It's a Myth

From the Desk of Caspar

The Belief Myth

How often have we heard the advice that says “you’ve just got to believe”? It seems so tantalisingly simple.  You think to yourself, yes of course that’s right, yes I just need to believe this thing and it will happen.

When you’re struggling to figure something out, being told you’ve just got to believe can be the most frustrating and unhelpful advice there. 

If it was so easy, I’d already be doing it! The idea is perpetuated when we hear successful people being interviewed and they say things like “I just always knew - I always believed this would happen”.

Well that’s great for them, but what if you don’t feel that way? I know how I felt when I used to hear that advice: if that’s the best advice, then it doesn’t really move me forwards. In fact it just makes things worse because I don’t know how to “just believe”.

My idea is that belief isn’t something you are magically anointed with it and it just appears. For a select few people, perhaps it does. It certainly didn’t just appear for me. I had to create and manufacture my own belief.

It started with creating a story. A story of the future. A story that I got obsessive over and ingrained into my subconscious mind. A story that I spent so much time imagining that it literally became real in my mind. 

Tip: Creating belief is a process that takes time as you obsess and shape yourself and your team in order to make it happen. The starting point is a story that excites you. 

Silence

Reading a brilliant book this week which I got as a birthday gift. It's called Silence by Erling Kagge. It talks about where you find silence both internally an externally.

For me, it’s on the sea. 

Where do you go to find silence?

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In The Spotlight

Two interesting podcasts to share this week. 

The first one with David Lawrence on his Vine Resources show talking about what it takes to sell a business whilst sailing the world.

The second one with NYU Professor Josh Spodek, Leadership and the Environment. The truth with this one is this is the podcast I didn’t want to do. In fact I tried to cancel it because I hadn’t done what I have said I would. Josh encouraged me to come and share the stories anyway because it's a struggle that so many people face when looking at how we make a difference when it comes to the environment.

Up The Game

Why surrounding yourself with people smarter and playing at a higher level than you is such a good idea

  1. If you are curious and open minded, its virtually impossible to not learn something.

  2. It will do you no harm if you choose to focus on something you can do to add value to each person in that group.

  3. It’s scientifically proven that your brain waves get in sync and you benefit just from that alone.

  4. You’ll almost certainly get access to new opportunities that you wouldn’t have got before.

Tip: You get the life of the 5 people you spend most time with. Be strategic and deliberate about where you choose to spend your time.

Thrive Life Summit

It’s less than a month away. The final event I will be running this year. How to Thrive both at home and at work by creating the story that excites you. 

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It will be super practical ways to make it happen and avoid the guaranteed pitfalls and roadblocks on the journey.

It’s going to be the best one yet. Packed with all the new research and ideas I’ve been developing.

It’s been my birthday this week and I’m feeling the birthday love. For the next 48 hours, the price is discounted from £795 to just £495+vat per person.

It comes with a risk free guarantee: From the feedback and reactions from previous attendees, we know and see the impact this event has. Don’t just take my word for it. If by the end of Day 1, you’re not delighted you’ve made the right choice to attend, I’ll happily refund every penny.

The date - September 16 and 17.

The event details are here

Reply to this email to see if we still have places available.

If you’re ready after the summer to grab hold of life and make things happen in your world, then this is for you

Be a Better Leader

Prepare for the Storm - How do you develop resilience and prepare for adversity? Here's the formula...

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the Day

At times in my career I've overly focused on work to the detriment of home life. Be wary of neglecting what's important to you outside work.

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Having very recently booked Caspar for one of my high profile client engagement events, I cannot recommend him highly enough. His talk was extremely engaging and exciting whilst at the same time delivering some key messages on winning teams which were so relevant for the audience. If you want a speaker who will make people listen and engage, Caspar is the one!
— Holly Ainger - Acting Marketing Director/Head of Marketing - B2B at Nuffield Health

What are you reading?

From the Desk of Caspar

What are you reading this summer?

This is a great time of year to catch up on reading. Over the past few weeks I’ve read two books that have provoked much thought. Both were recommended to me and both have been impactful.

The first was the Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, a surgeon and writer. At first pass you almost want to dismiss the book because it seems too simple. It basically recommends you use checklists. Dismissing it would be a mistake. You’re taken on a journey through the process of surgical operations, the airline industry and venture capital investors. All complex areas where the intelligent adoption of checklists have led to significant transformations. I can’t think of many areas where the use of checklists can’t have such a powerful impact.

It resonated deeply because I’m already a fan of checklists and use them daily to make sure I’m being at my most productive both at work and at home (more on that later on in this newsletter in relation to the Thrive Life Summit).

The second book is Deep Work by Cal Newport. The subtitle is Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World which pretty much says what it does. It’s brilliantly written and makes the case that one of the most important superpowers we need to nurture is to be able to work deeply. You’re then taken on a very practical journey to develop your own work philosophy and how to implement it.

Combine these ideas together of Checklists and Deep Work and you have some powerful insights for developing habits and routines that can substantially change what you do and the results you get.

Tip:  Take ideas from lots of different places and use them to come up from fresh ideas. Reading widely keeps your mind fresh and open.

Book Inspiration

Looking for fresh ideas for reading material. Here’s what Europe's top investors are all reading this summer. If you want to know what’s influencing someone its a great idea to watch what they read, what they listen to, who they spend time with. For entrepreneurs wanting to seek investment, there will be some great insights here.

The Comfort Zone

Which zone are you living in?

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In the Spotlight

Loved this post in our Inner Circle from Sam Morris this week. Sam attended our Thrive Money Summit in February. She runs a business teaching people how to paint cows and came to the event looking for ideas to grow. She is creating some amazing results and its brilliant to see it all happen as she scales her business.

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Be a Better Leader

Why Family First Matters

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought of the Day

So often we are trained to look for only what is wrong, not what is right. Build those around you by noticing whats going well and encouraging more of it.

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Caspar is a fascinating & engaging speaker who I would not hesitate to recommend.
— Matt Austin - Head of People Experience, Reward & Recognition at Deep Mind

Slow Down

From the Desk of Caspar

Two weeks ago I spend the day drifting down the river with my friend and author Carl Honore. Carl is the author of the best seller “In Praise Of Slow” (it sold over 1/2m copies and his TED talk has been watched by millions).

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The whole point of slow is that sometimes we race and hurry and miss the point of life. As someone recently remarked:

"Most men pursue pleasure with such relentless pace that they hurry past it”

There is a very powerful benefit to slowing down. We gain perspective. We see things we didn't see before. We reflect and so often come up with better answers.

Tip:  Sometimes we need to slow down in order to speed up. What are you missing by charging through life?

8 Factors of Happiness

How many of these are you living?

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In The Spotlight

Really enjoyed this conversation with Joshua Spodek, NYU professor of leadership and entrepreneurship. His take on leadership and the environment is that it’s about the actions you take - awareness is not enough - it has to go further. This is the first of 3 interviews we did - the last one including some family members where we get in specifics of doing small things that make a difference.

Listen here

The big question it prompts: what will you actually do to make a difference to the environment.

Had a lovely surprise today to find out that my TEDx talk has made its way onto the main TED.com website. {although it does seem an age ago in my speaker career and I cringe a little when I watch it back!}. Must be time for a new one for when the next book comes out :)

Thrive Life Summit

On September 16 and 17 I will be running a unique event, which guides you through creating your shared story and living with intent.

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It will contain brand new material, stories, research and practical workshop exercises that I’ve been researching for my new book as well as some of the most powerful techniques we’ve developed from past workshops.

You’ll leave with energy, purpose, and most importantly a clear story of the future and a plan to make it happen.

Places are limited and the early bird offer runs out soon.

Tickets here

Reality

Thought for the day:

Why do we waste so much time and energy fighting reality...

As in "It SHOULD" be this way.

Accept the reality of where things are.

And then find a way around it.

Know your foibles, your weaknesses, your strengths, your preferences, your passions, the things you can't stand.

It's really hard and really exhausting to fight against your innate nature.

Roll with it.

Then find ways to compensate for where you are weak by finding others that are strong.

Be open. Be vulnerable. Be curious. Seek the truth.

All of us have only a finite amount of brain horsepower every day.

Use it wisely.

Don't waste it sweating stuff thats hard to change.

Find the easy way.

Be a Better Leader

Leave your 📱 at home today

Thought for the Day

What's holding you back? Waiting for everything to be perfect can be dangerous if used as an excuse to delay.

