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…
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:
My name is Simon Ash. Pleased to meet you!
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…
There are lots of list of the best leadership and management books such as those on Google, Soundview and Amazon. I have compared these against the recommendations of Time magazine, and the New York Times bestsellers lists to come up with an integrated list that I can personally vouch for, having read all of the titles.
All these books are great resources of wisdom and practical advice for leaders and managers, and I would recommend you read them all. But, with busy lives and so many books to read, where should you start?
Hopefully these pithy summaries can help. I…
It seemed I was surrounded by things that wanted to harm me. There were spiders in the bushes, poisonous snakes in the trees, and scorpions underfoot. I was being bitten by insects, fried by the heat, and scratched by thorns. It was therefore an unexpected opportunity to test a leadership model. Testing some theoretical approach was not at the forefront of my mind just then though. I was too busy getting flayed by the local flora and fauna.
My machete sang as I cut the track through the jungle undergrowth. The noise startled a toucan, and I looked up to…
There is lots of advice on writing and examples of writing processes available, but they are not always easy to remember. POWER UP is a helpful acronym to remember the advice and steps of the writing process.
This is the process I use which has helped me write regularly for publications such as Better Humans, Start it up, Mind Café, The Ascent and more besides. It has led to 80% of my writing getting accepted for publications and wider distribution over the past two months. …
Whenever I feel I am losing my calm, hitting a mental block in creativity or needing some clarity of thought I go for a quick walk. I love long walks but sometimes just stepping away from the desk and outside for 5–10 minutes is all that is needed.
As walking is a gentle exercise it gives us the chance to release pent up mental stress without over-stressing the body in doing so. Walking beyond the confines of our workspace also changes our environment and therefore also our perspective. …
What does a leader look like? What qualities or traits should they have? Commonly people will say a leader should be, ‘tall, attractive, confident, charismatic, and intelligent’ But if this is the case it makes us all wonder; do we have what it takes to be a leader?
I found this stereotype of leadership very troubling when I was younger, particularly when I directly compared myself to this list and some leaders that ticked all the boxes.
Handsome Alexander the Great had unified (subdued) Greece by the age of 20 and the charismatic Joan of Arc led the relief of…
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.
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…
The rope snaked out in front of me, linking me to my three climbing buddies. I could see each one, in turn, slowly progressing up the ridge. The problem was that they were getting harder to see. The lead climber was beginning to fade into the mist as she scaled higher up the peak. It was getting darker too. Not a good sign.
We had started our Alpine climb in the sunshine but had been scrambling up the ridge for hours. While we had been edging up the rock, ominous clouds were forming on the far side of the mountain…