It was a normal Sunday, chauffeuring and watching the boys play football in the morning, coming home to a Sunday family lunch, all sitting together listening to the plans for the week ahead.  With 2 teenagers and 3 at junior school, the conversation was let’s say, random. It was a time for me to do my dad bit as the next two weeks I’d be in another country and there was nothing unusual in that, as my job involved lots of travelling.

It was pretty late and long after the kids had gone to bed that I got a fax saying “I know it’s late but give me a call when you get this. Cheers, Rusty”. An innocuous fax and a short call later was nothing special but it started a change that would be a defining moment in my future. The phone call was a brief discussion about my meeting schedule that had to change because the drawings weren’t ready and so the meetings at the beginning of my trip would now be held at the end of the trip. The upshot meant I had two days in the office and now would just travel on Wednesday.

Wednesday 12 September 2001 was the day I was flying to Houston to finalise the handover of the USA operation. But I never made it to airport because the day before was 9/11/2001 or simply just 9/11, a day all the world will remember. As the cliché goes, it was first day of the rest of my life.

if you can change your mindPrior to that I’d had a very successful career mostly in the oil & gas industry and before that came cement manufacture and construction. I was lucky that I had been exposed to all sorts of opportunities from learning what made the business tick and it’s commercial foundations to financing and restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, starting new business ventures and exiting others. I also had bosses that were great leaders, although in my early career I didn’t really know what leadership was, as it wasn’t a term frequently used. As I know what Leadership means now, I also now know they were great leaders and they had one thing in common, they believed in me. I was hungry to learn and do new things and they would always give me the chance to do them.

So in the aftermath of the 9/11 disaster, at the ripe old age of 42 I started to think differently and it was pretty radical even for me. I knew I couldn’t change things overnight as I had a wife and family to support but my new path was set in motion, even though I had no idea what twists and turns that path might have.

But I was going to go out there and change the world.

Along that journey I stumbled into a networking event with a key note speaker talking about improving performance. Now I was lucky because in the oil industry I not only had lots of practical on the job experience of leadership and teamwork, but the training courses were second to none. One crisis management course I recall taught me to escape from an upturned helicopter – which in itself needs little training as survival is an inbuilt mechanism in the human body!

The person giving this keynote speech was one Graham Williams who proved to me in 45 minutes that anyone could do whatever they wanted within reason, if they really wanted to. Now I had believed that already, and had done it and proving the same to myself, but what this guy was saying had a science behind it. At the time the thought came to me that anyone could do it if they only realised it was actually scientific and dare I say it, it was a way that guaranteed success.

What I’ve subsequently learned in the last 8 years is that you can actually apply that science to anything you do, and be the best you can be. The only provision to that is, you have to want it.

wes-craven-quote-that-day-changed-my-lifeThe change and my new path I started 16 years ago found what I was after all along although until the last few years I didn’t believe I had found it. I had to prove what I’d found would work in the most difficult and complex of situations. Over the past few years Graham, myself and the small team we’ve built haven’t proven it everywhere, but we’re a long way in doing so. I believe what we found was the missing link in helping people really succeed and hence the missing piece in the jigsaw.

We all know that people with the right positive mental attitude and a will to succeed are the ingredients that are vital to improvement and success. So when you hit a brick wall, you have the ability to scale it, go round it, over it or knock it down to continue your path.  I believed I’d found the missing link so anyone could be that way.

When I met Massimo on LinkedIn on 22nd April 2014, little did I know that when we met some 8 months later in London he’d already had a similar idea to help people be the best they can be.

For lots of reasons it’s taken a while to put it together on this website in a way we thought would be the most helpful for others to take on board. To start changing their lives and being in control of their future and helping all thse around them. As we know the world is changing. Travel and the internet have made it a far smaller, more accessible planet than at any time in history. That opens up lots more opportunities than I could have dreamed of as a child. To take advantage of the opportunities, we have to be personally ready to see them, and then choose to take them.

I ask leaders and managers of all organisations “Do people go to work to fail?” which is a simple if leading question as who will answer “Yes!”? So why is it we don’t help people really succeed and be happier? So if leaders and managers are helping people succeed then perhaps the best way is for people to know they can be the best they can be and happier too?

What I learned in 2001 was that I really had a choice. So what’s yours?