On our recent sailing expedition, if we'd have waited for perfect, we'd never have left safe harbour to set sail. We'd prepared well but no matter how well prepared you are there will always be things that aren't perfect.

Are you holding off making that sales call, putting an idea or project forward, having that conversation or doing whats truly important to you?

Trust yourself. You'll figure out the answers as you move forward.

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I recently attended a talk by Caspar during a Reward conference in Barcelona. I went into the session with a bit of apprehension as I had often seen these sessions devolving into sermons. Not this one though! A brilliant speaker and an inspiring orator, Caspar had carefully structured the talk with his own life events providing enough meaningful learnings that one could then incorporate in either their professional or personal lives. He is also an affable person making sure to interact with participants before and after the session.
— Ayan Majumdar - Director Total Rewards at Pearson

Who's First?

From the Desk of Caspar

Who’s First with the Tech?

“The first person to master the tech usually wins”.

A quote from Sir Clive Woodward last week on talking about how he used tech and data to transform the fortunes of the England rugby team.

It's a simple and powerful message.

I was reminded of that this morning as I lined up for my Cafe Nero latte.

I reflected.

During my journey to London, I'd walked past some 20 plus coffee shops. Coffee is about as a commodity product you can get.

So why did I hold out for a Nero's?

For me, I've got used to using their App - its simple, they've gamified it with rewards and of course you accumulate the stamps for a free coffee.

I'd even go so far as to say that because of "familiarity" with Nero's I prefer their coffee now.

They have my loyalty.

In no small part because they have the best tech.

In your business.

What tech are you mastering to give you an edge?

Sir Clives message is simple and powerful.

The first person to master the tech usually wins.

Tip: In which area of your life or work to master technology to get an edge?

Past Present Future

Ever have differences with other people?

It's often that we're focused on different things.

Here’s one example:

Do you focus most on past, present or future?

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Split it up by % (a rough guess is fine).

For example, one person is 10% focused on the present, 90% in the future, and 0% in the past.

Someone else is 30% focused on the past, 50% in the present and 20% in the future.

Without making any judgements on whether one is right or wrong, can you see the immediate challenge this presents?

The first person is 5 x more focused on the future. The second is 5 x more focused on the present.

Can you see how this presents a challenge?

What's the answer?

Having an awareness of where you are both focused is incredibly powerful. It helps explain where you are both coming from. 

Person 1 is looking forward. Person 2 is in the now.

Try it. Where are you focused?

Try it with someone you know. What does it tell you?

Where are you both focused?

This is one of way of doing that.

Tip: Get conscious of where you spend your time focusing compared to other people. Use it as a way to develop greater understanding and communicating with others.

In the Spotlight

It’s been a busy first half of the year and I’m thrilled to have had the chance to deliver 30 Keynote Talks in the last 6 months. It’s been wonderful to have the opportunity to share stories and insights and positively impact audiences around the world.

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When you get testimonials like this, it’s the greatest reward I can get.

If you know someone who has an event coming up where you need inspiring stories and insights on leadership, teamwork and life, please send them this way.

The 2 Most Important Skills For the Rest of Your Life

One of the most inspiring thinkers I’ve been reading and listening to recently is Yuval Noah Harari - best selling author of Sapiens, Homo Deus and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

In this enlightening interview he shares his ideas on how machines and AI will become better at knowing us that we know ourselves and the most important skills we will need to develop for the future.

Be a Better Leader

Are you a sponge or a rock? Leadership tip of the week inspired by Sir Clive Woodward speaking for 300 CEO’s in London.

Thought for the Day

Leadership is a state of mind. Not a title.

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We recently booked Caspar for our local authority Senior Leader Conference having had the pleasure of seeing his Keynote speech at Schools Northeast earlier this year.

He delivered 2 sessions for us; the first a workshop with Headteachers and the second a keynote to 100 senior leaders from different schools across the authority. Both sessions were expertly pitched to the audience and offered the opportunity for colleagues to really consider their roles within their wider organisations. More importantly, there was an authenticity to Caspar and his delivery, creating a real sense of the impact that focused, resilient and creative leadership can have.

I have now seen Caspar speak on 3 separate occasions and have not been disappointed. He tailors his sessions to the audience and in the workshops we were most definitely challenged to think creatively and examine our impact within our roles.

The feedback from the session has been overwhelmingly positive:

‘Really engaging and interesting speaker - clear presentation structure with useful 8 steps clearly applicable to education and our leadership content.’

‘Excellent very interesting into the 8 characteristics.’

‘I Admired Caspar’s drive, vision and determination‘

‘Served as a reminder about the value of having goals even if at the time they seem big and unachievable.’

‘Excellent!!! An inspiring story of determination.’
— Tracy Crowder-Cloe - Headteacher, National Leader of Education.

You Can't Win Anything with Kids

From the Desk of Caspar

"You can't win anything with kids”

I was on the school run last week chatting to another Dad.

I was talking about the power of building a team with kids.

I referenced our team to sail the world with our kids (they were 9, 7 and 2) and how each and every person played a fundamentally important role on the boat.

He reminded me of this famous clip/ quote from football Alan Hansen shortly before Manchester United went on an incredible winning spree with the so called kids.

Each and every person on any team has a role to play.

I often refer to my smallest child as my leader on the pitch. She's the one with energy and enthusiasm who has the ability to lift everyone else.

Tip:  Look for what each and every person can bring to your team. Don't be deceived by age. Everyone has a contribution to make.

In The Spotlight

It’s not often you can say that Sir Clive Woodward is your warm up act. This Friday, rugby legend Sir Clive is the opening speaker at this event for 300 successful CEO’s and I have the privilege of being the closing speaker.

As a rugby fan, I’m certainly looking forward to hearing Sir Clive and his insights behind creating the World Cup Winning Team.

Vistage Executive Summit

Lovely to be featured in PM Forum Magazine this month writing about the parallels between creating a thriving work team and a thriving home team and how both work and home can learn from each other.

Read more

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Summer Solstice

Summer is my favourite time of year with its long days and warm summer evenings. It’s always lovely to see all the photos from the longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice on June 21st. One of my favourites was our designer Jacqui Edwards with this beautiful picture from Trevose Head in Cornwall.

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6 Small Things that Make a Big Difference

1) Being present and really listening.

2) Sending a hand written note to say thank you - especially when it’s detailed, specific and heart felt.

3) Doing what you said you would dO

4) Noticing how others are feeling (and not getting lost in a contrivance of your own in your own head).
5) Micro rewards which are publicly shared and enjoyed.

6) Finding the fun - be someone people want to be around.

Tip: It’s the small things that can make a big difference. Remember that small hinges swing big doors.

Be a Better Leader

What’s your story? My leadership tip of the week is all about taking the time to stop and deliberately, consciously and specifically create your story.

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the Day

Encourage a sense of curiosity in your teams at work and at home. 

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I love working with Caspar. He has great energy and real passion for what he does. He has that rare balance of top business experience and adventure. He’s always got time for you when you need some advice. I hope we will have many more opportunities.
— Maria Franzoni - Maria Franzoni Ltd Speaker Bureau; London Speaker Bureau Office; Speaking Business Podcast; Speaking Business

What's in your way?

From the Desk of Caspar

The Curious Story of the Crabs

I was struck by a story close to my home this week. Well, actually about 4 miles from my home where I grew up.

It’s about the South Devon crabbing industry.

For many years, the price of crabs has been in the doldrums and it’s been tough to make a living as a fisherman.

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My first business was as a commercial fisherman (in the pic attached) albeit at a micro level as opposed to the large commercial boats.

About a month ago, a friend pointed me to this podcast.

It was a fascinating insight about the up turn in the fortunes of the crabbing industry. As the podcast peels back the layer, it turns out the shift came from one significant thing.

The opening up of a new market.

Specifically, the Chinese market.

Turns out there is a seemingly unquenchable demand for South Devon crab in China.

I was back at home several weeks ago and spoke to former fishing colleagues.

The demand is stronger that ever with virtually all the crab being shipped to different parts of China each week.

(It has actually got to the point where demand is outstripping supply by so much that local restaurants and bars are challenged to have crab on the menu as the price is so high. This time last year, a pound of picked crab meat was £12 a pound. Today it's £22 a pound. In round numbers 3 drinks and 3 crab sandwiches sets you back the best part of fifty quid.)

Leaving aside that us Brits might have to get used to some different seafood or pay the higher prices, what’s the business upshot?

