Blockbuster and lackluster

imagesYes, it’s that time of year: the tinsel is out, carols are playing and countdown clocks with the number of days until Christmas are popping up everywhere.  Like we could forget!

It’s also the time of year when I get reflective.  If I were to describe 2014 in one word it would be Blockbuster.  It’s been very exciting with lots of repeat business with existing clients, lots of fantastic new clients and great gigs that had me travelling all over the world and doing work I love.  So many highlights, and here are some I would like to share:

  1. Being featured in Boss Magazine’s February issue with three of my clients, Accenture, Ericsson and NAB, sharing their successes with storytelling
  2. Being part of Matt Church’s speaker showcase with seven other amazing, world-class speakers – it still gives me goose bumps thinking about it; and
  3. Being invited to Dearborn, America to present storytelling as part of Ford’s global leadership program.
Of course none of this would have been possible without my clients, mentors, my support team and family and friends.  Many, many thanks for the support, the opportunities, the learning, the referrals, the comments on my blog and so much more.  It’s much appreciated and a high note to end 2014 on.

But alas, in a blockbuster year there was also some lackluster!  While I boldly launched the year by declaring I would run a half-marathon, the most I have run this year in events is 10km.  To paraphrase Edison, I did discover 99 ways on how not to prepare for a half-marathon.  I am rolling this goal over to 2015 and my trainer has pinned me down to starting the year with a 10km ‘fun run’, then a 15km run and finally the half-marathon.

Looking forward to 2015 and here’s wishing you, my wonderful clients and subscribers a very happy and safe festive season.

All the very best for 2015 and I look forward to connecting with you again in the New Year.

#putoutyourbats : When words aren’t enough

downloadFor a few days last week the entire country was on a knife’s edge, watching reports on the wellbeing of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes, who was in hospital after a freak blow to his head during a cricket match.
Suddenly, the wait was over – but not in the way we hoped and prayed for.  Last Thursday visibly distraught cricket captain Michael Clarke informed the world of Hughes’ tragic death.
The ripples of grief and shock engulfed not just the cricket community, but an entire country – and a large part of the world.
Then a fan, Paul Taylor, posted a poignant image of his cricket bat outside his home, using the hashtag #putoutyourbats. In his own words, it was: “Just a way for all cricketers to show their respects to Phillip Hughes.”
What happened next was mind-blowing. People all over the world responded, and started sharing photos of cricket bats outside their front doors with the accompanying hashtag #putoutyourbats Even Google placed an image of a bat on its home page in memory of Hughes.  I must admit to getting teary seeing a child’s bat outside a picket fence in my suburb.
Through a simple hashtag, people all over the world found a way to unite and find comfort – in this case, over a loss that transcends explanation.
The initiative was unique and authentic: a simple gesture from a fan who wanted to pay tribute to a first-class sportsman.
 Paul Taylor, thank you.  At a time where words do little to convey the tragedy of a situation, your poignant message found a way.