind, will etch into your soul far more than any message that tries to sell, intimidate, manipulate or scare. To inspire means to make others believe. Belief is the most powerful of emotions.

If you have taken heed of people like Godin, Sinek and Stellzner you will understand these thoughts. It is true to say that just about every great leader that has ever existed, became hugely successful because they inspired people ahead of anything else.



Flawed characters in some ways, but inspiring all the same.

The leaders of thought were the ones that made you believe. Just think about it… Dylan, Jobs, Gandhi, and Kennedy. They were no different from a vast number of talented people, other than having a remarkable ability to formulate their words based on understanding why something was important. Their ability to communicate in this way appealed to one and all.

So take the title of JFK and Ben Rattray.

I just found him on the Time 100 list and he meets the same credentials. He starts a site called CHANGE that understands exactly why it is there. No wish for reward, but a 100% belief in what they are doing and why.

The rest is what simply becomes History


business networking



Those of you who have read my posts before will know I am a fan of Simon Sinek. I have listened to his book, “Start with Why”..

In the book he suggests that we pretty much all know what we do and some of us know how we do it.

The real trick is in knowing why.. This is the difference between how most companies communicate and how great companies communicate. They great ones start with why.

It is their passion and art that differentiates them and the bi product is a high level of achievement.


And so to this post…. This is being written on a new toy for me, Day ONE  . It is a journal bit of software that lets you track your thoughts over time by making entries rather like a diary.. I started using it to track my work in LinkedIn.

Every time I see something that interests I make a note I can return to later on and find some way of using it moving forward. It helps in trying to get ideas into shape and mould them into a usable model.

Have a great week

Photo Credit:  Village9991 via Compfight cc

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mike Markkulas Message to Apple

Mike Markkulas Message to Apple

Simple is generally best


On the January 3rd 1977 I was a 13 year old, looking forward to a school choir trip to the German town of Bad Vilbel.  I joined the choir because of a girl. A beautiful German girl called Gudrun, but that is an altogether different story!  At the same time Mike Markkula was sitting at a desk in San Francisco. A desk in a place that was was to become  known as Silicon Valley. He wrote a single page marketing ethos for Apple.

It was going to change the world and as Steve Jobs used to say, “make a dent in the universe”


business networking

Steve Jobs and Mike Markkula


1. Empathy – We truly understand their needs better than any other company

2. Focus – In order to do a good job of those things we decide to do, we must eliminate all other unimportant opportunities

3. People do judge a book by its cover - We may have the best product, the highest quality, the most useful software etc: if we present them in a slipshod manner, they will be perceived as slipshod; if we present them in a creative, professional manner we will impute the desired qualities

Mike Markkula
January 3 1977


business networking

Apples Marketing Philosophy


Short, sweet and to the point, it still shows great clarity and vision. Apple to this day market to individuals and do very well from the approach

I believe that any company could take these ideas on and develop a version that fits with their services. I suspect they would do well as a result of doing so

Have a great week

Please sign up to the email top right if you want to keep in touch

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The times they are a changing…

The times they are a changing…

Times and life are always on the move


Come gather ’round people wherever you roam

And admit that the waters around you have grown

And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone

If your time to you is worth savin’

Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone

For the times they are a-changin’.  - Bob Dylan


business networking

Taking the steps to get to where you are going is not always peaceful & easy


Written in 63 and released in January 1964, the song’s words are timeless. They are so, because the song speaks a certain truth that is constant in the world.

We fear change, but in reality it happens every day, big and small. My life has changed over a period and the path has not always been clear.

You can end up going down dead end roads. You have to go down the road to find out if it is going anywhere in the first place!

Explaining that to others is not particularly easy, nor is being specific about the journey while you are on it. On occasions it feels like you are on the last train to chaos central.

But change is the important catalyst needed for all of us to make progress. The best thing to do is to embrace it and defy the fear. Only by taking on the fear within, can you make it to where you really want to be. If we live inside our comfort zone and do not challenge the boundaries; then the most likely outcome is that you will stay right where you are.


You can start by leading yourself. To not conform to the industrial standard and taking a personal stance, is more than most would choose to do.

In-fact to some it is down right scary.

