Podcasts Archives – Maria Franzoni

Podcast with John Peters – Adversity to Advantage

John Peters 5

My guest this week came to the world’s attention in January 1991, when he was captured by the Iraqis and his bruised and battered face became a potent symbol of Saddam Hussein’s ruthless aggression. His war was not at all as he expected – it became a seven-week ordeal of torture and interrogation testing him to the absolute limit and bringing him close to death.

During his RAF career he flew Tornado GR1 on various squadrons and then, within the MoD, led programmes on leadership, safety and human error in aviation.

He has written two best-selling books and a documentary; ‘Tornado Down’, which was Independent Documentary of the Year and a BAFTA Award Nominee.

He retired from the RAF as a Squadron Leader and now focuses on helping senior teams and Boards by providing business critical development, consulting and coaching – through a leadership lens.

Bio

Fighter pilot, businessman and business adviser.  John Peters is a speaker with an international reputation and is seamlessly able to relate the high-performance fighter pilot mindset to organisational excellence to improve your business.  As a business consultant, he has worked internationally and brings a global perspective at the sharp edge of performance; both from when things go badly, (Black Box), to when it is required to push performance to the max to (Blue Skies).

To operate in a global economy, business leaders need grit: resilience and adaptability.  John covers the dark and the light of performing under pressure when the stakes are high.  In air combat, maximum performance is right on the edge of failure.

John Peters came to the world’s attention in January 1991, when his bruised and battered face flashed onto television screens around the world.  It was his disfigured image that became a potent symbol of Saddam Hussein’s ruthless aggression.  His dramatic and sometimes harrowing experiences reach deep into our innermost minds, showing us how we can overcome even our worst fears and nightmares.  His war was not all as he expected – it became a seven-week ordeal of torture and interrogation testing John Peters to the absolute limit and bringing him close to death.

John is an experienced speaker of international repute to corporates, public sector and charities.  He has spoken in front of Her Majesty, The Queen and Prince Philip, followed Mr Nelson Mandela on stage in South Africa and Heads of State.  He has written two best-selling books and the documentary, ‘Tornado Down’ was Independent Documentary of the Year and a BAFTA Award Nominee.  He has extensive international TV, radio, PR and media experience.

 “At the extreme you discover your own humanity. There is a tranquillity and honesty in this reflection.  Calmly you accept where you are, accept your weaknesses, and it is in that moment you truly understand yourself.  Then you begin to win.  No should have, could haves…you start to learn and adapt to whatever challenge.  You will always make mistakes, you are human, but you realise that your power rests in the speed at which you learn…”

He helps leaders build the resilience they need to perform under pressure in a global world: how to deal with unexpected surprise in a tsunami of change.  How do you develop the Survivor Personality where you not only survive but thrive?  Are you evolving to deal with these uncertainties, or are you just repeating your old success formula?  Far from a doom and gloom merchant, his innate humour and timing are infectious, with an approach that is personal, emotive and challenging. John will challenge you to reflect upon how you lead, how to deal with uncertainty and chaos, turning the F-word into opportunity and renewal.  Using his Gulf War, POW experience, international media exposure, award-winning Human Factors development programme in high-performance aviation and 18 years consultancy business, John will explore the mind-set on how to deal with uncertainty and how to “Lead on the Edge”.

In a reflective, provocative and inclusive speech, John explores how he overcame his Prisoner of War ordeal and faced death.   Far from a story of doom and gloom, he uses humour and candour, which is both personal, emotive and challenging.   Using his experiences, he provides a personal view on resilience, and how to turn impossible…to possible.   A business adviser since 2000, he relates his experiences to challenge audiences to reflect on how they change out-dated success habits that are no longer relevant in a changing world.

Recorded: 18th December 2019

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Podcast with David J Harkin – Harnessing the Power of Ideas

David J Harkin

My guest this dedicates his life to connecting people with their own ideas. He does this via his award-winning ideas company 7billionideas, which he founded in 2012 and which operates in both the education and the corporate sector.  He made the leap from the corporate world to become an entrepreneur after spending the best part of a decade working for the technology giant IBM.  He truly believes that every single person on this planet has an amazing imagination and can change the world.  My guest is entrepreneur, author and speaker, David Harkin.

