Friday, 29 November 2013

Is Imagination More Important Than Knowledge?

What do you think is the BIGGEST reason people don’t follow through with an idea?  Not EVERY idea, but the BIG ones!  Well?


I am a great believer in there being no such thing as a bad idea….Bad ideas do not exist!   No, never, Nothing!

I have said before that there are two kinds of ideas.  Great ideas and mad ideas.  Sometimes the mad idea isn’t actionable…but, Not being actionable does not mean they are bad ideas.  It means that they are ideas that, though great ideas, cannot be realised because of other factors.  These factors may be time, money, effort etc.  Sometimes things happen that preclude you from taking action on an idea, however safe or mad. 

The biggest thing for me is people using their brains.

I cultivate a climate of ‘controlled madness’ in my office.  A ‘can do’ mentality. 

A sign in my office says; ‘Find a way or make a way.’ 

'Organised Chaos' is my favourite description of my office culture.

In that sort of office, there are no bad ideas.
And NO ONE is afraid to say anything, ask anything come up with an idea for fear of being laughed at.  Even ideas that we find will not work more often than not have some element of a great idea that can be used somewhere else.  
So, What DO you think is the BIGGEST reason people don’t follow through with an idea? 

I believe the biggest reason people do not follow through a potentially big or life changing idea is…they think it has already been thought of and built or made or is on the market already.
In other words, they think; ‘Ahh, someone will have already thought of that!’

I LOVE watching Ice Hockey.  I love all winter sports but Ice Hockey for me is exciting.  I enjoy everything about it; the speed, the tension, the fights even.  And boy, are there fights?

Ice Hockey is about 150 years old. The Goalie mask is…not.  It was invented by a goalie called Jacques Plante in 1959!!!  Why?  He got tired of being hit in the face with the puck! 

He finally had his nose broken and that, I suppose, was his tipping point.   Montreal Maroons' Clint Benedict wore a crude leather version in 1929 to protect a broken nose too, but Plante introduced the mask as everyday equipment, and it is now mandatory equipment for goaltenders.

My point is…Wouldn’t  you think that SOMEONE would have come up with this idea before then?

There were millions of people who enjoyed the game but only two guys who came up with a safer way to play it.

You see, there are thousands of equally obvious, audacious ideas out there…YOUR job is to be thinking about them!!

I firmly believe; Imagination is just as important as knowledge!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Moving on...

It is with regret that I announce the end of Firewalking for The Moore Consortium.
Firewalking as a metaphor for overcoming your fears has really been done to death.

Back in 1997 I was running sales training workshops that culminated in a board break. I learnt that at Speakers International. I was working as the National Sales Trainer for Telewest.
1997 Boardbreak session
 for Cable London

I needed a new metaphor and having worked with a few people in the Firewalking Industry, which was relatively new and unique at the time, in the UK at least, I decided to get my certification to hold Firewalking events.  This not only entailed training for two weeks with Tolly Burkan outside of San Francisco, but I also needed to arrange a £10m insurance policy for the company in the event that buildings burnt down.  There is NO personal insurance for anyone walking on fire.  It is entered into freely and of your own choice.  Indemnity and waiver forms take care of the personal 'insurance' aspect.

Firewalking and Glasswalking were the main areas of our business. It was fun but what was the concept? Walking over 'red hot coals' as a way of fearbusting! How?

Simply put, the methodology was, if you can walk on fire or broken glass, WHAT ELSE CAN YOU ACHIEVE?

There is no mystical magic.

Many companies use a 'touchy-feely' approach falling just short of dancing naked around the fire smacking each other up the butt with a tambourine while singing 'circle of life'.

We were not 'touchy feely'...we were 'smacky punchy' in as much as we convinced people that they were in control (which is true) and there is a strategy for walking on fire.  We convince people they CAN do this.  We don't 'Pray to the fire!!'  We kick the fire's butt.

It is all to do with state of mind and physics.

Image Copyright David Moore
Its important to have the right state of mind and the training session prior to the walk builds towards you believing that you can walk on fire. The exercises and messages are very standard NLP and persuasion techniques and can be found in numerous seminars not linked with Firewalking. In fact I use the exercises in non firewalking events.

You are actually walking on burnt wood, not coals. Its Pine. The optimum heat is around 1300 degrees but most companies have people walking on ash, especially if 40 other people have walked on it prior to you. Usually a line of fire either side of the 'firebed' gives the impression that its hotter than it is.  We didn't....We went for the full on maximum temperature burn, like walking on molten lava.