Just going back to Dylan’s song, the masses of suburbia in the early 60′s considered him a virtual terrorist of his social times. Ofcourse the kids loved it and they still do.


business networking



Kids are not so brainwashed and don’t have the same fears of older folks. They love to try the new and test the boundaries.

Another word for this is learning, is it not?

So why do we stop doing that?

Money, lack of energy, additional responsibility or is it just your Lizard Brain (as Seth Godin would say), telling you not to risk it. Stay in the safe place and keep to the status quo.


Seth Godin: Quieting the Lizard Brain from 99U on Vimeo.

It is not always easy. It is not easy now.

But, it is worth it and you and I cant give up on our dreams, whatever they may be.

I intend to make the most of this week and to enjoy every minute of it. I have some great things to do and some art to achieve. I have fears to overcome and risks to take along the way. I hope you enjoy you week as much as I will enjoy mine.

Setbacks? schleck-backs!!


photo credit: brizzle born and bred via photopin cc

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Free Kindle Books this weekend!

Free Kindle Books this weekend!

Anyway, so sometimes you have to put your Heart on your sleeve


Sometimes you just have to put your best foot forward, just hoping for the best. Sometimes you have to let people know that your Free kindle Book is ready to download!


business networking

The cover - Sub head by James Schramko

My time for this as today, because my book that was finally published at the end of last year, is finally going on what is known as KDP or kindle direct publication promotion, as of Saturday morning

What that means is it is absolutely free! It won’t cost you a thing for the next 48 hours.

“Would your boss punch in the face and then laugh with when you bleed”
Well this is a strange title; some people think. It’s equally funny to me that some people just don’t understand at all. It is also a metaphor for what is inside the book.

A story about different times in life when sometimes you don’t really believe in what you’re doing, and possibly don’t believe in the people around you

This all came from a bit of a reinvention of my life which started at the end of 2011. For those who have been following this blog you will know about the 70 different posts I have published and podcasts that have been recorded.

The whole thing is hopefully an inspiration to others and looks at why people do things they dislike and in turn why they don’t do anything about it! The book goes on to give a range of tips and advice on how to get out of what can be described as the employment trap and put some quality back in your life!

I have learned how to contribute into the Internet rather than just consuming. Rather like the rest of you I used to do the Sainsbury’s shopping, work on eBay and keep up with the football. Now, you read all the posts, see what I’m up to and understand I’m into an awful of lot of different things on line.

Simply speaking, I want to make a positive difference to everybody I am in touch with.

I’d love to make a bit of money and it has to be said that blogging is NOT the quickest way to do that. I have found some very much more tangible ways to publish content in a really viable form.  Firstly the Magcast platform and then in our books. It is an opportunity to create a really neat little business. It is wonderful because it works 7 days a week, even when your asleep!


It becomes a strange  thing writing your own book. You wonder what people will think, you wonder how people will respond? Having had between 300 and 400 downloads it’s very gratifying. Some of the reviews have been really pleasing to read and no bad ones yet, which is nice. Some were from people I know , others not.

It’s out there now and Saturday onwards its free over the weekend so what are you waiting for?  Get over to Kindle now and get your Free Kindle Book.

business networking

Make a change today!

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tales of the Unexpected That Follow a Distinguished Career

Tales of the Unexpected That Follow a Distinguished Career



The story of Brigadier Jeff Little

Having now published two books with a third on the way, I thought it might now be a good time to introduce you to Jeff. In-fact I will let him do it having asked him to pen a post. Here you go!

business networking

Jeff in his younger Days!

Having had a full career in the military since 1974, I have been fortunate to travel throughout the world at a most fascinating time in global history. The places overseas that I have been to have generally been ones which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had been advising Brits to get out of as quickly as possible at the time were just arriving!

My greatest regret is that I have not been able to record the places I have been or the sights I have seen on camera. Carrying a rifle in one hand and a camera in the other was not considered de rigueur!

I was an accident! When I was born my brother had already joined the Royal Air Force and my sister was in her teens. It was like being an only child and I grew up with my nieces and nephews rather than brothers and sisters.