Bio

David J Harkin inspires organisations in adopting a mindset of relentless innovation and intrapreneurship through a people centric bottoms-up approach for radical in-house innovation and growth.

David has had the privilege of speaking globally to audiences for the last 5 years. He is an entrepreneur, proud Tedx speaker and author who dedicates his life to connecting people with their own ideas. He does this through his talks and via his ideas company 7billionideas, which was founded in 2012 and operates in both the education and the corporate sector. 7billionideas has become an award-winning company in both industries and David was a finalist at the UK Business Awards 2018 in the category of ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’.

David J Harkin made the leap from the corporate world to become an entrepreneur after spending the best part of a decade working for the technology giant IBM. At the age of 24, he was responsible for a multi-million dollar business. At 26, he decided to leave and live and breathe his passion of connecting people with their own ideas. David truly believes that every single person on this planet is an idea generator and endeavours to do all he can to help these ideas be heard. The education arm has worked with over 75,000 students and their corporate arm works with organisations all over of the world.

In his spare time, he works for the charity ‘Action for Children’ as an independent visitor, supporting children and young people with their parents or families. David enjoys running having completed the London Marathon and often races in half-marathons. He is also an active member of a premier league cricket club where he is club captain, junior coach and committee member. He is also a playing member for the MCC and still hopes one day to play for England.

Recorded: 12th December 2019

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Podcast with Caspar Craven – Team Dynamics in a Changing World

Caspar Craven 4

This week I’ve gone back to the archives again because there are some jewels in there.  Here is one of the early episodes, my guest was Caspar Craven, who is an entrepreneur and adventurer. Caspar has had oodles of experience, building teams and organisations, creating high growth strategies for business.  He’s also an award-winning yachter.

He combined his business skills (leadership and teambuilding) and yachting skills when he took his family on his toughest challenge by far making them into a team to sail around the world, he, his wife and three children, then aged 9, 7, and 2. There were so many amazing lessons for business, for teams, for families, for relationships, about leadership, growth, work/life balance and working out what your true colours are.

Caspar tells us about his first business at the age of 14 selling crabs by the sea, his amazing adventure sailing around the world with his family. What he discovered about home schooling his children and sharing the lessons he learnt on his adventure that apply to the business world. All this and more…

NB – no books were thrown into the sea so please don’t write in to complain

Bio

From entrepreneur, to corporate team management, to yachtsman, Caspar Craven has over 30 years’ experience in building teams to make things happen. After University, he spent 8 years in the corporate world – first as a Chartered Accountant and then as an Investment Banker at KPMG.

In 2000, Caspar left the corporate world for a brand new team and he signed up for the BT Global Challenge (called the World’s Toughest Yacht Race). He joined “Yacht Quadstone” as the youngest crew member onboard.  After winning trophies around the world and building a team as Watch Captain, he returned to KPMG to run a Technology and Telecoms team. In 2001 he returned to entrepreneurial life as an e-commerce entrepreneur.

His toughest team challenge by far was in 2009 when he built his family team to sail around the world: with his wife and three children aged 9, 7 and 2.

Throughout his career as both family man and entrepreneur, he’s built multiple successful businesses from scratch and sold one for a 7 figure sum…whilst sailing the Pacific Ocean.

In his Keynotes and Workshops Caspar takes the audience through the key steps he’s developed to create and build winning, high-performance teams in business, sport and family environments. He weaves in stories from his experiences leading a team on the world’s toughest yacht race, building a successful business, and building teams within global corporates.

Caspar Craven delivers a truly memorable message with energy, with humility and humour so that you come away inspired with fresh ideas and energy to have the biggest impact on those that you work and spend time with.  Each session is tailored to meet the exact needs of your organisation.

Recorded: 25th January 2018

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Chris Goodall – Towards a Zero Carbon Future

Chris Goodall 7

My guest this week is unusual; he is a businessperson working in energy transition who also writes books for general audiences. His next book will be published in January 2020 and will provide a short guide to each sector of the economy and what needs to be done to completely decarbonise.

