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What Goes Around Limited celebrated its first birthday on September 1 2010.
This little milestone got me thinking, “What are some of the key things that have
helped us make it to this point? What has helped us survive and thrive?”

The list grew quickly and I decided to focus in on just a few things that felt really
important to me. I wrote briefly about three of those things on my blog and
asked if people would share their wisdom, their thoughts and ideas. I received
some thoughtful, useful and motivating replies from some great people from
across the globe. I made a commitment to share these insights in the hope they
may inspire and motivate you and others too. So what follows is my original post
followed by all the lovely contributions. I hope you enjoy what you are about to
read and I hope you can find a good use for the learning too.

“I want to share three things that I’ve focussed on and

worked at to help What Goes Around survive and thrive this
past year. Three among the many that I’ve practiced in the
last twelve months. And I would really appreciate it if you
could do the same.


The folk I know, and have learnt to know, and am learning
to know fascinate me. I was going to write “My Network” as the title, but it isn’t.
It’s ours. A network is something to contribute to, and take from, and most
importantly, to look after for you, and everyone in it. Connecting interesting and
useful people purposefully. Joe Strummer said “Without People, You’re Nothing”.
He was right. Look after the network, love the network.


What’s done is done. Folk make decisions that don’t always go your way, or
maybe they don’t even make decisions. And once they do make decisions, they
rarely change their minds. So you can invest a huge amount of time wondering
why not. Or you can look ahead to what next. I try and learn from what has
happened in order to make better decisions next time. And I’m getting much
better at not beating myself up about it.


Shit happens. I’ve written before about losing my Mum just before I turned 18.
Yes this made me angry, yes this made me sad. And sometimes it still does. Most
of all though it made me even more proud to be my Mother’s Son, and it still
does. Approaching people and opportunities with genuine interest is motivating. I
believe that being overwhelmingly (and yet not permanently) positive helps to
make good things happen.

So there you have it. Three things among the many I’ve practiced in the last
twelve months. Now, how was it for you?”
Terry Seamon

"I like your three points very much, Doug. To add three
more, I’d echo the Pixley Formula (named after Charles
Pixley who put on a sandwich board and advertised himself
till he landed a job):

1. believe in yourself
2. improve yourself
3. put yourself out there

I blogged about this here:


Hilary Jeanes

“Great post, Doug. My 3 tips are:

- Know what your strengths are and find ways to play to them. Work will be
much more fun as a result.

- Identify what causes you stress and how to alleviate it. You'll be in a
better place to cope with whatever life throws your way.

- What can you gain from your current situation? There is always
something you can do or learn - and add to your skills for your next career

There's more here

Hilary Jeanes”
Karen Drury

“Sometimes it's just nice to feel miserable for a (short) while. So, pushing aside
the rampant positivity for a moment, I'd include:

1. Get Scott Adams' Dilbert a once a day by email - a brilliant tonic and reminding
you that others are in the same position - or worse.

2. Be discerning - if it sounds too good to be true (whether it's making your life
better by "reading this book!", getting you the killer job, helping you to be rich,
thin, or both) - it probably is. Plough your own field, don't buy the book written
by someone else that tells you how to do it their way.

3. Take courage and comfort from friends, and invite them to occasionally kick
you up the bum if you wallow for too long.

And - always deliver more than is expected. So –

4. Give people more than they expect.

Karen Drury”

Alison Smith

“Great question Doug and belated happy birthday.

What surprises me as I reflect on the last 12 months is how much of my focus

has been on embracing the first 3 steps out of the creek! Since I only finalised
the process 12 months ago I’ve found it fascinating how much I’ve had to
experience each step to fully understand what each entails. They certainly
support much of what has been written here already:

 Stop – Stop being a headless chicken and running around in circles,

release the fear and get into balance (mind, body, heart and soul).

 Life Jacket – Connect with our own Authenticity with confidence and

 Mission – Connect with what we’re good at, enjoy and have passion for.

I’ve had challenges at each of these

steps and have shared much of my
learning along the way in my blog
nrbcm/paddle-finding. I trust that
the next 12 months will allow me to
explore plotting the Map, connecting
with fellow Guides and Travellers,
using my Compass and then using
my Paddle to get back into the flow.

Shereen Qutob Cabral

“Wow Doug – what a feat! First of all Congrats and Happy Birthday to “What Goes

These past 12 months have tested many of us in ways we could not imagine.
As for surviving, well it takes a whole lot of patience and faith to keep walking
through the dark clouds of ambiguity. An attitude that’s helped me navigate the
ups and downs of this past year has been to openly welcome and accept any
experience coming my way (both good and bad) as it is there for a reason, to
teach me something about myself that I need to learn and master to be able to
move on.