Its also about contact time. If you have taken a jacket potato out of the oven and switched it from hand to hand then you wont burn yourself. Same with firewalking. Your contact time with the 'firebed' is so minimal that you cannot be burnt. If you walk at a steady speed, six steps is enough to get you over and you will have done it(with some companies you only need three - check youtube, I have seen firebeds of only 6ft!!  Our firebeds were 3ft wide and 20ft long).

Pine is the wood of choice.  This is a great generator of heat but not a conductor of heat.  Imagine a cake in an oven.  After its been in there for a time and you open the oven door you will get a blast of hot air (not unusual in this industry).  If you put your hand in and touch the cake: no problem.  Touch the oven walls: no hand left.  Basically, what you are walking on during a firewalk is like walking on a 20ft long cake.  Generating heat but not a conductor.

Lasting empowering belief that you can achieve ANYTHING if you don't question the firewalk experience itself!  Here's a case in point...

I asked a group of car salesmen once what they considered were the benefits of walking on fire when they came off the firebed and were back in the training room.  They all told me the same thing.
"We are gonna sell a ton of cars now!"
"Great," I said.... "How?"
Each one of them got a glazed look on their faces and stayed that way.  Then they spent ages justifying how Firewalking will help them shift those old rust buckets and sleds that had been on the forecourt for ages.  They couldn't justify it. 

I gave them motivational, attitudinal, influence, inner game and Sales Training.  THAT worked!!!

In the old days, in the 80s/90s, it was new and unusual. Tolly Burkan and Anthony Robbins made it well known and then everyone jumped on the bandwagon. Now its old and not unusual. If you ask a group of 40 people about it, at least 30 of them will have heard of it and 10 or 12 will have done it.

Its mystery has gone. A simple search on the internet will explain the mechanics of it.

So would I do it if I was in your position and looking for a way of Breaking Through or Empowering myself? No. Its all a bit of fun. You can raise money for charity doing it  though...and we did.

Glasswalking is the same.  It sounds scary, it sounds terrifying but shouldn't. Again, physics and common sense come into play.

If you want to lie on a bed of nails you can.  If you want to lie on a bed of ONE nail, then that would be very foolish.  Same with Glasswalking.  If you tread on a piece of broken glass while barefoot you will cut your foot.  A Glasswalk on the other hand is performed on a bed of a thousand or so broken bottles.

Yes they are very sharp shards of broken glass but it's a glass bed at least two inches deep so anything under your foot compresses into whats below and around it.  No problem.  It sounds great when the glass breaks and cracks under your feet but it also cushions your feet.  If you feel anything under your foot that you don't like the feel of...lift your foot and put it somewhere else.

When you are involved in the fire and glass walking industry for as long as I was you believe it is the cure for everything and the best motivator.  When you have worked outside of the firewalk and glasswalk industry for a while, you realise that you have to move on from firewalking...

Thanks to everyone that came to my 1000th walk on fire last night at midnight.  It was the 3000th firewalk I have trained.  I doubt I will do it just doesn't fit the new business model.


Company: 3000 total Firewalks
Personal: 1000 Personal walk demonstrations
Travel: 9 Countries have been visited for Firewalking events
Audience: Over 100 different companies  Over 200 Charities
Vehicles: 18 Vans/ lorries used...3 crashed and written off.
Largest walk: Business - 880 people.  Charity - 627 people.
Best event: Glasgow. Underground train system closed, helicopters circling, TV/Radio, Traffic at a standstill, 160 walkers, over 1000 spectators.
Worst event: Snowstorm up a mountain in Lake District/ 135 degrees Fahrenheit heat in Doha, Persian Gulf.
Famous people: 63
Most memorable walk: Leading a man who had been blind since birth over the firebed in Dublin
Regret: Having to turn down a last minute request to hold a firewalk in Chicago for the Oprah Winfrey Network
Team figures: 22 members of the team over the years
Raison d'etra: £1.3m raised for charitable causes around the world
Most important fact: No Injuries

Another important fact: It was always a TEAM...thank you!

Monday, 18 November 2013

The Power of a Question

Questions are the key to everything.

Ask a great question, you’ll get a great answer. Something you can work with.

Ask a rubbish question, and you’ll get the answer you deserve.

This is a basic lesson for all door to door salespeople. 

I was standing in the dining room with some friends one day and as I walked out to the hallway there was a knock at the door. When I opened it there was a very presentable middle aged man from a local double glazing/ replacement window company who really should have known better!

