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A Naked Week – 4

Naked Week – 4 (12 May, 2003)

A Naked Week – 4 (12  May 2003)

The weekly update from David Taylor, author of “The Naked Leader”

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With love and energy



 10        Monday was Imaging and Printing… Not the most exciting subject in the world. I was invited to speak on Leadership and Imaging and Printing in Venice, to 50 IT journalists from all over the world. What an opportunity! To excite an audience whose first language was not English. I played my ace card at the start – the titanic joke (IT-Director missing by two years) – I gave it everything I had – no response whatsoever.

Half way through I got my breakthrough – a chap in the second row started laughing – uncontrollably. Trouble was, I was making a serious point at the time.

And so I reach my final slide – “The seven conspiracies of success.” My brain worked furiously, do I get through these fast and sit down, or do I step this whole thing up, ten fold, and really go for it?  I chose to step it up. I acknowledged what a great audience they had been, and invited them now to let go and relax if they wanted to, and then I ran through the seven conspiracies with every ounce of energy, passion and belief that I could. And it worked, they came alive.

Afterwards I reflected how often in the past I would have chosen to get the presentation over with and sit down, and how an audience will always respond to you if you really believe and care about what you are saying, no matter what the subject.

Afterwards a journalist from Russia came up to me and said “well done, David, congratulations, now, can you tell me why Hewlett Packard sell more PCs in Russia than they do in Germany…

 09        The Celestine Prophecy is not liked by all…as an e-mail received this week shows…

“I must take you to task for what I consider a serious error of judgement. I refer to your recommendation of The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. I’ve come across some rubbish in my time but this ranks as The Worst Book That I Have Ever Read. This is the kind of work that Dorothy Parker once said “…is not a book to be tossed aside lightly, it should be thrown with great force”. The quality of the writing was a disgrace and the subject matter ludicrous. Not that I’m knocking the notion of synchronicity, it forms a vital part of our self-belief, but Redfield does it a disservice by dressing it up in his third rate Lost Horizon style attempt at a novel.”

08        On Tuesday I told my son, Anthony what my maths teacher had once told me – “it is not possible to put two positives together and make a negative”.

Anthony replied “Yeah, right”

07        Most of last week…We continued filming ‘Working Wonders’ the Carlton TV series that goes into companies for two days each and makes business / leadership / IT suggestions.

We have two programmes completed (“in the can”!!) and are half way through the third. They will be shown on Thursdays at 7.30pm from 19th June (up against EastEnders – oh dear) in the Carlton London and Midlands regions.

We have so far visited a furniture manufacturer in High Wycombe, an Organic Gastro pub in London and as I write this are half way through a cruise company on the Thames. I am working with a lady called Cesarina, and neither of us know what company we will be visiting, in advance.

Three biggest laughs so far – Cesarina and I had a disagreement on approach right at the start – and we sorted it out – unfortunately we had both been miked up so the crew could hear every word of our conversation…At the organic pub I upset the owner by speaking to some customers who had not given permission to be filmed. To make it up to her I tasted some food she had prepared – I decided whatever it was I would love it! – It was Salmon Tartare (raw salmon) with a raw egg in the middle! Apparently my face gave away my real feelings…And for the present filming the company’s headquarters are floating on a pontoon – it was bizarre interviewing the Operations Manager as he moved up and down before my eyes!

And finally, always remember…if you are working behind the camera you are “working” and if you are in front of the camera you are “filming”

06        WOW Web-Site – www.alexa.comCheck it out, and next time someone claims their web-site gets massive numbers of hits, really check it out…

05        Top Three Films…The votes keep on coming. Newly nominated films this week include Tin Cup, Toy Story and The Ramayana. The top three are The Lion King, Dead Poet’s Society and Gladiator – with just two weeks to go…

04        Quote of the week

“Real progress cannot happen without the driving force of ideals. It is through the world of work, not just through law or politics, that we will make the good society”

Abraham Maslow

(Thanks to Geetie)

 03        On Thursday…Book 1, mass market edition…arrived…Thank you to everyone who has helped make this happen, in particular Simon Benham, Chris Redmond and everyone at Capstone and Transworld. The book goes on sale in the UK on Thursday 3rd July. Forgive me mentioning this in my week but when you see your own book in print it is an amazing feeling, like holding a new baby…

02        At a recent conference Bill Gates reportedly compared the
computer industry with the auto industry and stated, “If GM had kept up with
technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00
cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon”.

In response to Bill’s comments, General Motors issued a press release
stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be
driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
3. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single “This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation” warning light.
4. The airbag system would ask “Are you sure?” before deploying.
5. Occasionally your car! would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue.  For some reason you would simply accept this.

