Posted 11/12/2017

7 Crazy Days and Some Time to Reflect…

My Last Big Push for 2017

Today marks the start of a solid week of air travel for me. So, here goes…

London to Zurich to Beijing to Hong Kong to London to Brussels to London to Oslo to Amsterdam to Dubai to Durban to Johannesburg to London. Phew!

That’s 12 flights in 6 days to 9 countries – and over 60 hours up in the clouds, which is more than the average working week.

You may have read my recent blog about passing the 2 million miles mark with BA, well this is a sure fire way to get me closer to 3 million!

This trip is my last big push for 2017 as I wind down a little in preparation for the festive season with family and friends.

It’s got me thinking about the past year and everything I have been involved with… and what a year it has been!

I started 2017 with my wife in Bangkok for an incredible Indian wedding. For any of you who have experienced an Indian wedding before, you know they know how to party! They are always fantastic events, spanning many days full of fun, love and vibrancy – absolutely wonderful!

In stark contrast to that and for very different reasons, another highlight of my year was the CEO Sleepout in aid of Action for Children. Together with a team of willing CEOs, I raised over £100k for the charity, after spending the night on the cold hard ground in Paternoster Square.

Action for Children is a superb charity, supporting vulnerable children and their families. Much needed in today’s climate, with over 120,000 children housed in temporary accommodation, according to figures released earlier this year. Makes you realise how lucky you are, doesn’t it? I’m proud to be a supporter, and the CEO Sleepout will continue in 2018.

I like to “give back” in life. I know I am in a fortunate position to have mine and my family’s health in a good place and a comfortable home for us all, so there are many other charities that I choose to show support for. Huge thanks to the Lewis Moody Foundation, Loomba Trust, British Asian Trust and Care After Combat (to name a few!) for some wonderful fundraising events this year.  My dinner suit has been put to good use, while surrounded by many inspirational people raising valuable funds for those in need!

I’ve donned the dinner suit for many awards functions this year too, and I have to say the biggest highlight for me from that perspective would be my win at the Datacloud Europe Conference in Monaco, back in the summer. To be named the ‘Top Influencer of the Decade’ in the data industry is such an honour! It was a night to remember and a personal professional highlight for me. The conference is a must in the datacentre calendar, to be surrounded by the best in the business and to be at the forefront of industry developments. Be sure to be there in 2018, you can register your interest here. I hope to see you there next summer!

I have also been featured in the top 25 of the Smith & Williamson Power 100 and DigiLeaders Top 100 Leaders lists. It’s always a boost to gain such recognition, but since becoming a one-man operation, these awards mean even more to me. So thank you Smith & Williamson and DigiLeaders – see you again in 2018!

I’ve sat on numerous board meetings this year in my various NED roles, and business has been good all round. Despite the uncertainties of Brexit and worldwide politics, it has been a very positive year. A big industry headline for me was the sale of Itconic to Equinix. A good move for the industry and one I was very happy to be involved with, having had a long relationship with each in the past. I wish them every success moving forward.

Finally, 2017 saw me finish writing and editing my second book, a follow up to “Forget Strategy” which I am very excited to be launching in the early part of 2018 and is available to order here. It is an account of my experiences of integrating my many business concerns with my personal interests and my family life. It’s entitled “Live, Love, Work, Prosper” – and I intend to continue to do so as I approach another busy year in 2018.

Reviews of the book have been great so far: “This book is a fantastic journey through life, combining practical business insights with personal anecdotes” – Carlos Hornstein, London Business School. And there’s plenty more to follow.

For now, it’s another check-in and another hotel room but honestly, I wouldn’t have life any other way! As Robert Louis Stevenson said “Keep busy, a busy person never has time to be unhappy.”

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A quick look inside … Live, Love, Work, Prosper