Guest Post by Steve Davis

Guest Blogger of the Month

I am delighted to share with you today a Guest Post from Steve Davis in relation to leading and working with a team.  Steve is a highly motivated and inspirational individual and I would also encourage you to visit his empowering blog http://stevendavisuk.com/

Steve Davis
Steve Davis

Guest Post by Steve Davis

Hi, I am Steve. I write an increasingly popular blog to inspire and motivate people like you and me. My goals are to help others to get drive, hunger and some passion whether it is in their professional life or personal life. For many years I have been motivating different teams with different types of people with much success. Increasing attitude, productivity and results for those I have worked with. If you would like to engage with my increasingly popular blog, please visit http://stevendavisuk.com/

I wanted to share with you 3 factors that I find are very important when leading/ working with a team.

Lead your team by example

In order to have a productive team, you must be a productive leader. Role-modelling what the employees are expected to do creates great influence, not only on the team but on the work environment itself. It will also generate enthusiasm and will inspire everybody to work more productive and harder. Sometimes it’s simply because your employees are looking up to you. Small things like being on time or being energetic may affect your employee most. This is a massive part of my game as I am always smiling and full of the well, ‘joys of spring’. However, role modelling is sometimes easily overlooked. Be careful with what you do, how you say things, and what you say to keep your team MOTIVATED.

Give ‘worthwhile’ incentives

Celebrating success within the team is HUGE. Giving your team an extra incentive aside from what they are compensated for monthly can be considered as a ‘high impact’ motivation driver. This type of motivation often applies if the performance of the whole organisation is at par with its strategy and goals, be it weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even yearly. However, keep in mind that it is not only monetary incentives that count. My team often like vouchers, ‘Reach-and-Go’s’ and any form of companywide recognition. When this was introduced to numerous teams across my company it had a positive impact on results, activity and morale! Don’t forget, ask the team what they want and compromise where possible, so your incentives will DRIVE them to win.

Listen carefully

This may seem like the easiest thing to do, but you will be surprised how hard it is to actually take on board. I know many leaders who are somewhat successful but struggle to listen. We can all hear what others are saying but to listen is challenging at best. With all your worries about your business, its targets and operations, how will you have the time to listen about how Henry forgot his lunch and now has to buy food from local amenities? It’s tough, but make a conscious effort to give that time to listen. You might think that your employees’ problems are ‘insignificant’ compared to yours, but you can’t make that call on what is important to a person and what is not. Listening to your teams concerns will be greatly appreciated. They will feel more empowered and happy since they are talking to the leader of the team.

Inspiring and motivating your team is one of the most crucial job descriptions for a leader, you can teach skills, benefits and duties but lack of motivation to the team often results to decreasing productivity and declining results. Please keep in touch http://stevendavisuk.com/

Thank You

A very special thank you to Steve for sharing this post with us, I hope you found it as valuable as I did.  Clarabelle

If you are interested in doing a Guest Post for this Clarabelle blog, then I would really love to hear from you.  Please send me an email to claire@murraypeople.com noting your interest.  Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

Guest Blog Post: Jerry Nelson

Jerry Nelson Photography
Photo by Jerry Nelson

Please let me introduce you to Jerry Nelson, Guest Blogger from www.journeyamerica.org

Here is a little bit about the truly wonderfully inspiring Jerry (extract from his blog):

Jerry Nelson is an internationally recognized photojournalist.

His work has appeared in a wide variety of publications and news outlets including USAToday, CNN, Huffington Post, Upsurge, CBS, Dream Row, Earthwalkers and others.
He photographs and licenses images for all manner of commercial and editorial use as well as selling through this website.
***
Nelson writes, “I realize the dreams to travel were not mine alone. I have friends that have dreamed of traveling and trekking since the days that we all roamed the woods around Hot Springs, Virginia.                                                                                                                    
***
I realize that most of those friends will never have the opportunity to journey. Life gets in the way sometimes. But I have tried to share the majesty, intimacy and timelessness of places in my photographs in a way I hope everyone can relate to. I’ve tried to capture the reality of my childhood imaginations and share them with you. I realize that despite having grown up with these dreams, nobody needs to go on trips like I do. 
 
