‘’A Fisherman’s Tale”?

‘’A Fisherman’s Tale”?

Jason Waldron | Senior Sales Manager, Zurich Middle East
Making your mark, leaving a legacy

Often, in my interactions with owners of family-run businesses, the word “legacy” plays an essential role in creating a succession plan. Often what a business owner perceives as a family legacy, is really just personal legacy so he can be remembered.     

As a small business owner, stop for a moment and consider what kind of legacy you want to leave for your dependents and how you want to be remembered.

A life on the high seas is not for everyone

If you aspire to hand the reins for your business over to the family, consider that some family members will want to contribute to the growth of the business when you are gone, while other’s will pursue their own path.  

Consider my own example, my father was a commercial fisherman and owned several boats. He was successful, raised a family with two children, and ensured that my sister and I were primed to ascend into the family business.

I went on to take over the business, this made sense to me on a number of levels. There was enough profit to attract and retain me and because my father had instilled years of knowledge into my training and education, I was comfortable running the business in his absence. I became a successful part of our family legacy, helping it to reach new heights.

My sister however, wasn’t overly keen on joining the family business and becoming a commercial fisherwoman.

A fair and equitable legacy

Herein lies the problem my father had in preserving his legacy.

Had something had happened to my father such as death, illness or incapacity, I would inherit his fishing boats, shares in the company and his commercial license worth approximately $1m. My sister on the other hand, would inherit very little in comparison. 

After considering the legacy that he wanted to leave behind, my father invested in an insurance policy that would equalize our inheritance in the event of his death. In this scenario, there was no need to divide any shares or assets amongst siblings which could have created conflict and subsequent business failure. Simply put, I would receive the business and assets, while my sister would receive $1m from the proceeds of the life insurance policy.

An important lesson for family businesses in the UAE

As an owner of a family business, are you sailing the legacy seas of uncertainty or have you put plans in place that secures the survival of your business and the lives of the ones you love? 

With many UAE businesses currently in the first generation of ownership, a succession plan is imperative for any family business owner looking to avoid significant conflict between their nearest and dearest.

I share my father’s vision on leaving a legacy, on making your mark. So, gather together with your family, consider their plans and goals and then celebrate the decisions you made to protect them and support their dreams.

Writers note:

I am very happy to tell you that my father kept himself healthy and well and we ran the business together until his eventual retirement. At this time, we sold the family business and I pursued the bright lights of financial services.

Contact Information & Social Media links:

Email:  jason.waldron@zurich.com
Website: www.zurich.ae
Instagram: www.instagram.com/zurichmiddleeast/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ZurichME/

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jason-waldron-85663656/  &   https://www.linkedin.com/company/zurich-middle-east/

How to Lead Your Team to Extreme Performance

How to Lead Your Team to Extreme Performance

“A company is like a ship … everyone should be prepared to take the helm.”

—Henrik Ibsen

If you like hierarchy, stop reading this article on leadership. Go back to barking orders and keeping people in line. Know, though, that you will never be a victorious leader of a peak-performance team.

Peak-performance teams operate differently than the ones that operate on the top-down leadership style we see in the military. Barking orders works well when you lead soldiers into battle, but it doesn’t help a team adapt to the ever-changing conditions of a business.

In this final article of my series on extreme performance, I’m going to address kinetic leadership. If you want to be able to lead a successful team in your industry, you’ll need to know how to change who leads the team and how leaders should adapt their leadership styles.

Change Leaders

The most consistently high-performing teams are not led by a single leader. Extreme-performance teams are led by multiple people. The leaders change as the conditions and challenges change.

Everyone on the team should be ready to lead—and should be expected to. When I was racing nonstop for six to 10 days, we had a formal team captain for the record book, but the team captain didn’t call all the shots. When we got to paddling sections in the jungle, Ian Adamson took over. If the terrain was difficult, Neil Jones came forward to guide our way. If mountain biking was our mode of transportation for that leg of the race, Ian Edmond set the pace.

If you want your teams to reach extreme performance, you need to change leaders based on expertise. It helped our team become Adventure Racing World Champions.

Change Leadership Styles

Not only does your team need to change leaders, but the leaders must be able to change their style of leadership depending on the situation.

Sometimes a team needs a visionary to show the way, a motivator to inspire, or a friend to give a warm hug. The best leaders know when to change and use their emotional intelligence to determine which style to use.

As I wrote in my Tibet Raid Gauloise racing article, we faced a problem when our team’s mountain bikes were missing from our transition area. It seemed like the race was over until Robert, John, and Keith changed their leadership styles. They formed a vision for how we could go forward by borrowing bikes from the locals.

After we gathered these rusting relics, they changed their leadership style again. They provided inspiration to the team so we believed we could win on borrowed bikes. They knew just what to do to keep us going. We didn’t win the race that time, but we did reach extreme performance, so the next time we raced we were able to handle the challenges and win.