“I’m not selling anything.” He said.

What a start! Pull yourself up from that one!

“I happen to be in the area and I notice that you have quite new windows. Are you looking to have any more fitted?”
“So you are selling double-glazing?” I asked.  No point in telling him I had just completed 6 months training three of the Double Glazing companies in the area in how to sell their products more successfully....

“I could give you a quote on some windows. In fact we have an offer on right now that would be hard to beat.” He smiled; unaware that he had exposed his opening statement as a lie. Who buys from liars? (I know, but not obvious liars!)

“How much did these windows cost?” he asked.

I told him it was quite a while ago that they were installed and that I would have to check.  When I came back out I told him it was the windows at front and back of the house and a security door that had come to £11,000.

He then went into, “we could have done it for less, we have special offers, what a shame…” mode.
I asked him to measure up and quote me, as I was curious. This he did and after much tapping on his calculator he looked very sheepish and apologetic and said, "Well, we could have done the same job for £7000!” and produced the calculator with a flourish to prove his point.
“Great!” I said, “I’ll take it. I live over the road. The house is identical.”

I don’t know if you have ever seen, in a cartoon, a characters face change colour like water or sand draining out of a glass but this guy did the same thing. Then he did the motorboat impression.

It took a few seconds but he finally said, “But, I thought you lived here?”
“Why did you think that?” I asked him. “I just opened the door. Shall we go?”

After a few minor adjustments the final bill was £7650. I wonder what it would have been if he had known ‘The Power of a Question’?

Rule one of door to door selling:
“Good morning Sir, are you the homeowner?”....QUALIFY!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Has Your Reality Check Bounced???


Beliefs are, in the majority of cases, a lie. They are not the truth.  The truth has to be experienced. Unless we have experienced something, it is not real.

Sometimes, the truth is so believable; people usually just believe it instead of experiencing it.

Everyone has a belief system.  These systems were formed when we were children.

Here are a few you may recognize:

·         Dad goes to work and Mum stays home to look after the kids.

·         If you’re good you go to heaven.

·         You must eat up your greens.

·         You must eat three square meals a day.

·         Love is never having to say you are sorry.

·         Hard work is good for you.

·         You will never be tall unless you stand up straight

·         You will never amount to anything unless you work hard.

It is probably a result of our ingrained beliefs about what a relationship should be, as opposed to the reality of the actuality of a relationship that has resulted in the high divorce rate.

When we separate what we BELIEVE from what we EXPERIENCE we will begin to run our lives, but not before.

The problem with a belief is that we take it to be the truth.  That’s fine if you imprint a belief in your mind that you will achieve, you can do it, you will attain success….but we have thousands of other beliefs that do not serve us.  Those ‘other’ beliefs are detrimental and if we take THEM to be the truth we could get stuck in them.

In other words most of us persist in thinking and doing what we learnt long ago, rather than acting out of our experience in response to whatever is happening now.

A classic story illustrates this point:

A man watches his wife cutting an inch off the end of the Lamb bone before putting it in the oven to roast.  After watching her do this a few times before, her husband asks her why.  She tells him that her mother always did it that way.  A few weeks later the husband asks his Mother-In-Law why she cuts an inch off the end of the lamb bone.  She tells him, “My mother always did it that way.”  The Grandmother is very old, in her 90’s, and when the husband and wife visit her one day he asks her the same question. “Your granddaughter, and your daughter, cut an inch off the end of the lamb bone before they put the lamb in the oven. They do it because you always did. Why did you do that?”

The old lady looks at the husband and says, “Well, in those days, I had a very small oven and the leg of lamb wouldn’t fit unless I cut an inch off the end of the bone!”

Most people are cutting an inch off the end of something in their lives to fit into an oven that’s no longer too small for it.

Most people are stuck in a melodramatic soap opera of their lives with the same four or five problems they have always had.  The bigger problem is that they continue with beliefs that have been carved into their minds since childhood and they are the reason they keep repeating the behaviour.