For entrepreneurs, always be looking for that opportunity. New markets can change things dramatically. The speed and scale and size can be breathtaking.

Tip: What’s the big overlooked opportunity in your business? What new markets could you tap into that you don’t currently.

Daily Habits

Your daily habits matter. They matter a lot.

The most common daily habits I observe across people I admire include

Exercise

Learning

Meditation/mindfulness

Expressing gratitude/ appreciation

Cold showers (it’s a shock to start with!)

Time connecting with whoever is most important to you outside work)

Watch this brief video on one way to instil habits that you want.

Tip: What you do every single day is what will shape your life.

In the Spotlight

It's been a busy start to the year. Truly grateful to have had the opportunity to share stories and insights on stages around the world. And equally grateful to the 18 people who've kindly written testimonials for me in 2019...

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Find me on LinkedIn

Great to be on several podcasts this week.

The first was with Jonathan Levi on his Becoming a Super Human Podcast.

And the second was with Alan Stevens on his Media Coach Radio Show (I was first on Alan’s Show many years ago - it was great to chat to Alan again).

Sleep Deprivation Shrinks Your Balls

For all the sleep warriors out there... Sleep deprivation shrinks your balls.

Shorter sleep = shorter life.

And much more. If this talk by the incredible Matthew Walker doesn’t shift your mindset on sleep, nothing will.

Key takeaways:

Regularity of sleep is super important

Keep the temperature low where you sleep.

Watch his TED Talk here

(His book equally worth reading - Why we Sleep).

Be a Better Leader

Distracted? People on their phones in meetings?

Today’s leadership tip of the week is one simple hack to deal with this. Tip inspired by the #hrprofessionals at 4th Rewards and Benefits Summit in Barceona

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought of the Day

Building a team? At Home? At Work?

Same principles. Think like a farmer. Nurture what you want to see more of. Apply sunshine and water. Be patient.

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Upcoming Events

June 6 - Keynote, London

June 7 - Keynote, London

June 10 - Conference, London

June 8-9 - Lisbon, Portugal

June 27 - Keynote London

June 28 - Keynote London

I recently attended a talk by Caspar during a Reward conference in Barcelona. I went into the session with a bit of apprehension as I had often seen these sessions devolving into sermons. Not this one though! A brilliant speaker and an inspiring orator, Caspar had carefully structured the talk with his own life events providing enough meaningful learnings that one could then incorporate in either their professional or personal lives. He is also an affable person making sure to interact with participants before and after the session
— Ayan Majumdar - Director Total Rewards at Pearson

What story are you still carrying?​

From the Desk of Caspar

What story are you still carrying?

When I was 13-14 at school, I was surrounded by people that I thought were smarter than me.

One of the smart kids could do the Rubik's cube. Truth is he got the book and figured it out.

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I had the fixed view that if I couldn't figure it out quickly and on my own, it wasn't for me. I know I know how crazy that sounds.

As our 7 year old was playing with her rubiks cube last week the story popped into my head again..."only the smart kids can do the rubiks cube"..

What better time to call out that BS.

My challenge for the past week (aided by youtube) was to figure out how to do the

A week on with Plenty of help from YouTube videos, some persistence, a few swear words, lots of 7 year old help (here daddy try it this way!) and finally nailed it.

Tip: It’s never too late to explode stories that you’ve carried for years “I’m not the sort of person who can do that...” What challenge did you once think was too hard for you that you would take on?

It’s a State of Mind

Leadership is a state of mind. Not a title.

6 simple leadership tips anyone can use no matter their age, title or role.

Share your enthusiasm with the world - it’s one of the most valuable gifts you have to share.

Notice and appreciate the small details of what other people do

Plant seeds of kindness and encouragement.

Do what you say you are going to do

Be present. 100% present.

If you ask a question, make sure you really listen to the answer.

Tip: Encourage leaders at all levels in all areas of your life.

In the Spotlight

I’m looking forward to delivering my Keynote Talk "Transforming the Culture in your Business” as the opening speaker at the Rewards and Benefits Summit for leading HR Directors in beautiful Barcelona this week with the brilliant team at Summit Events.

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Mental Health

Guy Tolhurst, Founder of Intelligent Partnership is doing a brilliant job raising the conversation around mental health. It’s something that is clearly an increasing challenge of our time. He’s been making a series of short films. Watch this one where Michelle Morgan shares her story of depression, anxiety and burnout she experienced in running her business and taking on investment. Learn why she is now able to talk more openly about her mental health, at home and at work.

Be a Better Leader

Getting truly connected to why you are doing something is right at the heart of making things happen. I was reminded of this process we went through some years ago to make plans of ours when speaking to some super successful entrepreneurs today.

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the Day

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Learning

Be Intentional. Redesign Your Life To Make Good Use Of Time

Upcoming Events

May 15 - Keynote, Barcelona

May 19 - Keynote, London

May 20 - Keynote, London

June 6 - Keynote, London

June 7 - Keynote, London

June 8-9 - Lisbon, Portugal

June 28 - Keynote, London

Caspar delivered a 90 minute keynote presentation to our leadership members at PRogress and the feedback has been exceptional! Caspar delivered what was one of the most inspiring stories bundled with numerous leadership lessons that can be applied in your personal life and at work. One of our members described themselves as going through all the emotions through Caspar’s talk and one even described it as life changing. Caspar you were truly exceptional, like your story, like your family and like your success. To top it all off, Caspar is a genuinely lovely guy! Thank you for speaking at PRogress.
— Rohan Shah - Founder and Managing Director at PRogress UK

I wish I'd read these

From the Desk of Caspar

Which self shall I be today?

That’s a line from the film Darkest Hour. It’s the moment where Churchill has received the telegram to call him to the Palace to meet the King to be appointed Prime Minister.

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As he prepares to take the mantle for his greatest challenge yet, he stands in front of his hat rack and asks himself the question "Which self shall I be today?” and then selects the appropriate hat and walks out of the door.

It’s a revealing moment.

It’s a moment in which he shows the power of having different identities. Identities and stories that we can use to empower us in different scenarios.

These things don’t happen by accident. They are as a result of thinking through the different parts of your life and who you need to be in each different situation.

Ever found yourself come home with a head full of work and 100% in work mode and you speak to your partner / children in a clipped work tone of voice {I’ve fallen into that trap more times than I care to remember}.

It’s worth reflecting on. For the different roles you play in your life, who do you need to show up as? At work, at home, with friends. What do you need to do to change your perspective.

Tip: Who do you need to be for each part of your life. Be intentional about it (we’ll be talking about how to do this at our upcoming Thrive: Life Summit later this year)

In the Spotlight

One of the organisations I’m proud to be involved in is the Charity, The British Exploring Society. Their belief is that challenging experiences can transform lives. They do this by taking young people on expedition to some of the world’s wildest and most remote locations.

I’m super excited that my friend Conrad is speaking at this evening event for them. Conrad has an amazing story including being part of the Mutiny TV Series re-creating Captain Bligh’s adventure. For details of the event, its here.

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6 Books I wish I’d read when I was much younger

I used to be a reluctant learner: the bare minimum to get to the next stage.

That shifted some years ago and I’m now 100% committed to lifelong learning.

Here’s 6 books that I wished my younger self could have read, understood and appreciated:

The Growth Mindset - Carol Dweck

Principles - Ray Dalio

The Magic of Thinking Big - David Schwartz

Psychocybernetics - Dr Maxwell Maltz

The Star Principle - Richard Koch

The Talent Code - Daniel Coyle

Which books would you prescribe to the younger you?

(And at what age would they have been most helpful? I think that at ages 21 through 23 these would have been most valuable for me).

(Plus the obvious caveat that some of these books weren't around when I was that age!)

Be a Better Leader

As I read the book that I talk about in this video for the third time, I discover new insights. There is no such thing as a pure fixed mindset or a pure growth mindset. I believe we are all triggered at certain times to a fixed mindset - Carol Dweck does a remarkable job

Thought for the Day

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Learning

In the Leadership tip of the week, I talk about the Growth Mindset and Carol Dweck. If you’re not familiar with this book, I urge you to find out more about it. Want the quick version? Here’s Carol Dwecks TED talk on it.

Its one of the most powerful concepts for our children. And all of us.