If you want your teams to reach extreme performance, you need to be flexible. Allow different leaders to emerge and to use different leadership styles to give your team what it needs.

Source : https://www.thehrobserver.com/how-to-lead-your-team-to-extreme-performance/

Are you a Mindful Leader?

Are you a Mindful Leader?

“Mindfulness is a state of being fully present, aware of oneself and other people, and sensitive to one’s reactions to stressful situations. Leaders who are mindful tend to be more effective in understanding and relating to others and motivating them toward shared goals. Hence, they become more effective in leadership roles.”

(William W. George, Harvard Business School Q&A)
Monica Mathijs | Developing People. Developing organisations

When was the last time you made a rushed decision or reacted without full information? Can you think of a time when you were short with your staff because your mind was not in the right place? Have you dealt with stressful situations in a manner which was not effective nor beneficial to those around you?

For many managers and leaders, these questions can bring back a memory of a time when they reacted in a way which was not positive and may have led to a worse situation.

Do you want to be able to change the way you deal with difficult situations or at least learn to react in a manner which is more present, thoughtful and focused?

With topics such as mindfulness, self-awareness, empathy and emotional intelligence gaining much focus and reflect upon their actions and words.

The prevalence of mindfulness as a topic with all its uses and benefits, it makes sense that mindfulness programs and techniques are being adopted in the workplace, education system to the military.

When people practice mindfulness, the experiences and benefits are unique to them. The benefits include improved sleep, a sense of calm, a change in their outlook of life, how they deal with situations all the way to realizing their calling in life.

Over the years, research and science provide the evidence to support the benefits of mindfulness. Just to name a few of the scientific findings, the brain can be re-wired, stress hormones reduce, the happy hormones increase, memory improves and more. A

How to adopt a mindfulness approach to your leadership style:

  1. Find the time to practice mindfulness – Robin Sharma talks about rising early and meditating. Morning meditation gives the mind and body with space and sets us up for the day ahead
  2. Learn some techniques to help during stressful situations or just to reconnect – simple techniques such as the 16 second breath or the listening to the sounds around you can help bring you back to the present moment and stop the over-reacting thought
  3. Observe and notice – as a leader, how your people are behaving and acting is an indicator of how they feel, whether they are too busy, content, underworked or behaving out of character, this gives you the chance to take action steps and ask how others are doing
  4. Listen with attention and practice active listening – next time you are in a meeting, learn to focus on the topic or person speaking, make eye contact, be active in what you are hearing and put down that phone. These simple steps show that this is important to you
  5. Run mindfulness programs for your staff – raise an awareness of techniques and stress management tools to equip them with the means to deal with and handle a variety of situations

The next time you are in a situation where you have the choice to react, practice a mindfulness technique and see how things change.

Monica Mahi Mathijs is the co-founder of Reach Outstanding offering leadership development programs, executive coaching and assessment centres – Developing People. Developing Organisations. 

7 Ways You’re Preventing Yourself From Getting Your Act Together

7 Ways You’re Preventing Yourself From Getting Your Act Together

Let’s be honest, most of us, at some time or another haven’t had our act together.

It’s tough. We can have a lot of commitments, whether it’s work, children, family, goals, health, fitness…

The list goes on. Having everything together isn’t always easy.

However, not having our act together can cause more stress and anxiety.

Which leads to health issues, including digestion. Leaving people needing to get their act together literally AND figuratively.

Which I, personally, learnt the hard way. The worst part of my story was that I “thought” I did have it all together. I mean I was 20, I clearly knew everything. Until I wasn’t digesting food. It was like my body became intolerant to the rubbish I was feeding it.

My work helping people get their act together didn’t start with my story.

It actually started when I was working as a nutritionist.

What I learnt from being a nutritionist is it isn’t simply changing someone’s diet, no. It’s more than that. A lot more. You’re looking at the reasons why people eat certain foods. Why they don’t want to change when they say they want to. Then breaking down all their excuses on why they can’t change. Trust me when I say this, being a nutritionist is not a simple undertaking.

Now I’m a professional Get Your Act Together-er.

Here is what I have learnt from not only getting my act together but also from helping other people get their act together.

People make excuses for why they can’t change.

So here are Seven Ways People Prevent Themselves From Getting Their Act Together.

1) Forgetting To Say No.

I genuinely believe people have hardwired their brains into thinking that saying no is physically damaging to them. I know I did it to myself.

Think about all the times you have wanted to say no. However, instead of saying no, you said yes. Usually, because you have come up with a narrative of all the bad things that will happen if you say no.

Maybe because you think Tom, Dick and Harry will curse the day you were born for saying no.