I could not wait to get away from school and ‘do’ something. I joined the Army straight from school and was a pretty useless cadet during my training to be an officer at the Royal Military Academy. I was one of the youngest in my intake and had little or no experience of life.

I struggled physically and mentally although I did enjoy drill – marching up and down to the beat of a drum still gives me great satisfaction. My first experience of overseas travel was to Malta for our course’s final exercise. That visit gave me the bug to see the World.

Soon after I was sent to Belfast which did not feature highly on my life of exotic places to visit. But it was here that I really learned about the British soldier. His resilience, his tenacity and his irrepressible sense of humour. I use the term ‘his’ because in those early days of my career there were very few lady soldiers and those were only allowed to work in headquarters as clerks or as staff car drivers for senior officers. The onset of 24 hour media and breaking news portrays a rather sad view of the World. Continuous repeats of explosions or disasters give a false impression of modern life.

Belfast was nothing like the dangerous war zone seen on TV screens. The ordinary people of whatever religion or political persuasion were wonderful, kind and hospitable and I came to love the Irish people and their wonderful accents. I spent many years in the then West Germany waiting for the Soviet Shock Army to cross the Inner German Border and blow us all to pieces.

Thankfully the Cold War never went hot and ultimately that great day came when the Berlin Wall came down and unification became a reality. My next journey was to Hong Kong where I met the Gurkhas. They loved to run and play basketball. Their work rate was prodigious and their morale was always high. I was fortunate enough to be allowed to travel to Nepal to see where they lived and where they were recruited and I trekked for 6 weeks through the Himalayas with 3 Nepalese boys as my guides. A simply amazing experience.

Thereafter the nature of military operations changes as asymmetric warfare and terrorism began in earnest. I found I was based much more in the UK but sent off for 6 month operational tours to some of the increasing number of conflicts around the World. I missed the Falklands campaign however the Middle East began to feature and Saudi Arabia and Kuwait became my home for a time.

It was scary stuff at times with Scud missiles providing the fireworks and crossing the Kuwaiti border on the night of D Day for Dessert Storm was bizarre. That war did not last very long and the army was sent back for a second time some years later – I have no intention of getting into the politics of that decision.

Southern Europe then began to burn and the dreadful atrocities carried out in the mid 90’s in what was Yugoslavia still lay heavily on my mind. I spent 6 months in a place called Lipa in Bosnia and I never want to go back there! I also went to Kosovo some years later and spent 6 months at a place called Film City – the NATO Headquarters which was more a akin to a cross between ‘Allo ‘Allo and Dad’s Army!

The Three Great Jobs in the Army

There are 3 really good jobs in the Army – troop or platoon commander as a lieutenant, squadron or company commander as a major and commanding officer of a regiment or battalion as a lieutenant colonel. I was not only lucky enough to have commanded at each level during live operations but also to have undertaken some great staff appoints in between these postings.

The best of these was at a place called Abbey Wood near Bristol where I was headed a team of civil servants supported by a smattering of military officers buying a group of highly specialised vehicles for the 3 services. It was rather like being a bigger version of ‘Q’ in a James Bond movie. Most of the vehicles remain hush-hush to this day but I loved every minute and would have paid the Army for the privilege – there are not many people who would say that about their job I suspect. We had a fabulous team of dedicated people and great support from British industry.

My last 2 roles were as Director of Catering for the 3 services. This involved everything from designing survival rations for fighter pilots of fast jets to victualling nuclear submarines which is an art in itself. I left the Army as the Director and Head of Service of my Corps which was a fascinating experience and a real high upon which to end a career. The one joy of it all remains the people – the officers, soldiers and the civilians who make the Army tick and not forgetting the indigenous people of the lands over which we used to stomp and drive out trucks and tanks much to their amusement or horror.

The British soldier is amazing, and I now include the female variety. They come from the youth of the nation. A youth who are today so often criticised but who can be changed by the Armed Forces into valued and honourable members of society by one simple act – by giving them and teaching them respect.

It is as simple as that.