Upcoming Events

May 2 - Keynote, Dublin

May 15 - Keynote Barcelona

May 19 - Keynote London

May 20 - Keynote London

June 6 - Keynote, London

June 7 - Keynote, London

June 8-9 - Lisbon, Portugal

I would like to recommend Caspar Craven on behalf of Schools North East as a fantastic inspirational speaker. Caspar delivered the opening keynote at the Schools North East annual leadership Summit in October 2018 to over 500 Head Teachers and school senior leaders from across the North East. Caspar not only was a great speaker but he was also able to adapt his speech in order to fit in with our conference theme of ‘Changing the Game’. Caspar’s speech was titled ‘Changing the Game through Great Leadership’. I would highly recommend booking Caspar to speak at an event
— Samantha Murray - Events Manager

How to build an awesome team

From the Desk of Caspar

5 Ways to Build an Awesome Team (at Home or at Work)

Understand what each person wants. We all do things for our own reasons, not your reasons. Link each person's goals to the team goal.

Find each persons strengths. Make them stronger.

Genuinely care about each person and their development.

Identify the skills gaps as a team and figure out how to close them.

Celebrate little wins and enjoy them as a team. Small wins lead to bigger wins.

Tip: Always be thinking about how you can build a stronger team with those around you.

In the Spotlight

Personal development titan Brendon Burchard did a podcast episode featuring an earlier interview with us this week. The podcast is right here:

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Caspar spoke several weeks ago to the Managing Partners of a range of UK Professional Services Firms at The Strategy Summit. The write up for the Managing Partners Forum - its all here...

What Limits do you Impose on Yourself

Just imagine.

You have to solve 3 Rubik’s cubes in less than 5 minutes.

Whilst you juggle them.

The immediate reaction is of course it’s impossible.

This guy did it.

Hard work and perseverance. Relentless action.

Be a Better Leader

If two people disagree, don’t you want to know if it’s you that is wrong?

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Upcoming Events

April 25 - Thrive Workshop, London

April 26 - Training Workshop, London

May 2 - Keynote, Dublin

May 15 - Keynote Barcelona

May 19 - Keynote London

May 20 - Keynote London

June 6 - Keynote, London

June 7 - Keynote, London

Nichola and Caspar spoke at our financial year kick off event “The Purpose Driven Public Company”. They told a very powerful story of how a team bound by a powerful vision can achieve amazing things.
— Neal Gandhi - CEO and Co-Founder - The Panoply

Distracted

From the Desk of Caspar

Clear Thinking

Just how distracted are we all? How much clear thinking do you really get?

An experiment I've been running for 2 weeks (which you might want to consider). It was inspired by a fellow speaker Ronan Harrington after speaking at the same event a couple of weeks ago.

I switched off all notifications on my phone...

WhatsApp (probably the worst offender)

Telegram

Texts

Twitter

Email

FB

LinkedIn

Any apps which send out alerts.

Result = Significantly less distractions.

Had my productivity gone up? Probably. In truth I’ve not been totally scientific about it and I still feel "the lure" of checking in on my phone.

Give it a go. It takes a few minutes to set up in the Notifications setting (on an iPhone and I’m sure it's similar on Android).

In an attention deficit world, it can only help.

Tip: We get our best and clearest thinking when we minimise distractions. Be intentional about how you use your time.

In the Spotlight

As seen in the Daily Telegraph this week:

How do you keep a business the right size? “Create a clear story as a family team of what you want your lives to look like”. The article is on the challenge of sustaining business growth …

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Also in the spotlight...

Nichola (my brilliant wife) and I delivered our first shared keynote this week. We were speaking at the annual kick off for newly IPO’d technology services business The Panoply. They are raising the bar on what it means to be a “Purpose Driven Public Company”. A brilliant and super engaged company and audience and great fun to be part of their day.

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Inspiration

In this brilliant clip of Steve Jobs, he shares two things on what you need to be successful. One is around Passion. The other is around people if you want to grow an organisation capable of running without you.

If creating an organisation capable of running without you is something you would like, we have created a 12 week course that takes you through exactly what you need to do.

Tip: Fill your world with the most powerful influences of people who’ve already got the results you would like.

Be a Better Leader

Leadership of the week inspired by Alan Turing. He went to work on Enigma, the crypto device used by the German Navy because it was deemed too hard and no one else was working on it.

What’s the biggest challenge in your organisation / world / life and who’s working on it?

If you found this valuable, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought of the Day

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Upcoming Events

April 10 - Thrive Workshop, London

April 11-14 - Keynote, South Africa

April 25 - Thrive Workshop, London

April 26 - Training Workshop, London

May 2 - Keynote, Dublin

May 15 - Keynote, Barcelona

May 19 - Keynote, London

May 20 - Keynote, London

June 6 - Keynote, London

June 7 - Keynote, London

Caspar has a highly unique, fascinating, compelling and thought provoking story to tell. He is an outstanding speaker and gives highly pertinent takeaways. Book him - I would!
— Roger Harrop - The CEO Expert

3 New Ideas that can shape the next decade

From the Desk of Caspar

3 New Ideas that can shape the next decade

Regular readers will know my belief that there is nothing more important to achieving your goals in life than the influences that you allow into your world.

Last week, I had the privilege of spending 4 days with 60 of the sharpest minds on the planet whilst skiing and debating ideas in Courmayeur in Italy.

This global group were from technology, science and the investment community and came together to share ideas and inspiration. Here’s 3 ideas that I learnt that can shape the next decade :

Idea 1 - From NeuroScience

Moran Cerf runs one of only 3 neuroscience labs in the world where they undertake studies using up to 1,000 probes inserted into peoples heads to study brain activity in real time. In research on sleep, they’ve found that at a certain stage in your sleep cycle if you expose a person to certain aroma’s you can dictate what dream a person will have. Literally you can hijack someones dreams using the power of smell. The research into how the brain works and how it can be developed and used is just fascinating. Moran and his research are certainly one to follow.

You can watch more about Moran being interviewed on Impact Theory

Idea 2 - Learning and Education

The amazing ShaoLan has built an incredible service Chineasy teaching people how to write and speak Chinese. It’s incredibly simple and literally within 24 hours, my son was writing out characters on our board at home. His words “it’s so simple and so logical - I love it”. Simplifying complexity and making education available to all is a mission that ShaoLan is on.

Watch ShaoLan explaining the system in her highly watched TED Talk here.

Idea 3 - Medicine and Technology

Perhaps the most impactful talk was from Stefan Roever - an incredibly successful entrepreneur in the field of technology and genetics. Born out of his own experiences to treat his own cancer he is on a mission to use AI to give cancer patients a better shot at living. His sharing of his story and what him and the teams he’s built around him is just mind blowing.

To paraphrase his approach to cancer. If you have a problem with your computer or software, you don’t pour acid on it to fix it (what we currently do with Chemotherapy). With software you work out what software update you need to run in order to fix it. Why shouldn’t it be the same for health?


I’m certain that the advances he and his team are making will have an insanely powerful impact on the world making millions of people live better quality lives.

Here’s a an interview Stefan did with Dr Jack Kreindler (also at the event in Italy)

Tip: Surround yourself with the very sharpest minds you can - you simply cannot help but lift yourself to higher levels.

In the Spotlight

Plenty more podcasts coming up - this one minute clip from Mark Metry’s podcast Humans 2.0 is something I believe many of us (me included) need reminding of regularly)

There is little greater reward for what I do than getting customer feedback - this one’s from Sheona Griffiths - Head of Marketing at WPM Education where I was Keynote Speaker at their Edinburgh Event this Feb.

Caspar's presentation was described by our customers as 'captivating' and 'inspiring' with almost all rating the session as excellent. Caspar was one of the most professional and personable keynote speakers I've ever had the pleasure of working with. Really went the extra mile to understand our audience and then gave up his own time to chat further with our customers in the evening, which they really enjoyed. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Caspar - an incredibly talented and genuinely nice man.

Slow Down

Once in a while I’m reminded to stop by some powerful words.

Whilst at sea with our kids we read and wrote lots of poetry - I first heard this poem from a dear friend Paul Covell as we crossed at Atlantic.

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round, or listened to rain slapping the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight, or gazed at the sun fading into the night?

You better slow down, don't dance so fast, time is short, the music won't last.

Do you run through each day on the fly, when you ask "How are you?", do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed, with the next hundred chores running through your head?

You better slow down, don't dance so fast, time is short, the music won't last.

Ever told your child, we'll do it tomorrow, and in your haste, not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch, let a friendship die, 'cause you never had time to call and say hi?