But as we work through the daily routine of life at home, sometimes it helps to know that we could go. That it’s all really there. 
 
Better yet, I hope my photographs inspire a few of you to actually follow your dreams and take your journey. I want to remind everyone that ordinary working people can visit remote places like I have. They do it all the time. 
 
These are not expensive or difficult places to explore if you travel independently and stay with the locals. 
 
And of course, there are endless experiences to be had in the wilderness areas of your own backyard. 
 
You can’t begin a journey if you don’t step out. There is nothing mysterious about a rucksack. All you need are a couple changes of clothes, some hard earned time off and less money than you think. 
 
Snake River Canyon Idaho
Snake River Canyon Idaho
Get out there with me and watch the ravens fly through the dazzling glow of a remote slot canyon, watch the northern lights dance over the snows of Denali, walk with the lions and tigers in Lujan, roam the barrios in Buenos Aires looking for the next photograph, stand in the plaza as the Pope gets installed, watch in amazement during the Prayer Dance of the Native Cultural Center in Tennessee, break bread with veterans from the Falkland Islands war, listen for the choppers at the M*A*S*H set in Malibu, drift on The Snake River as we pass The Grand Tetons, stay silent in the Sonoran Desert as we wait for the Mexican drug cartel to appear, break bread with the Shoshone in Idaho, walk a knife-edge ridge in the Smokies and sit around the campfire in the Ozarks with other veterans. Fish for Pirrhana in the Amazon, watch autumn leaves fall in a gentle snowstorm in Patagonia, stand with me as 300 buffalo stampede towards us in Eusick, Washington, marvel at a palm tree swaying dark against a billion stars while camping on a moonless night in the middle of the South Pacific, sail a 16th century ship through the sound into open water, be ’embedded’ with OccupyDC during the winter, live with rugged miners in even more rugged Appalachia and drink Dr. Pepper on the front porch of the old Hatfield homestead in Mingo County. 
 
It’s all there. 
 
And the earth needs people who travel this way, who earn their time with its treasures, and promote its conservation.                                                                                                
***
Time is the most precious commodity we actually own.”
Payette Kayak
Payette Kayak

Below is Jerry’s Guest Blog Post which he wrote especially for this Clarabelle Blog:

Life Goes On

It grey the morning I stepped outside the door in a small town close to Roswell, New Mexico, on December 17, 2006.  I shifted the backpack on my shoulders and walked to the end of the drive.  Adjusting the straps again, I stepped into the street and walked to the corner.  Looking back one more time, shifting the pack again, I walked down the street, through the town and across America.

I’m a Vietnam Veteran and while I didn’t see as much stuff as some others did, I was affected by the war and its aftermath.  After keeping feelings, emotions and nightmares bottled up for years, I was admitted to a psychiatric hospitel in Staunton, Virginia where I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Ten days in the psych ward with nothing to do but read ended up being a blessing.

I came across an old issue of National Geographic that had an article about hiking the Appalchian Trail.  That was what I needed to do.  That’s what I wanted to do.  Get out in the woods, get away from everything and everyone I knew.  Alone with just my thoughts and the Creator for company.  It never happened.  Sometimes life gets in the way and for years there was always a reason not to pursue my dream:  my wife she…my bills they…my job it…  Well, you know how it goes.

In September 2005 my wife of 31 years filed for divorce.  I didn’t want it so I sat on the paperwork hoping she would have a change of heart.  She never did, and in April 2006 I signed the documents and handed them over.  Later that year some friends who were living in New Mexico invited me out to spend the holidays with them so I wouldn’t have to be alone.  With nothing better to do, I went.  I got there on December 16 and that night felt the God of my understanding say I could take my walk.