These are My Credentials are the photos and snapshots of my life that I never took during my service. Some of them may have faded a little through memory and been embellished somewhat to bring back their clarity. All are based on fact to a degree – some are pure fact, others achieve fact, and some have fact thrust upon them. I hope that they all keep you amused.

business networking

Brigadier (Retired) J (Jeff) Little OBE MBA CGIA FICPEM

These are my Credentials 1 & 2 will be free to download next weekend!

On Amazon kindle!

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Why do you do that thing you do?

Why do you do that thing you do?

Have you ever woken up and asked yourself the question Why?


If you are anything like me, then you will have  asked the question, why do you do the thing you do?

I have to start this by saying that on the whole I enjoy what I do and the challenges that life throws at me. I love being in the company of others and at the same time am perfectly happy in my own space. I find working at home a pretty easy thing to do and for the most part end up doing too much rather than too little. I like the fact that I walk the dog at a time that suits me  (as some of you know when you catch me on the phone, or see the pics on twitter)


business networking

Nice being at one with the world


It is equally a fact that it cant always be like this.

Life has this habit of not being ideal all the time and I believe you have to go through some rough times, to get to the good times.

I have spent periods of my life when I have been desperately unhappy. A trait of my personality (that I am grateful to have!) allows me to understand and visualise a time when I wont be be unhappy (Even in the depths of despair.), and to realise that all things in life are just a period of time.

The bad moments always come to an end.

The fundamental thought process here is as follows:

If you are still breathing, then you have a chance to make a difference.

So enough of this Maudlin around!

In my working life I have on more than one occasion not been happy with my lot.

On one of the more recent occasions this meant that I got up off my butt and relocated back to my native county of Norfolk. Over the next 18 months a reinvention came about and the words that you read today are the very latest phase of that ongoing change.

To cut a long story short (If you want the full one just track some of the old posts in this very blog) I started to ask myself the question, “Why do you do that thing you do?”

The truth, I came to believe is that life is too short to do something you hate, and therefore something had to give. As things went on and I got to understand some of the tricks that makes this thing we call the internet work. I realised that the ability an individual has to publish content, really did give me an opportunity I could grab hold of on a number of levels.

And so what can I (and you) do?

I realised that when some one is metaphorically  punching you in the face and then laughing when you bleed, that there is actually something you can do about it. I also realised that I could write a book about how you might go about that.

A book that is designed to help you understand why a person begins to deeply think about “Why do you do that thing you do?”

Then from a perspective of personal experience, to start looking into the reasons why I, and therefore others, put off doing anything about it. There are a multitude of reasons that once you understand them are fairly obvious. (They do need to be overcome and understanding them for what they are is a good first step!)

The next question I asked myself is what does it take to actually start on a new path in life. The short answer to this is to take a step. Just one step, and then you will have made at least a start.

Others may comment on this next section, but I do consider myself to have an ounce or two of intelligence and understanding. Having said that I was not brilliant at school. For the longest period of time I held on to the idea that “I knew enough to get by”.

The last 18 months has proved that thought to be unwise. I have totally re evaluated my approach to opting in on the vast mass of information, tools and help that are freely available to improve that thing you do.

The next thing I looked into is the fine art of failure. Everybody fails. Not everybody goes public with the fact, but we all do fail. There is no shame in that.

At least you tried!

The importance of this part of your life is to work out how you are going to deal with failure and move on.

This can lead onto a feeling that life is a constant one step forward and a couple back. Chapter 6 gets into the meat of this section and offers some examples of what can happen and how you might deal with the emotional set backs when they come… And they will!

Like any period of change you tend to go through a process of slow understanding of where you actually are in the world .

It does take time.

It can seem a bit of a dark period, certainly on getting a real comprehension of how things work out. Then one day,  you start to see the light. That day for me was the realisation that I really wanted to publish for myself and others.. So here we are.


business networking

Make it your business to do exactly the thing that will make you happy


The rich rewards for this are varied, and not just money. In-fact there is no super easy way to get that bit, you really do have to hustle! (Sorry.)

Is the reward to be happy? Ask yourself that question?

If you can answer that question in a positive light, then you may well get some value from reading

“Would your boss punch you in the face and then laugh when you bleed?” A book about getting out of the dark and into the light. An idea or two on how to dig yourself out of a working hole and live a better life quality on your terms, starting today.

Have a great week!

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,