Please read to the end of this post to get the chance to win a copy of my book, First & Fast.

This week’s riff: Nick, the coach of my youngest son’s football team, is totally committed to the whole group’s development. Despite being unpaid, he spends hours planning the team’s two 90-minute training sessions each week, and reviews each session, as well as each game, for new ideas for improvement.

One thing he has given my son, above all, is a set of values he can use in any situation. Nick has told the boys that if things aren’t perhaps going as well as they might wish, they should focus on the team’s three core values: enthusiasm, hard work and discipline.

All the boys can tell you about these three values, and when Nick reminds them of the values during a game, their performance levels immediately improve.

I think that many lists of organizational values are either too long or too abstract to be meaningful. Interestingly, however, I find myself referring to these values in my own work as a way of keeping focus and improving performance. These values feel relevant, memorable and immediately applicable.

What are the values of your organization, and what positive impact can you see them having on the performance of your colleagues and teams?


Off The Record: Heigh-Ho by Frank Churchill and Larry Morey

We dig up diamonds by the score

A thousand rubies, sometimes more

But we don’t know what we dig them for


Competition Time: OK, here’s your latest chance to win a copy of my book, First & Fast. Heigh-Ho was a famous song from Walt Disney’s first feature-length animated film, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. But who wrote the original fairy tale on which the movie is based?

To answer, simply visit my Facebook page – – and post your answer in the comments section under the post that I’ve pinned to the top of the page. You have until midday GMT on Thursday 23 November to post your answer. I’ll then draw a winner at random and will inform them directly. Good luck!

Please note: This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Facebook or any of its subsidiaries. Open to UK residents only

© Stuart Cross 2017. All rights reserved.