You better slow down, don't dance so fast, time is short, the music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere, you miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day, it's like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life isn't a race, so take it slower, hear the music before your song is over.

If you’re a listener, my incredibly talented actor friend Peter Seaton Clark did a reading of this poem. It’s right here:

Tip: Slow Down. Be present in the moment.

Leadership tip of the week - Real life Resilience tests.

When you’re on your way to deliver a workshop and a keynote and the train in front of you breaks down and you’ve no idea how long it will take to clear.

What do you do?

The video explains it all.

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Upcoming Adventures

March 21 - Keynote London - Wellers Accoutants

March 28 - Keynote London - FY Annual Kick Off Meeting

April 10 - Thrive Workshop, London

April 12-14 - Keynote, South Africa

May 2 - Keynote, Dublin

May 15 - Keynote Barcelona

May 19 - Keynote London

May 20 - Keynote London

In our conference Caspar helped us find how we become awesome, how to become exceptional. For our group this means daring to change, to take risks, to be bold, to embrace both success and failure.

What a way to end our residential Conference to be enthused and inspired by Caspar Craven, sending us off with a spring in our step and a determination to be the best Leader we can be!
— Jeff Dawkins - PiXL School of Leadership

An Impossible Decision

From the Desk of Caspar

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I had a flashback last week.

I walked past the Cromwell Hospital in London.

It immediately took me back to May 2014.

I couldn’t walk.

10 weeks before “planned departure on our sailing adventures” and Mr Mendoza gave me my options.

He was a back specialist surgeon.

Option 1 - Back surgery and possible complications.

Option 2 - Delay our plans by a year and things might heal.

It was agonising.

No-one else can make a decision like that for you.

Remember this.

There is always a way.

We made 3 adjustments to our plan.

We found a way.

I had the surgery.

We set sail in August 2014.

You either find a way or you make a way.

Tip: There is always a way forwards. You either find a way or you make a way.

In the Spotlight

This week, a podcast I recorded with the brilliant Chris Thompson from Wellers Accountants. I’m looking forward to speaking at one of their events later this month.

It’s all here.

And we had this beautiful message from Hilary who attended our recent Thrive Workshop.

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What’s Coming Next

Over half term, we spent the week in San Francisco.

Whilst there we met up with some very dear friends who shared a glimpse of the future with us.

The future of gaming and virtual reality.

We got to play with the latest immersive technology in the world using games and literally flying around the world using Google Earth.

It’s stunning just how quickly noise fades into the background and you become immersed in the virtual world. To the point I almost fell over as my foot “clipped” a mountain over the Himalaya’s.

Sometimes we become so immersed in our own worlds its important to look up and see whats coming next.

The only certainty is change and there is plenty more of that coming.

Here’s our 6 year old totally in her own world playing Virtual Reality games.

Leadership tip of the week

Why personal fulfilment leads to greater business success (and greater purpose in your work).

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Upcoming Adventures

March 6 - 10 - Courmayeur, Italy

March 13 - Thrive Workshop, London

March 15-16 - Leadership Workshop, Northumberland

March 18 - Keynote London

March 21 - Keynote London

April 10 - Thrive Workshop, London

April 12-14 - Keynote, South Africa

Wow! His story was inspiring. Delivered with great passion, humility and openness.
He captured the imagination of the audience, and translated his journey into a series of credible and recognisable business messages. Absolute pleasure to listen him and to learn from him
— Mike Blackburn OBE

Are you getting enough?

From the Desk of Caspar

Are you getting enough?

How many hours sleep do you get?

“The number of people who can survive on 6 hours sleep or less and feel no ill effect rounded to a whole number and expressed as a percentage is precisely zero”

That's from Professor Matthew Walker from his brilliant book “Why We Sleep” {highly recommended}

There was a time when I was a so called sleep warrior surviving on 6-7 hours a night. I’m now a good 7-8.

The ideal target that science is showing is between 7 and 9 hours.

What’s your number?

Tip: Are you managing your sleep? Better sleep = Better performance.

In the Spotlight

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In the spotlight this week was Nichola Craven interviewed on BBC Radio Oxford talking about the impact of Brexit on business.

“Where The Magic Happens” was profiled as one of the “must read books” for 2019 by US based Practical Sailor Magazine. Here’s what they had to say:

“You find yourself in the middle of a promising career, with three kids, a mortgage, and another 30 years of work ahead before retirement, and the questions inevitably arise.

Is this all there is?

And if there is more, how the heck do we get off this train?

Craven combines an around the world travelogue with an insightful how-to guide for a family hoping to escape the gravity of the “normal” life.

A great read for the young family needing concrete advice.

Not read it?

Get the first chapter free here.

It’s also been a busy fortnight with 7 different speaking engagements - Matthew Siddell captured the sentiment at one in London with words and images right here.

Be a Better Leader

Why Leaders are overrated

Leadership tip of the week inspired by the gladiators at the Colosseum in Rome whilst dodging photobombers!

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight

Thought for the Day

There are few greater gifts that you can give yourself than space to think, pen and paper.

My wish for you today.

Find 10 minutes. Switch off your devices. Get pen and paper. Write. Think.

Enjoy the silence.

One tip to save you time

Who else has a backlog of books and audio books to read?

Here’s a shortcut.

Search for podcasts where the author is interviewed about the book.

You’ll get many of the key points in a dialogue rather than a monologue which I personally find easier to digest.

My latest one: the insanely brilliant Professor Matthew Walker on why we sleep in a 2 hour Joe Rogan interview.

Upcoming Adventures

February 6 - Keynote, Ascot

February 7 - Leadership Workshop, London

February 11-13 - Thrive Money 3 Day Summit

February 16-23 - San Francisco

February 27 - Thrive Workshop - Reading

February 28 - All Day Event - London

Caspar is a consummate professional and one of the safest pair of hands on the speaking circuit. He did a superb job at our annual awards for 470 of the small business and investment community. An insightful, genuine and inspirational storyteller that was bang on message for the evening.
— Guy Tolhurst - Small Business Champion, mentor and leading practitioner on SME and Alternative Investment

What's Next?

From the Desk of Caspar

The Next Mountain

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"There is always another mountain to climb"

One of the most common questions I get at talks is what do you do after you've had "the adventure of a life time".

My answer is simple.

It was never the adventure of a lifetime.

It was a stepping stone.

There is always something beyond.

There is always another mountain to climb, an ocean to sail, a business to build, a mission to take on.

We are not designed to stand still.

We are designed to take on challenges. To struggle. To fail. To learn. To keep moving forwards.

What's your next mountain?

Tip: We all need a goal to be striving towards. It’s the struggle that we learn from and shapes our character.

In the Spotlight

Super fun interview with Hala Taha on the Young and Profitable podcast this week sharing stories around how clear values and better collaboration can improve you personal and professional lives.

And great to be one of the entrepreneurs featured in the guide published by the Supper Club - “The Exit Journey: Preparing for Scale, Sale, and Beyond” where founders share stories and insights on how they’ve built and sold their businesses.

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Refuse to accept Mediocrity

This is perhaps one of the most powerful interviews I've watched in a long time.

David Goggins has gone to lengths virtually all of us would find unthinkable.

How he describes his mindset and approach is truly fascinating.

(strong language warning too)

Tip: Always be learning and find people who you can model and learn from.

Don’t Miss The Boat

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Unless we said we were leaving on a boat on August 1st 2014, we would have found reasons to delay. And we'd still be living the same life we were before.

On Feb 11, 12 and 13 we will be sharing the ideas and strategies we used to create multiple successful ventures that created the money that we didn't have before.

If money stands in the way of your dreams, you need to be at this event.

Don't miss the boat.

Secure your place here.

Tip: Nothing ever happens without a deadline. What deadlines do you have in your world?

Be a Better Leader

Remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint (and a touch of humour too)

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the Day

"We only have one life. Make yours a masterpiece."

Upcoming Adventures

January 23 - Keynote, Cambridge

January 24 - 2 Keynotes, London

January 26 - Keynote, Oxford

February 1 - Keynote, Rome

February 5 - Keynote, Edinburgh

February 6 - Keynote, Ascot

February 7 - Leadership Workshop, London

February 11-13 - Thrive Money 3 Day Summit

There is no greater reward for what I do now than getting messages like this. This was an email from a Primary School HeadMaster in the Middlesborough area ..

”Caspar, I was with you yesterday morning, and would just like to see how inspired I was by your story and how you drew so many valuable lessons for us all from it.