He was, until recently, chair of a rapidly growing electric vehicle charging company which was then sold to the French energy multinational Engie. He has a variety of angel investments in electricity generation and energy efficiency.

He speaks frequently to business and general audiences across Europe on all things relating to climate change and energy transition. And he practices what he preaches, he takes the train.

My guest is Chris Goodall.

Bio

Chris Goodall is the author of several successful books and writer for Guardian Environment Network and other energy websites, such as Abundance and The Ecologist. His latest book, The Switch, covers the unstoppable rise of solar power.

Additionally, he runs Carbon Commentary and its weekly newsletter, covering topics across the energy technology and finance around the world and Solar Forecast, giving a uniquely accurate forecast of UK solar power output over the next five days.

Chris Goodall’s expertise lies in the global approaches to low carbon energy generation, low carbon heat, electric cars and battery storage as well as carbon capture and geoengineering.

Chris is a strong believer in research and supports that the world can now become a world of low fossil fuel use but reasonable prosperity for all. He is an optimist about the energy future.

Recorded: 31st October 2019

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Mark McCulloch – Marketing like it’s 2020

Mark McCulloch

My guest this week is one of the leading Food, Drink and Hospitality brand and marketing minds in business. He has over 20 years Brand, Marketing, Digital and Social Media experience holding senior positions at lastminute.com, Barclaycard, YO! Sushi and Pret A Manger.

He co-founded Brand and Marketing agency, WE ARE Spectacular in 2012 and now runs Premium Brand and Marketing Strategy consultancy Supersonic Inc. based in London and Brighton where he helps C-Suite level Marketers and Executives amplify their business across multiple sectors.

In 2018, Mark began podcasting and his Mark McC Supersonic Food Marketing Podcast has reached number 20 in the iTunes business charts and is a regular top 100 podcast.

My guest this week is Mark McCulloch.

Bio

Mark McCulloch is a Senior Brand, Marketing, Digital and Social Media Executive with a career spanning 20 years working for and with brands such as Pret a Manger, lastminute.com, Barclaycard, Costa Coffee, Accor Hotels, The Independent, Viz, NME, Loaded Magazine, YO! Sushi and Peter Gabriel’s trailblazing music streaming site WE7 (now Blinkbox music).

Mark is an industry expert and as such is known as ‘THE FOOD AND DRINK MARKETER’. He focuses his time mainly in the hospitality industry that he loves so much working with them to think differently creating stand out brands, engaging their employees in innovative ways and how to leapfrog the competition when it comes to using more cutting edge forms of brand, marketing, digital and social.

In 2018, Mark created The Spectacular Marketing Podcast which is now a regular Top 100 iTunes Business Charts Podcast (https://we-are-spectacular.lnk.to/h2iT5TW).

In 2018, Mark also created a Brighton based Strategy, Speaking, Workshopping and Broadcasting consultancy @FoodDrinkMark and was a Founding Partner of London based Food & Drink Creative Agency WE ARE Spectacular.  In 2019, Mark launched his new Premium Brand and Marketing Consultancy – SUPERSONIC INC.

Recorded: 29th October 2019

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Psychologist Adrian Furnham takes us to the dark side

Adrian Furnham

My guest this week was Professor of Psychology at University College London for 26 years. He is now Principal Psychologist at Stamford Associates, an asset management company.

He has lectured widely abroad and held scholarships and visiting professorships around the world. Currently he is Adjunct Professor of Management at the Norwegian School of Management. He is also prolific writer and has written over 1300 scientific papers and 92 books.

Like Noel Coward, he believes that work is more fun than fun and considers himself to be a well-adjusted workaholic. He rides a bicycle to work (as he has always done) very early in the morning. He enjoys writing popular articles, travelling to exotic countries, consulting on real-life problems, going to the theatre and arguing at dinner parties.  I have been a guest at a few of those dinner parties and I’ve lost every time.

So today I have the chance to talk about one of my favourite subjects with one of the world’s leading experts so let’s give a warm Speaking Business welcome to Adrian Furnham.

