CorporateCoach eNewsletter

Issue No. 37, 1st December 2003


  1. Editorial: I failed the bagel test
  2. Book review: Most People Only Try – I make sure

1.     Editorial: I failed the bagel test

Richard Winfield - editor and principal consultant

Last week's issue included a review of The Trick to money is Having Some, which is about being open to receiving money. It is a book that I have recently read and, at a recent meeting, Andrew Halfacre and Cliff Edwards had been teasing me about my own willingness to accept gifts.

Last week Andrew and I were walking through London to a meeting with Cliff when a man stepped out waving vouchers. "Would you like a free bagel." he said. My instinctive reaction was to say no, and to walk on. Andrew said "Why not?" took the voucher and was then able to go into a shop up the street and collect his free bagel. By which time, my stomach was rumbling!

A lesson learned the practical way!

This week's book review is full of practical advice. Author Karl George gives you seven tried and tested steps that, if taken, will increase dramatically your chances of success. He concludes by commenting "Many people are given good advice but the ones who profit from it are those who are prepared to take action." The comments that rang a bell with me concerned keeping a journal to record goals and progress. It is one of those things I have been intending to do for many a year. Another point that kept cropping up in the book was about the value he had gained from people who had been prepared to act as mentors to him.

I was on the train back to London later in the week when a lady opposite was having a 'public' mobile phone conversation. Of course, I could only hear her side of the conversation. At one point she said "I suppose it is all right as long as you win more than you lose." Sounds logical - but wrong. All experience shows that the winners in life are those who keep losing. They try more, fail more and succeed more. It is not the ratio that matters. It is the net outcome.

Christmas is coming - a time when relationships are particularly important, and, maybe, stressed. I have found a web site that might be of interest. Have a look at Ever Evolve's friendship game. Print out the web pages and cut up the questions into 'cards', then take turns answering them. You will find other games for your family too.



Following a very successful scenario planning workshop in Washington DC this year, Brefi Group has been awarded a major contract to manage and facilitate a scenario planning programme next year for one of Britain's major industries.

This comes in the same week as we have won a contract to customise our CorporateFeedbacktraining needs analysis service for 99 leaders taking part in a management development programme. The on-line service will be customised for three management grades drawing on our pool of standard competencies as well as specific in-house competencies developed by the client.

And, as one mentoring project ends, a new executive coaching client emerges. C'est la vie.

2.     Book review: Most People Only Try - I make sure, Karl George
Most People Only Try - I make sure

I first met Karl George at the launch of his book, Most People Only Try - I make sure, a couple of weeks ago. He is not what you expect of an accountant. More an American preacher. And he preached hard about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Anderson KBS (KBS stands for Knowledge Based Support) focuses on owner managed businesses and offers succession planning, business development and training, and performance coaching and mentoring, as well as traditional accountancy services.

Karl is a high flier, having been Carlton TV's Young Business Midlander of the Year, Birmingham's Young Professional of the Year, and Black Business in Birmingham's Achiever of the Year. These are matched by a series of voluntary business appointments.

Most People Only Try – I make sure is a small book that you can carry around in your pocket or handbag. Karl shares my view that business is simple. He says he can justify saying this because "I know that the important rules of business are simple." In his various capacities as accountant, business advisor, lecturer and trainer he has had exposure to countless businesses and the people who run them. But simple does not mean easy. His book contains simple strategies to help you achieve business success. If you have been in business for some time, you will find techniques, information and exercises that will help you to develop. If you are starting a business, this book will help you to deploy specific strategies that will pave the way for successful development. It is an unusual combination of personal development and accountancy advice.

The book is written around seven strategies: -

  • Motivation
  • Positive set
  • Organisation
  • Technique
  • Investment
  • Mentoring
  • Self

It concludes with a check list of 67 ways to help you succeed as a business owner.

Here is an extract from the motivation section. I have seen many of these questions before but many others are new to me. Enjoy!

Power Questions

  1. What are the five things that you value most in your life?
  2. What are the three most important goals in your life?
  3. What would you do if you won a million pounds?
  4. Waht would you do if you had no physical or mental limitations?
  5. What would you do with your life if you only had six months to live?
  6. What have you always wanted to do, but been afraid to attempt?
  7. Looking back over all the things you have done, what has made you feel most important?
  8. If you could be granted one wish, what would it be?
  9. What would you do if you knew that you could not fail?
  10. What is the major purpose in your life?
  11. What are your strengths? List three.
  12. What are your weaknesses? List three.
  13. If you could be granted one skill or ability, what would it be? For example: the ability to speak a language, paint, play music, be a good tennis player.
  14. What gives you the greatest pleasure and satisfaction in your life?
  15. What legacy would you like to leave?
  16. What three things have you been putting off that would enable you to get your affairs in order?
  17. In your ideal life, how often would you pray to and worship God?
  18. If you chose your food on nutritional value, what items that you currently eat would you eliminate?
  19. Who is living the life you admire?
  20. Describe what you think it is like to live that life.
  21. Who is doing the kind of work you wish to do?
  22. Imagine you are very old and a child asks, "What are you most proud of about your life?" What would you answer?
  23. Your life has resulted in three things changing in the world. What are they?

You can order Most People Only Try from Amazon or, for immediate despatch, from Andersons KBS, tel: 0121 236 6789.



Dear Editor

Perhaps, if that 'time and effort committed' (see last week's editorial) is focused on producing a 'quality output' which is of course in the eye of the beholder. All the more relevant to the substance of your article: that our time would be more productively spent in developing mutually beneficial client-vendor partnerships.

In line with these sentiments, I've sometimes wondered why organizations feel obligated to go through a competitive tendering or a external recruitment exercise for a fixed term contract when they probably know someone – or have already decided on someone – who can provide the service or do the job. In this part of the world, it's likely to mandated by statutory or policy requirements. In that cynical yet descriptive cliche, 'Being seen to be fair.'

As you've pointed out, that approach is actually unfair. Even to those who might be perceived as offering 'second rate' proposals.


Scott G. Welch
CAVU Performance Solutions

Dear Editor

Agree with Marg Lennon and Bill Ford's compliments (last week) on
the Corporate Coach Magazine.

I can say that it is an OASIS in the busy desert to
inspire me on little tricks, both training and
management skills, especially for those live in Hong
Kong (a busy and stressful city).

best wishes,

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