Monday, 7 January 2013

New Year Break

Today is my first day back after my New Years Break. This week in the sun is important for lots of reasons. It gives me the chance to recover after the festive excess and eat some good quality food.I also stay off the booze and every year commit to not drinking for the rest of the year.

It also gives me the chance to reflect on the previous year and look toward the year ahead. I always find it is easier to do this without the day to day distractions which happen in a normal working week. 2012 was a year of change and we now have greater clarity as to how the future will pan out.

I always finalise our strategy for the coming year on this break and start to put the plans and communications is place. It is always useful to use the work produced during this week as a benchmark for the year ahead. Its good to review which plans worked out and which needed to be changed.

Holidays are also a time for reading.I had saved up some great books for this trip. I managed to get through quite a few.

Firstly I read the book by the British CEO of Olympus who resigned after he found some accounting irregularities.A great story and well worth a read.

I then read a great book by Stephanie Shirley called Let it Go. Hers is an amazing story.From a Second World War refugee to multi millionaire.The best part of her story is how she has given away over £100 million in her lifetime.

What I find interesting about business biographies by women is that they are far more open than stories written by their male counterparts.They seem to include far more about personal pressures and the struggles they have had.Other good examples are Hilary Devey and Rachael Elenough. I would exclude Karen Brady from this who seems to have more of a masculine ego.

In contrast to Let it go which is about Philanthropy i read CityBoy which is a humorous read.It is the story of the excesses of the city during the boom. it tells us of all of the things we thought and several which we didnt.

The other books included the new Richard Branson book which is a good short stories type book. I also read Eddie Jordans book as I was intrigued to find out where the money came from. The story is relatively straightforward with it all coming from his passion for motor racing. Not of a great interest to me!

I am writing this on the very early train into London looking forward to 2013! Happy new Year everyone.