01        As promised last week – Woking FC…picture the scene – the final match on the final day of the season, the team have to win to avoid relegation. I had been working with them for several weeks, and gained their trust. Now, I had to deliver something very special.

I watched Kenneth Branagh’s speech in Henry 5th as inspiration – and these are the exact words I delivered. They are dedicated to Glenn Cockerill and all of his team, who responded on the day by winning 3-0, and staying in the conference.

If these words made any difference, it is down to the team and Shakespeare, not to me…

 (Background – the team had just drawn nine games in a row after a losing spell and were under much criticism for not turning those draws into wins…)

“All right lads – well done on your nine undefeated games, nine undefeated games. And just in case I forget to say later on, I’d like to say thank you for inviting me into your dressing room over the last few games, home and away. Thank you – it has been outstanding to work with you all and if there is anything I can help you with individually during the summer, please let me know.

Well, they don’t come much bigger than this. The Chairman asked me on Monday – ‘taking into account all of your experience, David, what do we have to do on Saturday.’ And I said, ‘we have to win.’

And so it is all down to the last ninety minutes, all down to the here and now, all down to you.

It really doesn’t matter how you as an individual believe we got into this position – you only have to read five different papers to get five different reasons – the changes in managers, the pitch, luck…it really doesn’t matter what has happened before, all that matters now, all that matters, is that you win today. Also, let’s only think about our game – today – I know there are some complicated mathematics that tell us we can win today and still go down, but they don’t matter – if we don’t win today we will go down, so winning is the only possibility. It is still in our hands.

I want to talk just for a few seconds about The Zone, I’ve touched on The Zone before – it is the most powerful area available to you today, right now, if you so choose. It is entirely your choice. Sometimes when you approach a big game fear and nerves can kick in – long before match day. This week has been the longest week of my life, so I would imagine for all of you it’s lasted about a year. Basically The Zone is the complete opposite of fear – it is the place where you know, you absolutely know, that every pass you make will be on target, when you shoot at goal it will be on target – The Zone is the place where you stop playing football and you start being a footballer – you just are a footballer – you don’t have to think about what you are doing because it happens, naturally.

Now, we’ve talked about the Zone as a team, about being unstoppable as a team every time you see or feel your shirts, but we haven’t spoken about The Zone for you as an individual. You are all very different individuals, each with different feelings, different hopes and fears.

If you choose to take this on board you will find it so powerful, so awesome, that the results will astound you. It works, every time – this is not spoon bender time, or magic, or anything w-e-i-r-d, it works because it is how we work as individual human beings. It works because of our association with things – you remember what I shared with you at Halifax – that if I put a piece of music on now that meant something to you when you were younger, you would feel exactly as you did then, you would have the same feelings, automatically.

Now, the way to enter the Zone is very very simple:

At any time between now and kick-off at 3 o’clock that you feel really inspired – it might be as you get changed, it might be when you do the team huddle, it could be at any time you choose, anytime you feel absolutely fantastic between now and 3 o’clock listen to how you are feeling, see how strong you are, feel the energy inside you.

And then pump up those feelings of energy, passion and power, and keep pumping them up, and when you feel totally unstoppable, absolutely awesome, just touch your thumb and first finger together, like this.

That’s it – just do it when you feel amazing and wonderful, and I promise you, I absolutely promise you, at any time during the match today, at any time during the game, that you make the same action, you will feel those feelings of energy, passion and power rush all over you. And it will happen automatically.

It only works, and it is available to you right now. And it is your choice. When you are in the Zone as individuals you will be in the Zone as a team – you will go towards their goal like a tidal-wave.

I tell you, one team that comes here to Kingfield this season is due a whacking, they really are – if you look at the way you have played together over the last ten weeks, one team is going to be on the receiving end of that – and it will be today.

You may not believe this, but I believe a lot of players would love to be in your shoes today, because you are about to play a match with real meaning. Not one of these boring end-of-season mid-table matches.

You are the chosen few.

You are the chosen few that are going out here, together, on Saturday 26th April.

You will remember this afternoon for the rest of your lives. You will remember it whatever the result, every single day, so you may as well win it and remember it well.

In years to come you will put your children, your grandchildren, on your knee, and say to them ‘I was there – I was there, at Kingfield, on Saturday 26th April, when all of the hard work, belief and commitment finally came together, I was part of that team.’

Gentleman, it has been a real privilege to work with you, a real honour, and if you would be ever so good as to go out today and win, I know a whole town who will be personally very grateful

Thank You.”


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