Saying yes all the time, especially when you want to say no is wasting your time.

Think about all the ways you could be getting your act together if you just said no.

2) Distractions

This is one of the biggest ones.

There are so many distractions around us. Whether it’s TV, social media, the internet, life drama etc.

There is always something to do.

Getting your act together takes time. It takes self-reflection. How are you are going to do that when there are all these shiny objects floating around.

Getting your act together isn’t comfortable. You have to look at hard truths about yourself. For a lot of people that discomfort pushes them to distract themselves. It’s as if they are trying to escape their reality.

Making it IMPOSSIBLE to get their act together.

3) Lack Of Accountability.

If there isn’t anyone around that is a good influence guiding you, then you’re screwed. You have no one to be accountable to.

Being accountable to yourself is where you want to be, however, for a lot of people, it’s tough. You have to wade through a river rubbish to be able to put it all together.

I recently wrote a blog on Why Being Responsible Is A Super Power. It really is. If you can hold yourself accountable and take responsibility, it becomes a lot easier to get your act together.

Taking accountability is uncomfortable. You have to own all your mistakes. Recognise you are your biggest hurdle and find a way to overcome.

4) You’re Future “Me-ing” It.

Do you know those times where you can see something that you need to fix? Or a job that needs to be done and you say “I’ll do it later’?

Yeah, that’s future me-ing the problem. I can guarantee that future you, strongly dislikes past you.

Not “dealing” with a problem/job/deadline/ bill whatever it is in the moment is adding more rubbish you need to get together.

Sometimes getting your act together is actually removing tasks and not adding to them.

5) The Stories We Tell Ourselves.

I see this time and time again.

People tell themselves stories about why they can’t get their act together. Whether it’s quitting a job, asking for a raise, leaving a toxic relationship or joining a gym.

The fictitious stories you tell yourself can render you inactive and prevent you from moving forward.

This one can be a tough one to overcome. Sometimes the stories we tell ourselves, we have been telling ourselves since we were kids.

Breaking that cycle can be difficult.

6) You’re Saying “I Don’t Have Time”.

Who here has visited this land? I know I have, many times. It’s where dreams go to die.

Look, I get it. We are all busy. I agree. Sometimes, on occasions, we simply don’t have times.

However, let’s quickly review number one in this article. Forgetting to say no.

If people can’t break this cycle and take an honest look at their time, then it’s going to be really hard to get their act together.

A lot of people I work with have issues with control. Anxiety can come from a lack of control. However, letting go and letting people help you to give you more time is essential.

7) You’re Living In The “When I”.

This one is so common.

I have met clients, friends, family members, acquaintances that say this all the time.

For instance:

I’ll join the gym “when I” lose a little more weight.

I’ll quit my (toxic) job “when I” reach x, y, z.

I’ll spend more time with friends “when I” have more time.

I’ll quit drinking “when I” have finalised x, y, z. ‘

You know what I told myself a lot? I’ll sort out my anxiety “when I” don’t have digestive issues. This literally prevented me from getting my act together literally and figuratively.

If you’re always waiting for the perfect moment to change, you’re wasting your time.

For more information about stress, anxiety, burnout, digestion or getting your act together, head over to my blogs and video section.

Or if you would like to get in touch, feel free to reach me here.

Stop waiting and start Getting Your Act Together.

5 Ways to Add More Positive Energy to Your Workplace

5 Ways to Add More Positive Energy to Your Workplace

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”


Many people grow up hearing that positivity is key. Unfortunately, as we grow up, it can be harder and harder to be positive. Life has many snags and issues that we all must learn to deal with. Work can be an especially stressful place, with deadlines and clients and co-workers.



Much work stress comes from deadlines that were missed and disorganization. Keep a color coded calendar of all work events, deadlines, meetings, and client updates. Being able to consult the calendar of all daily events will make work less stressful.


Most people have negative communication with one another because the communication is not effective. Send emails updating colleagues on the things that each person must be aware of and while speaking in person, genuinely listen to one another rather than being abrupt. Better communication produces positive communication and positive feelings.


Many people do not make a habit of smiling and looking cheerful at work, but looking approachable will get you much different results than looking standoffish. Practicing smiling and having a more upbeat attitude makes it likely that other workers will approach you with the same attitude. Clients also prefer working with someone who is professional, yet friendly.


Most of the time people don’t feel accomplished at work, which leads to feelings of negativity. Setting small goals that lead to larger accomplishments will help keep you focused will help keep your attitude positive and upbeat.


If you have a stressful job or a job that can be brought home, it can become easy for your life to be overwhelmed with work. If you vow to leave work at home and spend your personal time with family, friends, and your own hobbies, work will appear much less like an albatross and must more like a part of life.

Source: https://www.powerofpositivity.com/5-ways-positivity-workplace/

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