As for thriving, for me what really keeps me going is my network (both online and
offline), tapping into their collective insights and steering clear of the mood-
hoovers and energy-drainers. Consciously making the choice to seek out
positivity over negativity. Re-looking at my priorities in life and putting my family,
friends and loved ones first.

I’ve also learned that you really need to honour your values and work in
alignment with them and have the courage to voice them at work and in life; for
truly you cannot fit a square peg into a round hole (not unless you damage it!).

Cheers, Shereen”

Craig Althof

“Great to see you, Doug! Who else can so

artfully weave the wisdom of a Joe
Strummer into the engagement fabric?

First, Happy Birthday to What Goes

Around. Time is flying.

Second, your post inspired a bridging

tidbit, sticking with the musician guru theme's a little known fact that Steven
Stills collaborated with Mick and the Boys for a few tunes. To pull from one:

Don't be angry, don't be sad.

Don't sit cryin over good times you've had.
Cuz you can't always get what you want,
But if you try some time-you'll get what you need.

But then they got greedy and decided to split the lyrical contributions, and the
revenues. The budding partnership fell by the wayside.

Jagger said a long, loooonnnng time ago "I'd rather be dead than to be playing
'Satisfaction' when I'm 45."


For those of us who can remember that far back, what was your first serious
adult aspiration? Not the childhood "I want to be an astronaut" dream, but your
first real dream of what you wanted to be now that you were grown up.

Did you achieve it? Why / why not? "Failure" is no sweat-sometimes the sights
just need to be re-calibrated. Mine did, more than once!

My three:

1. I reinvented myself, did a gut-check of my vision, direction, short-term goals,

my 'value proposition' to the market and how well I was / wasn't equipped.
Actually, this is still in process.

2. I absolutely deemphasized the criticality of money and position in our lives.

There are other things more important, as long as there's enough to go around.
More important things like...

3. Should be #1. I decided to fiercely protect MY time to spend with the grand
kids, to hide out at the fishin hole for some soul searching as needed, and to play

Re-assess on a regular basis (Me, Inc AND businesses), set your priorities, act on
them. Surviving and thriving will follow.

What a FUN topic, Doug!”

Bill Lamphear

“A very good list, Doug. I started out reading the replies and decided along the
way I'd throw in my two cents worth.

#1 - Everyday is a gift. One year ago I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I had
surgery, and now I'm cancer free a year later. Once you have been through an
experience like that, you tend to wake up each day with a bit of a different
perspective on life. I spend a lot of time coaching and counseling our associates
at work, and I sincerely hope that my positive nature will rub off on them and
give them a more positive outlook on life.

#2 - Keep learning. I try to learn something

new everyday and surround myself with
people who know an awful lot more about
how companies operate than I do. By
picking their brains and being around them
I feel I have expanded my knowledge base
and will be more valuable to the company in
the long run.

#3 - Be a friend and a mentor. Whether it is

my wife, children, grandchildren, or folks I
work with, it is important to build
relationships that go beyond the surface
and grow deeper over time. Whether it is an
encouraging word to a colleague who is
having a bad day, or playing with the
grandchildren, I want to be remembered as
someone who truly cared enough to spend
whatever time was necessary to foster the
relationships. If I will give a little bit more and expect nothing in return, it has
proven itself over and over in my life that I will be the one who is truly blessed in
the long run.

David Zinger

“1. I have a three word theme for each year

which has been great for focus and thrive-alive
in 2010. My 3 words for 2010 are engage –
mobilize – produce. I will write a new theme in
December for 2011. Somehow I think engage
will remain in the list. As I look at it now it does
sound a bit like the start of a rugby scrum!

2. Experiencing the strong connections around

the globe with so many people on so many
channels from Twitter and Ning to In Person Conferences. Makes it damn
impossible to feel alone and disconnected.

3. Mindful moments make me feel alive and I would like to experience and I plan
to experience more mindful moments. Really showing up to the time I am in with
the people who are there.

Carry on caring Doug.”

Dorothy Matthew

“Hi Doug & Happy 1st Birthday! You are so right – time really does fly by doesn’t
it? I loved your 3…here are 3 from me


As you know I flew off to Australia at the beginning of the year. As well as being
incredibly excited about the opportunity I was also a little scared, and all too
aware that I was leaving behind my hubby, family, friends, and disappearing to
the other side of the planet. I’ve learned that its only 24 hours away and that we
are so lucky today to be able to stay connected via technology – email, social
networks and skype. So the world really is getting smaller…


Quite simply the best leaders ‘get stuff done with and through their people’.
There are so many books, models and articles blah blah, about good leadership
but when all is said and done, it doesn’t have to be any more complicated than
this. Oh and good leadership is the foundation for business success. I think I
knew this already but the last year has re-enforced this belief. Again there is so
much written today about engagement and the drivers of engagement… It’s all
about good leadership!