Here is a frightening example:
You trip over when you are five years old and cut your knee and your mother says, 'Don't cry; crying is bad," so you don't cry.  Then you have a fall while skiing when you are 17 and you break your leg but you keep a stiff upper lip and you don't cry because crying is bad.  Then when you are 24 you break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, and you really thought that they were 'the one' and you STILL don't cry.
The more you repress your feelings the more your consciousness shuts down.  You become barely alive.  You act like a zombie.  You function mechanically and get a reputation as 'a bit of a cold fish'.
The reality is that as you function mechanically more and more, in some cases, you become successful at it.  Here's a reality check: Mechanical success is not any more satisfying than failure.
I took my psychology training years ago and therapy has always been concerned with the way people are run, or how they function, by what was rather than what is and how to free people from their past.  That never sat comfortably with me.  I know hundreds of people who trained just like me and never questioned it. 
There are 2 reasons they didn't question it:
1. FEAR! As in: 'Don't make waves....if you question it they will flunk you.'
2. Cut the end of the bone off the Leg of Lamb! 
What do I mean by that?  Think about it.  
That's right:  It has ALWAYS been done that way, so there must be a good reason for it.

How does HPT (Human Potential Transformation) differ from Therapy?  Therapy is concerned with curing people of an 'illness' whereas HPT offers people an experience of themselves, and the ability to design a future.
It is evident from my travels and studies, and from the Transformational Change work I have done in the last two years which, I admit, has become more extreme and direct, that Belief Systems are, by and large, a myth.
Belief Systems are created by knowledge or data without experience.
If you experience something, it is real for you.
If you communicate it to somebody, it is real for them because you are expressing your experience.
If they tell it to someone else, it's a lie.  It is merely a belief without the component of experience.
A belief is a very powerful thing.  You can kill or you can cure with one.  I have earned my living for many years training people to believe in themselves, which is good.  You CAN believe in yourself because you have the experience of yourself, you are your own reality.  I can prove to you, from my beliefs, that what I think and see is true.
I ask people what they expect to get out of the training program and the list can be very diverse. Some say they want to get to know themselves, some say they want to make better decisions, have more self confidence, be more decisive, fall in love, be more open, sell more product, be a better leader or manager....
What they ALL have in common is a set of expectations!
They truly believe that their happiness is dependant on more love, money, power, sex, self confidence, etc.  Each has a belief system that relates satisfaction to something they are striving for.
The REALITY is that their happiness is a function of accepting what is, and make it separate from what was and what is to come.
Belief is a structure which can contain very little information in terms of making it useful in your consciousness or well-being.
HPT works on Observation and not Belief.  Observation has nothing to do with the senses, perceptions or belief systems. It only deals with direct experience...REALITY.
One of the core HPT Observations is that Life can be considered to be three foot long, and the first two feet eleven inches are about the material aspects of life (food,clothing and shelter) and what's known as 'psychological needs'. You need someone to love you and someone you can love back. You need self esteem, recognition and respect from others.
After people fill their needs they start to look what it MEANS to fill their needs.  They start to realize that there is no true satisfaction in just filling your needs and they look beyond that.  And THAT is the last inch.  THAT is what HPT is all about.
It is the last inch, that has been cut off the bone again and again.  That Inch is the life changer. 

That last inch is where we discover TRANSFORMATION.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

How Do You Like Your Team In The Morning...Poached or Scrambled?

One of the biggest issues we have as Leaders is our people.  Our teams.

It is not only the recruiting but the retaining of our people that we as leaders have to concentrate on.  What makes a team of people exceptional or, at the very least, effective?

Recruitment is a major issue.  More so than at any other time.  I have never seen so many recruitment companies as there are these days.  When you look at the amount of recruitment sites and companies around you get a clear understanding as to why it is so difficult for people to get a position these days, as sometimes 50 different companies are propelling people towards the same opportunity.

I have been a Sales Trainer and Seminar Leader for almost 25 years.  As a Sales Trainer I can tell you with 100% authority, recruitment of the right people is the biggest issue.  All the sales training in the world will not make someone who is not interested in the role better at it. 

I read a sign once that said ‘You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.  You can lead someone to knowledge but you can’t make them THINK!’

Although it doesn’t rhyme there is also the line ‘You can give someone ability but you can’t make them use it!’ which would fit nicely on the end of that.

As leaders we have to be pretty savvy when interviewing people.  We have to listen very carefully at what the candidate is NOT saying just as much as what they are saying.  We also have to consider that this person may be fantastic at interviews but not at the job itself.

People spend so much time and effort planning and organising a two week vacation but make no plans for the other 50 weeks of the year.  Couples spend so much time, energy and money on a wedding but have no idea how to STAY married.  Likewise, people spend so much time and energy on getting the job when they have no real idea of how to do it or keep it.

One of the most simple and plain truths there is in recruiting the right people is to look for them rather than let them come to you. 

Having a team of people with scrambled abilities and dedication is a nightmare…consistency is what you need.  A company needs a minimum level of ability in its people. 

