I could tell you about my many years of experience in industry, my several degrees in engineering and management, but so what? That says something of what I’ve done, but not so much about who I am. Instead I’d like to give you an insight in to me, the person, by way of these 2 photos and the stories behind them.
This is me just before I graduated as a new Junior Officer from the Royal Air Force (‘RAF’) College Cranwell, in the UK. I’m pictured holding the Sarah Molland Memorial Cup. It’s awarded to the officer cadet who demonstrates “Outstanding Physical Courage and Fortitude.”
Sarah Molland was an officer cadet who came through Cranwell just a few years before I did. A few days before her own graduation she was killed in a car accident just a few miles from the College. It was a tragic loss and waste of potential. Having met her parents at my own graduation I’m sure Sarah would have made a real difference in the world, with everybody she met.
But how did I get this? Let me rewind a little.
When I was 25 I left an air conditioned and comfortable office and took a big pay cut to join the RAF. This was something I’d wanted to do ever since I was a kid. (I come from families who have always served – mainly in the military and in the medical fields, going back several centuries.)
I spent 8 months at Cranwell, learning about leadership, teamwork and service. Unfortunately I injured my leg quite badly early on, and had to be taken out of training. The consultant wanted to have me medically discharged to protect me and my legs from further injury. But I really wanted to be an officer – with all my heart and soul.
After being fixed up enough to restart training, I joined my new squadron, but still carried some injuries. This presented challenges for me and my squad. How can they run, and keep me with them, when I’m not able to run? I learned to walk quickly. Very quickly infact! And they learned to help me, and we got through it together. We learned about individual strengths and weaknesses, and we together worked as a team with and around our strengths and weaknesses.
The Sarah Molland Memorial Cup is special to me because I wasn’t the only officer cadet to carry injuries and related challenges through training. Many of us did. It’s also special because this was the one prize awarded as a result of a popular vote of all the officer cadets.
It’s a talisman and a reminder to me of the people who have gone before, of the exemplars they have been of doing things with heart and soul, and with humanity. Almost everything I did in the air force (I served on a helicopter squadron for much of my time) was about helping those in need, whether it was fellow comrades in arms, or more usually, humanitarian aid following natural disasters. And it’s a reminder of the responsibility I’m honoured to take up, to try to follow and spread their example any way I can.
This is a more recent picture, from early 2017. It’s my first visit to the home of my good friend and colleague, Bernard, in the New Territories in Hong Kong.
In front of us is Bobo, Bernard’s beloved pet of 14 years (and who recently passed ‘over the Rainbow Bridge’). Bernard and his wife, like me and my wife, are animal lovers. That’s not all that connects Bernard and me… we also love good food, share a desire to help others, and to do the best we can for our families and communities.
This photo is of a happy trip that took me all over eastern Asia. It was a trip that brought me in to contact again with local people, beyond the bounds of a faceless, soulless office block or hotel in some large city. And it reminded me that wherever I go in the world, and I’ve been all over, people are just people.
No matter the colour of their skin, the language they speak, or religious beliefs they hold, people are people. There is just one tribe of ‘Humanity’ and it’s basically a tribe that wants to do good, and to be useful. We want to provide for our families, protect and nurture them, and see our children do well and be OK. And we want to treat our environment with respect, given half a chance.
Between these 2 pictures I hope you get a sense of who I am, and how important the notion of living with ‘heart, soul and humanity’ is to me.
So when I got involved with sales and selling, I just had to find a way to sell with Heart, Soul and Humanity and share that too!
We are committed to helping people and businesses make a difference, at any and all levels.
And to do so with heart, soul and humanity.
Because, why wouldn’t we?