One of my key motivations is the need to make a difference…The last year has
taught me this over and over again. And it’s not just me (hello?)…people the
world over have a deep need to make a contribution, feel valued and recognised
for their talents. There is nothing so rewarding than enabling people to make a
Hope these help Doug & thanks for the opportunity to think this through and
focus on just 3!

Best – Dorothy”
Nigel Bird

“I’ve had an amazing year of change. The catalyst for this was, initially, my post
graduate study in strategic leadership, however since embarking upon this
journey of self-discovery and development, I have found that it has now
developed a life of its own and, even after my formal studies have drawn to a
close, I am continuing to search out new ideas for improving what I do and how I
do it. The What Goes Around blog is one of the sources of motivation and
inspiration that I draw on. So, “Happy Birthday” and best wishes for the
forthcoming year; may you go from strength to strength!
To draw just three things from the last 12-months, I would have to say:

1. Re-evaluated what
motivates me, what makes
me tick and what I want to
do with my life – in other
words, what makes me get
out of bed to do a day’s
work. Amongst other things,
this led me to volunteer to
lead health walks for a local
mental health charity and to
reassess my career path.
These two strands coincided
last autumn when I landed a
new job working for a
County Council doing
something that I am
passionate about –
providing access to the countryside.

2. I have reflected deeply on my relationships: with my wife, my family, friends,

colleagues and, most importantly, with myself. I feel that I now have a much
greater understanding of what I value in my relationships and this has enabled
me to develop much stronger bonds with those around me.

3. Team building. Coming into a new leadership role I have developed the identity
and purpose of the team that I am now managing. But not content at stopping
there, I’m now working to foster a team identity and spirit between the
(previously) disparate group of managers of the area teams that deliver our work
across the county, and with whom I need to work closely if we are to deliver our
shared objectives. By pulling together in mutual co-operation, as one of the team
succinctly put it, “Together Everyone Achieves More”.”

Ian Sutherland

“Well only three, eh? Ok well I may bend the rules a little and sound a little
clichéd but hey if it works….

My first relates to surviving and comes from a Dale Carnegie principle which is
when faced with adversity “accept the worst” that could happen and then look to
improve upon it. Linked with this was something my old Headmaster used to say
which was “if you can’t write it down, you don’t understand it”. Both of these help
reduce stress and stop all the “what if’s” and “maybe’s” buzzing around your head
and let you move on.
In terms of thriving, my second comes from a slogan on a “No
Fear” T-shirt I had – it said “face your fears, live your
dreams”. It has taken me while to live this and some might
say I still fall short, but it has opened so many possibilities
that I would pass it on to anyone.

My third is how to live your life best and has two parts that
help you not waste energy on useless activities. A big part is
the maxim my father used to have on his wall which was “May God grant me the
courage to change what I can, the humility to accept what I can’t and the wisdom
to know the difference”. In addition I have formulate the saying that “truth is a
function of time” i.e. what was true yesterday may not be true today, and what is
true today may not be true tomorrow; that does not mean it was not true when it
was true. The value of this is not to waste time working out who lied and when,
as often no one did. It also encourages you to retest assumptions and support
which can change without you noticing.”

Beth Raymond

“Such wise words - that can too easily be forgotten or over-shadowed.

Thanks for sharing with everyone this reminder! I will add, the caveat to remain
humble and be mindful of how you treat others along the way. That is of great
importance but seems like a lost art these days as well.

1. believe in yourself (always!)

2. improve yourself (always!)
3. put yourself out there (with kindness!)””

Lisa Sansom

“Things that help me survive - and sometimes thrive:

1. In tough times, tread water - just do what is necessary to get through the day,
hour or minute.

2. In easy times, take the broad picture and enjoy it. Appreciate the ease and
grace of the world. Savour. Relax. Strategize. Dream.

3. Know enough to label each time for what it is, and give myself permission to
behave accordingly. My motto: "it's ok".

Happy anniversary! Lisa”

Thanks to Terry Seamon, Hilary Jeanes, Karen Drury, Alison Smith, Shereen
Qutob Cabral, Craig Althof, Billl Lamphear, David Zinger, Dorothy Matthew, Nigel
Bird, Ian Sutherland, Beth Raymond and Lisa Sansom.
Photo credits (in order of appearance):

Plant in desert c/o static416

Playing guitar c/o Paul Windsor

Garden shed c/o Doug Shaw

Storm trooper wearing sandwich board c/o Stéfan

Man getting stressed c/o striatic

Compass c/o musicvisionary2000

Guitar c/o Sean Rogers 1

Learning Revolution c/o Wesley Fryer

Rugby scrum c/o darkmatter

Countryside c/o Theophilos

No fear c/o DotComFreak

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