Bio

Adrian Furnham was Professor of Psychology at University College London from 1992 – 2018. He has lectured widely abroad and held scholarships and visiting professorships at, amongst others, the University of New South Wales, the University of the West Indies, the University of Hong Kong and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  He has also been a Visiting Professor of Management at Henley Management College, Adjunct Professor of Management at the Norwegian School of Management (2009) and Honorary Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (2014). He was also previously a lecturer in Psychology at Pembroke College, Oxford.

Adrian Furnham was educated at the London School of Economics where he obtained a distinction in an MSc Econ., and at Oxford University where he completed a doctorate (D.Phil) in 1981. He has subsequently earned a D.Sc (1991) and D.Litt (1995) degree.

He consults to many organisations in various different sectors (particularly airlines, banks, civil service) and in many different countries (particularly continental Europe and Asia).

He has written over 1300 scientific papers and 85 books. He is on the editorial board of a number of international journals, as well as the past elected President of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences. He is also a founder director of Applied Behavioural Research Associates (ABRA), a psychological consultancy established over 30 years ago.

Like Noel Coward, he believes work is more fun than fun and considers himself to be a well-adjusted workaholic. He rides a bicycle to work (as he has always done) very early in the morning and does not have a mobile phone. Adrian enjoys writing popular articles, travelling to exotic countries, consulting on real-life problems, arguing at dinner parties and going to the theatre.

Adrian is a serious academic who can explain important current ideas and concepts in a clear and understandable way. He is able to communicate his messages to audiences all over the world in an educational and very entertaining manner. Adrian is at ease speaking as a conference keynote or delivering a witty after-dinner business speech.

Recorded: 24th October 2019

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Podcast with Robert Mazur – The Infiltrator

Podcast with Robert Mazur - The Infiltrator

This week’s guest has earned global acclaim as one of the world’s leading experts on the financial escapades of the underworld.  There is no one with more first-hand knowledge about how international banks and businesses cater to those who own the nearly 2 trillion dollars in criminal proceeds laundered annually.

For years, in the eyes of organised crime leaders he was a highly successful mob connected money launderer that helped them to manage their illicit fortunes.  His clients, some of the most famous and deadly drug cartel bosses, offered a $1/2 million price tag for his head when he was revealed to be a highly trained U.S. federal undercover agent.

He is the New York Times bestselling author of The Infiltrator, a memoir about his undercover life, much of which was spent acting as a conduit between ruthless drug barons and corrupt legitimate appearing senior executives that cleaned billions in blood stained money through otherwise respectable international banks and businesses.

It is my honour to welcome this week’s guest Robert Mazur

Bio

For years, in the eyes of organised crime leaders he was a highly successful mob connected money launderer that helped manage their illicit fortunes.  His clients, some of the most famous and deadly drug cartel bosses, offered a $1/2 million price tag for his head when arrests were made around the world and he was revealed to be a highly trained U.S. federal undercover agent.  Robert’s 30 years of unparalleled experience as an undercover US federal agent with the Colombian crime cartels enables him to deliver a “one of a kind” inspiring message that can strengthen institutional policies and procedures, motivate key compliance employees, reduce potential corporate and senior management liability, and arms personnel with rare knowledge to improve their ability to identify and manage risk.

Robert Mazur is the only person in the world that, as a long-term undercover agent, got inside this circle to such an extent that it led to his recording hundreds of conversations that formed the foundation for the conviction and imprisonment of more than 50 money launderers, including many senior bank officials. Those officials included board members, and even the President of a bank that had a presence in 72 countries. After their conviction and imprisonment, he also led a team that debriefed some of these senior executives for months at a time. With seized records taken from the bank’s branches around the world pursuant to search warrants, he confirmed the truthfulness of the facts told to him by the jailed bankers. Everything was verified.

After completing a highly decorated 27-year career as a federal agent in 3 U.S. agencies, Robert is now the President of KYC Solutions, Inc., a firm that provides speaking, expert witness and consulting services to companies worldwide.