I got to Washington DC on June 30th, 2007.  Since then I’ve continued to travel, write and take pictures.  You can see my work on my website, www.JourneyAmerica.org.  I’m always encouraging people to follow my travels and challenging them to take their own journey.  If you do, the people you’ll meet are amazing.

People like Omar in a Dallas ghetto who dreams of going to medical school so he can return and care for his neighbors and “Ms. Mamie” in Jackson, Mississippi who went back to school at 80 years old.

The spiritual life-lessons learned on a trip like that stay with you through life and become a guiding force and you learn that:

Life goes on and no matter what you’re going through I encourage you to “Join the Adventure”

Thank you Jerry for sharing a part of your story with us today here on this blog, it has been a real pleasure having you on board and you are most welcome anytime.  If you would like to read more about Jerry and his adventures please head over to his blog http://www.journeyamerica.org I challenge you not to feel inspired.

If you are interested in becoming a guest blogger on this Clarabelle Blog, please let me know on the comments below or send me an email to claire@murraypeople.com

Thank you for being here, thank you for reading and thank you for your comments.

Clarabelle

August Guest Blogger – Douglas Robertson

Please let me introduce you to this month’s very creative Guest Blogger, Douglas Robertson.

Douglas Robertson
Douglas Robertson

Douglas has always been interested in art but says that he hasn’t really drawn anything recently but does love photoshopping. Douglas says, “I suppose what I do is the equivalent of what ‘pimp my ride’ is to cars as to what I do to pictures/photos. I sometimes refer to what I do as ‘digi-punk’ art. Basically I either get an idea for a picture and create it by taking different parts and pieces of other pictures to create a new one.”  

The other thing Douglas likes to do is turn a photograph into a ‘painting’ by using various effects and layers and many ‘paintings’ can have as many as 20 layers.

When I, (Clarabelle) went on holiday this year to Ibiza I took a photo of my footprints in the sand, Douglas then added his own creative art to the photo and used one of my original poems to add a touch of uniqueness too.  Douglas says, “the ‘footprints in the sand‘ picture with poem had about 8 layers and was itself the result of several ‘halfway’ pictures to get the final result.”  

footprints in the sand

Douglas also takes his own photographs with the view to photoshopping them when he gets home – a good example of that is: Photo 1 and the original photograph:  Photo 2

Douglas’ Next Steps

My next step would be to actually turn my creations into real paintings by actually getting the brushes out and painting versions of them.  Below is Douglas’ own caracature creation of himself.  🙂

Douglas Robertson Caracature
Douglas Robertson Caracature

I am sure you will all agree, Douglas is a very talented creative individual and if you would like to see more of Douglas’ work, then please feel free to head over to his facebook page, Wiggly Beezers Arts you will also find there another creative picture of me, Clarabelle with the “City Lights” poem added to it.

I would like to give a special thank you to Douglas for sharing his creatives talents on this Clarabelle blog, it’s been an absolutely pleasure.

Guest Blogger May 2013 – Elspeth Thorburn

Every month I introduce you to a Guest Blogger and share their creative talent with you on this blog.  A very warm welcome to this month’s Guest Blogger, Elspeth Thorburn.  Elspeth has wonderful talent for poetry and has written this very beautiful poem entitled, The Path of Peace that she wishes to share with you today.  I do hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Biography

Elspeth Thorburn
Elspeth Thorburn

My passion is life. I empower people to discover and utilise their own limitless potential for all areas of life.

I am a qualified Mentor and I empower individuals, families and small business owners /entrepreneurs. My purpose as a Mentor is to help individuals and business owners discover that they already have, within them, the ability to achieve their goals, create solutions to life’s challenges and instil passion for growth.

I deliver an Empowerment Programme specifically designed for young people in Education. This gives them soft skills and an alternative way of viewing challenging life events and develops crucial coping strategies. This helps young adults to discover their own potential and their life’s limitless possibilities.

My second passion is health and wellbeing. I specialise in teaching yoga in nursery, primary, additional needs and secondary schools, as well as teaching adults and private clients.