Your book has landed on my desk (Amazon Prime is a great thing) and I spent time last night sharing your story with my wife and children. There are so many metaphors for professional life, but what chimes most with me is that we have one life and we need to seize all opportunities to make it wonderful for ourselves and family.
Thank you.”

What's your Story?

From the Desk of Caspar

What’s your Story?

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Last night I was reading a bedtime story (it was the Royal Rabbits of London) to our 6 year old.

I was as engaged with the adventures of the rabbit Shylo as she was, wanting to learn about his character, his ups and his downs, and the mission he was on.

I reflect.

What is it about the power of a story that engages us all?

From our earliest years we are taught through the power of story.

It’s innate to all of us.

It’s an easy and engaging way to take on information.

If done well, its exciting and creates the space for powerful messages to enter and stay in our minds.

So, if story telling is so powerful, why don’t we do more of it in all areas of our lives?

Maybe because we don’t give it the time, attention or importance that it needs?

Here’s 4 areas where I believe you can fundamentally influence your world by using the power of story.

Create your own personal story.

Create your relationship story.

Create your family story.

Create your business or mission story.

A story. Simply told. Stays in your mind (and that of others).

And if its powerful enough, can quite literally change the direction of your life.

Creating a story is something we can all do.

But so often we don’t.

Why not start 2019 with a blank sheet of paper. Create, craft and weave the story that excites you (and those in the teams around you). And then go create it.

(and if you want to put rocket fuel into your stories, we literally have some of the best story tellers you are likely to meet running sessions at the Thrive Money Summit in London - details later in this email)

Tip: Creating a story in all areas of your life that guides, direct and influences you could be the most powerful you ever do (it was for us).

In the Spotlight

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Over the New Year period, it’s been lovely to see our book Where the Magic Happens appearing on so many reading lists and review of the year lists (like this one from Dylan Brits in Cape Town along with 10 things he learnt in 2018).

It’s been a busy period recording podcasts too - here’s three of the latest where Caspar had been featured over the past week or so.

On the 3 Blind Mice Podcast, top speaking agent Maria Franzoni showcases 3 of her top speakers.

Former MD of L’Oreal, Minter Dial interviewed Caspar for the second time on his podcast (the first time was 6 years ago)

And the final one is on the Work Hard Play Hard podcast talking about how to put family first in business.

Process Wins

How do you achieve what you want - in business, in life?

It’s not creating a unique idea.

It’s not being the smartest person in the room.

It’s not being the best business mind.

It’s not being the most confident person.

It is being totally clear on what your goal is.

And then creating a process so that you put one foot in front of the other every day to move forward even when you don’t want to.

Tip: Get someone in your team (family and business) who owns the process of making things happen. It’s the only way to create sustainable growth.

…Might kill the boss…

Just one of the lines that stands out to me from this incredible documentary about Sir Richard Branson.

Here's the insanely cool bit about this.

The marketing genius behind Sir Richard's exploits was none other than Chris Moss.

Chris will delivering a keynote at our Thrive Money event on Feb 11, 12 and 13 on how entrepreneurs can disrupt and challenge their markets.

The insights and ideas that Chris has changed industries.

Watch the full documentary on Netflix (it's called Don't Look Down) to see what Chris did with Virgin.

Want to meet Chris and hear his ideas for your business?

Thrive Money Summit is the place to be.

Ticket prices go up soon.

Watch the Trailer here…

Secure Your Place here.

Tip: Learn from the best. Surround yourself with the smartest people you can.

Be a Better Leader

Why you won’t achieve your new years resolutions (and what to do about it)

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the Day

"Replace the joy of being right with the joy of learning what's true."

- Ray Dalio

Upcoming Adventures

January 9 - Keynote, London

January 10 - Keynote, London

January 14 - Thrive Workshop, London

January 15 - Keynote, Newcastle

January 16 - Keynote, London

January 17 - Keynote, London

January 22 - Keynote, London

January 23 - Keynote, Cambridge

January 24 - Keynote London

January 26 - Keynote, Oxford

February 1 - Keynote, Rome

February 5 - Keynote, Edinburgh

It is my privilege to commend Caspar Craven as an inspirational speaker.

I oversee the School of PiXL Leadership and Caspar led our 50 delegates and 12 Leadership Coaches on our Flagship ‘Exceptional Headteacher’ Programme.

In our conference Caspar helped us find how we become awesome, how to become exceptional. For our group this means daring to change, to take risks, to be bold, to embrace both success and failure.

What a way to end our residential Conference to be enthused and inspired by Caspar Craven, sending us off with a spring in our step and a determination to be the best Leader we can be!
— Jeff Dawkins School of PiXL Leadership

Happy Holidays

From the Desk of Caspar

Make the most of the time off

The holiday period is the perfect time to think about this idea...

If you don’t know where you are going, you will end up somewhere else.

I’ve seen many people carefully plan their 4-5 weeks of holiday way more than their other 47/48 weeks of the year.

So instead of being guided by their own plans, they often flounder for lack of clear direction or purpose.

Your best chance of ending up where you would love to be is to know precisely where you are going.

Take some time over the holiday period and ask this question:

What's truly important to me and my family.

Create an exciting shared story.

Then (and only then) start trying to figure out how to do it. One piece at a time.

Have a wonderful Christmas and thank you to everyone who’s connected with me, watched, liked, commented on and shared my ideas and videos.

To an amazing 2019 for you.

Tip: Take the time over the holidays to ask what’s truly important to you and your loved ones.

In the Spotlight

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My last event of 2018 was a literary event where I find myself signing books next to legendary BBC World Affairs Editor and Author John Simpson (he was launching his latest book Moscow Midnight).

Having read several of his books over the years, it was a real treat to meet and chat with him and to then sign my final book for him.

Also this week, loved being featured in the Guardian talking about the power of telling stories to make you and your business famous.

An Undervalued Quality

Persistence

How many of you have this as one of your top 5 qualities/ values?

I think it’s one that’s often overlooked.

John Harrison, a clock maker solved the greatest scientific problem of his time.

His H3 clock took him 20 years to create/ build.

How many of us would have given way to self doubt, procrastination and tried something else.

The power of persistence is truly remarkable.

The same way that water cuts through rock given enough time.

In an increasingly instant world, it’s worth remembering the power of persistence.

(The problem he solved was that of Longitude. Figuring out where we are in the world)

What does it take to Thrive?

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The full agenda for the Thrive Money Summit has now been released and is at www.thrivemoneysummit.com

We have some amazing people joining us who have made the decision to make 2019 the year that things fundamentally shift for them.

If you are craving more from life and money is standing in your way, then this event will be a life changing moment for you.

Secure your place here

Be a Better Leader

One simple idea over the festive period.

PS. If you like these, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the Day

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.

- Nietzsche

Upcoming Adventures

January 8 - Coaching Day, London

January 9 - Keynote London

January 10 - Coaching Day, London

January 14 - Thrive Workshop, London

January 15 - Keynote, Newcastle

January 16 - Keynote, London

January 17 - Keynote, London

January 22 - Keynote, London

January 23 - Keynote, Cambridge

January 24 - Keynote London

January 26 - Keynote, Oxford

Caspar gave a fantastic speech at a recent Eagle Radio business event we hosted. Not only was his story inspirational and exhilarating, but it was also a great lesson in the importance of strong leadership through delegation and teamwork. Thank you Caspar!
— Beverley Hunter, Radio Presenter at Eagle Radio

Stories from the High Street

From the Desk of Caspar

Imagine for one moment you run a restaurant.

You want to grow sales and margin.What do you do?

Here’s one smart strategy.

Invite all the 6 year olds from the local primary school to come and learn how to make a healthy meal.

Give them an amazing experience.Give them a branded apron. And a letter for the parents with a voucher for a free child meal.

All run in the morning when they have no customers anyway.

Genius.

Of course this level of thinking isn’t just for restaurant owners.

It’s for anyone in business.

Be creative. Be bold.

(and we have little chance now of walking past Wagamamas without our 6 year old saying I want to go there)

Tip: Take ideas from different places. Be creative. Be bold. And have some fun too.

In the Spotlight

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I spent time this week with Ben Saunders - the polar explorer best known for leading the first ever return journey to the South Pole on foot via Shackleton and Scott's route in 2013–14.

Watch Ben’s TED talk on the power of stepping away from what is familiar and comfortable.