Robert Mazur is certified in both U.S. and Canadian courts as an expert in money laundering.  His articles have been published by many journals and media outlets, including the NY Times.  He is a contributor to money laundering related programming that has aired on PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Univision, BBC, and other major networks.  He has been a guest on more than 1,500 radio and television shows during the past several years.

He is the author of “The Infiltrator”, a memoir about his undercover life, much of which was spent acting as a conduit between ruthless drug barons and corrupt legitimate appearing senior executives that cleaned billions in blood stained money through otherwise respectable international banks and businesses.

‘The Infiltrator’, a major motion picture based on Robert Mazur’s undercover life as a money launderer, starring Bryan Cranston, was internationally released during 2016.

Robert Mazur has transformed his underworld experience and current day involvement in the money laundering field into a remarkable lesson for today’s business sector.  He shares unique insights about how to build a team to identify and manage the type of risk that could otherwise inflict costly reputation loss for institutions, like those that have in recent years entered into Deferred Prosecution Agreements or otherwise been prosecuted for criminal offences in connection with their movement of tainted funds.  His presentations take his audiences to ground zero, the heart of money laundering risk. He shares the secrets he learned from the world’s most notoriously corrupt members of the financial markets.

Robert Mazur delivers several different types of compelling presentations. In his standard keynote, he explains his amazing life in the underworld as a money launderer for Colombian cartels, as well as the techniques used by the most sophisticated money launderers in the world then, and today.

For audiences looking for more in-depth details about specific methods of laundering and detecting money laundering threat, Robert provides varying lengths of masterclasses that dissect documents and chart the path of dirty money through methods only generally referenced by most money laundering experts. 

Recorded: 16th October 2019

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Podcast with Philip Hesketh – We need to Influence rather than Persuade

Philip Hesketh

This week I’ve gone back to the archives again and I’ve pulled out one of the early episodes again. This time it’s Philip Hesketh he is our go to guy on anything related to persuasion, influence and selling.

Why now? In January 2020, in fact on the 20th January 2020, Phil and I will be running a full day training, we are calling it the Ultimate Sales Day for Professional Speakers and it is exactly that.  It is for any speaker that wants to get booked more and paid more.  So, come along, listen to how Phil has created a great full-time professional speaking business and made several million.  Listen to me from a bureau’s point of view as to how we get bookings for our speakers.  So, we hope to see you there, but in the meantime if you’d like a little sample of what Phil is all about, have a listen to his podcast.

Bio

Having built an acclaimed £48m business in 17 consecutive years of growth, Philip Hesketh now shares the psychology of influence and persuasion as a full-time professional speaker. Audiences worldwide have been entertained and inspired to thrive, not just survive. Setting Philip apart are his trademark 50 Killer Questions and authentic, battle-tested takeaways transforming lives – his proven techniques empowering us to persuade, influence and achieve real world success seen in greater sales, stronger relationships and life satisfaction – not broken promises.

His UK based agency, Advertising Principles, employed over 150 people and enjoyed consistent growth with clients such as the BBC, Nestle, Walt Disney, General Accident and HSBC.

Philip gets it because he’s lived it and when he exited, he did so on his terms, and with three extraordinary things in mind. Remarkably, he’s accomplished them all. Mostly. Number three could fairly be called a work in progress but one he never tires of.

First, he set out to become the best speaker on the planet. Results that are measured by well over 1,000 paid speaking engagements in 17 years in over 20 countries across the world. In an industry where many speakers aspire but only a select few thrive, he has achieved remarkable worldwide success.

Second, determined to write a best-selling book, he finished up writing two. ‘How to Persuade and Influence People’ and ‘Persuade’ are both Amazon number one best sellers. Worldwide sensations and labours of love, he shares proven techniques and the lessons learned over his life and extraordinary business career.

And third, to change the weather in February. And he has! Sadly, not for all of us, but as he says with a smile “I’ve changed it for me!” By buying a plane ticket, spending February and March in the antipodes for the past 17 years and entertaining audiences in sunny Australia and New Zealand.

Positive audience and client response to Philip Hesketh’s engagements can’t be overstated. Many calling it the most truly entertaining and invaluable presentation in their memory, while countless reviews describe it as wildly funny, thought-provoking, authentic and simply inspirational.

