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It’s all about me

Age 37


Masters of Engineering from Oxford Uni, PGCE


Previously at Centrica and Babcock Family

Wife, Anna, and boys, Isaac and Jacob Favourite places

So many, but probably Cape Town or Lombok for my honeymoon!

Favourite books

Love the Freakonomics books – exactly how my brain works. Also enjoyed Legacy by James Kerr and a good Jack Reacher novel

Favourite films

The Notebook and The Holiday. Yes, I am pink and fluffy at heart!

Favourite sport

Rugby is where my sporting heart is, I’m happy to watch any game anywhere (much to Anna’s frustration – but she does enjoy

watching muscly men in shorts!). It’s a proud moment watching my

two boys play rugby, both are in the Gloucester RFC academy. I occasionally dust off the boots and get out, but normally end up injuring myself – so coaching is where I am focusing!

a line manager who didn’t understand what I did and who was concerned about their own capabilities being exposed. I learnt that communicating what you’re doing in the right way is key. In fact, one of my noblest hours was when I turned the score on its head the following year! Another highlight was definitely

chairing the Trailblazer Appren- ticeship standard and persuading the government to sign it off a few years ago. It was a lot of hard work but it represents a fantastic legacy.

What and when was your career turning point?

My turning point has to be when I decided to leave teaching and start something completely different. It was a really difficult step to take, but I am so glad I did. If I hadn’t, I would probably still be plugging away at it, and I would have only had a trace of the job satisfaction I do now. I would totally encourage people to follow their dream. You have to be prepared for some difficult steps on the way but, if it is what you really want, then you will get there! In his book, Bounce, Matthew Syed talks about how it takes around 10,000 hours of practice to make you a genius in your chosen field. I definitely still have a few more to go – but I’m loving the journey!

Describe your best learning and development experience

at the end of every game. Brilliant! And most importantly, I am

inspired by my wife – and not just for putting up with me! She has a level of generosity, kindness and intelligence that I think is truly rare.

What has been your lowest moment, and what your noblest hour?

It might sound minor, but my lowest moment was probably being given a ‘below expectations’ score in an end of year performance review. I just couldn’t get my head around it when I had worked so hard to deliver millions of pounds worth of savings for the company that year. However it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It taught me some valuable lessons about how to manage

I have been on a few programmes where I have been videoed and then made to watch myself back. Whether the aim was to improve my presenta- tions, communications or management, the learning I got from that process was always invaluable. Tings always look so different on screen compared to how they are in your head. If you really want to learn, you have to be willing to try, and fail. Just analyse what went wrong and figure out the ways to im- prove – then get back up and try again!

What's next in your career?

Tose around me would probably like me to say nothing, for a while … but that’s just not who I am. Tere is so much to do with KnowledgePool and in the training industry; so much that genuinely excites me. All I can say is watch this space!

Playing to win

Here’s how I use the CALF acronym to get the best possible performance out of my team – and myself!


C is for Challenge. I love challenges, whether at home or at work. For me it is energising to look at things in a new light and see how we can challenge the norm or do things differently. My brain never stops whirring, and I’ve always got a new goal on the go, whether it’s a marathon, a sky dive or a 4,000-mile trip around Africa (this can be irritating for my wife!). In terms of work, one of the exciting things for me about the L&D industry is the way it never stops changing. We need to move away from being seen as an overhead cost and towards being valued as a real investment in business performance.

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A is for Accountability. People are generally happier when they have a mixture of freedom and boundaries. I try to ensure that everyone at work understands the direction of travel with a project, what they can get on with themselves, and when they need to seek help and guidance. I find that when people understand what they are accountable for, they take pride in delivering their best. Although communication is essential to make it work. You have to be totally clear on where the buck stops, with whom, and why.


L is for Legacy. Leaving a legacy that you can be proud of, and making a real difference to the world, is really important to me. This isn’t just about personal performance or pushing everyone too hard – it is about bringing people together, taking them on a journey and being part of a great team. The All Blacks’ motto of ‘leave the jersey in a better place than when you found it’ rings true for me!


F is for Fun, Friends and Family. It is really important for me that people enjoy what they do and enjoy coming to work. Not all work is exciting and fun, but people are much better motivated if they enjoy as much of it as possible. I try to en- courage people to have a laugh and not take the serious part of work too far – work hard, play hard! Also, at the end of the day, work is work and life is far more important. People need to keep it all in perspective and make sure they put their friends and family first. I try to remind people of that – and model it myself.

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