Monday, May 31, 2010

Seeking Inspiration! The Result

Hi folks,

Thanks to all of you for sending your inspirational stories to help me through the marathon this morning – I certainly needed them and they came in very handy.

As I expected it was my legs more than anything else that caused me some concern from the 25km mark. With my training having been interrupted due to the operation the last 17kms or so were always going to be a challenge. I did make it which is what I planned to do – even though my time wasn’t very flattering, but in all honesty I don’t do these runs because of the time.

Please know that during that period I thought of each of you and your stories.
  • Carolyn who had spent two full days fasting and meditating a couple of weeks ago and also reminded me that there are many people in our world who walk further than I ran this morning every day, just to collect dirty water to drink
  • Hazel who shared that she had dropped two dress sizes and had inspired who partner to start walking with her, even on wet mornings!
  • Steve who ran the Melbourne Marathon last year with just 4 weeks training!
  • Hong who climbed Mt Oberon at Wilson’s Promontory and opened up a whole new world of hiking and outdoor adventure for herself
  • Cheryl who ran the 8km event this year at the Mother’s Day Classic and who has now inspired a number of her colleagues to run a 10km event in Brisbane in August this year
  • Pamela who is currently in the USA and who vowed to walk 10kms around New York today to be kindred spirits in exercise
  • Heidi who has started a walking and running program with a friend

I would also like to thank everyone else who sent messages of encouragement, including some coming through as text messages this morning just before we started the race. The messages were very helpful – I really do believe that they can ‘send energy’ because it takes energy for you to send them, and if everything really is connected, then the energy is available to be used. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it!

I was lucky enough to run with Andrew and Sue O'Brien for just over half of the race. An article appeared in today's (Sunday 30th May) Herald Sun (and associated newspapers) in the Body & Soul section about Andrew and Sue and Partnerunning - check it out if you get a chance.

So, once again thank for your inspiring stories and messages of support. I’m not sure that I would have gotten around the 42.2km course today without them.

Thank you.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

An Introduction To Four Principles For Effective Time Management

Webinar recording. Discover the four principles for effective time management. Hosted by Gary Ryan.

What sayings guide you on a day to day basis?

Sayings can be very powerful and act as a guide for our lives. Two Australian sayings that I find very powerful and very useful for helping me to live my life are:
  1. 'Get fair dinkum'; and
  2. 'Have a crack!'.
'Get fair dinkum' means that you need to be honest with yourself. Don't fool yourself into thinking that everything is okay if it isn't, and don't go thinking everything is terrible if it isn't. Appraise both the good and the bad and most of all, be honest!

This enables you to be honest with others, an important trait for building relationships.

'Have a crack' means, 'to have a go' or 'to take action.' People often miss out on achieving what they want in life because they are afraid of what might go wrong. The saying, 'have a crack!' reminds me to focus on what I want to achieve, and to go for it! Usually the worst thing that could happen from having a crack is nowhere near as bad as not being prepared to give yourself a chance of creating whatever it is that you want.

So, get fair dinkum and have a crack!

What sayings guide your life?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Communication Tip#2 - How are you using technology to engage with Gens Y&Z?

Gary Ryan explains that Gen Y&Z are now making up a considerable part of an organisation's employee base. Gary provides an example of an organisation that is currently using Facebook in a unique way to engage it's Gen Y&Z employees.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Telecom NZCustomer Summit 1

My business partner Dr Andrew O'Brien facilitates a Strategic Conversation for a client as part of their Customer Summit program. Please contact us here if you would like more information regarding Strategic Conversations.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Great service comes in many forms

Service is not just a traditional retail experience. Examples of service include the willingness to allow direct reports to make mistakes so that they can learn (even though you could have done the task faster and to a higher quality yourself). Cleaning up after yourself in the lunch room. Picking up rubbish in the foyer and placing it in the bin. Letting others go first through a doorway. Offering your seat to someone not as healthy as yourself when riding public transport. Listening to a colleague when they just need another human’s ear. These are all simple examples of service. Service can be everywhere and it can be nowhere. How present is service in your life?

Quote from a participant in one of our research programs.
I’ve experienced great service from my parents, from the local convenience store and the volunteers working at the drink stations in the running events that I participate in. I’ve also received great service from high class hotels. Great service is everywhere, if you’re prepared to see it!