Participants emphasise the clear benefits they received after listening to Philip – citing a new ability to sell more, successfully establish value, hold a higher price, and to strengthen and deepen customer and personal relationships with a greater confidence and success.

Most inspiring, however, are the tangible real-world takeaways such as the introduction of proven techniques to persuade and influence, and exposure to Philip’s 50 Killer Questions arming us with the capability to more successfully control our conversations on and off the job.

With two Amazon number one best sellers and more in the pipeline he’s committed to sharing his rare insights. Using multimedia platforms, inspiring readers and audiences with real world takeaways that increase sales, hold high prices, persuade, influence, control conversations and strengthen relationships.

An extraordinary body of work has earned Philip Hesketh rare recognition. Today he is the current holder of Vistage UK’s ‘Outstanding Performer’, ‘Most Requested Speaker’ and TEC Australia’s ‘Overseas Speaker of The Year’ awards and is a Visiting Fellow of Newcastle University.

Philip Hesketh is a world-renowned speaker on all aspects of the psychology of influence. He has delivered over 1,000 talks in over 20 countries and has spoken to actuaries, accountants, salespeople, nurses, teachers, lawyers and bankers.

All of Philip’s keynote talks are tailored to a client’s individual needs but the common aim is to inspire people to improve their relationships, develop client and customer loyalty and, typically, to increase sales. He offers well researched, tried and tested techniques and is renowned for his ‘Killer Questions’ that get to the heart of what people really, really want.

He is inspirational, insightful, motivational and thought provoking. And hilarious. But, above all, helps increase a team’s effectiveness.

Although every keynote presentation is highly tailored, each one has at its base the psychology of influence and persuasion and how to gain new clients, develop greater client and customer loyalty and charge higher prices.  In addition to his keynotes, Philip runs bespoke Masterclasses for clients.

Recorded: 19th April 2018

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Podcast with Cedric Dumont – Become a Bold Leader – Dare to Jump

Cedric Dumont 1

 

My guest this week is a leader in the world of base jumping and wingsuit flying and since 1999 he has been part of the Red Bull team.

In addition to being an action sports athlete, he is a graduate of Applied Sports & High-Performance Psychology and a multi-linguist.  For years he has been providing his fellow professional athletes with a mental advantage and skillset required to reach their goals and unleash their full potential.   My guest is Cedric Dumont.

 

Bio

Cedric Dumont is a leader in the world of base jumping and wingsuit flying and since 1999 has been part of the Red Bull team.

He was born in Brussels, Belgium and from a very young age participated in action and adventure sports.

In addition to his standing as an action sports athlete, Cedric is a graduate of Applied Sports & High-Performance Psychology, and a multi-linguist who began by providing his fellow professional athletes with a mental advantage and skillset required to reach their goals and unleash their full potential.

Cedric presents an elite vision and inspirational perspective to High-Performance Psychology. In extreme conditions where you are expected to deliver and assess risks, hyper-awareness has been the basis of his reliable performance and survival, it’s flow or die!

“It’s all about living a comprehensive lifestyle and being in the present moment.  This includes energy management and feeding the mind with healthy insights and generating positive thoughts.”

Cedric divides his days with expeditions, wingsuit flying, speaking engagements, writing and consulting with elite athletes and major companies across the globe.

His key focus is highlighting that performance and productivity can only be achieved with a purpose-driven mindset, passion and presence.

Recorded: 10th October 2019

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Podcast with Alex Staniforth – From Stammer to Stage

Alex Staniforth 3

We’re doing something a bit different on this week’s podcast. You know I like to shake things up, just to make sure you’re paying attention.  So, in addition to finding out more about my guest and getting a bit of an insight into his speeches we dissect his speaking business.  We find out how he got started as a speaker, how he started charging, where his paid gigs come from plus lots more.  We go deep stopping just short of asking him for his bank balance.   So, let’s roll the podcast.

My guest this week is a young adventurer, author and fundraiser from Chester. At just 24 he’s already delivered over 170 talks to businesses, schools and events around the UK and Europe, and he’s also done a TEDx.

