Simon in his natural element

A short bio of Simon Ash

Hi and welcome!

Let me introduce myself. Let’s start with the two most common questions people ask someone when meeting someone for the first time. Usually these are:

‘What is your name?’ and ‘what do you do?’

So, let me answer these in turn:

Who am I?

My name is Simon Ash. Pleased to meet you!

What do I do?

Professionally I am a writer, podcaster, public speaker, leadership coach, strategy consultant, entrepreneur, business owner and Army Officer. As you can see, I like variety in my work, but I have a particular interest and expertise in decision-making and leadership development.

My other roles include husband and…

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Sage advice for leaders from an entrepreneur, best-selling leadership author, and Master Executive Coach

Nick Chatrath is an entrepreneur, Managing Director and Master Executive Coach. He has worked for McKinsey and Company, been a business founder and a CEO. He has a PhD from Oxford University and has co-authored a best-selling leadership book. He has coached MBA students, politicians, special forces soldiers and CEOs. In other words, he knows what he is talking about!

Apart from being a serial over-achiever, he is also my coach and friend! Here are some key lessons that I have learned from my discussions and coaching with Nick.

Leaders need to take time to reflect

When you speak to Nick you realise that being is at…

Being self-aware requires time. What’s more, to connect thoughtfully, spiritually and emotionally with ourselves (let alone others and our environment) does not always come easily.

Therefore, it is important to find ways we can be more mindful in everyday activities. The exemplar of using mundane activities as spiritual opportunities was probably Brother Lawrence (author of The Practice of the Presence of God) who was able to pray while doing the dishes. I, for one, struggle with achieving this level of mindfulness.

Where I do feel more naturally thoughtful and mindful is when outdoors. …

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Acts of leadership are more important than leadership roles

Here is a challenging thought: what if there are no leaders, just acts of leadership?

We often think about leadership as a role, but maybe this designation misses out on large aspects of what leadership really is.

It makes us question how we define a leader. What is leadership? Is it an identity, a measure of influence or the impact we have?

Leadership as identity

So what? What if there is no such thing as a leader?

The first time I heard this, everything inside cried out no! There was a rebellion at the very idea. After all, I am a leader. …

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Superheroes and the problem with the ‘Great Man’ theory of leadership

I heard the crack as my collarbone gave way. Surely this should not happen to a superhero. Where had I gone wrong?

Scroll back 30 seconds.

A Superhero in training

My cape billowed behind me. This was mainly because my Superman suit was too big and there was a draft in the hall. But the steely look on my face, that was 100% genuine.

The family was watching television, but not me. I laughed at their weakness. Mortals! They would watch greatness on the screen, but I would achieve greatness, right here in the hallway of our home.

This was no time for sitting…

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Is there a difference between great leaders and good leaders?

It only takes a quick scan of the media to see that some of the ‘great’ leaders of the world are deeply flawed. There are countless examples of politicians whose integrity is being questioned or business leaders who have pursued profit at the expense of everything else.

Yet these leaders have risen to prominence in our society. They could be defined as great, even effective in some ways, but are they actually good? And if they are not good, how have they risen so high?

The crisis in leadership

There have been plenty of…

Author on The Dragon’s Back Race

The Best Kit for Multi-day Ultra-Marathons

Want to know what kit to use for an ultra trail race? Here are recommendations and the best kit available for The Dragons Back and similar multi-day ultra-marathon races.

While preparing for the Berghaus Dragons Back Race in 2019 I was asked a lot of questions about the best kit and equipment to use while ultra-running. With endurance events opening up again I am getting another stream of similar questions and I thought there maybe other people out there who could benefit from my experience, hence this post!

So, I listed the kit I used through training and in the…

Use this framework to put decision-making theory into practice

A photo of the author next to a helicopter in Bosnia.
A photo of the author next to a helicopter in Bosnia.
At work in Bosnia. Photo courtesy of the author.

I was savouring a coffee from my new coffee maker when a wide-eyed and breathless soldier stumbled into my makeshift office. My cup was poised in my hand — the aroma was fantastic — and the thought of drinking it was more alluring than anything I could imagine that this soldier might interrupt me with. This had better be good, I thought.

“Sir! The guards think there is a bomb at the gates to the camp!”

I put the cup down; coffee time was over.

I started out my career as a bomb disposal officer in the Army. From there…

Getting it wrong with royalty and what it taught me

Photo by Jamie McCaffrey on flickr

Getting it wrong with royalty and what it taught me

Like many, I was shocked and saddened to read that HRH Prince Philip had died. I had the pleasure of meeting him just once. It was just one of his estimated 22,219 solo engagements, so I am just one of the many thousands of people that the Duke of Edinburgh met in his many years of public service.

A Royal encounter

My fleeting encounter with the Duke of Edinburgh was at the passing-out parade at Welbeck College. …

The Worrying Nature of the Arrest of Prince Hamzah

On Saturday, 3rd April, it was revealed that Prince Hamzah had been placed under house arrest. The revelation was made by the Prince himself who had managed to record a video message that was passed on by his lawyer to the BBC.

Hamzah’s Video Message and The Accusations Against Him

In the video the Prince said that the Jordanian Chief of the General Staff warned him that he was “not allowed to go out, to communicate with people or to meet with them.”

Simon Ash

Lover of adventure. Fascinated by questions and decision making. Also a leadership coach, writer and podcaster.

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