Please feel free to add a comment to this article.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Seeking Inspiration! Yes, I'm requesting your help

Have you ever had a big goal and you were sailing along with your plan and everything was going well, when all of a sudden your plans were thrown into chaos? Yet your goal remained. Instead of looking like Mt Dandenong your goal now looks like Mt Everest!

I am in one of those situations. Today marks the 14th day since I had my appendix out. In 18 days I am due to run the Sri Chinmoy Marathon at Williamstown in Melbourne on Sunday 30th May.

My challenge is that my preparation has been severely interrupted by my hospitalisation. I normally have a training peak three to five weeks before a marathon, and then reduce my load over the last three weeks leading up to the run. Clearly I have not been able to do this as I was in hospital. So far I have managed two eight kilometre runs since leaving hospital and both times I have pulled up quite sore. D'OH!

I'm not an elite runner. My average time is just over 3hrs 50 mins for the eight marathons I have completed so far. Normally I am sore for two to three days after a marathon and I'm back running within five days. My personal plan includes completing at least two marathons per year. this is my first for this year so I'm keen to 'chalk it up.'

Providing a person has done some training and has a reasonable level of fitness I have learnt that a marathon is by far and away a mental challenge. I use the Jeff Galloway method of running, so I use a combination of running with short walks throughout the marathon (that is what the ancient Greeks did). I know that physically I will be able to run this marathon. I know that this time I will most likely be sore for five days rather than two to three and I might not be able to go for my next run for seven days after the run. I also know that throughout this run my biggest challenge will be my mind.

It is for this reason that I am seeking inspiration from you. I am not asking you to run with me (for some of you that may be an option). Rather I'm seeking inspiration from you in multiple ways. Even if only one person takes up the challenge to run in the 5km event on Sunday May 30th, I'll be inspired to push through my mental challenges to complete the run. You see, running is relative. If someone hasn't run or walked 5kms for a long time, then that might seem like Mt Everest to them, just like this 42.2kms is looking like Mt Everest to me at the moment.

I'm already lucky that Andrew and Sue O'Brien from Couple On The Run and the inspiration for our Partnerunning brand will be running on the day. They are completing 10 marathons in 2010!

So, how can you provide inspiration?
  1. Sign up for one of the 5km, 10km, 21.1km or marathon events at the Sri Chinmoy Race at Williamstown on Sunday 30th May. Registration information is available here.
  2. If you are unavailable on Sunday 30th May, sign up for any event that may be a challenge for you.
  3. Come down to Williamstown and show your support for everyone running in all the events. I hope to cross the finish line between 11am and 11:30am. Location information is available here.
  4. Forward this request on to others you know who might be interested in helping.
  5. Send your best wishes by leaving a comment on this blog

If you do sign up for an event or if you plan to come along on the day, please let me know by emailing - because knowing that you are doing something will help to inspire me to overcome my mental demons on the day.

So, please inspire me and continue or commence your own personal fitness journey along the way!


Gary Ryan

PS The photo with this article includes my good friend Jim Poussard and myself completing the Sri Chinmoy Marathon last year. Jim is running the Great Ocean Road Marathon this weekend - it is 45 kms, 'Go Jim!'

Monday, May 10, 2010

What Really Matters! Volume 2, No 1, 2010 ebook

What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 1, 2010 is now available to be downloaded as a gift to you.

This ebook is a collection of selected articles from January 1st 2010 through to March 31st 2010.

I am confident that you will enjoy it and find it to be a useful resource for quickly accessing articles for your personal & professional development.

Please feel free to provide any feedback about the ebook.

You can download the free ebook here.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Great service connects customers to your busines

Service quality pioneers Zeithaml, Berry and Parasuraman (1985) identified that service quality, reduced service problems and the capacity to promptly and appropriately resolve problems when they arise are significant factors that enhance customer retention, loyalty and referrals.

The challenge here is to do these three core service activities in a cost effective manner that either meets or exceeds the real expectations of the customer. As you will read in another article this does not mean providing a ‘5 Star’ level of service when the customer is expecting a ‘2 Star’ level. It means what it says – providing the level of service expected by the customer at a fair exchange for that service.

Think about it. You are already a potential expert on good service.

“What, I’m an expert?” you might say.

A potential expert.

You spend an enormous amount of your time as a customer, whether in a retail or hospitality context, or as a customer of other colleagues while at work. You know when you receive good service, just as you know when you receive bad service. You know what good service ‘feels like’. Therefore, you also know what poor service feels like. It then follows that good service that helps people to feel good helps them to stay connected to the organisation.

Please feel free to comment on this article.