He’s made two attempts to climb Mount Everest, both ended in disaster.  He shares his unique experiences of redefining failure, embracing change and staying resilient through adversity.

He has just released his second book Another Peak and has set up a social enterprise supporting mental health through outdoors called Mind over Mountains.

All this and he is still only 24 years old.  Please welcome Alex Staniforth.

Bio

Alex Staniforth is a record-breaking adventurer, keynote speaker, published author, brand ambassador and charity fundraiser from Cheshire. At the age of 24 he has already attempted Mount Everest twice and is dedicated to inspiring others to achieve their own ‘Everest’ in life.

Alex is not your typical Everest speaker. After single-handedly raising over £35,000 in corporate sponsorship whilst still at school, his first attempt to climb to the summit of Mount Everest in 2014 was abandoned following a tragic avalanche that took sixteen lives. Aged just 19, he returned to Everest a year later and survived an avalanche in the Khumbu Icefall, triggered by the Nepal earthquake, which trapped his team on the mountain for two days.

He is no stranger to adversity: overcoming epilepsy, bullying – and a stammer in early life. These experiences have re-defined his view of success and failure to develop a humbling realisation that success lies not just in reaching the top but our journey to get there. Alex understands first-hand how our circle of control is sometimes no bigger than two metres below our feet and that so-called ‘failure’ is just another opportunity to win.

In 2016 he returned to the Himalayas and reached 7,125 metres on Cho Oyu, the sixth highest peak in the world. In 2017 he became the fastest person ever to climb all 100 UK county tops by bicycle, foot and kayak, covering over 5,000 miles in 72 days to encourage conversations around mental well-being. In 2018 he ran two sub three-hour marathons and has completed numerous other endurance challenges, developing resilience and mental strategies, presented in a way that we can apply to our own daily stresses.

Outdoor adventure and endurance challenges have not only been a tool to overcome adversity but a vehicle for doing good and leading others. Alex has raised over £85,000 for charity, carried the London 2012 Olympic Torch through Chester, won a Pride of Britain Regional Fundraiser of the Year award and is an ambassador for the YHA (Youth Hostel Association) England & Wales.

With an unassuming and approachable style, Alex has already presented to over 16,000 people internationally and is one of the youngest ever Gold Award Presenters for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Buckingham Palace. He published his first book Icefall in 2016, endorsed by Bear Grylls, and his second title Another Peak was published in July 2019, endorsed by Mark Beaumont. Alex speaks openly about his struggles with depression, anxiety and eating disorders, to spread the message that mental illness is not a weakness or barrier to achievement. He is also a founding director of Mind Over Mountains C.I.C, a social enterprise providing outdoor experiences to improve and maintain positive mental wellbeing.

Recorded: 9th October 2019

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Podcast with Ben Afia – What’s your language revealing about you?

Ben Afia

This week we are talking about language, but first let me give you a little bit of context. Most organisations don’t connect with their customers and staff half as well as they could and as a result, they’re losing customers and employees at a shocking rate.

My guest is the Language Strategist, he’s helped companies like Vodafone, Allianz and Google to be more human and make that connection.

He’s going to reveal how language is the key that’ll unlock the door to a more authentic brand and happier customers.   My guest is Ben Afia.

 

Bio

Ben Afia is a consultant, writer and speaker, specialising in brand strategy and language. His claim to fame is helping Ronseal work out what to say on the tin.

He’s helped companies manage their brand and tone of voice longer than most, starting in 2001 at Boots, when managing language was only just becoming a thing. He created a new tone and went on to help people across the business to get better results from agencies and freelancers.

In 2005, with a first baby on the way and a week from exchanging contracts on a new house, Boots made Ben redundant. Which seemed like the perfect moment to set up Afia.

Afia is turning the world of “corporate speak” on its head by helping companies to be more human. He is always looking for the easiest way to get something done. It’s the same thinking he’s brought to successfully changing the culture of companies like Aviva, E.ON, Legal & General and Boots. ‘If we make this easy for anyone to grasp, they’re far more likely to adopt it.’ Hence the straightforward, memorable tone of voice structure.

