Today, I work with individuals and organisations to help them deal with challenging situations. Firstly, I help to adapt more rapidly to what is happening and then I help them to shape those events as they emerge. The first part is often difficult but it quickly becomes more satisfying when people start to get ahead of the situation. Then you can begin to make things much more difficult for your competition than they are for you.

I wrote this book in part because of my experiences of burning out when the Great Financial Crash (and my failure to respond appropriately) wiped out my consultancy business and then my property business. During that time, I realised that many of the principles of performance and stress management that are taught around the world don’t actually work when you really need them. Today, most people who face turbulence are trying to handle it the same flawed ways I did.

I found out what did work by trial and error as I clawed my way back. I have spent the last two years (as I wrote this book) understanding the theory behind the effective practice I had discovered. To do that I had to get into the sometimes brilliant research into in-extremis performers. This really does work but only if you are willing (and able) to look more broadly at the environment in which you operate.

It cost me a great deal to learn these lessons and I get most satisfaction helping others to avoid these pot holes, blind alleys, and the occasional abyss! This isn’t a book about deep recovery but is aimed at people who’d like to deal with the stress they face in a more constructive way.

The pictures you see are both of me (some find that hard to believe). One is shortly before my collapse and the other shortly after my recovery. In the second picture, I am wearing my old suit (which was bespoke) on top of my new one.

I began my professional career with Procter & Gamble and spent 7 years there working in sales and then in training and development. I set up my own business in 2003 and then joined Performance Consultants, the pioneers of business coaching in Europe as a partner. I worked with Sir John Whitmore, author of the best-selling Coaching for Performance, and David Whitaker, the GB Hockey player who also coached the GB Men’s hockey team to Gold in 1988. David is possibly the best coach I have ever seen in action.

I grew up in Yorkshire in England. I had a single parent upbringing so got some early lessons in handling adversity from my mum! I went to Sheffield University where I studied Japanese and Economics. I also supplemented this with a year at Chuo University in Tokyo.

Growing up in Yorkshire. This is from the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977. I am the boy on the back row in the baseball cap. The lady sitting next to me is Pauline Nicholls, the woman I mention in Chapter 11. 

I now live in Surrey, England with his wife, and two children. When I am not driving my children around at the weekend, you will find me cycling in the Surrey Hills (where they had the Olympic cycling road race). This is my first book.