Use this framework to put decision-making theory into practice

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…

Simon climbing a mountain
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…

A father and son walking together
Image by Olya Adamovich from Pixabay

The pain of separation and the bittersweet uncertainty of reunion

The sun danced among the ripples of the River Thames as I crossed Chelsea Bridge. But my eyes did not register the stunning view of London. My gaze was fixed inward, thinking about my 14-month-old son. I was on the way to meet him, with my wife, in Battersea Zoo.

The absence

I had been away. Duty called and I went. That was just life in the military. It has always been that way. It is the expectation; the reality for all who serve. But knowing all that does not make it any easier for anyone; particularly those who are left behind…

What servant leadership really is and how it starts

A father and son on a walk
Photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

I never really thought about the leadership ability of my father until I became a leader in my own right. I certainly did not fully appreciate his role as a leader until I became a parent. This was mostly because — when growing up — I never really thought of my dad, and what he did as a father, as a leadership position. To me, leaders were the loud, larger than life characters who led countries, armies, or large corporations. Back then I had a very narrow view of leadership.

My father was not the archetypal leader. He was not…

Japanese painting of a volcano
roberthuffstutter on Flickr

A Haiku Synopsis of the best leadership and management books

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…

Leading with three balls and a management “picsie”

A man leading the way through the jungle
Photo by juan mendez from Pexels

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…

Typewriter writing ‘Power’
Power by Nick Youngson Alpha Stock Images

A simple, proven approach to effectively structure your writing process

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. …

The feet of someone walking
Photo by Nicholas Githiri from Pexels

Why taking a short walk can help you to re-set, re-energise and re-ignite

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. …

Fortunately, evidence and experience shows that we can all learn to be better leaders

Two toddlers sitting on the grass: are they born leaders?
Are leaders born or bred? (Photo by Pixabay)

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?

Unhealthy Comparisons

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…

Simon Ash

Top Writer in Leadership. Lover of adventure. Fascinated by questions and decision making.

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