You may need to consider looking at other companies, other businesses, and target their people.

Hey, controversial huh? 

Poaching?  No!  It is all about giving people alternatives. 

The BEST businesses in the world have the best….….PEOPLE.  Period.  You cannot sit around waiting for these people to come to you.  Go and get them.  Create your team of excellence.  Design and mould a team of infinite ability and then train them in the ways of your company.

It is necessary for your people to have the ability to learn and the mindset of an achiever.  You can give them all the knowledge, tips, techniques, strategies and tools in the world.  They have to be capable at some level already to be able to go to the next stage with you. 

I know that a motivated idiot is the most dangerous person to have in any business.  The saddest is a person with all the ability in the world but no desire to use it.

If you want a high performing business you need to recruit and retain high performing people.  It is a well-known fact that one great person can outperform 100 good people.  Can you imagine the amount of change in a company if just one of the leaders from #HRockstars was recruited by an average business?

The bottom line is this: If you want a team of excellent people you need to hire excellent people.

I visit the Pomme d’Or hotel in Jersey in the Channel Islands every couple of months.  Their staff can never do enough for their guests.  They have a level of service that exceeds excellence.  They call your room every now and then and ask if everything is fine.  There is a smile on the face of every member of the team.

I said to the Manager one day: ‘your people are so friendly, always willing to help and always smiling and happy to see people.  What do you do to train your people to be so friendly?’

She said, ‘We don’t train our people to be friendly.  We just hire friendly people!’

Wow! How simplistic is that?  Of course, that can be translated into ‘We just hire THE RIGHT people.’

Who Are You When No One Is Looking?

In 2010 Domino’s Pizza made a decision to come out and tell the truth about their Pizzas. They agreed that they tasted like cardboard.

In 1991 during a speech to the Institute of Directors, Gerald Ratner, the CEO of Ratner’s Jewellers said ‘People ask, “How can you sell this (earrings) for such a low price?” I say, “because it’s total crap.”’

In both instances the business world was shocked at the honesty. I would assume the shareholders had a ‘moment’ too. Wow! If some leaders could just fake authenticity they would be happy but, there IS no faking it. With Domino’s it’s a consumable but it was only a recipe issue, the quality is not in question, nobody was poisoned, nobody had their health compromised.

With Ratners it WAS purely a quality issue, the goods were not worth the money. Domino’s merely agreed with/confirmed what people had been saying. Ratner admitted something nobody knew for certain. Domino’s continues…Ratners went down the tube.

Authenticity is not an easy subject to tackle and wrestle to the ground. One needs to step outside of conventional thought on authenticity. It takes a lot of courage to discuss authenticity/inauthenticity as it lifts the lid on things we may keep hidden, knowingly or unknowingly. Taking part in this chat will certainly broaden our awareness of ourselves, as a Leader and as a person.

A superficial description of authentic is being real, genuine, the “real deal”, honest. Would you be as honest as Ratners or Domino’s? If your business made a monumental mistake, it’s all very well admitting this to your people but would you admit it to the world, your clients or SKYNEWS? How far does authenticity go before we have to make a stand and be, to all intents and purposes, Inauthentic because the outcome may determine that we cannot be authentic in that instance?

The definition I use of Authenticity is: Being and acting consistent with who you hold yourself out to be for others, and who you hold yourself out to be for yourself.

The central definition is ‘who you hold yourself out to be’. It is NOT your personality, not your thoughts, not your feelings and not social protocols…it is more a DECLARATION that you make, a stand you take on yourself, a commitment to a set of values.

Bill George, Harvard Business School Professor of Leadership and author said:
“After years of studying leaders and their traits, I believe that Leadership begins and ends with authenticity.”

The cold hard truth is that because of certain situations, with certain people, in some ways and at certain times we can all be Inauthentic. Because we avoid at all costs confronting our inauthenticity’s, we are consistently inauthentic about being inauthentic. Is it possible for a person to determine when they are being genuine?

Above all else, Authenticity is CENTRAL to leadership and to being a leader.
Are you authentic all the time? Even when NO ONE is watching?


Monday, 4 November 2013

Nothing to do with Leadership, Business or Personal Development...

But....Is this the FINEST drink ever made?

Time for a remedy to this Flu and Sore Throat Nonsense...

A Bloody Mary made with #MustardVodka, Chilli Tomato juice...#ShakenNotStirred

#NotForWimps #HardCore #ThatsHowIRockAndRoll

Answers on a postcard please....