Tip: Magic happens where you step outside your comfort zone and embrace change and uncertainty.

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It's a fact. Millions of us are working harder than ever. For less money. And feeling less fulfilled.

And that's why we have created the Thrive: Money Summit event in London this February.

What will we cover in 3 days?

👉 Day 1 - "How To"

Day 1 is super practical. It will be completely dedicated to specific strategy and tactics for building an extraordinary business.

This is the “How To” day.

We’ll be diving into actionable things you can do to shape a fast growth business.

It will be packed with examples, stories and specific blueprints which you can implement immediately in your business.

And as an extra bonus, we are bringing in an amazing speaker from the world of media who will give you ideas and tactics to make your business famous.

You will leave Day 1 with an array of proven strategies and tactics any one of which can transform your business.

You simply pick your favourite ones and go and make them happen.

👉 Day 2 - “Why” (for you and those around you)

Day 2 is all about finding the driving forces behind you, your relationships, your family and your business.

One of the biggest myths in life and business.

Is that we are encouraged to know and follow our passions.

This does NOT happen by accident.

It happens deliberately, specifically and strategically.

We will take you through the “Craven Technique” that will give you more insight than you’ve ever had into what really drives you and your teams.

We will wrap Day 2 up with an evening of fun and entertainment.

👉 Day 3 - "We and Who - Creating the Team"

This is all about bringing the WE together.

It’s making it fun. It’s creating the engagement with the people who will make your goals happen.

It’s all about integrating and pulling everything in Day 1 and Day 2 together.

AND we will have a guest speaker who will blow your mind. The only person

I know to have built 3 separate Billion pound businesses. No that wasn’t a typo. It was B for Billion, not M for Million. The strategies, tactics, insights and fun you will get from this session alone are just awesome.

If you don’t leave here fired up and ready to make 2019 and beyond the best year you have ever had, we’ll give you your money back.

So, really there is no risk for you here.

All you have to do is carve out 3 life changing days in your diary.

Feb 11, 12 and 13 Central London

Secure your place now to get the early bird rate which ends this Thursday and before tickets sell out.

Secure your place now

Tip: Make 2019 your best year yet.

We are half way through the Autonomy online training course for our Beta Group. Our first group are giving us great feedback on how much they are enjoying the course and what they are getting from it.

On last week's online training course, we talked about shaping the culture in the team. Ways not to do it and some things you really want to do.

This Forbes article picks up on things you want to do and is a great read.

Be a Better Leader

Always leave people in a better place than when you arrived.

A powerful story about the impact (and choices) we all make about how we show up in the world.

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

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Last Minute Christmas Shopping

Our book, Where the Magic Happens has been appearing in the media as one of the books you’ll want to read this season.

Who do you know who’d appreciate some inspiration and ideas for Christmas?

You can order the Hardback, Audio or Kindle version all from here

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Upcoming Adventures

December 13 - Thrive Workshop, Surrey

December 14 - Coaching Day, London

December 15 - Literary Event/ Book Signing - Oxford

December 19 - Training Event - London

January 8 - Keynote London

January 9 - Keynote London

January 10 - Coaching Day, London

January 14 - Thrive Workshop, London

January 15 - Keynote, Newcastle

January 16 - Keynote, London

January 17 - Keynote, London

January 22 - Keynote, London

January 23 - Keynote, Cambridge

January 24 - Keynote London

January 26 - Keynote, Oxford

I recently engaged Caspar to speak at our Datacore Sales Kick-off in Malta. Caspar did an excellent job engaging the entire team. It was a tough audience consisting of 85 Sales people from 9 countries with the majority not having English as their first language. The feedback from the team was overwhelmingly positive. Caspar provides a balance of practical advice and inspiration, the delivery is authentic and entertaining. I highly recommend Caspar.
— Amanda Bedborough - Senior Vice President, Operations EMEA at DataCore Software

It's not all about the price

From the Desk of Caspar

Why would you choose to compete on price?

So my wife got a new hair dryer last week.

Hair dryers. Not something I know a huge amount about (despite having big hair).

I assumed it was a commodity product differentiated only on price.

Not this bad boy.

This one is roughly 3 x the price of your usual hair dryer (and could be more than that).

How has James Dyson managed to change the hair dryer market?

By approaching it differently to just about everybody else.

By selling something different.

By making it about the experience.

If Dyson can do that with hair dryers what could you do to create something in your business that can sell for 3x the rest of the market?

Once you truly grapple with and get this level of thinking in your business you have the seeds of a business that is capable of running without you.

Tip: If you want an extraordinary business, one where you are NOT seen as a commodity interchangeable on price alone, then you need to shift the thinking in your business (see the link for our upcoming 3 day Thrive: Money event).

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In the Spotlight

It’s been a crazy few weeks of travel to Turkey, Greece and around the UK. One of the more memorable moments was to be talking about leadership and resilience at the British Embassy in Athens on the day that Britain shared it’s Brexit plans!

Hover Motorbikes

I can't think of a more exciting time to be alive: so many innovations in so many fields.

Just been watching this - hover motorbikes being trialled and autonomous flying taxis. Mind boggling stuff.

A brief story about belief...

It’s about an organisation called PiXL.

Some years ago a head teacher retired.

He was asked to help with 19 struggling schools.

12-18 months later the trajectory of schools was fundamentally changing.

He was asked to work with a further 35 schools.

All Government funded.

Same outcome: thriving schools.

Government funding dried up.

The head teacher was asked by the schools to carry on and they would find a way to fund him and the work.

That organisation now works with some 2000 schools in the U.K.

The head teacher is Sir John Rowling.

I had the honour of sharing stories with Sir John and 150 of those school leaders today.

I had the pleasure of half an hour chatting to Sir John before and after my talk today.

I also asked what was the single most important thing he did to transform schools.

Anyone guess what he said?

It was all around Belief.

Getting your team to believe they can be more, to be better.

Tip: What can you do to make your teams believe? Build on the things they already do well.

Surviving to Thriving

We are running a day event on February 11, 12 and 13 on how How to create a business that can run without you so that you can thrive with your own life changing experiences.

You will not want to miss this event if you can identify with any of these issues:

You feel you are doing everything on your own and aren’t earning enough money

You have a lack of belief or You don’t know to make it happen

You know your business model is broken - you are seen as an interchangeable commodity.

As with everything in life, you have options:

Do nothing and “hope” it gets better

Be Brave (both in business and life) and find a path through.

We’d like to be your guides and steer you through a path that will set your ideas and thoughts in a direction to creating a life where you are truly living on your own terms.

In a years time, you will be somewhere. The ONLY question is where that somewhere will be.

Find out more here.

Be a Better Leader

One simple thing you can do today

Don't wait for things to go wrong before you look to do things differently, look at everything with 'fresh eyes'.

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the Day

Don’t wait for perfect. It will always keep you waiting.

Gaining Clarity

Working too hard.Earning too little?

That was the brutally frank conversation I had to have with all the team in my business.

Everyone knew it. No-one was saying it. Someone had to call it out.

And then figure out a way to do something about it.

The WORST part was living in denial.

Pretending it wasn't happening.

It was the same conversation at home. Or rather the lack of the conversation around it.

Be honest... Who else feels like that?

Working too hard AND Earning too little.

The **answer** I tried for a long time was piling on new things.

New ideas. New initiatives. New projects.

What happened? I got overwhelmed.

Worked harder. Nothing changed.

I banged my head on that brick wall for a LONG time.

The eventual answer was Counter-Intuitive. It started by taking things out.

What space can I create? To think. To learn. To get clarity.

To come up with better strategies for moving forwards in life and business.

SO... One simple action.

What can you stop doing today that will free up more time for you to get greater clarity on where to go from here?

Just one thing. What is it going to be?

Upcoming Adventures and Events

December 3 - Surviving to Thriving Workshop

December 5 - Autonomy Program, London

December 7 - Keynote, London

December 12 - Coaching Day, London

December 13 - Thrive Workshop, Surrey

December 14 - Coaching Day, London

December 15 - Literary Event/ Book Signing - Oxford

December 19 - Training Event - London

What started out as an interesting story about making a life-changing decision to sail around the world with a young family turned into something much deeper for our team. People opened up to him about their own families and goals, their hopes and fears, and the light bulb went off: our personal values and purpose aren’t necessarily separate from those of our organization—in fact, they should be complementary. If not, the notion of a satisfying professional and personal life will remain elusive.
— Gavin Geminder - National Sector Leader, Private Equity, KPMG USA

Who needs some magic?

