Do you need a motivational speaker for your business, church or school to deliver information and inspiration? Stress, burn-out, no zest for your work, anxiety, low morale, cynicism and lack of direction are all common complaints in modern life. I focus on helping people work through these issues with inspiration, relatability and a healthy dose of wit. You will leave my sessions feeling refreshed, engaged and above all, with a new perspective on life. I want to help you make impactful changes today that will last well into the future.
SIX EXEMPLARS OF POPULAR THEMES
Most event organisers prefer to discuss their concerns and build bespoke training out of a conversation. Themes are conceived on an event by event basis according to the needs of the community, staff or volunteers. As a guide, the following themes are offered to get the imagination working. The content of sessions evolve all the time. Please see the endorsements page to see the impact this work has had.
1. Why bother? Good reasons to get out of bed in January
Over the course of a career there can be a strong temptation to replace enthusiasm with cynicism as though cynicism is more intelligent. Enthusiasm can be perceived as naive. If we are not very careful an over emphasis upon performance data can ultimately create anxious pupils and increasingly cynical staff. The problem with a utilitarian view of education is that it reduces the educative task to preparing children for an employment market; subsequently children become data, parents behave like clients, teachers become operatives and head teachers become business managers. Whilst there is no doubt that a good education should prepare people for work, the risk is that if this becomes our only focus we lose a sense of the dignity, worth and integrity of people and the joy of learning. Let’s look at how we get the right balance.
2. Can we enjoy this? – Motivating Your Volunteers
It is the easiest thing in the world to concentrate on how to do something and forget why. Once the “Why” gets lost the detail takes over, anxiety increases and inadequacy kicks in. Volunteers often suffer from this problem. The long-term symptoms become a lack of recruitment, a decrease in basic enjoyment and a feeling of ineffectiveness. This session is designed to help volunteers get back to the basic purpose of what they do, draw energy from it and get excited about it. The slowly emerging confidence and joy is infectious. In parish settings these sessions can be used to help the wider community draw upon their own calling or re-ignite an existing group such as catechists, readers, or carers.
3. Don’t they know how busy we are? Do we really need an ethos day?
There is a danger of becoming overly obsessed about regulation and procedure at the expense of our morale. Organisations so often get caught up with heightened expectations and produce initiative overload. Can we become better at what we do by focusing on virtue as much as improvement? What might a focus upon virtues do and what would it look like for a diligent staff with little or no time for reflection? An inclusive and non-threatening day, the sessions look for wisdom in an era of increasing professional anxiety. The day does not denigrate the search for improvement, but sets achievement goals within broader and ultimately more dignified mission.
4. The Power of Vulnerable Leadership
It is not surprising that in an era of unrelenting accountability and intolerance of failure the search for leaders has become problematic. Most leaders will tell you that they thought they knew what their role would be until they day they met with the reality. In these sessions we explore leadership in a faith context. Could leadership be more exciting, rewarding and daring than we first imagined? These sessions draw upon scripture, tradition, the mystics and contemporary spiritual writers to help us discern the unique contribution leaders are called to make. The sessions can be adapted for head teacher conferences, school administrators, middle to senior leadership teams, or aspirant leaders. It also works in non-school settings. The sessions do not impose a one-size fits all mantra but helps each individual consider how the Gospels can inspire and help sustain and strengthen them in the face of the unexpected.
5. Schools as places of Faith, Hope and Love
What can Church schools offer to non-church families, staff with little or no theological formation, and in a society which views religion with suspicion? In the sessions we will explore the milieu that surrounds children and young people and the influence it is having upon them. Drawing upon recent research, the sessions touch upon the hunger for meaning and purpose in a culture which lacks a meta-narrative (A reason for all things). Rather than proposing that Church schools are irrelevant and divisive, the session proposes that faith schools are more necessary and their task more urgent than ever. Spiritual restlessness and religious misunderstanding is prolific. The sessions are not divisive and will encourage your staff, regardless of their religious disposition, to see that they can play a role in enabling the children or young people to strive to be wise and discerning as well as popular and wealthy.
6. Can what matters to me matter to my children?
James Dobson wrote “Having a child makes you no more of a parent than having a piano makes you a pianist.” He is right. Parenting is a life-long challenge filled with unexpected joy and sorrow. In these sessions we look at the wonderfully complicated family lives we lead and consider what we can offer parents to help them flourish. Should parents let their children make their own mind up about everything or do they have a responsibility to set an example? Let us consider together the challenges our family lives present to us and ask ourselves whether what matters to us can ever matter to our children?