I am also an Independent Distributor under the umbrella of Forever Living Products, who have many Aloe Vera based products in health and nutrition, skin care and weight management etc.

My Background 

I trained horses working in several different equestrian disciplines. I was also ‘head hunted’ and helped establish two Equestrian Centres, one in England and the other in Scotland. I moved from the equestrian scene into the world of commerce, working in many different corporate environments, as well as charities. During this period I took up Sky Diving and enjoyed that for many years, prior to training in Yoga and Mentoring.

My hobbies and interests  

Singing: song writing: playing guitar and harp: poetry: recording relaxation CDs: environmental issues: walking in nature: and enjoying life to the full with family and friends.

I am a former President of the BPW (Business & Professional Women’s) Network.

Currently a member of the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IoEE)

Dip DY Post Grad

The Path of Peace

The Path of Peace

(Inspired by the World Peace Pathway

at the Hague, Netherlands)

***

The Path of Peace – it is a Key

A key for human kind

The Path of Peace at its centre

Has a Flame that burns Eternally

***

The Path of Peace – it is a Key

A key that man must choose –

To turn and open up each heart

And touch Eternity

***

This Planet that we’re given

The Blessings from above.

We are showered with God’s creation

We are bathed in God’s Love

***

But sometimes – when the shadows come – we simply turn away

And – turning to the darkness – we forget the Light of Day

But even in the darkness – somewhere the Sun still shines

No matter which part of night or day – the Sun will always shine

***

The Path has at its centre a Flame lit from the Sun

Just as in our heart our own Flame burns

Let us each unite – each and every one –

Uniting all humanity underneath God’s Sun

***

Let’s circle this beautiful Earth – where so many of creation’s gifts are given birth

Let’s circle it with Friendship

Let’s circle it with Love

Let’s circle it with Hope

Let’s circle it on the wings of the Dove

Let Peace encircle your Heart –

Then spread it out to every one

Let Peace encircle your Heart –

Let it be in every Home

Let Peace be in your Heart –

And in every Community

***

Let Peace be in every Nation

Let Peace be Now and in Eternity

Let Peace shine from your eyes

As they look up to the Stars

Let Peace Shine with Light

As the stars look on from afar

***

Just simply feel into your Heart

Into your “God Part” and into the Light

Then when you open up your eyes

You’ll brighten someone’s night

***

Then – if you smile – you will radiate the sun

Giving it to the happy souls and to the lonely one

For as long as anyone is lonely

As long as anyone is sad

As long as anyone hungers

For the touch of a loving hand

How can any of us rest and be at Peace with our fellow man

***

Reach out to every child – every nation – every creed

For the hunger in each soul merely reflects our own need

Touch your heart – touch your Light

Ignite the Passion – ignite the Flame

Ignite the Peace – Ignite Creation

Reach out to the World

***

In the centre of our beautiful Earth

Is a burning ball of Fire

Emblazoning its light and love –

Through the Earth it does aspire

***

Let your love and your light – that burns within

Let it Shine out through your Being

Let it Light the Way for you

And all others then will see in you

The Light that is in them too

Reflecting back the Lightest part of them

As they see the Light in you

***

Oh my Friends – reach out your hand

Touch another close to you

Reach out with your heart

Be open  – judge not as others do –

But simply do and simply be

What it is YOU are

***

YOU are Unique

You are your own Bright and Shining Star!

So twinkle in the night my friends

Be dazzling in the Sun

And know that Peace to Man

Will most certainly and surely Come!

 (with Love and Thanks from Elspeth Thorburn)

Copyright, Elspeth Thorburn 2013

Elspeth would welcome hearing from you and if you wish to get in touch with her, below is how you can do that:

Contact details  

www.foreverhealthyaloe.co.uk

Linked-in: uk.linkedin.com/pub/elspeth-thorburn/61/826/b42

Email: etflyinghigh@yahoo.co.uk

Facebook – Elspeth Thorburn Forever Living Products Independent Distributor