Afia’s tone of voice structure uses a language format the same as people do when they’re talking to each other face to face. Of course the tone will vary depending on who you’re talking to and what you want to say, but Afia has found it helps organisations to build stronger relationships with their customers and for the people who work there to get on better with each other.

Through his work at Afia he has helped companies like Allianz Insurance win more customers, BP to develop their employer brand and Google to help people understand digital marketing better. In the travel sector he’s helped BCD get in touch with what their customers need, and companies like Haven Holidays create a wonderful customer experience that starts the minute they open a brochure.  He’s also helped Twinings to harmonise their packaging around the world, Vodafone build better relationships with their customers, and AirBP to get in touch with their heartbeat. That work was so effective they were still using Ben Afia’s words 5 years later.

Recorded: 8th October 2019

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Podcast with Jamil Qureshi – Turning Ambition into Achievement

Jamil Qureshi Interview with Sky Sports - Will Tiger Woods be open-minded?

This week I’ve delved into the archives and I’ve pulled out an episode from the very early days in case you missed it, in case you’ve only just started listening recently and if you’ve heard it before it’s actually worth listening to again.

My guest is one of today’s foremost practitioners of performance enhancing psychology and is an expert in high performing teams. He’s ranked amongst the most influential figures in British sport as well as a powerful figure in the business community where he has worked with business leaders and companies helping them to fulfil their full potential by delivering change and performance programmes.  In sport, he’s worked with 5 Ryder Cup captains, Premier League footballers, Formula 1 racing drivers and the Ashes winning England Cricket team.  My guest is Jamil Qureshi.

Bio

Jamil Qureshi is one of today’s foremost practitioners of performance enhancing psychology and is an expert in high performing teams. As the co-founder of change agencies, We Do Things Differently, Loudhouse and JQED, Jamil has enjoyed working with a rich diversity of the most talented business and sports people and teams globally.

He’s ranked among the most influential figures in British sport and has worked successfully with three English Premiership football clubs and the Ashes winning England Cricket team. He is a legendary figure in golf becoming the first-ever official psychologist with the European Ryder Cup team as well as working with 22 golfers inside the World’s Top 50. Jamil was voted in the top 100 most powerful men in golf 2008 by his international peers. Jamil has written a book with The Secret Footballer about the psychology of football released in December 2016.

In business and industry Jamil has worked from CEO and board level to middle management in a variety of sectors. He has worked with business leaders and companies in over 24 different countries last year alone helping teams to fulfil their potential by orchestrating change and performance programmes.

He has developed and delivered management and leadership programmes at board level for Coca Cola, Hewlett Packard, Emirates Airlines, Serco, Orange, and Royal Bank of Scotland. He has worked across Lloyds Banking Group on the ‘Journey to World Class’. He has led teams responsible for change management in several high-profile areas; Lloyds Banking Group as part of their substantial integration strategy, and Post Office to create The Post Office Way as they separate from Royal Mail.

Jamil also lectures on the prestigious WorldProgram, in the US, UK and China through Ashridge and Fordham Business Schools and Qing Dao University.

Interestingly, he is one of only a few external psychologists ever to be allowed to study astronauts on the NASA Space Programme. Jamil’s versatility is illustrated by the fact he has talked at NASDAQ in Times Square where he shared a stage with General Peter Pace, Head of Joint Chief of Staff, the highest ranking military officer in the US armed forces, and next day did stand up in front of a celebrity audience at the Groucho Club!

Having spent many years working with the world’s elite, he is in a genuinely unique position to define ‘what makes the difference’. An expert in the psychology of leadership, leadership communication, improving people performance, Jamil Qureshi specialises in purposeful and meaningful change techniques.

Jamil’s sessions are carried out using a flip chart rather than a powerpoint and he does love to doodle!! There is always laughter from the stories he shares to get his messages across. Whether its engagement, collaboration, performance or any of the other topics he covers, he is always lively, interactive and engaging and the audience always leave full of renewed enthusiasm and the will to change.

Recorded: 18th January 2018

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