From the Desk of Caspar

Be More Sherlock

What can you learn by watching what you do?

Once in a while.

Just stand back and watch what you do.

Don’t think. Just watch and observe.

What do you tend towards?

What always gets done?

What doesn’t get done.

How do you fill your most productive hours in the day or night?

We so often fill our lives with ***shoulds***.

Where you spend your time naturally is quite a good clue as to what you might be doing more of and playing more to your strengths.

**said he after putting off writing the next presentation for the past hour to speak to people and write copy**.

Tip: Be more Sherlock. Look for the clues in your work and life. They are already pointing you towards what you most want to do.

In The Spotlight

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One of the core themes I talk about is applying business leadership principles at home. And using family principles in business.

Thrive in Family to Thrive in Business.

Thrive in Business to Thrive in Family.

This was a message that I shared in this Keynote at the Investor Growth Awards in London last week.

The Founder of the Awards, Guy Tolhurst is doing a brilliant role championing the role of investors to make sure that more attention is paid to this important area and specifically around mental health.

(... and on a personal note, I loved sharing supper and being intro'd on stage by MC Claudia Winkleman and following in the footsteps of Lord Bilamoria, founder of Cobra Beer who previously keynoted this event.)

How do you free climb 3,000 feet?

One of the big things with creating your goals is seeing it in your mind before it happens.

Those who’ve been on our training programs or past courses will already by familiar with the "Theatre of the Mind" exercise. It’s a specific approach to rehearse the future.

This TED talk provides a brilliant insight into the use of this technique with free climber Alex Honnold talking about his 7 years of preparation for the biggest free climb (no ropes) in the world.

The climbing material will have you on the edge of your seats.

The mental preparation is something we all can and should be using.

There are no overnight successes.

Just lots of preparation, clarity of focus and hard work to get there.

Always be learning.

Fired up by my 11 year old son’s fascination with drones I'm seeing them everywhere now.

Here's a great article on what drone technology can learn from wasps »

One of the biggest things to shift my business was learnings definitely outside my sector.

Being exposed to a wide range of ideas and inspiration and applying them to your world is SO powerful.

Tip: What ideas can you take from outside your sector to create breakthrough thinking?

Who needs some magic?

A slew of book reviews this week including my two favourite being on the recommended Christmas list in the RNLI Magazine, and Professional Marketing Magazine.

Here’s what Simon Slater, CEO of City Law Firm Pemberton Greenish had to say:

“This is a book about the human spirit.

Why review this book in PM (Professional Marketing) Magazine?

Simple: it is an analogy for business"

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Who do you know who’d love to unwrap some business and life inspiration as a Christmas Gift?

You can get the book right here.

Be a Better Leader

The heart of leadership

Leadership isn’t a title. It isn’t something you are awarded. It’s something you simply demonstrate and this one simple tip is right at the heart of being a great leader.

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the day

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars.

Or sailed to an uncharted land.

Or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.

- Helen Keller

Upcoming Adventures

November 14 - Keynote, Athens

November 15 - Keynote, Athens

November 16 - Keynote, Istanbul

November 22 - Keynote, Wales

November 23 - Coaching Leaders, London

November 27 - Keynote, Guildford

December 5 - Autonomy Program, London

December 13 - Thrive Workshop, Surrey

It’s a great story and the book is really, really good. I was so impressed. It’s brilliant.
— Steve Wright, BBC Radio 2

How do you deal with criticism?

From the Desk of Caspar

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Withering or Flourishing?

At the start of 2018, my son was in his vegetable allotment several days a week.

Planting seeds, weeding, nurturing, pouring his heart and soul into his seedlings.

That continued through the spring and early summer.

In summer, he got frustrated as he couldn't find time, juggling exams and the allotment became overgrown with weeds

His head dropped. He got frustrated and by late summer he'd barely visit.

Yesterday. We went together to the allotment.

What we discovered took him by surprise.

He saw the tomatoes first.

They had flourished but because of the lack of time and attention they had withered on the vine.

A completely lost crop.

He then saw the rest of the allotment.

Much had flourished.

Rhubarb, beetroot, runner beans & carrots.

He was lucky.

Another month of neglect & that crop would likely have been wasted too.

Isn't this just life your business and your life

Everything in fact.

We start off with brilliant intentions & provide the sunshine, the water & the nurturing to let things flourish.

We then get distracted with life & other things come up.

We take our eye off the ball.

Things get neglected.

The hard work goes to waste & it withers on the vine.

In YOUR business & life.

What are you neglecting?

Tip: Make sure you are covering all the areas in your life. So often we over focus on one area to the detriment of others.

In the Spotlight

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Following in the footsteps of Tim Ferris, Gary Vaynerchuk and Seth Godin I was interviewed by Tom Bilyeu on his US show Impact Theory.

We discuss:

Intentional living

Building a business that can run without you

Breakthrough thinking

Dealing with failure

Relentless action

And so much more.

Tom is so brilliantly prepared and had read the book in so much detail that we could really drill down to some powerful messages.

That and his summing up at 40 minutes and 42 seconds left me speechless (which is rare).

One Simple Idea

Unfollow all the people and pages on Facebook/ Twitter {insert social network of choice} who make you feel negative, or where you end up spending loads of time and it doesn't move you forwards.

Promise it will make you feel better.

(Roughly a year ago I did a mass unfollow of sites and people who for me overly post negative views and political posts: made my world a lot happier AND productive.)

Trailblazers

We closed the doors last week on the Beta launch of our program Autonomy and over the next 3 months will be working with a brilliant group of entrepreneurs to help them make transformations in their businesses and lives so they can remove the roadblocks to doing what is truly important to them in their lives.

We’ll be sharing stories over the coming months and details of the 3 day event we’ll be running on February 11, 12 and 13 in London where as well as doing a deep dive into Autonomy, we’ll also be having some brilliant guest speakers sharing their expertise.

You can now pre-register your interest for when we launch Autonomy next year:

Join the Waitlist

Do you Trust Yourself?

As in really truly back yourself?

A short story.

Before we left the UK on our sailing adventure, we only had 10 weeks to get our boat ready.

Was everything perfect?

Hell, no.

There were a million things going on. It was messy. Crazy.

Handing over the running of 3 biz. Renting our house. Packing the boat. Safety checks. Managing 3 kids.

If we had waited for perfect, we would NEVER have left.

We trusted ourselves.

We backed ourselves to figure out the answer to whatever came up.

If you are waiting for things to be perfect before you start, you will always be waiting.

"I'll do this WHEN this happens".

The Truth.

There is NEVER a good time.

Only NOW.

Regret is heavy. We only get one shot at this thing called life.

Work out what is truly important to you and your team.

Be Brave.

Grab hold of it.

Trust yourself. Back yourself and your team.

Tip: Trust yourself. Work out whats really important to you and your team. And go for it.

Be a Better Leader

How do you deal with criticism?

“So when people told us all the reasons that we couldn't do it, sometimes those reasons come across so powerfully they sound like facts.

But they're just opinions.

And it's really important to remember that distinction. That they are only opinions.”

PS. If you like this, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get these tips every week rather than just every fortnight.

Thought for the day

Perfection is the enemy of progress.

Don't overthink.

Do your best and then get moving.

Upcoming Adventures

November 1 - Keynote, London

November 2 - Keynote, Oxford.

November 6 - Leadership Workshop, London

November 7 - Keynote, London

November 14 - Keynote, Athens

November 15 - Keynote, Athens

November 16 - Keynote, Istanbul

November 22 - Keynote, Wales

November 27 - Keynote, Guildford

Where the magic happens…for your business!
Our business is like a family and we were keen to make sure that we were building a business that not was not only great for our customers and was operationally healthy but that also supported our employees and associates to live their lives they wanted. We asked Caspar to help us with this challenge – taking the essence of where the magic happens and applying to our business. The result was one of the most amazing, productive and I have to confess emotional development sessions in my 22 year career. The result of carefully listening to each other’s personal (and extended family) needs, we were able to pick out the things that out business needed to do to support us all – there were the words you would expect such as flexibility, profitability, learning but there were unexpected moments of magic such as creativity, nurturing, mental and physical health. From this built we have built a three year vision statement which we all believe in and that embraces both our professional and personal ambitions. A unique experience and massive thanks to Caspar for his insight, guidance and patience.
— Helen Curtis - Managing Director Coterie Marketing